Joshua Farm is bordered on two sides by rows of garages. When we started Joshua Farm the backs of the garages were covered with graffiti, and a quick coat of white paint covered the worst of it. The area in front of the garages on one side became our cut flower bed (too much broken glass and gravel to grow vegetables, I think). This summer, the zinnias were breathtaking, but the paint behind them looked a little shoddy.
As we were discussing plans for the mural project with BeatPlay, the wall behind the cut flower bed was considered, but we didn’t want a busy backdrop that would detract from the beauty of the blooms. The idea emerged to create a scene that would compliment the flowers. A few weeks ago, a group of students, staff, and parents from Covenant Christian School came to volunteer, and with the flowers dead and the weeds mostly dormant, it seemed like a great opportunity to get started on the project. I went to Lowe’s to get paint with a squirmy toddler in tow. The first color chip I grabbed from the wall of options was called “Autumn Sky,” which was exactly what I was looking for. It feels a little silly to spend $150 on paint when we could use that money on seeds or tools or staff or other things that make a farm productive, but we had to paint the wall anyway, and color doesn’t cost anything extra. Plus, it makes me happy, and surely happy farmers are more productive. Eventually, I’d like to add a sun made of shards of broken mirrors, some subtle clouds, and maybe some birds or butterflies. For now, the autumn “sky” is a vibrant reminder of the sun’s warmth during the grey days of winter.