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Sunday, October 9, 2011


Our community, and Nashville at large, is mourning the loss of Minda Lazarov, cook, neighbor, activist extraordinaire.

Minda was the well-connected, well-informed, energetic neighborhood strategist during our fight against big-money developers. It was hard to say no to Minda, and I am here to testify that sometimes it's been hard to say yes!

Without Minda, Sulphur Creek Farm and Bells Bend Neighborhood Farms would not exist. Three years ago, as we gathered, exhausted from our years of phone calls, letters, planning commission meetings, and metro council meeting, but also jubilant about our improbable defeat of a $4-billion development proposal, it was Minda who suggested an organic farm--a positive step for our area.

Like zombies, we all nodded enthusiastically, and then looked blankly at each other. What next? What uncharted journey had we started?

Within two months, Jeff Poppen had helped lay out gardens on four properties, compost was accumulating (100 tons of the stuff), and 11-foot poles were appearing in our front pasture to build the 8-foot deer fence. Volunteers showed up on two sleety days to set posts and stretch fencing. We still didn't have a farmer, and weren't at all sure how this was going to work, but we pushed ahead.

And then we got a call from EricTheFarmer, at this point EricTheAboutToGraduate, who had grown up right here, wanting to help with the farm.

Three years later, the whirlwind continues: volunteers, square dances and potlucks, kids camped out in spare rooms,tractors, workshops, Bells Bend ale, and on and on.

Minda, we miss you already. As Rachel said, tearfully, "We're all going to have to step up now".

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