Jane Watiri Taylor was working as a nurse on the Travis County Jail in Austin, Texas, when the pandemic hit. She referred to as it probably the most scary time she might bear in mind in 10 years of nursing. Not solely was she apprehensive about catching the virus throughout her shifts, however some inmates took out their anger and frustration on her.
“One time this particular person actually tried to spit on me,” she remembered. “They mentioned, ‘I’ve Covid, and I’m going to present it to you.’ They spit on my scrubs; fortunately it by no means bought on my face.”
For Ms. Watiri Taylor, 54, like so many different well being care staff, “the burnout was actual.”
“I like taking good care of folks. However at that time, I used to be like, ‘I believe I’m going to alter jobs and begin taking good care of crops,’” she mentioned. “, crops are by no means going to name me names, or insult or abuse me. I actually wanted to get out of that job.”
In July 2021, she left to pursue a dream she’d had since her childhood in Kenya: to change into a farmer.
She had been rising fruit and veggies in her yard since 2015. To discover ways to run her personal farming enterprise, she signed up for a category by way of Farmshare Austin, a nonprofit. She subleased a small piece of land in Lexington, Texas, to develop fruit and veggies on a bigger scale. She now sells her produce at native farmers’ markets.
“I need to nurture folks; that’s why I bought into nursing,” she mentioned. “With farming, you’re nonetheless nurturing folks, however differently. It’s actually satisfying if you develop stuff and are in a position to know that ultimately it’ll assist make certain somebody has bought meals on the desk and it’ll nourish their our bodies. And to me, that’s sufficient.”
Farming is way much less predictable than nursing, and the monetary instability worries her. Nonetheless, she says she is way happier than when she was working as a nurse.
“Cash is essential,” she mentioned. “However I would like to have the ability to get up each morning enthusiastic about what I’m doing. And that’s how I really feel about farming.”
“It was time for me to take a step again.”