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 essentially the most scary time she may bear in mind in 10 years of nursing. Not solely was she anxious about catching the virus throughout her shifts, however some inmates took out their anger and frustration on her.
“One time this person literally tried to spit on me,” she remembered. “They said, ‘I have Covid, and I’m going to give it to you.’ They spit on my scrubs; luckily it never got on my face.”
For Ms. Watiri Taylor, 54, like so many different health care workers, “the burnout was real.”
“I like taking care of people. But at that point, I was like, ‘I think I’m going to change jobs and start taking care of plants,’” she mentioned. “You know, plants are never going to call me names, or insult or abuse me. I really needed to get out of that job.”
In July 2021, she left to pursue a dream she’d had since her childhood in Kenya: to turn into a farmer.
She had been rising vegatables and fruits 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 vegatables and fruits on a bigger scale. She now sells her produce at native farmers’ markets.
“I want to nurture people; that’s why I got into nursing,” she mentioned. “With farming, you are still nurturing people, but in a different way. It is really satisfying when you grow stuff and are able to know that eventually it is going to help make sure someone has got food on the table and it is going to nourish their bodies. And to me, that’s enough.”
Farming is far much less predictable than nursing, and the monetary instability worries her. Still, she says she is far happier than when she was working as a nurse.
“Money is important,” she mentioned. (*6*)
“It was time for me to take a step back.”