Celebrate Tennessee: Cul2Vate Farm Grows Food & People

Posted at 5:25 PM, Apr 28, 2017

About three days a week - sometimes more - visitors to the farm at the Ellington Agricultural Center can meet Wendell Taylor. There, he has found peace and so much more.

"I like the atmosphere, and I like being outdoors, but for me it's more than that," Taylor said. 

His story and how he ended up tilling in a garden began a few years ago. He lived what he called a normal life, ran a successful business, and was married for 21 years. However, when his marriage turned south he turned to prescription drugs. The next year he hurt his back on the job and turned to pain pills.

"Within a matter of two to three years, I was a full blown addict," Taylor explained. 

His addiction to opiates eventually turned to heroin. "My rock bottom, tried to commit suicide. I just didn't want to live the life I was living," said Taylor. 

While in and out of treatment he learned about Cul2Vate, where they grow food and people.

"In giving ourselves away, we actually find ourselves," said Joey Lankford. 

The farm, as they call it, was the brainchild of Lankford. In April 2015, after living five years in South Africa, Lankford returned to the states with a mission.

"This passion began to grow in me for creating something like you see out here where people can engage from all walks of life with a common mission to love their neighbor," said Lankford. 

Taylor found that love and a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Day by day, row by row, he tilled, and in that time, he found himself again.

"I feel like now I'm living more for a purpose instead of material things," Taylor said. 

Half of the produce grown at the farm is given away to help families in need. The other half is sold to restaurants and local food markets to generate income for folks like Taylor.

"It's just a blessing to me, really," he said.

If you'd like more information about Cul2Vate or are interested in volunteering, visit their website by clicking here