GSI's beginning

Driving with an employee to our 12th lawn care property of the day in a freshly washed Chevy Astro Van with sprawling decals promoting “Good Soil Industries”, I couldn’t help but smile remembering how far we’ve come in the last three years.

Good Soil began with a question at our homeless outreach breakfast, “what if, in addition to showing up for a pancake breakfast, our homeless neighbors could show up for a day work?” So with naïve ambition and a vision of what could be, we began working to make that vision a reality. We bought a 1989 Chevy family van complete with wood-paneling and shag carpet. We received donated yard equipment that our well-intentioned donors hadn’t used since shag carpet was cool, and convinced six friends to let us do their gardening.
Our journey began humbly. There wasn’t enough money to pay for employees, so Ryan and later myself began mowing lawns alone. One of my first days on the job, I was driving along making a left turn onto Artesia Blvd from Palo Verde, when the edger rolled across the gas-stained carpet into the side door and the entire door came off and landed in the intersection, creating a yard sale of the Good Soil equipment and the wood-paneled door.

We knew if Good Soil were to take hold of the vision, it needed to mature from this Mickey Mouse beginning. Soon after, God began opening doors of opportunity and through the generosity of God’s people we acquired a truck, new equipment, and a larger route.
I love to look back and remember where we’ve come from; to see how God has remained faithful in bringing His vision to reality. We’re still in the middle of our humble beginnings and there are still moments when the doors seem to come off, but the past reminds me that God has an adventure for us and He has been good.