This post is part of a personal project series called "Who's Who on the Hill" which features people and businesses in my Lancaster City neighborhood which is affectionately known as Cabbage Hill or "The Hill". Below is a short Q&A with Clair Kauffman of High Street intermingled with photos of him outside his home where he lives with his wife Anna and their four children.
Q: How long have you lived in the neighborhood and why did you decide to move here?
A: Our family has lived on the hill now for five and a half years. We were first time home buyers and were attracted to the diversity and opportunity for social connections we saw here. Since I also enjoy gardening, I was looking for something with a larger back yard. Now the hill feels like home and if we would move elsewhere, the connections we have here would be hard to give up.
Q: What do you "do" (profession, hobby, etc)?
A: I am a manager and orchardist at Kauffman's Fruit Farm in Bird-in-Hand. My expertise is tree fruits but I love just about any green thing that grows and have an incurable green thumb. Believe it or not, I'm even fascinated with weeds and all that stuff that grows out of the sidewalk cracks and in forsaken backyards. I'm especially fond of edible landscaping, wild foods, and the endless opportunities to grow food and beauty just about anywhere. I constantly envision beautiful things growing where they're not and forsaken landscapes here and there being tended. My goal is to someday have over 100 species of edible or medicinal plants growing on my property.
Q: What is a favorite memory or moment you recall from living on The Hill?
A: In the blizzard of 2016, I have fond memories of neighbors on our block banding together to shovel the snow off our street with an army of shovels and a couple snowblowers. I believe that when a group of people have a mind to accomplish something together, not much can stand in their way. When I saw that happen with my neighbors, I was overjoyed and began to imagine all kinds of other things we could do together to better our neighborhood. It really was a significant experience that made this place feel like home.
Q: If you could change or improve something about the neighborhood, what would it be?
A: I love to see collaboration of any kind, and neighbors caring for neighbors. I believe that a caring and serving community is paramount to all other neighborhood quality of life issues. I hope residents of the Hill will recognize and accept the challenge that this great opportunity to increase our quality of life is in our own hands. I would also love to see less trash in the neighborhood, with the awareness that what was inside the discarded package probably amounted to trash in the inner landscape.
View more Who's Who on The Hill features below: