In this blog post I’m super excited to be sharing all about what initially lead me to start growing my own food!
Why I Started Growing My Own Food?
The moment that changed everything for me happened while I was studying to become a nutritionist, at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. I was sitting in one of our classes on “Eco- Nutrition” and our teacher was going over all the ways in which our industrial food system has, and continues, to contribute to the majority of the environmental and social injustice issues we are facing in our world today.
From raising sea levels, to melting ice caps, disappearing bees, nutrient deficient & degrading soil, Bayers’ (previously Monsantos’) monopoly over farmers in developing countries, the horrific practices within factory farming of animals, the lack of ethical & environmental considerations surrounding our global food trade… I could go on and on…
I seriously felt like I couldn’t take it any longer! I remember thinking, “is there anything I can buy from the grocery store that doesn’t have a net negative impact on the planet or my body?” I remember sitting there feeling helpless and way over my head.
However, it was also a beautiful moment, as it sparked a desire within me that I could not ignore; I wanted to get more connected to my food – and would do just about anything I could to do so!
I slowly came to the realization that the best thing I could do to follow this yearning – was to learn how to grow my own!
I took my first leap to do so by signing up to volunteer to work on a farm in exchange for food & board, on Salt Spring Island (where I now live – but I lived in Vancouver at the time!). Doing so – I learned a TON and I was officially hooked on the feeling of touching soil with my bare hands, tending to vegetable plants, and getting to harvest my own food – just minutes before I was going to eat it! I came to understand just how much more delicious home grown food tasted and how fulfilling it felt for me!
Since then, I’ve worked at a permaculture farm on Nicaragua, worked at my families’ farm in Creemore, Ontario, grew my own patio gardens in Vancouver, and eventually moved to Salt Spring to have a full time garden with my partner, Luke!
Today in our garden we now currently grow tons of food in the spring/ summer/ fall (and some in the winter – although we are still learning how to master this)! We are so grateful to live on our friends land who allows us to have our garden here! I say this to expand and inspire anyone who isn’t currently in a position to own land (I’m right there with you) – but if growing food is something you want to do, I’ve found that if there’s a will – there’s a way – so believe in yourself!
I’ve tried to better learn how to grow as much as I possibly can through taking a regenerative organic gardening course, reading just about every issue of Mother Earth News, watching tons of You Tube videos, and reading all sorts of different books on organic gardening and growing food! There’s definitely a learning curve to it!
In growing my own food food, it’s my hope to as much as I can, continue to break ties to industrial agriculture and the corruption that comes along with it.
Since starting to grow my own food 6 years ago, I’ve noticed a huge shift in my life in numerous areas.
My overall health has dramatically improved, I have new found creativity in the kitchen, my relationship to my food and body has completely changed for the better, I feel more at peace with my contribution to the planet, I notice my anxiety levels much lower (especially whenever I get into the garden), and best of all – I have gotten to connect with so many other people around me who are inspired to do similarly as well.
To sum it all up, I have come to love growing my own food…
And I love that it feels so impactful for not only for my own well-being, but for the regeneration of the planet, and the well-being of all the living beings around me (such as the birds and the bees who make the world go round).
I know we all have a role to play in helping overcome the climate crisis we are facing – and if growing food is calling your name – I can’t recommend it enough! If you don’t have a space to grow – there are so many cool options like patio planters, WOOFing, community gardens, or like I mentioned earlier – finding friends who do have the space! This being said, if growing food doesn’t call your name – there is SO much else to do <3
Whether it’s starting to become aware of the types of food you are buying in the grocery store, shopping at more local farmers markets, or perhaps planting your own herbs or garden beds – every step like this is moving us in the right direction to getting more connected to our food and moving away from our corrupt food system.
Lastly, I want to note, that of course it’s so great to try and partake in individual action like growing your own food or being aware of your shopping choices, etc. however this really only matters *if* it’s within your means! And because the way our systems are set up – for a lot of people it’s not an easy option!
I acknowledge we so desperately need to advocate for system changes from government and policy in order to see the true lasting change we need to! The way our current systems are set up make it SO hard for people to be empowered in their food choices. Healthy organic food and places to grow ones own should be a basic human right – not something only a small percentage of the population can afford. It’s cool to see more and more organizations addressing this issue, however of course we still have a long ways to go!