"It is better to light a candle then to curse the darkness"
Eating is universal. Everyone needs food to stay alive. Regardless whether you live off kale and quinoa or French fries and chicken fingers, we all eat and we all need food. It is this fact that makes me genuinely surprised at how little people think about food, and why the questions, "What we are eating? Where did it come from? Who made it? What’s in it?", are asked by so few people in our society. Food production and sustainability are becoming increasingly important and we cannot continue using excessive energy and resources producing food and shipping it all over the world. I am an urban farmer because I believe using fewer resources and land to grow sustainable foods is the future of food production and I want to be a part of that. I’ve spent the past 2 years travelling to different countries, and working mainly in agriculture to pay my way. I picked blueberries and worked at a vineyard in New Zealand, picked olives at an organic olive oil farm in Italy, and worked at an organic vegetable farm in Quebec. All of these places required large amounts of land and labour, which is why urban farming presents its own set of challenges. We think of farmland and cities as different entities, connected by costly and unsustainable shipping and transportation. I believe our ability to integrate farms and cities will largely impact the future of the health of people all over the world and the planet itself, which is why it is so important to spread awareness and support urban farming organizations and initiatives. After obtaining an Environmental Studies degree, I found that it was easy to become overwhelmed with the problems of the world. There are so many things that need changing, so many complex problems that seemed far out of the realm of my control. But I found that something as simple as being aware of your food, where it came from, and what resources were needed to grow it makes a bigger difference than anything I could say or do. Food has become a passion of mine and I love having the knowledge and ability to take care of a basic human need in a conscious and responsible way. Growing vegetables is rewarding, exciting, and meaningful; it enriches your life. Who knew, all of this just from growing a few veggies in a backyard? Happy eating everyone!