Livio Passera, Member Farmer
As I retire my old cellphone and catch up to the rest of the world with my new smartphone I think to myself what it means to be connected. Certainly I feel more connected to those I know and interact with, as texts, emails, chats and wireless games are now instantaneous and non-stop, but these connections feel like only half of the picture. When I’m at the farm and digging in the soil with my bare hands, and walking in my bare feet, the connection is somewhat different. The connection to Mother Earth is grounding. Sampling the produce as it matures satisfies on so many levels... tickling the taste buds, nourishing the body and the lifting the soul as we work with nature.
In nature we can find a multitude of connections. I remember watching a BBC documentary showing how plants warn each other of danger by releasing a gas when any part of their structure is damaged. If you look closely at the plants and soil you will see the connectedness of that world down there as the myriad of insects both wanted and unwanted affect the harvest of the produce grown. Digging into the soil the worms reveal themselves as do the power-house nitrogen nodules left behind in the roots of the pea plants harvested earlier in the season. In established forests researchers have found underground that roots and fungi are intertwined as plants communicate and exchange nutrients with each other.
As well, all organisms (including ourselves) are connected to the cycles of the moon. Crops planted at key times that correspond with new or full moons will grow deeper, stronger, and more able to resist disease than those that are planted at less ideal times. Our ancestors who were intimately connected to their land and growing their own food for survival knew this well.
As our society evolves and we hurry around trying to make our daily modern connections, we have to leave the growing of our food to others as there is only so much time in a day. We can look to our food as part of a connection to our past and the nature we come from. The energy of the unseen connections lives in that Fresh City Farms produce sitting in your kitchen. Enjoy the Harvest!