Today I turn 30! The big 3-0! The Dirty Thirty! and it Dirty it shall be! Being a farmer is a life path that was a natural choice for me. I spent most of my childhood running around outside in the forest, pastures, corn field or pond that surrounded the area in Kingston I grew up. As an adult I still partake in the same activities, only now I don’t have my parents to scold me when I get home with dirty knees and it is after dark when I come inside for dinner. Having the freedom of adventure is something I thrive on. Being active with my strong body is a requirement for my life. Growing and nurturing plants is a desire from inside me, I must satisfy. Making spaces functional and beautiful is an habit I continue to thrive on. Spreading love to people is a service I have been put on this planet for! I chose to be a Farmer because it fulfills all the necessary requirements in my life to make me happy. Turning 30 today, I know I have made the right decision for myself and am extremely excited continue my path for the next decade.
It was 8 years ago that I chose to be a farmer, after I graduated Trent University with a joint honours in Environmental Studies and Globalization: Communities and Identities. It was during my post secondary education that that I learned about the insecure food systems not only around the world, but here in Canada. Being a sensitive person, it rattled and upset me to hear the facts about how people were starving when half of the food produced is wasted, people were losing their land due to large monoculture farming, and people where committing suicide because they couldn’t feed their families. In addition, it was scary for me to learn that people are eating genetically modified organisms, chemical fertilizers and food injected with hormones without being aware. It was astonishing that the government was not taking care of it’s people and instead was holding hands with the large industrial agriculture companies. I decided to take a stand, omit myself from the system as much as possible and be a rebel against the big man!
It is my belief that every human deserves the right to healthy, organic, nutritious, flavourful food. It is basic and simple. However, not part of our ‘modern world’. So the summer after I graduated university, I headed out to British Columbia to WWOOF (worldwide opportunities on organic farms, http://www.wwoof.ca) and travel to small personal properties and meet people who were growing their own food. I met inspiring people, especially one woman who was part of a three women cooperative that supplied food boxes to people and restaurants in Victoria, while being pregnant during the summer months and working like a dog. The remainder that summer I joined the Otesha Project (www.otesha.ca) a sustainable mobile bicycle organization that engages and empowers people to take action for a more sustainable future in this world. It was with this group of 12 people, during 2 months, cycling 2,300km we lived entirely off what we could carry on our bikes and delivered a fun and interactive play to youth to help encourage them to rethink their consumer and community choices. Otesha solidified the thought process that the choices we make impact other people and the planet, our actions have a tremendous potential to create positive change, and using our dollars as voting power. Otesha taught me, that by being a role model and leading by example, I can create the kind of world I want to live in, and contributing to the solution. I was insanely inspired after spending the summer seeing the beautiful province of British Columbia by bike and engaging citizens to make better choices towards a future I can be proud of. I was fearless and ready to face the world.
From that summer on, invested in learning organic farming practices and worked towards positive resistance to the capitalist state. I realized that ignorance and laziness is not acceptable, and every human on this planet must strive to make every day better than the last, they must try to become conscious consumers. I believe that mediocracy is a burden for the rest of humans and no person is exempt from being environmentally responsible. Humanity is facing new difficult issues, and industrial agriculture is at the root of the problem. Environmental degradation and resource depletion is the number one reason why past civilizations have failed, and we are quickly sinking in the sand (tar sand that is!).
I don’t want to sink, drown or suffocate, so I am trying my best to create a happiness with myself that is comfortable for me, and all other living organisms on this planet. I am attracted to organic agriculture, because it is a way of living where people and nature are preserved and enhanced by thoughtful planning, the careful use of resources and the respectful appreciation for life.
So i write today to express my 30th birthday wish!
I wish that my beliefs and concerns for the future of our overpopulated, under appreciated earth, reach my readers hearts and inspire change. I hope that my expression of the love for nature, desire for healthy good food and sense of sustainability will be an infectious inspiration for all the people whose lives I touch!
I promise to keep writing about my life, my adventures, my farming experience and my food experiments, if you promise to keep reading my posts, and try everyday to be better than you were the day before.
I love you and love myself. Let’s love the planet together!