You might know a friend who all of a sudden has a deep interest in knowing where their food comes from and with how much care is it raised. This is happening more and more as we are collectively recognizing the link between our It starts to bring one closer to the cycles that keep them alive in a state of wellness. In focusing on what nourishes us, we may then be able to see we can see the nourishment or lack thereof in our lives.
Here are a couple of ways to connect with what keeps us going.
1. It is of course important to reach out to your local farmers. Why do we want to eat local?
– It is fresher. Local means it didn’t have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get to your table. It also will taste better being that it was actually allowed to ripen instead of being harvested prematurely to make the voyage!
– You are eating your local bacteria. Yes, you get to consume the little beings that help the party out in your stomach.
– You are supporting your neighbors and creating relations. This is crucial in keeping the ball rolling because these farmers usually face the competition of large commercial producers.
Connect with actual farmer’s markets (don’t be afraid to ask folk where the food comes from!)
*** Being certified organic shouldn’t be the deciding factor for your dollars placement. Some folk can’t keep up with the costs of maintaining the certification, where others see the errors that are externalized. Finding people that grow food in an honest way is it.***
Papaya, glorious in it’s abundant ways
2. Start Gardening
Getting our hands in the soil is now a days considered a form of therapeutic activism. We are coming together over what we actually have in common and in that, there is much to be done. We are choosing in what conditions will our food grow. We are nourishing ourselves with wholesome foods. We are remembering our roots as human beings.
Have a yard or access to one?
-Grow perennial crops (plants that you dont have to replant every year)
-Grow cover crops
-Understand your local wild weeds
-Learn permaculture principles and approaches (see inhabit and PRI)
-If you use chemicals to control pests, find natural means to eradicate them or recognize that that plant may just not want to live in your region
All that good stuff being mentioned, still feeling challenged in starting a food forest in your apartment’s patio? Don’t know the difference between a tomato and a potato? Want to understand what plants you could eat when walking around? There are solutions!
One way is to reach out in our local area to see where the community gardens are located… We can get invested in a plot or volunteer and learn how it all functions and flows. We can meet our neighbors in the garden and share in the ways of learning from those with more experience than us.
Edible Hibiscus, a perennial green!
Wild weed Spanish Needle
3. Gratitude. I feel it is almost indicative of our current mainstream cultural disconnect to what is actually important when it seems we need to have lists such as this one. Bless us all!
There exists a multitude of ways to show gratitude for what keeps us going (I am reminded of Rumi’s “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground”). It can range from the direct prayer and gratitude blessing, done by everyone at the table. Or it can be even a silent feeling of gratitude before touching the fork to the mouth, envisioning the journey your food has made to reach your plate. The spirit dance ain’t your style? Well, we can at least all agree that feeling gratitude for the plants and animals that keep us alive isn’t a bad thing to do… It relaxes us into digestion and brings presence to our activity. Thank the plants, thank the cook!
If you eat animal protein, consider its source and if it can be found closer to your home or if you are able to raise it yourself. Also, consider the frequency of meat consumption and if it is truly what your body needs (I am not advocating eating one thing over another for there are many variations of diets and it is good to respect the diversity).
Of all these steps listed, I feel that above having the privilege of choosing which foods to eat, practicing gratitude for whatever is able to make it to your plate is most important. There exists too many food deserts all around us and in bringing the community together through gardening and permaculture, I hope to bring more awareness to all those in need.
***In working in the vegetarian/vegan community for a few years, I came to find that even if one is eating a pure diet of ultra healthy conscious this’ and thats, it doesn’t mean you are all good to go on the holy road to liberation! There is still of course the behavior that happens all around our meal and its ordering i.e. how we treat others! So what if the body is running perfect if the mind and heart are sour?***
Further reading: The Yoga of Eating by Charles Eisenstein
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