One of the main reasons why we had done this 30 day fully local challenge was to bring light on the great disconnect that we have with our food. Where it comes from, how it got to us, how this affects us, and what happens as a result of this?
Whilst I thought I had gained a greater understanding and appreciation for this during the challenge – it instead sparked something that had brought an even greater realization. During the challenge we were forced to consider where the food was coming from, go directly to the source, to the growers, eat seasonally, and as a result, appreciating every bite to its fullest. Eating for nourishment, and no longer for pre-packed convenience.
When you see the work that goes into the food, and also the reduction in options as a result of having limited choices, it had inspired to expand on what we are growing ourselves. While we knew we wanted to grow, this had pushed us even more so to put more time and effort into it.
Food is one of our basic human needs, yet we so greatly take it for granted. It is assumed in our society that we will get food and always have enough of it. This is true with the processed haven we live in, but without the good, fresh, wholesome stuff we will continue to have further problems with our health. As we consume more junk, and inhale more fumes with the blocks and road that are taking over the fields, we will understand the urgency for our home grown food, and come to appreciate this basic human need.
Over this past weekend, rather than going out partying (which of course we enjoy a bit of as well, no judgement here 🙂 ) we spent our days out in the field – reconnecting with nature, and reconnecting with our food – and enjoy a glass of wine, or two, at the end of it. We were sowing, planting, chipping away at the field, trying to get everything done before the rain was scheduled on Sunday afternoon. Yes, it requires some time and effort, but damn, am I going to enjoy that onion, and that potato, and those beans once they are ready to harvest. Not only that, but we got to learn about the food, spend time outdoors which was incredibly relaxing and fulfilling, making us do research on different growing techniques, pests, and methods, which also means we have complete control over what was used in the growing process (i.e. no chemicals being sprayed here!).
We cannot say for certain how much we will end up harvesting in the end, we are still learning of course, but through the process of growing your own food you gain a greater appreciation for what you are consuming, and therefore, the food choices that you make overall. You spend time outdoors, you move your body, and it makes laying down with a cup of tea and a hearty meal at the end of a days work in the field so much more rewarding.
This doesn’t mean everyone should suddenly drop what they are doing and become farmers (though this world would be a better place with better plates if we all grew a little and shared with one another), but it does mean that we should appreciate the full story of our food. When people say that eating healthy is too expensive, we should instead wonder why junk is so cheap. And if you eat in season and locally, eating healthy is even cheaper – it just requires a bit of planning. I would encourage everyone to grow something of their own, even if just some herbs on the windowsill to start off with to garnish your meals. While we are so disconnected from our food in this culture, we can begin to reconnect through being a part of the process ourselves.
Get some seeds, get your hands in the soil, water, nurture, weed, and watch your food grow. Or if not that, at least support your local growers when going for your weekly shop!
Not sure where to start? Speak with the farmers, ask questions, go to people such as Green Living and Greenscapes Malta, or send us a message 🙂 Happy growing!