Monday, April 19, 2010

Hall of MIRRORS: Connecting back to Self, Soil and Society (part 2 of 3)

 SOIL: You are what you eat?

It was a peaceful afternoon on the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Blue and I set out to interview a woman named Dawn Myers from Backyard Bounty. Dawn, former project manager for a software development company, followed her calling to make a difference in the world. Three years ago she had the desire to grow organic fruits and veggies---a passion Dawn had fostered for 20 years by growing organic veggies for family and friends. Paul, her husband, encouraged her to take the leap and leave the desk job behind and start Backyard Bounty. Dawn confident in her ability to grow food with a deep desire to get her hands in the soil full-time while providing organic, locally grown produce, moved with Paul to Gibsons and started a CSA program.

The seed of Backyard Bounty started in the front yard Dawn’s home. She and Paul took the entire lawn and converted it into a vegetable crop. Which she grows from 5 months out of the year. From there Paul built a greenhouse out of salvaged items from the local dump. Their combined efforts have created the infrastructure needed for their urban farming. As I spoke with both of them about what inspired them to start this project. They both shared how produce in our markets is rather limited. We have settled for the basics and relied on hormones, chemicals and pesticides to produce the basics. Dawn grows 92 varieties of vegetables which gives here community a new food experience. As she pointed out her clients are not afraid to try new things because it is included in their box of produce each week.  She even includes recipes for those who have not idea what to do with certain vegetables.

What you struck me was as Paul described the strawberries available in the supermarket. He said, “Everything is right about the strawberry. It is the right shape, size and color but it does not taste like a strawberry.” Then, the very next day, I walked into a local supermarket. A man picked up a carton of strawberries and looked at his friend and she said, “You can get those strawberries but they do not taste like strawberries.”  He looked at her and then put the strawberries back. As I walked up and down the isles of food, I felt tears swell up in my eyes. We have settled for processed foods, packaged meals, and fruits and vegetables that do not taste like real food.  As I swallowed my tears and watched people aimlessly move through the store selecting the food that was a good value or on special. I realized we are what we eat. I ask you, If that is statement is true, what do you deserve and what do you choose to nourish your body and family with? Chemicals, processed foods with preservatives, dyes and chemicals? OR Fresh, locally grown, organic food which supports your well being and your community? What do you want to mirror?

With that I give great thanks to Dawn and Paul for being committed to delivering organic produce to their community! Check them out at...localorganicveggies

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