Gardening is the next logical step for me to pursue in my commitment to sustainability and farm to table eating. When I first went plant-based and then vegan, growing my own food was not the first thing I thought about. At first, I had to get myself healthy enough to finish my junior year of college, and once I became healthy enough, my mind became opened up to the ethical reasons that a vegan lifestyle was for me. However, once I was healthy enough and ethically vegan, I started to think about the bigger food systems (and other systems: politics, business, healthcare, etc.) in place and how they effect both myself as an individual and different communities at large. I started to see the negative ways in which I had (and still have) an unhealthy relationship with what we perceived to be ‘food’ and the ways in which communities, especially those in more vulnerable social and racial classes, are being taken advantage of. All of this led me to a desire to think deeper about the ways in which I can have more mindful eating habits, a better relationship with food, save money and waste on groceries (as I eat a lot of plants and I love cooking meals and dinners for others), be a more sustainable and conscious consumer (and hopefully turn towards being more of a producer of food by a garden), and advocate for better access to healthy and sustainable food for those in hospitals, education systems, prisons, and vulnerable communities.
This summer, I was originally supposed to intern at an urban farm in Israel. I knew I wanted to learn how to grow my own food and learn about the macro-possibilities of urban farming. However, because of some changes with my program, it was logically a better choice to intern where I ended up- at Anonymous Animal Rights, a non-profit, where I worked for Challenge 22+, helping create specialized programs for people transitioning to vegan diets. I loved my internship, and lucky enough, I was able to spend a weekend at Eco-Israel on the Hava and Adam Ecological Farm, a vegan farm where people go to spend between 2 and 5 months learning about permaculture. It was an incredible weekend, and I hope to be able to go back at some point or to do a permaculture degree at some point abroad (or maybe even in Los Angeles).
For now, though, I’ll be blogging about my experiences as I get back to Los Angeles and explore the concept, practicality, and execution of growing my own food.
LA Urban Farms is first on my list, as I’m extremely interested in what’s being done to make growing food more sustainable and affordable. I’m looking forward to reaching out to them and learning about the ways in which I can start growing my own vegetables. This is a great thing for me to explore as I’m interested in sustainability for urban environments.
Have tips for me or are there orgs, things you’re doing, or links you want me to look into? Let me know!