Welcome to #1000WaystoNourish. Thank you for being curious about this initiative. You will not be disappointed. As part of this movement I will be sharing, you guessed it, a #1000WaystoNourish, to help not only raise awareness of what good food is but also how it should be accessible and available to all.

#2 of #1000WaystoNourish | KNow your farmer | Support your farmer

#2 of #1000WaystoNourish: Know your Farmer

Last year was a steep learning curve for me as I researched food and shared what I had learned. I was also able to meet farmers and learn from them of the effort that they put into growing and raising our food.

Imagine a backyard gardener who one summer plants a kitchen garden. A row of strawberries, a few herbs, some radish plants. She thought this would be easy, all the books and TV shows told her it was. Then pests struck one night and she lost a plant or two. Soon it rained and the timing was awful for the tender vegetable flower buds. And then squirrels discovered the strawberries, and that was it.

That gardener was me, and this, in the picture, was our meagre harvest that season. It was the result of weeks of hard work and preparation.

My uncle in India who’s always full of advice said, “Now you see how hard my job is?” He’s a farmer. He knows.

Farmers work in unimaginably hard conditions to raise and grow the food we eat. Only the tiniest sliver of the planet is farmeable which makes for even bigger challenges.

Wait, there’s more!

In Canada, 97% of the farms are family-owned.

But only 2% of Canadians are connected to agriculture.

This makes for a big disconnect in our understanding of where our food comes from.

Thankfully technology and science are available as tools for farmers to help them monitor threats like pests and weather and more. What they need now is our support. We as consumers need to understand where our food comes from and the EFFORT it takes to bring it to our grocery shelves.

What Can we do?

Visit a farm with your kids. Drive out of town this weekend and see if you can find one that is open for visitors. It won’t take you long especially if you live in Canada. Talk to the farmer about their work and the hours they put in from planting to harvest and more. You’ll leave with a new appreciation for the food we eat, and the people who grow it.

What about my little kitchen garden?

I’ve tried everything to protect my tiny parcel of land from pests and terrible Toronto weather. The only thing I haven’t tried is sitting in my garden chair with a tarp and a stick. The tarp would protect my plants from the rain, but the stick? I don’t know if I’m fierce enough to fight off squirrels. I’m way more Scaredy than them.

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