Images by Carly Lewis & Hayley Lewis
Our generation exists in the midst of vast cultural and political change, both locally and globally. Our lives can often seem seized by capital interest and our society’s constant tendency to outsource, expand and globalize. The idea of a global neighborhood can be exciting and charged with change, but on the other hand, can simultaneously be quite terrifying and only established at a great cost: the sacrifice of culture, tradition and resource.
Corrupt corporations and governments alike have entitled themselves to properties, and the goods they produce for the purpose of capital gain. As a result, much of the world’s resources, including water and food, are being monopolized. This means that corporations decide what is distributed to us, where it comes from, how it’s made and who gets paid. A scary thought. Fair access to food and resources are amongst our most fundamental human rights. If money is power, corporations have it, but there is still a way for you to fight back, through an ongoing grassroots revolution that has existed since the start of human time: GROW YR OWN FOOD!
Gardening is one of the most empowering and productive things someone could do in this generation. It promotes our connection to the land and teaches us how to respect and nourish it. Perhaps more importantly, it allows us the knowledge to know exactly where our food is coming from, a concept not foreign to our ancestors but seemingly distant and difficult for our generation to grasp. With such a strong impulse towards sustainability and a greener lifestyle, now is the time to take the power back into our hands and learn how to build and sustain on our own, from the bottom up.
Aside from the political implications, growing and harvesting food is personally fulfilling. It’s hard work, requires energy, time and commitment, but the payoff is huge. I had never been happier than this summer, after harvesting my first head of lettuce. After about a month of letting it grow from the soil I grew up on, I picked it, washed it, put it in a bowl and ate it with my family. Simple as it sounds, and is, it was one of the most satisfying moments of my life. Fully content, in my own backyard.
My experiences in the garden have been a reminder that I am a self-sufficient human being, that things do grow and that I can accomplish and provide with my own two hands. Corporations have no place in my kitchen.
There are other ways to support independent food distribution and growth too. Shop at food co-ops, go to local markets, eat organically, moderate your intake of animal product or cut it out all together (the cattle industry alone accounts for 18% of carbon emissions, yikes!), know your farmers, and keep it local! Develop respect and reverence for the food you receive, because as populations grow and consumerism prospers, our resources will run dry.