In March 2012 I brought together a group of 12 women in my backyard in Vernon. I chose them intentionally, as women I wanted to connect more often with in the future. I also admired their relationship with food and gardening. Some of us were in our 30s, some in our 60s, and we started this blog as a way to keep track of ideas we shared and generated together over the year before I moved in April 2013. These are some of the beliefs we shared:
Simplicity; in food and in life. For me, I had traveled Nepal (2000) I eating a mix of rice, lentils, and mixed vegetables (dal bhaat) every day and I was content. When bike touring for 3 months across Canada I ate oatmeal, pasta with tomato and cheese, and peanut butter sandwiches everyday. I felt whole. We all agreed simple = amazing!
Food not only nourishes, it connects people together. For me, as an occupational therapist I worked with children with autism for 8 years. I am sad that narrow food preferences further remove these children from social experiences (e.g. birthday parties, block parties, special events) that are already challenging. I am equally saddened at how new technology and hand-held gadgets often block us (in every generation) from living richly face-to-face and being fully present to whomever we find ourselves with, in each moment.
Immersing in an array of people & their food and plants is grounding. I spent 9 years in the Okanagan (Feb 2004- Apr 2013). What part of our house and surroundings do I remember most fondly? Local peaches, farms, and too many local food connections to list. Our little play garden of crawlers, lilacs, dirt, chives, parsley, gifted perennials, and a beautiful walnut tree that grew up from what we thought was a “weed” to be 20 ft! Local honey, picked up and delivered by a good friend. Local apples whose blossoms my children and I had smelled! My Rancho Vignola Nuts and Dried Fruit wholesale ordering group! My bucket is filled up by the people involved in food!
Food = Love! On Mothers Day my eldest daughter Daria was asked by her Dad, Kurt, “What do you love most about mom?” and she said “she makes the best food in the world” and when her sister, Janelle, was asked the same question she said “same as Daria”. Food and love are one in the same in our home. Food love.
Lovingly parting ways with all my women friends in Vernon, I was gifted a Kitchen Aid mixer. Food love. Generosity. Settling into our new space, my daughters and I sprinkled seeds over the garden beds. Food love. Respect for the Earth. Being open to new beginnings.
Now settling into Island Living, I recognize that food and gardening are central, and gifts from God. I believe they connect with every important value that I aim to share daily with my family, my neighbors, my friends, my world…
I invite you to join my virtual foodie-gardening “club” by taking from this theme what fits you and perhaps becoming more inspired to share “food love” in your own life and community!