I think for most of my life, up until the past couple years I wasnt really aware of the issues dealing with food diversity. It started to sink in more as I was exploring for of the organic and local food options that were available, as well as starting to get more into cooking with different seasonal ingredients. Certainly as we have talked about in class, when you go to a grocery store the possibilities seem endless, and im sure many of us have thought what else there could possibly be to eat? The truth is food is just as diverse as any thing else on the planet, if not more.
So this past summer I put it upon myself to look more into local, organic forms of food. So I started in Sarasota, volunteering at Passion for Produce, a food co op run by Michelle Silva. She sells bags of local organic fruits & vegetables weekly and has converted her entire backyard to an aquaponic system and small scale farm. To me, working with and meeting the people who grow your food is extremely important to preserving and supporting a diverse food system. Too much of what we eat comes from un known sources, which is detrimental to how we perceive food. If we don’t know anything about where it came from, who grew it, how did they grow it then we lose the connectedness and respect that we all should have for what we eat.
Also, in my travels I stopped by Growing Power which is an urban farm in Milwaukee, WI. I first heard about it after watching the documentary “Fresh” where there is a walk through of their green houses. This place really is incredible though, even you just love good food and arent necessarily into farming for yourself. They have 13 different greenhouses which grow huge amounts of salad greens, sprouts, herbs, mushrooms etc. Running through the green houses are 6 aquaponic/ hydroponic systems that grow Tilapia, Perch, as well as a variety of herb and salad greens and over 50 bins of red wriggler worms. They also divert about a million pounds of food waste from the city into compost which they use to feed the plants as well as keep their greenhouses warm in the winter. Here are two short videos of their facility.