I care about where my food comes from and support Alberta farmers whenever I can. My interest in just and resilient food systems began in my 20s with a single tomato plant on my balcony in Toronto.
I was biking home from work one day in early May when I spotted something interesting at the corner of my street. A vendor had set up a pop-up greenhouse, complete with hanging baskets, bags of soil and gardening tools. While I’d grown carrots and radishes when I was a child, I didn't know much about gardening. For some reason I felt drawn to this little greenhouse and decided to stop. I bought one bag of soil, a pot and a tomato plant and loaded them up on my bike and kept going.
That summer I ate fresh cherry tomatoes each day and felt so grateful to have nature at my doorstep. I even got a lawn chair and set it up beside the plant.
That was also the summer I travelled to the Yukon and Northwest Territories with the Circumpolar Arctic Social Sciences PhD Network to meet with Indigenous leaders and community members to learn about their vision for a more sustainable future. Towards the end of the trip I found myself standing inside an old hockey arena that had been transformed into a community greenhouse. There were plants growing everywhere! I sat down at a beautiful painted picnic table and spent the next few hours talking to people as they harvested their food. It was here that I learned about food security and resilience. It was the highlight of my trip.
Since that summer I’ve had the opportunity to meet many inspiring farmers and gardeners. I’ve worked on climate change policies and programs for the agriculture sector, managed several community garden plots, taught seed starting workshops and transformed our suburban yard into a productive landscape with a little greenhouse. It’s been a beautiful journey so far and I’m happy to report that our peas are up!