By: Maricruz Iniguez
Coming from Ecuador, a small country, where I saw food being grown countryside farms, seeing food being grown in urban space has been an eye opening experience. My grandmother back home in Ecuador is kind of the “farmer” of the house. She loves her garden and her plants. She has lemon and tangerine trees in her backyard, as well as growing many medicinal herbs. This is basically all the farming I saw growing up, and I must say that our house is actually in the rural area of my city. So, the first day of the Introduction to Urban Agriculture class, I knew we would be having class at the farm and when I got to the location, I couldn’t believe it. It was a surprise to me that all those delicious and gorgeous vegetables that we had for lunch came from this location. This farm that is in the middle of the city where the noise of the cars is overpowering, and people walk by on their way to work just wondering what is going on.
Class after class I find myself looking at agriculture in a completely different way. Before this class, I thought that agriculture was a very difficult process, and never saw myself growing food. Even though, I saw my grandmother doing it, I just thought it was to much of a hassle. This class has completely changed my perspective. Having the possibility of cooking with ingredients that I grow, just makes cooking a whole different experience.
I had, personally, never canned or pickled vegetables before, to be honest I had never even thought about it. It was such a wonderful experience to see how the food that had grown at the farm was now going in a can. The canning class was so enlightening on how to preserve these beautiful grown vegetables, to be able to have them on the shelf while waiting for the next season. Canning can be applied to many different fruits and vegetables, in various types of presentations, jams, jellies, pickled, sauces, etc. While knowing that you did it yourself and that there are no preservatives like those found in the processed foods. There are many ways of canning, and this might be the reason why people are intimidated with the idea, but it is just such an easy, and fun process.
The introduction to urban agriculture course has changed my view towards growing food, as well as how to preserve it. I’m excited keep learning while also watching what is happening day after day at the farm.