Updated: Sep 28, 2021
Spraying fertilizers. Oozing chemicals. The toxic smoke of exhaust. I had traveled further than I’d ever known existed, on a trip longer than I’d like. 1,500 miles from my farm to their plates. Water. Energy. Food. Resources. All wasted away. Helpless, at the hands of humans. Plastic wrapped around me, a binding material; created to be discarded. I knew my journey. I shuddered as I imagined my place in the “Fresh” Produce aisle, lined up with all the other carrots harvested nine months ago. This isn’t just the story of one carrot or many. This is the story of food. A story not healthy, a truth not sustainable. The truth cannot be hidden. The truth needs to change.
It would take the action of several to edit and transform this tale - yet, that action
could be started by an individual. Me. If I designed and planned a vegetable garden, then my family and I could start growing fresh and local food - right in our backyard. If we succeeded in sustaining a vegetable garden, then we could lower our carbon and water footprint and reduce our negative impact on multiple sustainable systems, two of them being water and energy. In the United States, agriculture is responsible for 80% of all water, and 16% of energy. By initiating this project, I would be doing my part in reducing these stats. One person. One action. I had a plan.
This project affects The City of Issaquah Urban Agriculture. It affects King County’s Local Food Initiative. It supports Titlth Alliance and aligns with King Conservation District. It affects them all. It affects the businesses that grow, package, transport, distribute, and sell the vegetables. But it also affects me and you. It affects my family, my peers, and my community. And that carrot. The carrot being picked unripe and then processed in high temperatures. This project affects that carrot too.
Not only is this project beneficial for advancing sustainability - but it also directly aligns with what my community needs. The Issaquah Climate Action Plan works towards understanding the benefits of local food and urban agriculture. By creating a space for growing localized food, I am helping my city meet its carbon reduction goals. My project also supports the Joint Letter of Commitment: Climate Change Actions in King County, which will expand their local food economy - one of these ways is by participating in the Local Food Initiative, which can be found in the K4C Tool Kit and the new K4C Pledge. To amplify my impact through this project, I needed to understand how I was connecting back to my community.