It wasn’t until this past semester that I began to question why schools don’t emphasize learning about agriculture and farming more. After taking college courses and becoming educated on topics of my interest, my eyes were opened to many of the issues we face. As a society, we have become accustomed to food being readily available on a shelf, in plastic packaging that has been processed and shipped from all directions. We’ve been lied to about our food long enough, and I believe it is our generation that will change these injustices.
Through the office of sustainability, I was able to join an Urban Garden Apprenticeship where other students and myself created our own urban garden here in downtown Charleston. I had always wanted to learn how to garden, but never knew where to start. The program was student-led so we all worked together twice a week to plant a bed of multiple types of crops. We also made a bike trellis to support pea plants, a compost bin full of worms, and plant terrariums. Not only did we get to grow fresh produce for the Charleston community, but we learned the importance of an urban garden and how it is a great step toward a more sustainable community. I learned that the city of Manhattan would run out of food in just three days if we were to cut off the daily food shipments. Often times we don’t think about where our food is coming from or how much effort is put into getting the product to the destination. In a small, yet jammed city like Charleston, it is hard to produce enough food to sustain oneself, let alone an entire community. However, I think it is possible by gaining awareness and educating about agriculture and living a sustainable lifestyle.
As kids we were always told “eat your fruits and veggies” and “don’t litter” and “recycle your plastic”… and of course we tried, but it isn’t until you see the real impact these choices make on our society and ourselves as individuals that you begin to change.