Earth Day has been an international event since 1990 and is celebrated in 192 countries worldwide. In Canada, it has been recognized since 1980. We do our best to celebrate the earth in Merritt. There is opportunity to participate with recycling, farmers markets, Footprints Harvest and more availability in the grocery store to buy sustainable food every time I go shopping. Earth Day makes me take a breath and helps me check in with my own personal commitment to the planet.
I continue to have great opportunities to learn about the earth. Our primary life work is ranching and we take pride in how we raise our beef. I’m also an owner of the Good Earth Company and make compost, which helps supply organic matter needed to grow sustainably. It is often said that if you grow food, every day is Earth Day. To live a life connected to the seasons and to be able to make our living by what the earth provides gives me a profound appreciation for Mother Nature.
One of my biggest inspirations to eat locally came from the concept of the ecological footprint. At that time, I had three teenage boys living at home who played hockey and worked on our ranch and had huge appetites. I tracked everything we consumed in a week and then did the math. The results were astounding. I finished my assignment literally in tears, but I knew that I needed to do something positive and proactive, so I expanded my garden.
To find out more about your global footprint, go to footprintnetwork.org or for a basic test, go to myfootprint.org.
There were grumblings about the amount of time I spent in the garden and my boys were reluctant gardeners. After calculating our footprint, our family was more on board and the appreciation for food definitely increased. The conversations about the earth continue to be a passion for us all, and I am so proud of our grown kids and how they have adopted being Earth-minded into how they conduct their lives. They now teach me things around sustainable food choices.
Food is what I choose to focus on for Earth Day. I love food, I love growing food, I love getting dirt under my fingernails and watching things grow. I love experimenting with plants and finding out how to grow more things. I love the fact that I can start gardening in my awesome space downstairs, where the light and heat soak into my bones, even when the wind is howling and the snow is melting outside.
The average tomato plant produces 20 pounds of fruit and is easy to grow. They taste amazing, especially on toasted sourdough topped with some sprouts started in jars on my kitchen counter and homemade mayo from local eggs.
We do what we can, wherever we are. I believe we all love the earth in our way and give what and to whom we can. So, with Earth Day upon us, I am writing out my love letter to the planet and planting more seeds … and I think it’s time to get another load of compost and see if I can extend my raspberry patch. Celebrate well, in whatever way you see fit and give thanks for this amazing planet that we call home.
Submitted by Kate Anderson of the Good Earth Company.