Grape Harvest and Urban Farms

Well it seems there’s been a hiatus on my blog. While I wish I were still in Colorado and Utah, I’ve been back for a bit working and finishing out my summer class. One thing I’ve noticed about being in grad school and having a blog is it’s hard to blog after writing pages and pages of papers. I’m on the world’s shortest break between semesters so there will be some exciting blog updates (I know some people have been giddy in anticipation).

Early last Sunday morning I did something new with the lovely Lisa and Adrienne. We decided to go harvest grapes at Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery. After a quick tutorial on how to cut them from the vine without loosing a finger, they released us to the vast fields for a couple of hours of snipping, nibbling, and fun conversation. Filling the 5-gallon buckets went super fast and before we knew it, we were stopping for lunch and to sip on sangria.

Nothing like knowing where your food and drink comes from!

Speaking of farms, I wrote a paper this week about growing urban gardens to help reduce food insecurity and food deserts within our community. Even though I’m from Kansas and am accustom to farms like the one below, there are still tons of areas around us that have no access to fresh foods (hence the word food desert).

Millions of people in the Unites States, some possibly including your neighbors, don’t know how they will put the next meal on the table (otherwise known as food insecurity). Groups like Kansas City Community Gardens are working to help low-income families and organizations learn how to grow and cultivate small urban gardens to help meet food needs.

My search to learn more about urban gardens lead me to some CSA (community sponsored agriculture) websites where people like you and I can invest in a small urban farm and in return, get weekly produce, herbs, milk, eggs, and free-range meat. I love the idea of supporting farmers in my area and knowing exactly where my food comes from and learning how to eat seasonally.

There are a couple of reasons why I am talking about this. One is to bring awareness to the current problem and what’s being done to fix it. Second, I hear a lot about eating locally but now I’m really trying to learn and see how it affects my community, local farmers, and me. This morning when I was at the farmer’s market, I found lots of farmers who were already getting people invested into next year’s CSA and now I’m thinking I might do the same. Last, I know many of us are stuck in a never-ending diet cycle where we try to eliminate food. Many of us are fortunate not to have a food shortage, yet ironically we starve and limit ourselves to lose weight. Maybe the focus shouldn’t be on this type of method of loosing weight but on how to support our bodies by putting good foods into it and supporting our community at the same time. By remodeling our daily eating to include more fruits and veggies, we can support our local farmers and our communities while making our bodies healthier. I challenge you to look into your community and see what’s being done to fight food insecurity, who your local farmers are, and where your community gardens are located. Thanks for listening to me on my soapbox 🙂


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