It’s eight o’clock on a Wednesday morning, and I find myself on my hands and knees making a mud pie. In the middle of my second year of college, this is the very last thing I could have ever imagined myself doing, especially since waking up at such an ungodly hour usually results in some sort of sub-human state. Yet every morning, I find myself waking up more excited than I was the last, and I am constantly surprised by my growing satisfaction for digging my fingers into the dirt.
I come from a cookie-cutter house in a suburb in San Diego, seemingly worlds away from any sort of rural life. My familiarity with farms was nonexistent. I simply believed that they were a magical land far away that produced the foods that I loved. But as I considered my affection for cooking and eating, I was curious to explore the production aspect. Before actually harvesting food from the ground or in the trees, did I truly value and understand the foods that I regularly enjoy?
Fairview Gardens is a nonprofit and organic farm to most. To me, it is an oasis. After stumbling upon the opportunity through the environmental studies program, I haven’t looked back. Fairview Gardens has given me the opportunity to teach children about the environment and where their food comes from. Essentially, I have the coolest office and best job around. Not only do I get to pick and eat delicious fruits and veggies, but I also get to see this experience through the eyes of little kids.
Oftentimes, we get so engrossed in to-do lists, midterms and dirty dishes that we don’t give ourselves the proper time for self-care. The few hours that I get to spend on the farm takes me away from any pointless worries or unnecessary stress that I may have. The farm has taught me appreciation for the food that is on my plate every day. The kids have taught me how to find joy in the smallest things. Nature has taught me how to find a sense of inner peace and contentment. The combination of all three elements has been more enriching than any lecture I have had in my entire academic experience. Get educated, get outside.