Being a dietitian I’m all about what to eat and how to eat it. Since my first few years as a veterinary undergrad travelling to rural Queensland for practicum, I’ve been interested in where our food comes from and the environmental impact of animal agriculture. But this is the first time I’ve actually gotten my hands into the soil and worked the land for an extended period of time. And man, has it opened my eyes…
I’ve loved being in nature for as long as I can remember. But I’ve always felt a schism within myself – that whilst I may be in nature, I am not of nature. This is perhaps the first time I’ve felt engaged with the earth, more aligned with its energies, more deeply in tune with the rhythms of living.
I’m sleeping on the ground, seeing bright stars every night and no matter how hard I scrub, have the impenetrable red dirt of work seeping into my fingernails and soles of my feet! But living closer to nature like this and being engaged with it to grow food and live off the land have helped me touch a source of life force energy.
It’s the same life force that I’ve inherently felt in natural foods - things like fresh veggies, green juices and sprouts, except this is on a larger scale. It’s really quite incredible and I feel an evolution in my understanding of human health and its close interconnection with the health of Mother Earth.
It’s as if my understanding of food as nourishment has come full circle. I now get why I had such a strong urge to come to India from Thailand - which was not part of my original plan and caused some serious upheaval and emotional angst on my part.
Our vegetables have a special energy that nourishes us on many levels. Doing this work is not just about completing garden tasks – it’s also about bringing a certain level of awareness and love to infuse the work while consciously working with the energies of the earth and creation.
For these reasons I’ll be bringing home a greater element of environmental consciousness to my nutrition work . I always knew in theory that SLOW food – seasonal, local, organic and whole – was best for us and for the planet. But now, having grown it, plucked it and eaten it fresh off the vine or out of the ground, I feel it in my bones. It’s as much a part of nourishing the body as choosing the right diet or getting the correct balance of nutrients – possibly more so.
Dirt encrusted hugs, Casey :)