A Canadian currently residing in central Scotland, I’m here to write about my adventures in sustainable food and farming.

Sustainable food systems and agriculture have  dominated my thoughts for a long time. Making at least part of  my living from food production (sourdough bread, small scale vegetable, livestock, etc) is on my list of things to accomplish in life. In particular, I am really interested in the ideas of regenerative, community-based agriculture – food and farming that not only nourishes people, but also sustains thriving and resilient ecological and social systems.

In the sustainable food realm, I have worked at the FEAST project at Stirling University, and with the Grow Forth Local Food Network at Forth Environment Link.  In these roles, I worked to engage, educate, and empower individuals to value food and their food choices, and to a build community surrounding real food. I’ve spent time lambing at Castle Creavie, an ecologically-minded sheep farm in Dumfries and Galloway, and pulled many a parsnip at Chilligo Creek Farm, my sisters organic small scale vegetable farm in Ontario. Currently, I’m on the board of Common Good Food, a charity that acts as a practical advocate for food sovereignty in Scotland. Lastly, I’m also one of the directors and an apprentice-baker-lady at Riverside Bakery CIC.

Working in these roles has impressed on me just how urgent and all-encompassing the problems within our broken food system really are, as there are still so many significant barriers to lasting change.
There is hope though! My belief is that food can be an incredible medium through which to build and strengthen community, and create a more environmentally sound and socially vibrant world. Our food system is intertwined with our culture, politics, environment, health, economy, society, and our well-being – it is a thread that runs through all of our lives. This means we have endless opportunities to help reshape and guide our interactions with the food system in a more positive way, every day.

My history, from Canada to Scotland:

I hail from the agricultural  landscape of south western Ontario, but call British Columbia my Canadian home. I moved West when I was 18 and have loved the wild coast, the grand peaks, the endless trees. I’ve lived in Prince George with a lot of moose, in Invermere as a gardener at a little lakeside resort, in Fernie as a ski bum, in Whistler as a gardener/mountain biker, and in Victoria doing my uni degree at UVic.

I moved to the UK in 2010. While in this rainy corner of the world, I have been learning all about the delightful British culture, exploring the UK’s little mountains, and picking up a mongrel accent of Canadian/British. I’ve discovered the delights of cycle touring on little-frequented rural roads, have plodded along many boggy fell tops, and spent quite a bit of time cursing slippery Lake District slate while out riding my mountain bike. I have also fallen very much in love with the rural idyll that is dry stone walls, market towns, hedgerows, and of course, sheep.