My name is Carlyn. I’m 25 years old and I live in a little townhouse outside of Richmond, VA. I like my produce local, my meat pasture raised, and my dinner plate packed with plants. But, I also like to start my day with a muffin, and I have a sweet tooth that can’t be silenced, so you know, balance.
After graduating from college, I spent quite a bit of time learning the ins and outs of healthy home-cooked meals (with the help from some kick-ass blogs and cook books.) I was cooking most nights each week, packing my lunches every day, and prepping healthy mini-quiches for breakfast. But, the concept of local food was a little lost on me… in fact, it wasn’t even on my radar. So, in 2015 when I landed a gig working as a writer for a local food delivery company, I was in for a crash course. Each week, I got a delivery of local produce and when crops like bok choy, chive blossoms, swiss chard, & beets started showing up in my deliveries… I was clueless. I hadn’t ever eaten them. I didn’t really know anyone that did. So again, I turned to the blogosphere. I’d get a delivery, and then spend the week learning how to make the produce taste delicious. I would get first hand experience cooking each item, so that I could take what I learned, and share it with all of our customers. I could give them the tips I wish someone had told me.
In this role, I also visited local farms and interviewed farmers. As you can imagine, I learned a lot. I worked there for a year and a half, absorbing as much as I could from the team. Visiting as many farms as I could. Asking questions. Listening.
And now I’m learning how to grow food myself. Currently, I have just a small yard. I’ve grown flowers and herbs in the past… but this year? This year, I’ve filled every decent sized container I have with food-producing plants. I’m practicing cultivation on a small scale so that I can apply what I learn on a big scale. My end goal is to have a small acreage in the country, so I’m doing my homework now.
The benefit to you? I’m pulling information from a ton of sources, doing the heavy lifting and trying new things. I’ve recently heard you should learn one new thing a year/growing season. Take it slow. I’m trying… but I’m also over-zealous so I’m doing a bit more than that. And, I’m sharing everything I know and everything I learn along the way, with you. Here’s to being a little more self-sufficient, a little more frugal, and a whole lot healthier.