In light of Organic Harvest Week and International Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day, we had the privilege of sitting down with Roxana from Sunnyside Acres. Her journey into organic gardening and food rescue offers a unique perspective on sustainable farming practices and community involvement.
A Deep Connection to the Land
Roxana's family has been farming west of Winnipeg for generations. "Being a parent, I thought it was meaningful to share with my children so they can appreciate what I did growing up, being at one with our Roots," Roxana shared, emphasizing the importance of understanding and valuing our origins.---
Organic Gardening: A Holistic Approach
Roxana's commitment to organic practices shines through in her conventional farming methods and food production operations. Her dedication to organic foods is evident in all aspects of her farm. "For myself, we run a small farm. I try to make all of our operations as organic as possible. Not only what we cook but how we run our farm. Everything from what goes in comes out and gets recycled. I don't have a lot of garbage, and that’s the goal," she says.---
The Cycle of Life on the Farm
Animals play a pivotal role in Roxana's organic gardening journey. "We have horses, goats, ducks, and chickens. All our animals consume the offcuts and leftovers from our produce. We're careful about what they eat," Roxana explained, highlighting the interconnectedness of life on her farm.
The Joy of Harvest
Roxana shares a heartwarming story of her daughter's excitement after harvesting a bundle of carrots. "I remember my daughter, after days of work and patience, came running to me with a big bundle of carrots she had just pulled from the garden. She couldn’t believe that they had gone from this to that."---
Bridging Organic Farming and Food Rescue
Roxana's journey into food rescue began in her classroom. "In teaching grades 7 to 12 in foods and nutrition, budgeting is always a challenge. I wanted to offer my students a variety of dishes and taste tests, from vegetables to grains to meat. This made me seek donations, especially seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables," she recounted. Through her efforts, she's been able to support 25 families with groceries during the summer holidays.
Community Impact and Involvement
The community's response to Roxana's efforts has been overwhelmingly positive. "The community appreciates the efforts. Many people out there are grateful for what's being done. They appreciate the hard work put into it. I've even had offers from them to help," Roxana mentioned, emphasizing the power of community collaboration.
Educating the Next Generation
Roxana believes in educating the younger generation about organic foods, farming, production, and health to promote food waste reduction and sustainability. "I have students helping with the food rescue. Today, I emailed the staff asking if, during their fall cleaning, they have old dishes or tea towels they're planning to discard. Instead of throwing them out, we can use them in the school," she said.
Connect with Sunnyside Acres
To follow Roxana's journey and learn more about her organic farming, check out Sunnyside Acres on Instagram.
Roxana's dedication to organic farming and food rescue is a testament to the power of sustainable practices and community collaboration. As we celebrate Organic Harvest Week and Food Loss and Waste Awareness Day, let's take inspiration from her journey in the foods and farming industry and strive to make a difference in our own communities.
*Note: This blog post is based on an interview with Roxana from Sunnyside Acres. All quotes and stories are attributed to her.*