Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Why Growing Green?

As I've had people inquire, and I supposed it's only fair, I think perhaps I should tell you a little bit about myself and why I started the Growing Green blog. My husband challenged me the other night to really think about why I'm doing this, what's my end goal and what do I hope to see happen.

here's my story...

It all started many moons ago, when on a cold March afternoon….ok, I'm kidding. I won't start 30 years ago. :)

The truth is, I've not always cared about being deliberately kind to my environment, persevered to eating healthy or really cared where I bought stuff, where it came from, or what was in it. This isn't to say I knowingly and purposely did so, it was mostly due to ignorance and a general non-understanding on my part. I didn't know about fair trade, about harmful additives in product I consumed or used on my body, or think about where the clothes came from that I wore. I didn't even hear about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch till just a couple years ago. I walked through life trusting labels that said "natural" and felt that just by buying those, I was doing our environment a service.

I grew up in a home with a mother who was an extraordinary cook and baker. She made everything from scratch. Bread, buns, cookies, baked goods of all sorts; she even makes her own brown sugar. I'm so not kidding. During my early school years I didn't care about that and all I wanted was processed foods. I wanted lunchables, orea cookies, cheese and cracker packs, and juice boxes. I didn't appreciate these wholesome foods my mother made for our family. Now at 30, I totally appreciate it and I plan on doing the same for my kids. Although, with the new eating habits of my husband and I due to need and personal preference (gluten free, vegetarian (for the most part)) our kids will have even more inventive meals to consume. I'll probably hear the same whining from them that my mother heard from me. She would probably call it "payback". haha

When I look back, my interest in researching, recycling, and being more deliberate with the choices I made concerning food and product, started when my husband and I got married. Hayden had been labeled by many as "organic" because of his lifestyle, and really, I don't think this is a bad thing. Now we are both referred to as "organic" and it actually makes me smile. I'm happy that people see us that way, just as I'm happy with the choices we now make as to what we buy and what we eat. Regarding these choices, we started to look at local businesses who sold product and food that met our needs. No pesticides, no chemicals, no unnecessary hormones or additives, organic, and made with pure ingredients. Where does one go to find such businesses in the summer months? The Farmers Market of course. I had been around the market quite a bit last year as I was helping my friend, Toni, with her table selling her cupcakes (see the feature here on FROSTED for more info on Toni's decedent creations) and then selling my pottery there as well. I began to discover new businesses I'd not known about here in Medicine Hat and it excited me.

This year, I began heading out to the market, not to sell my wares, but in pursuit of purchasing more from these vendors and less from the larger chain stores in an effort (yes, it takes an effort) to support local. One day, while I was meandering along, perusing the vast amount of creations by the different vendors, an idea hit me. I would liken it to a moment from the movie "Despicable Me": "Lightbulb!" I wanted to tell people about a couple of my favourite vendors. One sold meat (TLC Farms, check out their feature here), and one sold honey (Sweet Pure Honey, check out their feature here). As I had a blog, I thought that would be an awesome way to share these businesses with others. And that was all I was planning on doing. A little write-up to hopefully get more people out to purchase their product. I decided it would be a good idea to ask these vendors first, to make sure they would be ok with me writing about them, thus, with no pre-mediatated plans, I approached TLC Farms and Sweet Pure Honey, that day. The excited "Yes, of course" I got from them both almost surprised me. I was then, to my wonder, given a bag of goodies from Stella, of Sweet Pure Honey. What was this all about? I was just going to do a little write up and move on with my life. I wasn't expecting anything like this. I, suddenly desired to give these products away, so others could try it too. Before I knew it, my original idea exploded into something much more. I could write on other businesses too! This could be a fun new venture and something to do while I'm home with my little girl. A hobby, if you will.

Thus I started writing on these businesses, calling them my Monday Growing Green Features. I thought maybe I would have a couple businesses here and there that I could add to my list, along with my day to day blogging. But this took off much faster then I expected.

My husband has been selling his art at the Millarville Farmers Market this summer and because of that, I've had the privilege of experiencing this fantastic market. With this new idea burning in the forefront of my mind, everywhere I went, I saw awesome local businesses that I suddenly wanted to write about. I started talking to vendors about my blog (people who had never met me before) and the idea of featuring them was warmly welcomed. I knew I couldn't continue writing these features on my other blog, as they would get lost in the flood of other writings, thus the Growing Green blog was born. It was launched just over a week ago and already the hits are beginning to add up. It's been very encouraging. I've discovered that others, like you and I, have a heart to support local as well and love to hear about interesting, unique businesses, no matter where you live! What I'm writing about is of interest to so many and I'm very excited to continue bringing you features on local businesses from around Alberta and beyond, that you can then in turn go and support yourself. My passion for healthy living, being green and supporting local is on fire, and it's exciting.

I now have a full schedule of features lined up till the end of November!(update: I am currently booking into February of 2013 at this moment). I can hardly believe it. My goal is to continue filling my schedule and continuing on with weekly features for years to come, so if you own a small business, or know of a local business in your area, that you think would fit the vision of this blog, direct them to the tab "Get Featured" for more details. It's almost as if this has become a full time job for me and no longer a hobby, and I couldn't be happier. I'm writing again, and not just about anything, about something that I believe is so important. Supporting local.

I desire to shine the light on my features and let you, my readers, do the rest by supporting them.

I do sincerely hope you'll follow me on this journey, that you'll enjoy the discovery of new businesses, products and services and that you'll indulge yourself in the delicious recipes posted within as well. Let me know what you think of the features, ideas, foods etc. If you have healthy recipes you want me to try, I'm open to it!

So I hope this gives you a little more insight as to where I've come from, where I am and where I hope to go.

Till next time...

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