My name is Jasmine Cea, and I am a 19-year-old student attending the Canyon Country campus of College of the Canyons. My colleagues and I have done some research on the production of food that we find in many of our local supermarkets and uncovered a big problem, which is the vagueness in the process our fresh food undergoes before being placed in stores for us to purchase.
In other words, we don’t know where our food came from or what is in it.
It is not easy to visually recognize how a food product was grown or to determine whether it was grown locally. The reality is that most members of the public have not realized that we simply don’t know where our food comes from or whether it is being produced in healthy ways.
Yes, advancements in the agriculture industry have helped aid us with more convenient means of gathering food. Most people have chosen to purchase their veggies and products of their liking rather than grow their own vegetable garden or produce some of their own materials.
Unfortunately, the result of such easily ready food is that most of us are unaware of the basic steps to grow our own food.
One of my many hopes for the future of my community is to require that more community gardens be included in educational practices that start in every local elementary school and continue all the way through our local community college, College of the Canyons.
Although recognizing the way our food industry works and the way it is set up to produce enough for our consumption without us having to grow and gather our dinners ourselves, many don’t realize the importance of being aware of the multiple methods available to grow food at home in case of a disaster that prevents food from being produced for our communities.
The multiple methods of growing include sip-buckets, using straw instead of ground soil, hydroponic gardening, and more.
If you are unaware of the steps to creating your own indoor or outdoor garden, feel free to ask your local farmer at Newhall Farmers Market, existing organic farms in the Santa Clarita Valley, Community Gardens located at the COC Valencia Campus, or even the Santa Clarita Valley Hydro Garden.
My hope is that we all utilize this opportunity to be more proactive in our own community to advance our future in locally produced, organic food sourcing. We owe it to every child and adult to learn how to work together to educate all of us.
Jasmine Cea is an Antelope Valley resident and a student at College of the Canyons.