This is a special edition written by youth Interviewer, Gabrielle. You can learn more & view the project here: Food Leader Interview Series
Youth & Helping Our Environment
Recently, I interviewed Heather Ramshaw, an Operations Manager at Highfield Farm. As I asked questions about youth and technology within good systems, I rediscovered the importance of gratitude when it comes to agriculture.
Highfield Farm has managed to grow an unused field into a fruitful soil for several hands to help. As the whole world recovers from the pandemic, which took away opportunities, as well as the places to connect, Ms. Ramshaw alongside Highfield Farm to provide new opportunities for volunteers.
Volunteering is an essential part of one’s high school career, where experience is gathered for various situations and futures connected to one’s passion. When volunteering, it is often an important question we ask ourselves, ‘am I making an impact?’. Volunteer hours are centered on this topic — making an impact. And what better way to make an impact, than to help produce the food we all eat?
Learning can have a different feeling when you’re doing it hands on. When working on Highfield Farm, volunteers have a chance to establish themselves and get to know themselves best. There is a large amount of things to do, from helping with composting to helping with plant growth. As the volunteers continue to help out, they gain valuable skills whilst helping the environment in a sustainable manner.
The change youth can bring to food systems never ceases to amaze me!
Technology & Harvesting
With sustainability comes the understanding of the harvesting season. Understanding that, during this period, the earth is most productive, and soon the earth will rest again. The harvesting season makes up a large reason why we can celebrate agriculture and food systems today.
As Ms. Ramshaw explains, the harvesting season in Calgary is short. Due to this, the advancement of technology and the usage of it within the food systems greatly contribute to widening the harvesting season and making the most of it. The greenhouses have technology which makes the growth of food more fruitful than it was before. Similar to how ovens are much more convenient for cooking, technology has improved the longevity of the harvesting season.
This helps the team considerably, meaning that they are not restricted by the natural harvesting season which comes with Calgary. This also gives volunteers a larger amount of time to volunteer and understand the connection of technology with food systems.
As technology develops further, perhaps even more than we can currently see — its positive impacts are being made known within food systems, enhancing areas in which the harvesting season is naturally shorter, such as Calgary.
The growth of agricultural technology is greatly appreciated.
With the help of volunteers, technology and the earth, it brings us closer to an important emotion. Gratitude, which is what carries us forward, and makes us realize what an impact we can all make —- and do make!
The earth and sustainability has become a large topic and center of discussion over the past few years, in which people discuss the best approach to farming and food systems without further distressing the earth. Gratitude is a universal skill, one that comes with seeing the work that is put in to bring meals to us across Canada.
Ms. Ramshaw provided a deep discussion detailing the importance of gratitude when it comes to farming and food systems. The relationship between a farmer and the soil is a mutual bond, in which we all benefit from. The earth needs to be nurtured too, as we continue millennia of culture through harvesting and planting.
Though Thanksgiving has passed, gratitude is permanent.
The seed I’d like to leave is what brings you into gratitude? As I reflect on this interview, I am grateful for those who do their best to adapt and bring forth the best of the harvesting season, as well as those who volunteer on the farms to help share the process which is growing food within food systems.
Growth is much more noticeable with gratitude.