This is a multi-post series on my journey into urban agriculture as a focus point for natural medicine advocacy inspired by an interview with Emily Davis at the Community Agriculture Project.
Farming has closed the gap on quite a few unfinished stories in my life and one of them is that my college choice finally makes sense to me.
When I tell people why I chose to go to UC Davis, a university founded as an agricultural offshoot of UC Berkeley that grew into its own independence, I usually say it was about water polo – that it was the only school that would let me major in biochemistry and molecular biology while also playing D1. Which is both true and not true. I did play water polo, at least for a couple years, but I chose to go to UC Davis, because there was a sign from the universe and it was too loud to miss.
I usually lean away from talking about these feelings of mysticism openly, because in the past they’ve been leveraged against me in a clinical setting. Delusions and grandiosity are signs of both mood disorders and psychotic disorders, both of which I’ve been diagnosed with. But 2023 is authenticity so here it goes…
I have always had strong feelings of mysticism that persisted well beyond my childhood and without the addition of any substances. As a child, my grandma Kinu encouraged it, “it’s a gift,” she would tell me. “Never doubt it, and never deny it.”
Now over 16 years after I followed an otherworldly, ancestral push to attend a college that was founded as a farm and still maintains a lot of agricultural culture, it finally all makes sense. I was meant to find my way back to farming and I was meant to go through one of the most difficult times in my life at UC Davis that would force me to search through the pharmaceutical perspective before my return.
The answer often returns to community. The community and purpose that a farm creates is primal and touches deep roots that can transcend societal divides. It’s a route to sustainability; it’s the future for increasing access to foods and medicines. And we need to expand the protections and funding that go towards building small local farms for quality foods and medicines.