Ashlee Kopchak ZANESVILLE, Ohio- As I sit at my desk and watch as the snow falls on this April fool’s day, I cannot help but look towards warmer weather. For me, this year looks a little different than years in the past. I have embarked on a new journey this summer, not just for me but for my boys as well. Some of you have already been following along our newest program, “Back to Basics”. This program truly is my pride and joy right now. I am so passionate about what I do here at Muskingum Soil and Water because I get to do what I love every single day: educate about the things I am so passionate about; agriculture and conservation.
If you have not been following along “Back to Basics”, then let me give you a little run down on what you’re in for! We as a country take so many things for granted including, clean water and food just a grocery store trip away, and to make it even better you do not even have to get out of your car anymore! For this mama of two littles, it is like a dream come true. Basically, anything we think we absolutely need can be found within a 15-minute drive or online with free two-day shipping, at our fingertips.
So, I know I sound like I am rambling, but I promise I have a point. This new adventure we are embarking on, as a family, is something I grew up with but never implemented myself-a garden. Now, my garden is not your typical garden because I am focusing on a container garden. So many people believe they do not have the room for a garden, and I am here to tell you, you do! Container gardens a great way to utilize the space you have efficiently. They can be done relatively inexpensively and that is another thing I’m focusing on just to show it can be done!
Becoming more sustainable has always been something I am passionate about. I have worked my entire life in the agriculture industry, including my formal education. Becoming more sustainable as a country is exactly what we need. I won’t get into politics or anything like that because it’s not my place to tell you what you should or should not do, neither is it my intention. We are here to provide you with the most information so you, as an individual, can make the best decision for yourself and your family.
We find it so easy to grab our phone and order what we need, whether it is actually a need or just another materialistic item. We owe it to ourselves to enjoy the things we love and that is not a crime. We want the best everything, the new fancy car, the newest phone or tablet, up-to-date fashion trends and everything in between. So why don’t we want the same when it comes to our nutrition?
Everyone says the U.S has a surplus of food and that is true, but it is not “good” food. Our nutrition is what feeds our bodies, why do we go for those processed sugars and sweets instead of items that are naturally designed to fuel our bodies? Convenience. We have been so fortunate to have the large grocery stores and we take it for granted. There are nations out there who would be happy with a loaf of bread and a bag of grapes, and yet, we always want more.
Something I am striving for with my small family is to create a sustainable home when it comes to our nutrition. I am focusing on buying all local, that means I am getting my meats from local butcher shops who get their products from local farmers. I am attending local farmers markets to get my fruits and veggies and we are growing our own container garden; I cannot wait to show my boys how they can provide for themselves with just a little extra work.
If you’re ready to dive into this world of sustainability, then please follow along our “Back to Basics” series and contact Ashlee at 740-454-2027 for any questions. By supporting local you’re supporting your own economy and your own neighbors; to me that is worth every extra penny and time I put into it!