Meet Cherish from Port Angeles, Washington, United States
Growing up where the mountains meet the sea and the rivers run with salmon, it’s hard not to care about this planet’s unique diversity and abundance.
I can’t tell you the exact moment I was inspired to grow food but I can tell you that because I’m such a curious person and I love nature, I’ve had this undying desire to learn how to grow food since I was young.
Why I Grow Food
Honestly, my favourite part is planting the seeds & watching them grow. It awards me with a feeling of harmonious connection to this earth, it provides my family with healthy food, and it cuts down on my carbon footprint and c’mon! The garden clearly serves as a therapist as well! I often refer to the garden as my healer both mentally and physically.
Our Growing Space and Gardening Best Practices
I live in the Pacific Northwest among the Rainshadow of the Olympic mountains in Port Angeles, Washington. My growing space is 500 square feet.
We recycle our organic kitchen and yard scraps into a composting system set up on the side of our home, thereby giving us premium amendment soil for our raised beds in the spring. I believe that in order to be in harmony with nature we need to use organic gardening practices. I do not use anything in the garden that would risk loss of biodiversity, soil erosion or water pollution. I like to save seeds from the previous years harvest as well as trade with friends.
Challenges in Pacific NorthWest
My biggest garden pests are snails and I make sure to go out every morning in the spring and summer while the dew is out and hand pick them, I then feed them to the lucky birds! My other big pest is aphids and neem oil seems to do the trick as long as I get to them early enough.
The biggest hurdle I face when it comes to gardening is the lack of space! I’m always looking for creative ways to expand my growing space but it can be very challenging.
Local Organic Produce
I manage an organic produce department as well as nursery at our local natural food store with an emphasis on sourcing local. This allows me to work directly with the local farmers from crop planning to figuring out ways to drive their sales and make organic produce available to our local communities.
Get Your Hands in the Dirt!
I want people to think of the earth as a dear family member. It is a part of us, we have history together, earth gives us life. I want it to be treated with the utmost care and love and I want people to feel that care and love back from the earth. There are many ways to access this feeling of connection to Mother Earth and one of the greatest ways is to get your hands in the dirt and grow some food!