Embracing Gardening with Christina from Berry Good Food

Embracing Gardening with Christina from Berry Good Food

Hey gardeners,

I recently had a conversation with Christina from Berry Good Food, where we discussed the profound influence gardening has had on her life. Check out Christina's story below and use code berrygoodfood for 10% off Oya™ Watering Pots.

Embarking on her culinary journey from the vibrant streets of San Francisco to the sun-kissed landscapes of San Diego, Christina is a culinary artist deeply rooted in the ethos of supporting local farms and California growers. Armed with a degree in Food Science from the prestigious University of California, Davis, Christina's culinary expertise traverses various domains of the food service industry, from grocery and catering to hospitality and corporate kitchens. Today, she channels her wealth of experience and passion into her role as a personal chef and food educator, orchestrating events and classes that celebrate the richness of local produce and culinary traditions across San Diego County. In January 2020, Christina took on the role of Foundation Cultivator for Berry Good Food, embarking on a mission to cultivate not just gardens but also a vibrant community deeply connected to the food they grow and eat.

How did you first get into gardening, and what motivated you to start incorporating it into your life?

"Gardening came into my life early on in my family’s backyard. The first thing I ever planted was a loquat seed that has now grown into a tree standing 10ft tall. Over the years, an apple and plum tree have been added to that same backyard. Each tree produced a wonderful harvest every year that my family and I truly looked forward to. I learned that every loquat, apple, and plum was a result of us caring for the soil conditions, the watering, and the pruning. It was one of the most gratifying feelings to harvest and eat each fruit!"

Can you share specific moments or experiences where you felt a noticeable positive impact on your mental health as a result of gardening?

"Over the years, I have been able to share educational moments in the garden with people of all ages. Teaching and stewarding garden knowledge has brought me genuine joy and gratification and a sense of place and identity."

In what ways has gardening served as a form of therapy or stress relief for you personally?

"Gardening has helped me process and reflect on time and has taught me to slow down. I’m thankful for my successful growing seasons and equally grateful for the less than successful ones that taught me the importance of patience and flexibility."

How has gardening influenced your relationships with others, either within your family or community?

"In the last year, I’ve had a fantastic time building community through gardening at a local school close to home. I’ve experienced a huge surge of support from the school, its teachers, and the young TK and Kindergarten students I work with on a weekly basis."

Reflecting on your gardening journey, are there any lessons or insights about mental health that you would like to share with others considering incorporating gardening into their lives?

"Life moves at what sometimes feels like a million miles per hour. I think that gardening has the power to calm and slow that pace down. It has taught me the value of patience and perseverance, and most importantly that not all processes can be under control. If you’re willing to take the time with your plants, see out their life cycle, and roll with the punches with the elements, you’ll be all the better in the garden and in life."

Thanks to Christina for sharing her story. If you'd like to learn more about what Berry Good Food is doing, check out their site here. We are proud supporters of what they're doing in the community and the positive changes they are advocating for.

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