I’m trying to remember what it felt like to eat a carrot from the field without washing it. The feeling of dirt between your teeth and on your tongue. Slightly unpleasant, but at the same time it adds a tang to the sweet carrot taste. Earthy, sometimes alkaline and sometimes fresh and acidic. Trying to get all that soil off the carrot was impossible. My hands were covered in it, my pants had permanent grains of it within the threads and everyone around me was in the same wonderful predicament. I sweat dirt this past summer. And I loved it.
On the weekend I went to a film festival on World Community. Most of the films I saw were about farming: Dirt, The Movie; Fresh; Madre Tierra. All excellent films that spoke about land distribution, sustainable agriculture and food accessibility. To top that off I started to read a book called The Dirty Life, about a couple who start up a full-diet CSA on their farm in northern New York.
All of a sudden homesickness for the farm, any farm, enveloped me and I started to notice the cement world I am living in. Vancouver is trying to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Despite the street and community gardens, the urban farming initiatives and the winter market the sidewalks still stare at me everyday. I find myself weaving between the cement pathway and the grass beside the sidewalk. The mossy grass feels like walking on clouds after hours of standing on hard floors.
If you’ve never had a chance to play in the dirt I highly suggest you try it. It brings us back to our roots, connects us to the land and ignites the doused fire inside of us that reminds us we are part nature.