My story in a pesticide free nutshell
I thought I would tell you a little about myself and what I do. Initially the Green Abode started with a handful of friends who were interested in organic produce at a good price. As the group has grown I have met many wonderful people and there are many more I am yet to meet. So I’m guessing there are a few people in the group who have no idea who I am...
So, hi! My name is Melanie and I started the Green Abode in February 2015.
My interest in living natural started around the time I began studying Naturopathy at Nature Care College in 2005. Over the 3.5 years studying there I managed to make some amazing friends and learn a lot about the body, herbs, nutrition, massage and keeping the body in balance. I completed my Advanced Diploma in Naturopathy in 2008. Working at a chiropractic clinic and in a herbal pharmacy for many years also expanded my knowledge base.
Fast forward a few years of working, living and travelling and I decided I wanted to know more about where our food came from, how it is treated and what it has gone through before it reaches our plate. I love food and with my Naturopathy study behind me I kept thinking “what’s the point in advising people on certain foods when these foods may be so poorly grown and managed that the bad outweighs the good”. One of the first things we learnt in college was “first, do no harm” and with very little studies done on the effect of pesticides in our food and soil, chemicals in our environment and the effect of modern technology on the nutritional status of our foods, I decided to go back and study. So off to Western Sydney University I went to study a Bachelor of Natural Science in Food Systems. My theory was “I need to know HOW it is done to be able to CHANGE the way things are done”. I am currently about 2/3 through my course and studying part time. I have taken 2 short breaks after having my daughters (now 3 and 18 months) but keep doing as much as I can to get through the course as soon as humanly possible.
Being pregnant enhanced my desire to live a cleaner life. I was already fairly “green” in my approach to home life – always choosing natural products to use around the home and relatively unprocessed foods to eat – but being pregnant and now having 2 daughters I try and limit our exposure to potentially harmful substances even more.
My approach at home is not only to reduce chemicals at home but also to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce the impact we have on global resources. We implement things such as growing some of our own vegetables, recycling as much as possible, reusing everything we can, upcyling old things into new things, using cloth nappies and cloth wipes, using essential oils and Enjo microfiber cleaning clothes instead of chemical cleaners, using natural skin care products, eating organic foods, using hand-me-down clothes, toys and furniture, eat seasonally, composting, keeping a worm farm and keeping backyard chickens. There is so much more I’d like to be doing and hopefully this will come over time.
Last year I had a desire to do something bigger so I set the ball in motion. My 2015 New Years resolution was “to start a co-op” and for probably the first time in history, I stuck to it! Actually, I stuck to 2 New Years resolutions last year! The other one was to run a half marathon……which I did in March 2015…..in New York City…..after 3 months of training……after years of a fairly sedentary lifestyle and never really being a runner. So yay! I guess last year can be classed as a success on the resolution front! So the Green Abode was started and while I have ideas on where I want it to go, at the moment I am trying to keep it to a pace that is manageable between my studies and my very active girls…... The group has grown faster than I expected and we’ve gone from only organic fruit and vegetable boxes to over 120 pantry and home items! It wouldn’t be the group it is without the amazing members – between all of us, we are a wealth of knowledge.