My journey began years ago growing up in Midland, MI, a small city in the middle of Michigan (hold right hand up and point to the middle of it, that's where I'm from). A rather close knit community powered by a corporation you may have heard of, Dow Chemical. You know those commercials,"'H' the human element".
Midland was, and maybe still is, a great place growing up. It was safe, clean, and had great schools, and everyone was practically employed by Dow. However, the one looming difference between Midland and some other nice cities is the giant chemical factory by the river. While many environmental restrictions are in place now, it still doesn't minimize the damage that has been done to the river, the lack of insects and biodiversity in the area, and rare health diagnosis' like high rates of child leukemia that existed when I was growing up. I hate to be critical of my childhood home, but it is just one example of the environmental consequences we are facing today, not to mention the myriade of health risks to our communities.
Fortunately, I grew up with Korean grandparents that were raised in a different world who brought over old, organic methods of respectfully cultivating the land and growing vast quantities of vegetables in our backyard, fermenting food and preserving them the old fashioned Korean way; buried in the ground. I grew out of this knowledge and these traditions and want to continue to do so for myself, my family, and our communities.
It wasn't until we moved to Ypsilanti five years ago that I was introduced to a community of passionate, hard working, community activists in sustainable agriculture that I started to realize that it was time to do some real good, make some real change, and work toward something bigger than myself, for all of us. It wasn't until I met a group of beekeepers that I realized our problems were much bigger than I thought and so my life as a beek began. If it takes a life time to make some difference, then so be it. I will continue to work nurturing the health of our land and all life within it.
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