tofino business profile - melanie's greens

Tofino Business Profile: Melanie's Greens: Eating from your Neighbour's Back Yard

by Sarah Platenius, Tofino

U Until recently, many of us were craving local, organic veggies in Tofino. There are three reasons for our hunger for local foods. First, we know chemically grown food is unhealthy for ourselves and the environment. Herbicides and pesticides have many unknown effects on our bodies and are thought to increase the rate of our cells mutations, which can lead to diseases like cancer. Secondly, we know the agribusiness uses large amounts of fossil fuels to grow and transport food. The energy intensive processes of manufacturing synthetic fertilisers, operating massive industrial complexes and machines, and transporting goods from as far away as Chile wastes our natural resources. Lastly, any of us who have eaten right out of a garden know the pleasure of fresh, lively, organically, love-grown greens. This is psychological but there's something about local organic food that makes us feel good. The other day while perched on the edge of a raised garden bed and sipping tea from a mug stuffed with fresh herbs, I chatted with Melanie, the woman responsible for abating our craving and giving us organic, local veggies in Tofino.

Melanie, a twenty-year West coast veteran gardener, grows yummy organic veggies labelled Melanie's Greens that are delivered daily (except Sunday's) to places around town like the Co-op, Salal's, Beaches and many restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet.

Raised on a farm in South Surrey by a long line of family farmers, Melanie has developed Clayoquot Organics on a little less than an acre in Tofino, which eventually she'll expand to about five acres. Her garden consists of a series of raised beds and two large greenhouses. Enclosing the garden is an electric fence to keep bears from trampling delicate new growth and beyond the fence is the forest. As a West coast gardener, Melanie has learned to contend with the slugs, the salal, the rain and other elements of the ever encroaching rainforest in Tofino. Seeing gardening as a science, meditation and an art, Melanie's steadfast dedication and lighthearted attitude keeps her in the garden full time-it's both her work and her hobby. Not to mention the aerobic workout, the green therapy and the beauty she watches unfold from new growth and budding flowers.

By growing greens in Tofino, Melanie provides a service to our communities. Because of our exceptionally supportive community, Melanie has been able to make a living growing her greens while keeping costs down; the price of her greens are comparable to the organic packaged greens from California. Unless you're growing your own greens, Melanie's Greens is one way to participate in a healthy lifestyle-for your body and the earth.

Sarah Platenius lives in Tofino and is a U.S. Nationally Licensed Massage Therapist and holds a certificate in Holistic Health from Heartwood Institute. She is currently waiting patiently for her Canadian permanent resident status.

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Organic food grown in Tofino:Clayoquot Organics, Melanie's greens. A Tofino busines profile by Sarah Platenius for Tofino Time Magazine

tofino time august 2002

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