by Terri Rutty

A Love Grown OrganicallyAnyone who knows me knows I am not the sentimental type and have never been a hopeless romantic. Quite the opposite. In fact, I used to scoff at those cheesy lovesick couples I saw on the subway. But as I write these words, I am beginning to realize just how cheesy and sappy my love story is…and I love it!

For those who don’t know me, my name is Terri Rutty. I’m the Director of Environmental Sustainability for the YMCA of Greater Toronto and the Executive Director of the Women’s Healthy Environments Network. If it isn’t obvious…I love the environment. What I didn’t foresee was the merging of personal and professional life when I met my future husband at FoodShare.

It all began on August 15, 2012 over some delicious sustainable eats, at the first ever Urban Agriculture Food Summit. It was the first welcome party held at FoodShare and I was perusing the snack table when he came up to me and said, “Nice moccasins!”

The funny thing is, I was never supposed to be at this event. My intention was to get some spare tickets for the amazing staff at the YMCA who are on the front lines shifting the paradigm, and who would have loved to attend the conference. Unfortunately none of my staff were able to attend, and I was only free to attend a few sessions. I suggested to FoodShare that they should give the tickets to someone else who would be able to take advantage of the entire conference, but they replied saying I could just attend whichever sessions my schedule allowed. So now I HAD to go.

After a long day at the office I made my way to 90 Croatia Street where my life would be changed forever.  Not only did I get a chance to meet the amazing Will Allen from Growing Power and hear him speak that night, I also met the love of my life. After showing off my fancy footwear, Randall Coleman and I spoke about local versus sustainable versus organic food and he went on to tell me all about his food organization, Can YA Love. What a fitting name for what was to be the beginning of a beautiful romance!

Fast forward one year later…

On August 3, 2013, Randall and I took a trip to a beautiful organic farm called Hilltop Pastures. We had spent the entire day removing weeds from the asparagus patch, when our gracious hostess Didi Curry sent us out into the field to retrieve some garlic to make her famous hummus. I was on my hands and knees and covered in soil (high quality life giving soil!) when I noticed a ring he so carefully placed on the stem of a garlic plant. It was a beautiful ring made of recycled silver and re-captured wood from Nicaragua. A sustainable ring?!? But of course! And of course I said, “YES!”

What an exciting time it is to be engaged. It is a time to celebrate your union with family and friends and a time to reconnect with those you love. Unfortunately the wedding industry has not been able to offer us the sustainable wedding that we both desire.  Luckily for us, Carmelina Karas from The Wedding Planner Magazine, and Eddie Suliman from Mystical Weddings and Events are helping us to throw a wedding that will be full of love, good food, good music and most of all won’t hurt the planet in the process. So stay tuned to hear all about our big fat green wedding!

In memory of Didi Curry (May 17, 1943 – March 4, 2014)

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