I’m Kohila Vinothkumar, and I was born in an urban village in India, my parents Mrs. Mahalakshmi & Late Mookaiya. I am very proud to say that I am a farmer's daughter. My upbringing instilled in me a deep appreciation for agriculture and the importance of traditional foods for survival.
I recently immigrated to Canada, and since June 2022, I have faced various dietary and cultural hurdles. Coming from rural India, I have quite distinct weather and cultural influences. However, I am capable of producing my own food because of my parents’ and ancestors’ desire to learn agriculture.
We do not eat food primarily for flavour; rather, it is for our health and well-being. Because of my culture and traditional food for survival, I can now survive wherever I am.
On the farm, we harvest 12 months of the year. We mostly harvest major food crops such as paddy, coarse cereals, minor millets, pulses, oilseeds, and all kinds of crops like banana, eggplant, okra, beans, and chilli according to the season. As my part-time job while studying, I would go to the garden every day before school to help with the garden. My father used to invite me daily as a sharer in his garden.
My family's major source of income is agriculture, and my father worked full-time on his farm to support our family and provide for the community. We revere the land as God.
My father gave me a superior education and made me the first graduate in my family because of his dedication to farming and hard work. Although I work in the finance division, my karma serves as a constant reminder to me to work in harmony with the natural world.
Working with Green Iglu gives me more satisfaction because my organization's motto is to serve the communities who are truly seeking food security and wants to encourage food sovereignty. Working at Green Iglu as the Financial Assistant, I have learned a lot about traditional foods, food sovereignty, weather-based dietary choices, and the nutritional benefits of those foods. I love being a part of this organization. Before working here, I worked as an Operations Executive for two organizations in India, TIME Institute and Flipkart.
My father used to tell me that every human being is born to find numerous occupations to earn money, and the only way to earn food is through agriculture. Agriculture is the backbone of every human being, and it is essential to work in harmony with nature to achieve sustainable growth and development.
I look forward to contributing to the growth and success of Green Iglu and sharing my experience with all of you!
Below you will find photos of my farm back home.