Green Boricuas: Everyday Conservation Choices in Food and Lifestyle

April 10, 2015

Tari Ayala is a holistic health coach, owner and founder of Tierra Sana Holistics, a health and wellness practice in Brooklyn providing guidance in the areas of nutrition, detoxing the home and body, urban farming and gardening. Tari, who was born and raised in New York, worked in the magazine industry for 14 years in a job that kept her tied to her desk, eating three takeout meals a day and clocking in over 60 work hours per week. Rather than succumb to stress, she enrolled in a program at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition and became a health coach. She then began an apprenticeship at The Youth Farm, a community farm in Brooklyn that offers training to students and community members, and eventually graduated from its Urban Farm Training Program in 2013. When she stepped into the Youth Farm, she felt an unexpected connection. “I felt so at home. I started making these connections with my grandmother; she always represented food for me. Her food was made with love…” she remembers. Tari holds sweet memories of her grandmother Benita, a strong matriarch who raised her three children as a divorced migrant in 1950s New York, and then returned to the island to build a house in Rincón. “I used to visit her often during the summer and we would go to the backyard to pick fruits. She would always know what to pick and when, and had these contraptions designed to pick the avocados from the tallest branches,” recalls Tari. While working at the Youth Farm, she understood her new lifestyle choices were highly influenced by the love of food and nature her abuela instilled.

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