LifeBOX is an organic produce landscaping company that builds, installs, plants and maintains edible and wellness gardens. Our team at LifeBOX also believes in the power of reconnecting with nature in a way that promotes, educates and enables urbanites to grow their own food. No matter what service you’re looking for, we guarantee to not only meet, but exceed your expectations and ensure your full satisfaction.
Our team is up for every job and is well prepared to follow Covid-19 workplace guidelines regarding daily operations. Please get in touch to learn more about our team, our company or for more details about our services. We provide a free consultation and property assessment if needed.
We have always envisioned becoming more involved with our community, the recent pandemic inspired us to startup LifeBOX and promote the development of self sustainability skills such as gardening. Edible Gardens are a potential means to increase our communities confidence in food safety and security.
Between the two of us we have years of gardening experience and believed it was our time to share our expertise with the community. Our work ethic and teamwork allowed us to create LifeBOX, and we are determined to see our beautiful gardens beds all over Guelph.
JOIN US ON OUR MISSION of reconnecting families and their communities to the forgotten traditions of seed to table eating!
Juan Ramirez & Matthew Onik
The LifeBOX Team
Food insecurity is a growing issue in urban settings. Specifically, food insecurity is the insufficient availability and accessibility of nutritionally and culturally adequate food (Food Secure Canada, n.d.)(Tarasuk & Mitchell, 2020). We hope to address many of the barriers faced by food insecure individuals and households with our LifeBOXes, which help people provide their own healthy foods in an affordable and sustainable manner.
A bit of the barriers faced by many individuals and how garden boxes help alleviate them:
First, financial constraints are a significant barrier to accessing healthy food. Unfortunately, many have to choose between paying rent or affording healthy and adequate nutrition. A coping strategy for many is to buy calorie-dense and cheap foods with little vitamins and minerals (Bezuneh & Yiheyis, 2020). Coping strategies in which people have to compromise on the quantity or quality of food are food insecurity, characterized as moderate food insecurity. LifeBOX provides a small and efficient space for individuals to grow their own produce at an affordable rate in hopes of combating food insecurity.
Second, many urban settings are food deserts where residents have little to no affordable and healthy food options. The available stores have an abundance of processed foods with large amounts of carbohydrates, saturated- fats, and sodium while being low in macronutrients, protein and healthy fats (Lucan et al., 2020; Monteiro et al., 2019). Further, the fresh produce available in many convenience stores is sold at a high price, making them financially inaccessible (Ver Ploeg et al., 2009). LifeBOX hopes to provide adequate and healthy food to urban areas where people do not have a lot of outdoor space to grow and are affordable food outlets are not available without a car, taking multiple buses or walking distance.
Garden boxes, like LifeBOX garden beds, have been shown to provide at least one adult with the recommend vegetable intake and provide low-income households with high-quality organic food they would not be able to afford otherwise (Diekmann, Gray, & Baker, 2020).
Bezuneh, M., & Yiheyis, Z. (2020). Household Food Insecurity, Coping Strategies, and Happiness: The Case of Two Public Housing Communities. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community
Development, 9(43), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.093.018
Diekmann, L. O., Gray, L. C., & Baker, G. A. (2020). Growing “good food”: Urban gardens, culturally acceptable produce and food security. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 35(2), 169–181. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1742170518000388
Food Secure Canada. (n.d.). The Right to Food in Canada. Retrieved March 24, 2021, from https://foodsecurecanada.org/right-food-canada
Lucan, S. C., Maroko, A. R., Patel, A. N., Gjonbalaj, I., Elbel, B., & Schechter, C. B. (2020). Healthful and less-healthful foods and drinks from storefront and non-storefront businesses: Implications for “food deserts”, “food swamps” and food-source disparities. Public Health Nutrition, 23(, 1428–1439. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980019004427
Monteiro, C. A., Cannon, G., Levy, R. B., Moubarac, J. C., Louzada, M. L. C., Rauber, F., … Jaime, P. C. (2019, April 1). Ultra-processed foods: What they are and how to identify them. Public Health
Nutrition. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018003762
Tarasuk, V., & Mitchell, A. (2020). Household Food Insecurity in Canada, 2017-18. PROOF. Toronto. https://doi.org/10.1097/00008486-200510000-00003
Ver Ploeg, M., Breneman, V., Farrigan, T., Hamrick, K., Hopkins, D., Kaufman, P., … Kim, S. (2009). Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences Report to Congress.
Juan is a recent graduate of Carleton University's Architecture program. Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Juan moved to Canada at the age of 2 and has called Guelph home since.
With his background in architectural studies Juan finds immense passion in creating change through our built realm, if that be through Buildings or Garden Boxes
With the recent pandemic exposing the vulnerability of our food systems , Juan is convinced Growing your own food can liberate oneself from the industrial food complex.
Above all he also believes gardening can feed ones mind, body and soul.
Elizabeth (she/her) is a graduate student at the University of Guelph with an interest in using accessible and innovative tools and methods to empower communities to address environmental and conservation-based challenges on a local level. Elizabeth has been an avid gardener since she was young, spending many hours with her grandparents in their country garden.
More recently, she has enjoyed growing her own backyard garden where she experiments with new varieties and techniques each season. Elizabeth is excited to combine her interests in community-engagement, education, and gardening to create content and resources to get people growing in whatever space they have, no matter how big or small!
Bella is currently attending Ryerson University for Social Media Marketing & Fashion. She is a proud vegetarian, who also values the importance of eating fresh organic food. Bella brings her strong design and marketing intuition to our team at LifeBOX. Her goal is to get out and garden more this season, with our help of course!
Raul is currently attending Carleton University for software Engineering. He is originally from London, Ontario and is also Colombian. Raul has a strong passion for learning new technologies and improving workflows with automation. His goal is to help LifeBOX provide a quality product with even better service.