Last week we were in the herbs, this week we move to the rest of the food pantry and I mean the rest – from peanuts to beans and rice, potatoes to sesame.
Horticulturist Brie Arthur wants us to plant more food – everywhere – from around the base of our foundation planting shrubs, to the far reaches of whatever our property might be. Brie joins us today from her home and foodscaped garden in North Carolina to share more, including her incredible enthusiasm.
Brie is all about the creed of the 4H – heart, head, hands and health and she puts it to work in her evangelizing for the idea of a foodscape revolution – in your landscape – no matter how scary your HOA might be.
"I would love for every child to have exposure to the joy of growing food at least one time – so they aren’t afraid, so they can become better stewards and appreciate where their food comes from and value what farmers provide, so they can look through the same rose tinted glasses that I wear when I see landscapes and all I see is potential, 'Oh my gosh, we could feed this whole neighborhood if we just planted something of meaning in some of this open lawn area.”
Brie Arthur, Horticulturist
Author of "The Foodscape Revolution" (St. Lynn's Press, 2017)
Brie Arthur’s first book, The Foodscape Revolution (St. Lynn's Press, 2017) has one mission – to get everyone seeing potential in their landscape for more food – for yourself, your family, the neighborhood kids and the neighborhood birds. Her second book, Gardening with Grains (St. Lynn's Press, 2019) takes the lessons further into the specifics of grains - barley, wheat, rice and more.
In our conversation, Brie discusses how she structured the book building off of concepts she first learned from the legendary Rosalind Creasy as well and the longtime principals of permaculture. These concept at the heart of The Foodscape Revolution might just alter how you see the landscapes of your house and Brie walks us through some ideas of which crops you might want to try for best success in the different zones around your home.
All of Brie's work - from books to in person speaking and workshops - shares garden advice about growing with ecological, economic and nutritional sensibilities. She’s a passionate leader in the foodscape movement - a model of community development that incorporates sustainable, local food production. She speaks on a variety of horticulture topics around the US, and has served as a correspondent on PBS's television show, hosted by Joe Lamp'l and featuring Chef Nathan Lyon and Theresa Loe - Growing A Greener World.
AND - Join us again next week on Thursday November 28th for a deeply poetic look at the Garden and its many gifts to us in this thankful season. Poet and gardener Ross Gay shares with us his powerful voice and reverence for the life of a garden and its gardener – communal, individual, spiritual and earthly.
The many ways people cultivate their places moves me every single day.
THINKING OUT LOUD this week..
Ok – so I am going to riff off of Brie’s quote here: "I WOULD LOVE FOR EVERY CHILD to have this experience at least once…."
...this was a little nudging reminder from the universe about children – about the experiences they have by chance and the experiences we curate for them – and the straight up undiluted potential transformational power of these.
This has been an idea in my mind for some time – like years – maybe since I myself had my first baby girl more than 20 years ago now and then my second. The niggling understanding in the peripheral vision of my heart and mind how their unstructured hours in the garden and outdoors with me were pure magic – pure education, information, inspiration and magic for them and for me. In next week's conversation with Ross Gay, he defines his early childhood experiences in a nearby woodland and creek area as having provided him with DEEP LEARNING.
This is nature and garden literacy – one of the primary branches of a well-rounded cultural literacy. And a foundational building block of a literate and intelligent - PLACE and NATURE INTELLIGENT AND CARING - community of people.
A few years back I had an email from someone inquiring about the relationship between children’s literature and gardening/and nature literacy and we toyed with the idea of an episode of CP centered on this… we went back and forth with enthusiasm but then…you know, life sometimes has a way of sidetracking you.
And then recently, someone else reached out to me with the name of a children’s book that she just couldn’t help but feel was the epitome of everything she found comforting, encouraging and compelling about Cultivating Place.
And I was reminded by her to come back to the power of Children’s literature of all ages to provide us with formative – sometimes even unarticulated - messages about nature, gardening, and stewardship was back in focus.
And I knew the time was right for diving in, right now, in this season of time when we are gearing up for holidays events, meals, gifts and all of that.
I’d love to wrangle YOU ALL into it with me – so I am asking for your help:
Could you, would you please take the time to send me an email or a voice memo at email@example.com with your all time favorite children’s book that carries a message of meaning about the role and value of nature, gardening, plants to culture?
You can just send the title, or send a few thoughts on what this book meant to you, your own kids or grandkids, your classroom of student's and how you hold the natural world in your life.
And thank you in advance – I’m completely stoked to build a kick ass Gardening and Nature Children’s Book Bibliography to share out as a great literate, artistic, message of hope and progress forward.
Don’t forget – send your favorite nature or garden related children’s book title to me by way of email or a short voice memo – firstname.lastname@example.org -
think of the all the "greenly leaping" storytimes we can fuel with our final list?
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