Interview with Dr. Ian Scott

Edible Landscapes, Food Forest Design, Permaculture

Interview with Dr. Ian Scott

Dr. Ian Scott is the Executive Vice President at Food Forest Abundance and has been with Food Forest Abundance since day one. This is an interview with Chelsea Boissonneault to get to know Ian a little bit more 🙂

When did permaculture enter your life and how?

That would be roughly 6 years ago. Having three kids at the time, I felt like I was spending a million dollars on groceries each month and that my backyard really wasn’t doing anything much for me. Because I am very visual and kinesthetic, I started to watch hundreds of youtube videos and started getting my hands in the dirt. 

My house at the time had a 1/10th of an acre backyard and I was growing ~120 types of food. I was still learning, and often growing things that didn’t produce as much, but were unusual and different because it was fun. I estimate that I was able to produce 20% of my produce from my previous yard for my family of 5. I am in the process of setting up a 2 acre food forest and have a nursery of 200+ plants.

In the beginning, I made lots of mistakes. I didn’t have any heavy equipment, so I dug about 200 feet of trenches for french drains and some swales to manage the water. I like to physically work hard, so I enjoy spending hours working outside. Intuitively, I started with water management and building up the soil. Then I set up a water catchment system and had a solar system installed on my house. I am looking forward to sharing pictures and videos of my new space soon to inspire and demonstrate what can be done on a 1-2 acre scale. 

Why the switch from Chiropractic to Permaculture?

My wife and I owned 2 chiropractic clinics pre-covid and with the covid restrictions we ended up having to close one of the clinics. We basically had no business for 4 months, so we decided to cut down to 1 clinic. I have always been interested in growing plants, mechanics, art and music. I am a very hands-on type of person. I was a professional mechanic for 9 years and I was a chiropractor for 5 years. I love helping people and working with my hands, so it was very natural for me to partner with Jim in helping to grow Food Forest Abundance. I get to help inspire people to grow their own food everyday. My goal is always to relate to people that growing your own food is not as hard as it may seem with a little time and effort. 

How did you meet Jim?

Jim posted on Facebook that he was looking for help with food forest installations. My food forest was about 3 years old at the time. Jim and I live close to each other, so he came over and saw what I had done with my limited space and was impressed. Ever since then, we have been on an exciting and crazy fun ride.

What do you love most about helping people grow their own food?

For the most part, I like to inspire people and show them that growing your own food is not that hard. I also love to inspire people with the fact that there are so many more things to eat than they sell at the typical grocery store. A more diverse diet fixes a lot of health problems.

Tell us about Freedom Farm Academy!

Freedom Farm Academy is a major shift for Food Forest Abundance. It is a solution to some struggles we have faced as a new company at the same time. We have been doing well extending laterally, and this new offering will allow us to scale more easily. Freedom Farm Academy is more than a demonstration food forest, it is also an education center, a nursery, and an entire homesteading operation. This stacking of functions will allow us to be more intimate with our clients as well. It will also help us distribute bulk materials, plant stock and inspire more people. We are excited to be offering this and are looking forward to getting as many of them set up as possible!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself running my own Freedom Farm Academy. I also want to purchase more land in my neighborhood to start a CSA and connect the community to real food security. As well, I see myself travelling more to help with setting up various Freedom Farm Academies all around the world. 

What is a Food Forest?

A food forest is thoughtfully designed to produce maximum nutrition, beauty and abundance.