Spotlight on Design:
Lindsay Brandon is a permaculture designer with Food Forest Abundance and this is an interview with Chelsea Boissonneault to get to know Lindsay a little bit more
When did you first discover your love for permaculture?
That was about 20 years ago, when I was working in an eco store in Calgary Alberta Canada. I had just moved from Vancouver Island which is rich in eco related businesses and services and this was the only one in Calgary at the time. I wanted to find a place that shared similar beliefs and morals that I had. I was going back to work after having my second child and this environment was full of eco related aspects of life including natural home development, eco-clothing and much more. This is the environment where I started to learn all about permaculture.
I was pretty much self-taught, I had previously been working in gardening businesses, mostly working to create aesthetically pleasing landscaping type of gardens for wealthy people. I have always had a love for working with soil and plants since the age of 12. Reading books by Sandor Katz who is the grandfather of fermentation was one of the ways that led me to the world of permaculture.
What do you love most about helping people grow their own food?
What I love most about helping people grow their own food are the things that most do not see from the outside. The biggest piece of this is the way their perception of food and their own nutrition changes. They start to feel more connected to their food, which is not only nourishing to their physical bodies but also their souls. Having previously worked in the health and fitness arena as well as the mind-body connection world so witnessing this is very rewarding to me.
Why do you think more people do not grow their own food?
Society has made everything so convenient that most people are conditioned to choose convenience over health unfortunately. It is so much easier to pick up pre-made food, or at least food that is at the grocery store over growing their own in their eyes. Most people think that growing your own food is harder than it actually is and do not see it as necessary.
What would you like to share with those sitting on the fence about growing their own food?
Start simple! No need to go full out from the get go if that is what is holding you back. Start it and see how it really isn’t that much work. Once you create connection with your food forest you will want to dive in deeper.
Key is to start with a plan that includes studying where to plant which depends on a few factors including the water source. The designers at Food Forest Abundance can help you with that, that is what we do. We will also create a design with stages laid out so that you can achieve your food forest design in segments. growing your knowledge and experience as your forest grows.
What is being a designer with Food Forest Abundance like?
It really is the best, it is super freeing and inspiring at the same time. There are so many inspiring people I get to work with who share in the sense of doing something for the better food and helping people connect back with nature and their food. The connections I have made along the way are amazing and bring me joy. I enjoy the freedom I have within my work to be able to do what I want to and to bring my individualism to the table. I have an art background so I add illustrations to my designs and that I enjoy a lot. Permaculture design for me is a wonderful culmination of many things I have done in life, it’s such a fulfilling path and there’s so many ways to grow as a designer. I am currently studying the soil food web with Elaine Ignham in my search for a better understanding of how soil works as a reflection of ourselves and our connection to nature.