Escritura de la tierra – Written words of the soil.
About this blog
I believe that we shouldn’t be so separated from Nature that we don’t know where our food comes from, and that having a rich diversity of plants and animals around us even here in the cities is not only possible but desirable for our own physical, mental and social health.
I’ll be writing here about urban farming: farming in cities, the deliberate reclamation of our urban deserts to a green, productive, healthy space that feeds us, the reweaving of agriculture into our daily surroundings and what we think of as “real life”, the rethinking of old systems to build new ones.
It’ll include a mix of notes on my own projects, stories from urban farmer life, short clips on new science and research, links to interesting projects going on around the place, and occasional discussions of the bigger political and economic issues around food production and food security (though if there’s a choice I’ll tend to stick to the science most of the time).
I’ll also write about and occasionally photograph many things related – agritecture, soil science, aquaponics, local food movements and markets, school kitchen and green daycare projects, neighbourhood swaps, rooftop gardens and earth walls, vertical gardens and balcony vegie boxes, sustainable cropping, complementary crops, drylands farming, seasonal cycles, rainfall patterns, climate drying, futureproofing, native wildflowers, food security, productivity politics, food history, food technology, water retention and much more. My main project is an unirrigated food forest in a suburban back yard within the metropolitan area of Perth, Western Australia, so I have an obvious interest in poor soils, hot weather crops, droughtproofing, water management and drylands agriculture, but I’ll also occasionally write about things happening in the family orchards down South, or other parts of Australia, or in the farming world generally.
I am a plant nerd who can rattle off species names and ecological information for a few hundred random wildflowers spotted while driving down a highway at 100 km/hr and can remember stray facts to do with food plants from any culture I’ve ever encountered or read of, but who can’t remember a shopping list with two items on it. I am co-author of the ‘Extraordinary Plants’ wildflower book, remarkably enthusiastic about highly interlocked complex fuzzy-logic systems, scientifically-minded and incurably creative, and a compulsively experimental cook with a deep love of unusual flavours and combinations. I’ve been a science communicator, a bush and wildflower tour guide, a project manager building alternative water systems, a radio talk show producer, and a communications officer in emergency services, and am now an urban farmer-in-training. My family have been botanists, farmers and teachers in various combinations for a couple of generations now. I’m the first who got to use the Internet to do it.