391: Catherine Bukowski on Community Food Forests.
Building urban food resiliency with more that just vegetables.
Catherine is a researcher, author, educator and consultant. She’s worked internationally and domestically in sustainable land use and natural resource management, agroforestry, permaculture, and project planning to strengthen communities. She pursued her passion for tropical ecosystems by earning a Master of Science in Natural Resource Management. Then she returned to school and is working on her PhD in the Human Dimensions of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech.
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At Tech she was introduced to the topic of community food forests, which ultimately became her dissertation research and focus of her new book The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize and Nurture Edible Gathering Places published by our friends at Chelsea Green.
In This Podcast:
A fascination with jungles and forests began at an early age for Catherine Bukowski, and she has studied these ecosystems throughout her education. Then narrowing her focus just on the food forest aspect, she found similar regenerative patterns that work. She brought this to her new book and shares some of what she discovered with us.
Listen in and learn about:
- Starting at a very young age, and being fascinated with jungles ever since she can remember
- Spending a week in a jungle and on an island ecosystem
- Watching a Costa Rican forest turn to agriculture and watching the tension between forest, agriculture, and regular real estate
- What agroforestry is
- Different versions of agroforestry that she has seen
- Third space in the community
- Why she wrote the book about community food forests and her goal to help others connect
- A hidden food forest that she found in the middle of a busy area
- She has mapped out 80 community food forests in the United States
- The series of steps that are working to help community food forests get started
- An awakening experience in a food forest in a high-crime area when she left her car unlocked (it might surprise you)
- How working in the garden can help our psyches
- She is looking for reviews to be placed on Amazon or Chelsea Green
As well as:
Her failure – Being a double major in college and during her final semester she tried to learn a new technology at the last minute
Her success – Keeping a large network of friends that she can call out to when she needs them
Her drive – To continue to aspire to be the best version of ourselves, and inspire others to do the same
Her advice – If you are working in a gardening project with others, consider how the space can nurture people beyond food and create spaces to trigger thoughts and inspiration, and don’t be afraid to have deeper conversations
Books written by Catherine:
Catherine’s Book recommendations:
Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness By Mary Reynolds Thompson
How to reach Catherine:
To learn more about more about Growing Your Own Food
And to see the I’m an Urban Farmer line
Note: You can also find these books mentioned above at one of our favorite local independent bookstores and know that you are supporting a small business.