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.

Don’t miss an episode! Click here to sign up for podcast updates

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:

The Community Food Forest Handbook: How to Plan, Organize, and Nurture Edible Gathering Places

Catherine’s Book recommendations:      

The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World by David Abram

Reclaiming the Wild Soul: How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness By Mary Reynolds Thompson

How to reach Catherine:    

Website: communityfoodforests.com



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.

Some of the links in our podcast show notes and blog posts are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, we will earn a nominal commission at no cost to you. We offer links to items recommended by our podcast guests and guest writers as a service to our audience and these items are not selected because of the commission we receive from your purchases. We know the decision is yours, and whether you decide to buy something is completely up to you. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Post comment