456: Raven Venturelli on Permaculture for the Small Farm.
Bringing a whole system approach of design and nature to the farm.
Raven is a small farmer and activist for environmental and social justice. She has been studying Permaculture Design for ten years and manages Blue Apple Farm in Cornville, Arizona. She is on the board of the Sedona-based non-profit, Gardens for Humanity, on the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance Teaching Team, and runs the Verde Valley Seed Library.
In This Podcast:
Taking a permaculture course as a young adult gave Raven Venturelli the confidence and inspiration to start her own farm. However, finding land in California to develop her nature-based farming concepts was difficult so she followed her parents and moved to Arizona. She has used her holistic design methodology to build a farming business the way she wants and the quality and diversity of produce at Blue Apple Farm has developed a following at the local farmer’s market.
Listen in and learn about:
- The world she wants to live in and how this led her to Cornville, Arizona
- Growing in a suburb of Los Angeles
- Taking a Permaculture course with Larry Santoyo
- Finding that the permaculture course gave her a perspective shift
- How she views permaculture and a philosophy or holistic design methodology
- Her path to owning her own farm
- The challenges she faced getting access to land she could farm with permaculture practices
- Painting a picture of the farm
- Building the changes into the farm that she wanted to see happen
- Hügelkultur beds and more
- Getting involved with saving seeds and finding the Organic Seed Alliance had an internship program
- Going to Montana to learn on Fresh Fruits Farm with Cark and Darcy Jones Sutton
- What our future food security is going to rely on
- Making sales at the farmers market and meeting restaurant customers
- Working her way to profitability and recognizing that small businesses take time to get started as well
- The diversity of her farm that meets her customers’ needs
- Living in a food desert and being a diverse produce seller at the farmer’s market
As well as:
Her failure – “Farming is an exercise in failing gracefully”
Her success – Educating people to recognize seasonal produce
Her drive – Clean water, clean air, six inches of topsoil, and wanting to leave the place better than she found it
Her advice – Do what ever speaks to you to re-integrate yourself with the natural world, or at least acknowledge that the natural world is sentient.
Raven’s Book recommendations:
The Myth of Human Supremacy by Derrick Jensen
The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming by Jean-Martin Fortier
How to reach Raven:
Facebook: @La Ferme PommeBleue
Special thanks to our sponsors:gemplers.com/urbanfarm
(use code URBANFARM01)
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