I am a grower, forager, home cook, lover of the herbs. I am on a mission to inspire and create a path for humans to engage and reconnect with the natural world through growing food and herbs, foraging and conscious seasonal living. I see this reconnection as essential to understanding and growing human and planetary health.
Star sign : Gemini, Moon sign: Leo, Ascending: Leo
Introvert or extrovert? Both, depends who I’m around. I can find small talk tricky for example, which brings out my introvert.
Cultural background / upbringing :
My dad is Nigerian, my mum is white British.
I was born in London, grew up in Johannesburg South Africa, teenage years in the British countryside, early 20s in London, now I’m based in Devon, UK.
I was Rudolf Steiner educated till 12. At 12 mum and dad also separated after a turbulent relationship, they are both very spiritual and open minded.
Short story snapshot of some childhood memories...
I don't remember being indoors a great deal in South Africa. When it rained my sister and I would pick giant leaves and use them as umbrellas. When the mulberry tree was in season, my siblings and I would tumble into the house looking like we’d returned from war, covered in the staining red juice of the berries, on a sugar high and crazed by the thrill of infinite sweeties growing on a tree! When the plum tree had fruit we’d eat till we had tummy ache. I always prefered the honey scent of the lemon blossoms to it’s actual fruit itself. We lived off sweet fruits and sunlight.
Morning routine / Rituals ? I read a Rumi poem in bed, have a cup of herbal tea from the garden, a walk or run and a stretch. In the spring/summer I will go outside to water the plants.
Self care tips? Dance, go somewhere wild and listen, think about loved ones and do kind things for them, bullet journal.
Habits you try to have ? Keeping up rituals like eating at the same time each day, checking in on friends and family, daily sweaty movement.
Favourite form of movement/exercise? Ecstatic dance/5rhythms, yoga, running or walking... shovelling manure!
What practices do you turn to when overwhelmed ? Focusing on an absorbing physical garden task, sitting in the wild, knitting or reading beautiful stories, breathing, movement, bullet journaling and mind mapping, talking or crying to loved ones.
Why did you decide to move to the countryside? To have access to space to grow and ultimately create more accessibility for others. Long term the aim is to create an education/demonstration space with outreach to for urban youth. It was not the original aim, but I’ve realised that just by being a black woman in rural Europe defies expectations and stereotypes. Now I hope that by simply being here and talking about it I’m changing the narrative of who we are told the countryside/relationship to land is for.
What drew you to permaculture ? I was searching for a solution based approach to human and planetary health, one that acknowledged the connections between the two and was holistic (encompassing all areas of life). The emphasis within permaculture on community, fair share and giving back really caught me, I loved that the conversation went beyond soil health and into how to question and reconstruct cultural norms of how we live, improving quality of life for all. I was also drawn to the broad nature of Permaculture, it has been a gate way for me into the world of regenerative growing/living, indigenous wisdoms and understanding my own personal ethos/connection with Earth.
Easy things everyone can do to feel closer to nature when living in the city: Bring nature in, grow herbs on a windowsill or edible/medicinal house plants (ginger is a great option). That way we can experience an symbiotic relationship with nature on a micro scale. We care for the plant and the plant will care for us.
Growing sprouts or microgreens allows us to learn from the very beginning stages of plant life... which is just so awe-inspiring... like life bursting out of a little pebble.
Many cities have brilliant community gardens and offer huge opportunity for guerrilla gardening.
Women that inspire you: The Women of my family, Vandana Shiva, Juliette de Bairacli Levy (“Juliette of the herbs”, there is an amazing free documentary on her on youtube), Alegra Ally, Amber Tamm, Maxima, the healer Emma Dupree.
Books you think everyone should read:For life: the prophet, any and all Rumi
For the garden: Framing While Black by Leah Penniman, How to Grow More Vegetables by Jeavons plus any Charles Dowding books on No-Dig growing, the permaculture way by Graham Bell. Herbs: Spirit of the Hedgrow by Jo Dunbar, any books by Juliette de Bairacli Levy, Yoga of the Herbs by David Frawley and Vasant Lad.
Podcasts you listen to? Advaya and A Growing Culture talks on Youtube.
Farmerama Radio and Fair Folk Podcast on soundcloud.
Juliet Allen, Yikes Podcast, Deliciously Ella Podacst (she has such good guests), Duncan Trussel, Plant Proof Podcast and Russle Brand’s Under the Skin on spotify.