Citizen Gardener with Acadia Tucker

by | June 06, 2020 | Permaculture Podcast | 0 comments

In this first episode, I am joined by Acadia Tucker – new generation regenerative farmer, plant lover, author and climate activist from New Hampshire, USA.

She sees small scale regenerative farming and local food growing as an act of positive change – for the health and wellbeing of families, communities, the land and earth’s systems.

Acadia encourages us to join the movement of Citizen Gardening and the growing of perennials, as a 20th century version of the victory gardens during WWII where 20 million Americans took to their gardens to grow 80% of the country’s food needs.

What is happening in the world right now requires big picture thinking and local action. A citizen gardener is a [pr]activist. Join the movement – transform your garden, community garden, allotment, verge garden, or school garden into an abundant perennial food oasis that draws down carbon, mitigates climate change, rewilds the landscape, brings community together and restores local ecological systems.

Acadia’s books:


Morag Gamble: Hello, friends and welcome to the Sense Making in a changing world podcast where we explore the kind of thinking that can help us navigate a positive way forward.

Morag Gamble: I’m your host, Morag Gamble, Permaculture Educator, and Global Ambassador, Filmmaker, Eco Villager, Author, Food Forester, Mother, [Pr]activist and all around lover of thinking, communicating and acting regeneratively.

Morag Gamble: Unprecedented changes are happening all around us. So how do we make sense of this? To know which way to turn, to know what action to focus on? So our efforts are working towards resilience, regeneration, and reconnection. What better way to make sense than to join together with others in open regenerative conversation.

Morag Gamble: Each week, I speak with a wonderful guest who inspires and challenges me, with their ways of thinking. These thinkers, doers, educators, activists, scholars, writers, leaders, farmers, or people whose work informs permaculture and sparks the imagination of what a post COVID climate-resilient regenerative and socially just future could look like. Their way of seeing helps us to compost and digest ideas and nurture the fertile ground for new ideas.

Morag Gamble: Together, we’ll open conversations around permaculture design, regenerative thinking, community action, earth repair, and eco literacy. This podcast is brought to you by the Permaculture Educator’s Program of the Permaculture Education Institute. This is an online dual permaculture design and teacher certificate program designed to help you make permaculture your life and your livelihood, too. And to help you ripple out permaculture thinking and action in your world and beyond.

Morag Gamble: Last week, I uploaded a little introduction to this sense-making in a changing world podcast. And this episode is our first episode with our guest. And I’m speaking with a young regenerative farmer and author, Acadia Tucker from New Hampshire in the USA. If you’ve not already seen her books, I sincerely encourage you to check them out. They’re called action for citizen gardeners everywhere. Her two books are growing good food as citizens guide to backyard carbon farming and growing perennial foods, our field guide to raising resilient fruits, herbs, and vegetables. I was so delighted to recently catch up with Acadia via zoom and have this wonderful chat. And I’m really delighted to be sharing it with you here today.

Morag Gamble: Congratulations on your books! Obviously the world’s changed since you wrote that book, but it’s so relevant. And whether you’d heard of any or whether you’ve had any luck in instigating, the victory garden concept, even with COVID-19.

Acadia Tucker: No, absolutely. Um, they go, they go hand in hand. Um, I, I think that this idea of a victory garden, you know, growing food at home in whatever space that you have is one of the best things you can do right now, you know, amongst this, this pandemic kind of has a twofold power.

Acadia Tucker: One. It helps you build your communities, you know, food security, your personal food security, your community’s food security, but on the other hand, it also lets you cultivate something really beautiful that you can control more or less, uh, in these times of like, you know, immense stress and confusion.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. Fantastic. So how are you anyway? I mean, how you going? Are you in the middle of crisis where you are, or are you a little bit on the outskirts of things?

Acadia Tucker: No, I, you know, I do live in a pretty rural area, um, but we’re still, you know, I have so much going on. So, you know, just because this happens correlates just some time with spring. So this is the time where we’re moving and grooving. Um, and you know, if, if we just hold it now come August, you know, we see some really big repercussions, so we’re trying to carry on as normal. Although we have a number of restrictions, you know, put in place the social distancing, um, that have made things more challenging. Uh, there’s also been some seed shortages that have been of concern, um, seed companies they’re inundated with order. So things have been getting slow to get to us. Um, you know, compost is selling off the shelves, kind of the same panic buy with the toilet paper mentality is happening a lot with some of the gardening supplies. Um, so that’s been interesting and trying to stay ahead of head of all of that has takes up a lot of time.

Morag Gamble: So what are you growing mostly where you are? So tell us a little bit about just where you are right now and what you’re doing.

Acadia Tucker: So I live in Maine, um, and my main business at the moment is growing hops. So those are those bitter, uh, pine cone looking things that you make beer out of. Uh, but I also have a really extensive personal garden, um, which I grow food for my family with. So at the moment I converted, uh, a bedroom in my house into a seed growing room. It’s all lit up with grill lights, uh, seedlings are popping up everywhere. Um, so this is, you know, this is my favorite time of the year. No doubts about it.

Morag Gamble:

Yeah. So, so you’re supplying the hops to local a local brewery or at a group of like, how does it, how does it work? You’re

Acadia Tucker: Hops in two ways, one, we call wet hops, which is freshly picked off the plant. And then we also do dry hops, which look kind of in like a pelletized form. So we supply a lot of the breweries here in Portland, Maine and Portland, Maine is one of those hotspots, um, for the brewery scene popping up. So in general, we have, um, more business than we can meet, which is a good problem to have.

Morag Gamble: Absolutely. That’s amazing. So tell us about the farm that you ran before, where you had something like 200 varieties. I read that you were growing there.

Acadia Tucker: Yeah. So, uh, what got me interested in farming, uh, was just after graduation. Uh, I had this opportunity to kind of transform an old derelict plant nursery into, um, what we call an organic market garden. So it’s, it’s small space, but very high intensity. And what that allows you to do is experiment with all of these fun, different things. So we had, um, fruit trees, very bushes, vegetables, herbs, flowers, kind of, um, all packed into this two acre space. Uh, and it was, it was very challenging to begin with, you know, graduating college. You’re not really sure what you’re getting yourself into, especially having no experience whatsoever. Uh, so it’s a very steep learning curve. Um, but over the years, over the course of six years, uh, we developed into a very strong hold in the community. We offered to TSH, we supplied our local restaurants. We had a weekend farm stand and it really became the cornerstone of the community, which is really nice.

Morag Gamble: Fantastic. So how are, how are farms being affected right now? We’re in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis as well. We’re speaking. And I know here, some of the farms are really struggling because the small farms, because they are often going direct to restaurants, cafes, um, the ones that are supplying into community supported agriculture systems seem to be okay because they’ve got that direct market to consumers. Although getting the transportation to consumers in the city seems to be a little bit more challenging. Um, but how they’re going, where you are. Are you also finding that that’s that’s the case or,

Acadia Tucker: Yeah. Um, you know, like you said, farms that have a very strong CSA customer base seem to be doing okay. Um, it’s pretty devastating because for the last five to 10 years, small farms have been establishing this relationship with restaurants, schools, hospitals, um, to get fresh food directly to these places. And all of a sudden they cut the cord. Um, and there’s, you know, there are some, especially down South right now when it’s harvest season starting. Um, a lot of foods waste in the fields.

Morag Gamble: The second problem that maybe larger scale farms are having is just a labor shortage. Um, some of the borders that are cut off travel has stopped. Um, we can’t get the influx of help that we normally receive this time of year. And that’s been pretty devastating as well.

Morag Gamble: Mm Hmm. Gosh, I don’t even thought about the schools because it’s something different. We don’t have school lunches like you do there. It, that’s a huge impact. Isn’t that as well.

Acadia Tucker: Yeah. Kind of everything that’s supported this infrastructure of this farm to table, um, relationship, all of a sudden just came to a grinding halt.

Acadia Tucker: So everything that farmers have been amping up, maybe they grew more tomatoes or grew more lettuce to, to supply these things. They just has nowhere to go. Um, and that’s met at the same time where we’re having hunger, shortages people aren’t having access to food. So there’s kind of this unevenness or there’s too much food, some places and not enough food others.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. So that really kind of, it’s highlighted the vulnerability of our system hasn’t it. And even when we think that we’re strengthening it with the local food systems that still the distances makes it makes it challenging, doesn’t it, which brings us to really the concept of the gardens at home and garden, local gardens in the community, which you’ve been writing about.

Morag Gamble: But before we go to that, I really wanted to learn a little bit more about what got you started in this plant journey. I mean, you seem to have an absolute love of plants and you’ve, you’ve gone down into the Peruvian rain forest exploring it. Like where did that all come from? Where, what inspired you to dive into plants so deeply, beautifully?

Acadia Tucker: Yeah, I’ve always been a little bit growing up a little bit of that kind of wild child would kind of disappear into the woods for the day and come back when dinner was ready. So I think it started there, you know, I was always been fascinated by, by the natural world around me.

Acadia Tucker: I always wanted to understand it better. I always wanted to, to feel a part of it. I feel like, you know, there’s this disconnect between people and nature. So even as a young child, that was, that was very important to me. Um, and then when I went to school, I studied biology and ecology very intensely. And that kind of led me to do these really interesting research trips.

Morag Gamble: I studied native plants in the channel islands off the coast of California, seeing how they responded to kind of these abnormal disturbances that they weren’t used to.

Acadia Tucker: Um, and that led me to the rainforest where I studied, um, tree species, which is, uh, there’s thousands and thousands of tree species that don’t even have names in the rainforest just because there’s so many of them we haven’t gotten there yet. Um, so it’s, it’s twofold. It’s, it’s my love for nature, but also my love to kind of figure things out. Um, I like the challenge. I like that when you’re growing, if you mess up one season, you always have next season to try something different. And it kind of from that scientific, um, trial and error aspect of it has always kept me coming back. And through the years of doing this, it’s, it’s given me that knowledge base of, of what we’re seeing.

Acadia Tucker: Now I can write about books. It’s very important for me to try to share the information that I have because it doesn’t do much good stuff in my brain. Um, and genuinely been this lifelong journey of, of just, you know, kind of putting one foot in front of the other. And it, it just leading me to where I am now. Yeah.

Morag Gamble: Well thank you for sharing it. And, and so tell me a little bit more about, so you wrote a book about perennials. Perennials is one of my absolute loves to in the garden.

Morag Gamble: So what does share, if you could share with us a little bit about why you see a perennial food garden as being a really important type of garden, as opposed to the standard veggie garden that we have in our minds, that’s lots of annuals and beds and things. So describe what your garden is like a bit and how perennials play a role in that.

Acadia Tucker: Yeah, I think it all boils down to soil health. Um, I, um, I went to school, got my masters in soil science to try to help me with this pursuit of knowledge and to better my, you know, my agricultural skills.

Acadia Tucker: Um, and when I was at school, I learned that that soil holds so much power. Uh, it can help mitigate climate change. It helps support plants. It, you know, it, it really is the foundation for a healthy world. Um, and perennials play perfectly into that.

Acadia Tucker: Part of the reason I love them is because you plant them once and they keep coming back. I mean, what’s more amazing than that is it minimize the soil disturbance so that it can, can stay healthier, build up that really important organic matter over time, without you ripping out the plant, throwing it in your compost pile, tilling it the next year and replanting, you kind of pop it in once and you can leave it alone. And the other things that I love about perennials is that they just come back on their own every year.

Acadia Tucker: You don’t have to replant. Um, you know, it’ll be a cold spring day, I’ll go out into the garden and you’ll see new shoots popping up and you don’t have to lift a finger. So that alone is miraculous.

Morag Gamble: It is isn’t it.. It’s absolutely wonderful. And, you know, similarly here we had this really big drought last year and, uh, all of our gardens were decimated pretty much. There was all the trees almost looked like they were about to die. Then all of a sudden we got some rains and then pop! They’re in the garden again, you know, even after whether it be after the cold or after the dry or whatever it might be, there’s always something that’s reemerging.

Acadia Tucker: They can, they can be a bit more resilient than our annuals. Um, and part of the reason is because they actually allocate nutrients and water a little bit differently than annuals since they know they’re kind of in it for the long haul. Um, they’re a little bit more conservative. The annuals tend to guzzle everything up if they find it for any use what they need.

Morag Gamble: Um, that’s really, really important thing to keep in mind. Isn’t it. And particularly when we’re having these difficult challenges that happen from, from drought to flood, to all different sorts of things that are going on in the world and that, you know, often these plants, you know, maybe a lot of the food parts are too underground as well. So even, you know, some of the places I know where they get cyclones, so at least, you know, the cyclone might happen, but still all the food is there under the ground. And then things will resprout again. So, yeah.

Morag Gamble: So tell us a little bit, what are the sorts of perennial foods that you rely on in Maine?

Acadia Tucker: Maine can be a bit challenging. So living in Washington for the last 10 years, uh, it was a lot more mild, a lot more temperate. I could certainly grow and overwinter a lot more things than when I moved back home about two and a half years ago. Um, I had to reintroduce myself to how bitterly cold Maine was in the winter. Um, so one of my all time favorites is definitely asparagus because they’re coming up right now and that’s kind of your first taste of something fresh um, in the spring, along with them, some things like sorrel, there’s some wild, a rugala that’s popping up right now.

Acadia Tucker: Um, there’s these onion like things called ramps, which I love. Um, but then I also love, I mean, I’m, I love Apple trees and this is kind of the Apple tree Mecca.

Acadia Tucker: So being able to experience, experiment with different Apple varieties, going to these re we have such old, old farms, you know, 250 years old. So you’ll be walking in the woods and you’ll come upon this really old Apple tree, which is just amazing to see,

Morag Gamble: Yeah, we don’t have apples here. Like it’s, my son keeps asking me, can we go and live in a place where we can grow apples or anything like that? I mean, we can grow.

Acadia Tucker: It was really interesting reading the magazine. You sent me, um, seeing the different foods you had highlighted in it before.

Morag Gamble: I grew up in a, in a I grew up in the South of Australia and it’s sort of more temperate climate there and, and, and even sort of slightly Mediterranean. So it was sort of the dry, the dry hot summers, and then the cool winters and up here, it’s all the wet, hot summers and the sort of the drier cool winters. And so it’s all a completely different upside down way, but I’ve been up here for about 20 odd years now. And so I think, I think I kind of cracked the subtropical, but every, you know, I’m always learning more and always sort of looking to different cultures and places where, you know this because a lot of the knowledge about growing food in this climate or in each climate is often part of this really long oral tradition and parts of the plans to eat and how to make use of all different, interesting things.

Morag Gamble: And even, you know, I’m really fascinated too, about exploring indigenous foods. And I wonder whether there’s any, like, what are the indigenous foods in your part of the world that people who live there, you know, before colonization would rely on?

Acadia Tucker: Yeah, no, it’s a little embarrassing, cause I don’t have the best answer for this question, but I do know that fruit trees, Berry bushes know we have tons of blackberries raspberries please, and berries, huckleberries. Um, we have tons and tons of berries. Um, the ramps I mentioned are native. Um, there’s all sorts. I mean, the woods are just filled with mushrooms and edible flowers and it really is a wealth of knowledge that that’s something that I, I personally would like to learn more about as well. Um, and I think incorporating these native foods into your garden is just another step of making it that much more resilient.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. And, and also more, more for that as a habitat garden as well,

Acadia Tucker: Absolutely. Pollinators, um, you know, even I know everybody, we have a big deer problem out here, so we don’t necessarily want to welcome in all the animals, but we want to make sure that, you know, we’re, we’re allowing them to coexist with us. Yeah.

Morag Gamble: You’re right. We have lots of kangaroos and wallabies all the way through our garden.

Acadia Tucker: I can’t imagine what a kangaroo does to your garden!

Morag Gamble: I welcome the kangaroos because what they do is they go around the edge and they just nibbled the grassy bits and the wallabies do a really nice job. They come along the edge of the terraces and just nibble the edges of the sweet potato. So they kind of neat it off for me.

Morag Gamble: So they, but I’ve designed the garden to too, that the flow of those animals actually does the work as opposed to them just coming in. But yeah, we do have wild deer as well. And I know the, how challenging that can be with the fruit trees and things that big bites I used to have these really nice citrus trees that were full. And then they gradually got sort of taller and thinner and thinner and shape. So tell me a bit more about gardening is activism and the whole climate victory garden idea that you’ve been writing about.

Acadia Tucker: Sure. So the idea of a victory gardens stems from kind of the world war one world war II era, where, you know, a lot of the men were shipped overseas to help fight the war. Uh, and then a lot of the trains and cargo and means of transporting food around the country were now used for ammunitions and transporting troops. So it became really important for people at home to start growing their own food, to kind of free up those resources that were needed, you know, to win this war.

Acadia Tucker: So by the height of world war two in the early forties, we had over 20 million victory gardens growing about 40% of the nation’s food. It’s an enormous, it’s an enormous accomplishment.

Acadia Tucker: So people were using, you know, it could be as small as pots on your deck or a rooftop or any patch of dirt that people could find. They were starting to plant in to help with this effort. And now I see, you know, a need for that again, but in this time, instead of fighting the war, it’s a really good fight against climate change because growing food and growing plants actually helps to sequester carbon, which means just pulling that out of the air and storing it underground.

Acadia Tucker: So the idea of a climate victory garden is that same mentality where you want to mobilize the citizens, mobilize everybody come together for this kind of common good. Um, we’ve kind of coined the term citizen gardener, you know, growing for the better, good growing for your community. Um, and, and it’s, I think it can be very powerful. And I think it’s becoming amongst this pandemic, um, a lot more powerful that people are using this as a means to build community, um, build food solidarity, kind of all of these things. And then it has this great side benefit of drawing down carbon. So to me, it’s kind of this perfect encompassment of, of, you know, why we should, why everybody today should go out and start growing food.

Morag Gamble: Yeah, absolutely. And it makes absolute sense from whether it’d be from the ecological perspective, um, the, you know, the, the global climate crisis, but also from the well the global pandemic.

Morag Gamble: What did you say before about the, the climate gardens and the 20 million gardens. I’m interested to do, you know, how did it get to that point of having so many, what support, what, what was behind it that spread it so widely did was the government support or something that helped people do it. And it was adjust from the spirit of the people that rippled this out. And what can we learn from that to help ripple out climate victory gardens as widely as well?

Acadia Tucker: Absolutely. I mean, I think every time there’s a crisis, there’s always great opportunity. So when you have something like a war that’s right, and right in front of your face, this is, this is what I can do today to help that. Um, I think with climate change, it’s so far in the future, um, it’s, it’s distant, it’s hard to grasp. It’s hard to wrap your head around. Um, so I feel like we, it’s easy to put on the, you know, on the side burners. Um, but to answer your question, the original victory gardens, they did have a lot of government support. The government wasn’t necessarily, um, you know, giving everybody seeds and giving everybody soil, but there was a lot of, um, advertisement, slogans kind of this, this, you know, patriotism is I think what a lot drove that, um, to be as successful as it was. And I’m feeling that very same feeling now, you know, now more than ever as a global community, we’re kind of banding together. You know, we’re all staying inside, you know, not necessarily, you know, I mean, I’m a young person and not necessarily for my health, um, you know, but for my grandfather’s or your grandfather’s, and we’re already seeing that sense of community commitment that not kind of upswell that I think pairs really well with a movement like planting a climate victory gardens.

Morag Gamble: Yeah, absolutely. It’s really looking at, you know, care of community care, family and care of self isn’t it, you know.

Acadia Tucker: Like something bigger than yourself.

Morag Gamble: What are some of the, the climate victory gardens that you’re seeing emerge? What’s the kind of movement or feel that you’re seeing happening or, and who are the citizen gardeners that you’re seeing emerge, but what’s, what’s kind of happening on the ground is in response to what you’re putting out in the world.

Acadia Tucker: Right now. There’s, you know, everybody from experienced gardeners to never stuck a shovel in the ground before are really being motivated by the current global situation to start growing food. So one of the things I’ve been seeing is, you know, people who have established gardens are either increasing the size of their garden, maybe thinking about growing for more than just their family, but maybe their neighbors. So that’s been really cool. Um, but the kind of the inspiring thing is seeing all of these novice gardeners, you know, never even maybe have been interested in growing food or now all of a sudden kind of, um, you know, empowered to start doing this. Uh, and that’s, that’s what I think we can gain the most out of this is getting, you know, maybe my books weren’t enough to motivate them to start growing food, but the pandemic certainly is.

Acadia Tucker: Um, so that’s, you know, why we’re seeing things like seeds go off the shelves and, you know, people buying garden tools and soil and all of these things. So I’ve seen, you know, I’ve been on the phone with family members, uh, they’ve never planted a garden asking me, you know, where do I start? Uh, so it’s just this big groundswell that’s been been happening. And, uh, I just really hope that even when this all kind of passes, that people still kind of hold onto that sentiment and that, uh, energy to keep it, keep it going.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. Do you know, I think, I think some people will stop, but I think there’ll be a really big proportion of people that keep it on because it feels like we’ve upset it’s we haven’t, but the situation has upset our sense of balance and security and that something about a garden gives us a real sense of security. You know, when all the things around us that we realize that we actually have no control over what we can actually control and manage is how we meet our basic needs using the spaces that we have around us or in our neighborhoods to actually look after community and family and.

Acadia Tucker: I get to go outside. Yes. So I think that’s part of it.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. I think that we have, I think we are in, we are in the midst of a cultural shift and I think it’s really interesting to really look at how we can explore that as gardeners, as farmers, as permaculture people, as you know, anyone who’s involved in the regenerative farming and particularly gardening movement can, can talk more out in the community. I mean, you’re doing that through your books and, you know, I do that through things like YouTube. And what other ways are you finding that you’re communicating out about your climate gardening?

Acadia Tucker: So, I mean, being in this very virtual world, you know, a lot of it is over the phone, over the computer. Um, so most of, most of the direct contact, you know, comes to my family. And it’s been very interesting because my whole family has always been very supportive of what I do, but they’ve never been as involved. And now I have my whole family, um, calling me up, wanting to plant a garden, wanting to, you know, just, just run ideas past me. And that’s been really, um, it’s been really nice. It’s made me feel useful. Um, but I think also too, you know, there’s pictures, there’s social media, there’s all of these outlets that are kind of being used to their maximum capacity at the moment. And it’s been really interesting to see how that’s shifted, you know, instead of silly dog memes on my Instagram feed, I’m seeing free permaculture classes. Um, you know, you’re seeing webinars, you’re seeing all of this kind of groundswell of, of information starting to be shared where otherwise, maybe it wouldn’t have,

Morag Gamble: So the two books tell us about the two books and like where can, where can people get them from? And, and, uh,

Acadia Tucker: sure. So there, um, I, I’m not as sure of how maybe Australians can, can reach the book, but it is on Amazon. It’s on our Stone Pier press website. Um, there’s also, it’s also distributed through Chelsea green publishing. Um, so those are some outlets to get them. I have a copy of each right here, so there’s growing perennial foods and growing good foods and they’re kind of a companion guide that kind of work off of each other, although you can read them as standalone as well.

Morag Gamble: So tell me about what’s in the growing good food book. I can imagine what’s in the growing perennial food.

Acadia Tucker: Yeah. Yeah. So the growing good food, as you can kind of tell by the cover, it’s a little bit reminiscent of the old victory garden, world war II posters, it’s kind of a style it was designed in, and that’s much more of a call to action. The first book, it had a lot of the same sentiments and, you know, soil building regenerative principles that are in the second book, but the second book is more an outright call to action, you know, trying to arm our citizen gardeners with trials in the, like the, I think, um, as, you know, a climate activist and a small farmer, um, this is kind of the moment we’ve been waiting for. Um, and it, you, I think it’s time for all of us to really rally and encourage as many people as we can to offer the advice that we have to give away free plants to share seeds, to, to just, you know, any little thing that you can do to kind of spread this enthusiasm, you know, it will be worth it in spades. Um, you know, all it takes is that little spark to get somebody going and once they have that spark, they can kind of nurture it into, you know, their own flames.

Morag Gamble: Absolutely. Yeah, no, absolutely. It makes so much sense. And also I think to really ripple out this idea of the climate victory garden, because it taps deep into like something cultural for us, doesn’t it that, you know, it’s something that’s been there before and we saw the impact that it had and the difference that it made and that we can, it’s something tangible in this time of our people that we can, it’s tangible and local and personal that we can do and make a meaningful contribution. And I think it’s a really powerful thing that, um, that we can, uh, can work on. That’s not just about the virus either, because it’s

Acadia Tucker: right. It’s bigger than all of us it’s bigger than the virus. Um, one of the things that I’ve had the most questions about, or the most common sense about too is people saying, well, every time I buy a plant, I kill it. I can’t grow food. And I just want to reassure everybody that you absolutely can, you know, you’re going to end up killing a few plants, but that’s okay.

Acadia Tucker: That’s part of the process, you know, keep trying, I don’t like people, you know, people get so frustrated that, you know, the garden’s not perfect or their garden might have weeds or Groundhog might’ve came and eaten half their carrots, but that’s not the point, the point isn’t to have a perfect garden. The point is to grow food for you and your family to help fight climate change and to increase your personal food security.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. And you know, like one of the things that I always tell people when they say that too, is, you know, start with the soil. No. Think about the fact that you’re feeding the soil, not the plants and the more that you think about the soil and building up the soil ecology, and you’re building up the soil fertility and the plants will just kind of take care of themselves quite often.

Acadia Tucker: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s great advice. Um, I tell people that all the time, um, if you have healthy soil, you’ll have healthy plants and your job will just be that much easier.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. That’s right. From a writer’s perspective, do you, do you have a routine or do you just have like blocks in your life where you do it or do you do a little bit every day? Or how does, how do the books emerge out of you as a, as a whole

Acadia Tucker: like, uh, setting aside blocks of time, um, and getting as much done within those blocks of time as humanly possible, which can be a little frustrating because sometimes it’s so easy and so easy to write. Um, and then other times it’s just, it’s the hardest, most excruciating thing you can think about. Um, but you just, I just have to push through it because I don’t get to wake up in the morning and decide, Oh, I’m going to spend a few hours doing this. It’s, you know, I have to fit it in wherever it can fit and be as productive as I can in that moment. Um, so it definitely was, um, you know, I love it. And sometimes I hate it.

Morag Gamble: Is it a seasonal thing? Do you have some like downtimes in your growing time?

Acadia Tucker: I do the winter, the winter is a lot more low key than this time of year it’s it’s, everything’s happening all at once. Um, so not much writing gets done in this time of year, as you know, maybe some blog articles, you know, some interviews are nice to do because they’re, you know, not that much effort on my part. I just fantastic.

Morag Gamble: Do you write articles as well? It’s mostly the blog and the books. Other,

Acadia Tucker: I do articles as well. They’re usually tend to be adapted from the book.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. So thank you so much for joining me today and talking about climate gardens and all the work that you’re doing. It’s absolutely amazing. And I really look forward to, to hearing more about how, how the climate victory gardens evolve, not just in your part of the world, but all around the world. And I’ll definitely be promoting them here too, because I think it’s just such a brilliant idea. And particularly now, particularly now, I think, as you said, it’s an opportunity to really help people, because I know that it’s something that everyone’s trying to do. Aren’t they, you know, same like you, that the seeds have run off the shelves. There’s no seeds, there’s no ceilings. There’s no fruit trees. There’s no chicken though. It’s just checking in the, um, in the local farms store recently just to see what they were doing with chickens. They said, Oh, it’s about a nine week. Wait, if you want chicken so far, so everything everything’s just on hold. So there is a massive upsurge in people wanting to garden.

Acadia Tucker: Well, thank you for having me and letting me help spread some of that knowledge around.

Morag Gamble: Yeah. Well thank you so much. Alright, take care. Bye!

Morag Gamble: So thanks for tuning in to the sense-making in a changing world podcast today, it’s been a real pleasure to have your company. I invite you to subscribe and receive notification of each new weekly episode with more wonderful stories, ideas, inspiration, and common sense for living and working regenerativity and her positive permaculture thinking of design interaction in this changing world. I’m including a transcript below and a link also to my four-part permaculture series, really looking at what is permaculture and how to make it your livelihood too. So join me again in the next episode where we talk with another fascinating guest, I look forward to seeing you there.

Subscribe & Share

Thanks for tuning into my new podcast today, SENSE-MAKING IN A CHANGING WORLD.  It has been a pleasure to have your company. I invite you to subscribe (via iTunes) and receive notification of each new weekly episode.  Please also feel free to share.

Each Wednesday I will share more wonderful stories, ideas, inspiration and common sense for living and working regeneratively.  Positive permaculture thinking, design and action is so needed in this changing world.

What is permaculture?
Take a look at my free 4 part permaculture series or Our Permaculture Life Youtube and my permaculture blog too. For an introduction to permaculture online course, I recommend The Incredible Edible Garden course.

Warm regards,
Morag Gamble
Founder, Permaculture Education Institute

I acknowledge and pay respects to the Traditional owners of the land from which I am broadcasting, the Gubbi Gubbi people.

Thank you to Kim Kirkman (Harp) and Mick Thatcher (Guitar) for donating this piece from their album ‘Spirit Rider’.

Thank you to Rhiannon Gamble (my niece) for sound editing.

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