The Nature Nut
I always thought she was nut. Little did I know that she was way ahead of her time. Back in the mid 1990s, before organic food was mainstream, my sister — the Nature Nut — helped manage an organic farm in Colorado. She lived in a tent — what she called a “dome” —later upgrading to the ultimate luxury: a teepee. Though her lifestyle struck me as odd, a waste I thought of her college education, she was quite happy living off and close to the land. She worked on the farm for five years, getting free room and board, and ran a small business selling salad mix to local farmers markets and high-end restaurants in Telluride and neighboring small towns.
It sounds almost normal today, but back then taking the unbeaten path she chose was anything but normal. My seemingly crazy sister was at the early end of a trend that’s gotten stronger over the years as more and more people ventured into small-scale farming. Susana — Nature Nut’s real name — immersed herself in organic and alternative farming techniques, taking a design course in permaculture, the avant-garde of sustainable farming. She also started Indica Herbal, a line of lip balms, salves, tinctures and other herbal products made from the herbs she grew on the farm and gathered or “wild crafted” in the forests of Colorado.
In time, Susana reluctantly gave up her lifestyle. Not owning the land she farmed, she realized she could never make a go of farming long-term. “It was pointless,” she said, “to invest so much physical labor into something that will never be yours.” It was an epiphany. She moved on but not far away, getting involved in work related to healthy living and eating, the essence of farming. After getting certified as a massage therapist, she became a certified holistic health counselor.
I’m very happy to introduce her here as New York Bounty’s resident expert on organic farming, nutrition counseling, and healthy living. She’ll be able to answer questions about urban farming, community gardens, herbs and just about anything having to do with growing food sustainably. She’ll also be able to answer questions about nutrition, healthy eating, and alternative healing. So, go ahead, “Ask the Nature Nut.” I’ll start with the first question:
Dear Nature Nut:
I bought a rosemary bush not too long ago, which I keep by a window in my apartment. The plant was healthy and doing quite well at first, but now it’s drying up and a fuzzy white mold seems to be invading the plant. What should I do? Should I spray it with an insect killer — like Schultz insect spray — or is there some sort of natural remedy to save my plant? Can it be saved?
Click here for the answer.
Entry filed under: Community Gardens, Urban Agriculture. Tags: alternative farming, alternative healing, herbs, holistic healing, holistic health counselor, organic farming, permaculture, wildcrafting.