This week, Catie sits down with Alice Crowe in her plant-filled Melbourne home for a chat over tea and marmalade toast.
Alice is a Botanist, kitchen gardener at Heide Museum of Modern Art, founder of The Lush Forest, president of Growing Farmers and former litigation lawyer who underwent a pretty radical life pivot -- ample inspiration for anyone who’s ever wanted to ‘just quit everything’ to see what happens next.
We talk: pulling the pin on conventional success, the primal energy of the rainforest, boring habits (that make for a beautiful life), can backyard farming feed the world? and things you can’t go to your grave without knowing.
- The journey from litigation lawyer to botany nerd.
- The perils and pure distraction of perpetual busy-ness.
- When your body says NUP.
- When external metrics of success don’t align with your internal compass.
- Quitting a corporate career without a plan.
- Taking three months off to do who-knows-what.
- How quickly wellness returns when you Just Stop.
- How a short horticulture course at Burnley College became a Master of Science (Botany).
- Idolising people who wear secateurs on their belt.
- Approaching nurseries as a mature-age assistant with no skills and no experience.
- The joy of pottering around watering geraniums.
- Realising that the simple, non-intellectual stuff is where it’s at for happiness.
- An epiphany thanks to Ficus elastica.
- How to honour what your heart wants when that’s not necessarily what the world wants.
- Less noise during the pandemic = more clarity.
- Boring habits that facilitate contentment, peacefulness.
- Why being in a tropical rainforest is a primeval, sensory experience.
- Brain explosion! How did we get these amazing plants and universe?
- Things you can’t go to your grave not knowing.
- The delight in the mundane and the magic of dumb questions.
- Why everyone should look at something through a microscope once daily!
- Photosynthesis = SORCERY.
- The story of plant evolution is the story of the earth.
- Why we need more scientific literacy to fight misinformation that hobbles climate action.
- The folly of mental striving. We’ve got what we’ve got.
- The paradox of changemaking: Is it more effective when you’re not out to succeed?
- Rebecca Solnit.
- The garden of your mental health.
- Meditation as foundation.
- Why true acceptance is truly courageous.
- The myth of the individual, self-sufficient unit.
- No individual can fight a system. How to get on the systems waves with others!
- How Growing Farmers began and how it’s transforming backyards, local food systems, new farmer opportunities and (with any luck) the planet.
- Building non-transactional community relationships.
- Will we go down the tech farming or agroecology road?
- Why all the academic arguments in the world aren’t a substitute for just giving it a go.
- Why shifting our current paradigm and lifestyle is terrifying!
- Practising new systems while things are relatively ‘stable’.
- Talking to kids who are scared about climate change.
LINKS YOU'LL LOVE
Alice on Insta
The Lush Forest
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Jonathan Lear -- Radical Hope
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