Alice Crowe ~ Botanist, meditator + specialist in radical life pivots

May 17, 2021 Jade Miles & Catie Payne Season 3 Episode 6
Alice Crowe ~ Botanist, meditator + specialist in radical life pivots
Show Notes

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. 


Alice on Insta
The Lush Forest
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Growing Farmers
Rebecca Solnit
Jonathan Lear -- Radical Hope

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