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The joy and liberation of growing food in your own home, with Claire Ratinon, author of How To Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving The House


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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you friends and family around the world! I know that this has been an unusually trying year and though many of you may not be physically near the people you most want to spend time with during this season, I sure hope you’re all finding ways to show your appreciation and gratitude for the special individuals who’ve made these confinements and lockdowns, just a little better and easier than they had to be. 

I myself am a long way away from my family who live in different parts of the USA, Kuwait, Australia, the UK, Canada, The Isle of Man, pretty much as far away from me as you can get on this little blue marble careening through space. But even with that challenge I will say that my wonderful partner Alba has been the most supportive, patient, and thoughtful woman I could ever hope to have by my side in times like these. Her parents as well have become some of my closest friends in this last year and I’m so grateful to have been welcomed into this family by them and her brother David as well. 

This is technically the last interview of the season and of The Abundant Edge podcast ever. After four seasons of speaking to leaders, innovators, and pioneers in the regenerative fields, I’m retiring this format of the show. 

The good news is that I’ll still be coming back in the new year with a brand new show called Regenerative Skills. Starting on February 6th the new show will focus on actionable information and steps told through stories of the people and teams that are putting in the work to build the future they want to see. I’ll also be offering a lot of new resources beyond the show itself to help build a community around the exploration of these concepts and to help strengthen the knowledge and insights that you can use in your own life. 

Get new regenerative skills right to your inbox to start your week off right.

But back to the interview. I’m really glad to have saved this one till the end because though Claire and I spoke months ago, this was one of those rare first encounter conversations where I just hit it off with someone right away and just started geeking out on indoor and small space gardening, because that’s what I was really getting into for the first time as well. 

But let’s do the introduction before I get carried away.

Claire Ratinon is an organic food grower in the UK and has grown edible plants in a whole range of roles all the way from growing crops for restaurants, to delivering growing workshops throughout London to audiences from schools to community centres and even for corporate clients. She’s also been invited to share her growing journey and experiences in writing, talks and workshops for organizations like The Garden Museum, the Royal College of Art and publications like Waitrose Food Magazine, Bloom and The Modern House and even features for BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time

In our talk today I got a deeper look into her new book How to Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving the House. 

Now, I never thought I’d be the person to get excited about growing food indoors and in little apartments, because, well, I used to work on big farms and had a permaculture homestead in the mountains of Guatemala. I always thought of house plants as a cutsy hobby for people cooped up in cities, but guess what happened to me? Like so many people who live in cities and suburbs, I got confined to our little piso with a small terrace during the lockdowns this year.

I had to decide between going to the grocery store for things I was always used to harvesting, or get wise about making use of every last centimeter of sunny space to figure this small scale gardening thing out. Well, I’m here to say that I was surprised by just how much you can grow if you get inventive and have the kind of motivation that only a global pandemic can bring, so by the time I got to connect with Claire I was ready.

We got to cover things like planning a growing season indoors, sowing seeds and growing small seedlings, maximizing tiny spaces, composting in little spaces, recycling your trash to make all kinds of macGyver planting apparatuses and a bunch more. 

So whether you’re confined for health and safety, are working with a small space and want to grow some food, or even if you have a lot of space but want to upcycle some waste and add some greenery to your indoor environment, you’ll find some great information in this session. 

And even though this is the last interview show, don’t forget to come back next week for a special episode looking back on 4 seasons of this podcast, all the incredible support from listeners like you and a sneak preview of what’s to come in the new year


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