I grew up in a distinctly non-farming household. The only references to agriculture came from stories about my grandparents in India and Uganda who harvested exotic fruit from local trees, milled grains and made yogurt from neighbour’s cattle and goats to distribute among their villages.
These stories informed my curiosity about the way people interact with their environments and the impact this has on their well-being and local communities. A broader interest in social justice and natural resource management led me to work in the international development sector where I learned the importance of holistic approaches to sustainable resource management – working with ecological processes and local knowledge rather than opposing them to create resilient communities and environments.
In 2015 I begun an MSc in Agroecology and Food Security at Coventry University’s Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. I am researching the role agroforestry can play in improving land and productivity and more broadly in supporting sustainable rural development, keen to share and learn from farmer’s experiences.
In my spare time I tend an unruly allotment, volunteer at a community orchard, run laps around Bedfordshire’s arable land and visit orchards and fruit farms to inspire a future fruit project.