In 2009, we lived on a permaculture commune in Southern Spain. The community was in an old village that, like many across Spain, had been abandoned.
The goal of the community was to offer an experience to live as sustainably as possible by combining traditional ways of life with technological innovations – meaning you poop in a hole in the ground, but have solar power. 😂
Nathan worked mainly in the tree nursery and orchards where they were experimenting with different varieties of fruit, olives, and other trees.
He also worked to encourage the use of trees in the village like beautiful mulberry bushes and lemon trees that were being ignored in favour of finding new varieties. Nathan will still rant about hummus with store bought white vinegar, while beautiful lemons drop from the tree and rot on the ground.
This experience was transformative in a unique way for him. He learned to care for new varieties of plants and embrace experimentation. But he also witnessed the loss when you don’t embrace traditional knowledge; when you try to fight against nature instead of embracing the plants, the flavours, and the gifts that are around you. And thus, when we returned back to Edmonton, a passion for embracing local prairie fruit was born.