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Marble Surface

Permaculture, agroecology & farming

Four months studying permaculture with Raíces del Viento in Chile and working as a farmhand with Bouldin Food Forest in Austin, Texas.

Title: Permaculture student and intern (Raíces del Viento); farmhand (Bouldin Food Forest)

Timeline: January 2021-May 2021

Role: Although not strictly a professional project, in early 2021 I took a 'food systems sabbatical' to learn about permaculture, regenerative agriculture, and agroecology from the ground up. I was halfway through my Certificate in Food Security at Ryerson University and wanted to complement my growing focus on food policy analysis and research with the embodied experience of what it truly means to grow your own food while caring for the earth. At Raíces del Viento in Chile, I completed a full Permaculture Design Course (PDC), did a two-week internship focused on agroecology, and gained invaluable perspectives on the interconnections in ecosystems to take back with me to my desk. As a farmhand at Bouldin Food Forest, I supported all facets of small-scale farming, from planting, harvesting, and processing, to water management, construction, supply chain management, and sales.

What I'm most proud of: Taking the risk of leaving my full-time job to do something entirely outside my comfort zone, and making the most of every opportunity to go deeper into the subject of agroecology.

"Isabela and her partner Jérémie came to our farm wanting to learn the ins and outs of market garden farming for their future work in food policy. From our first communication, they were both bright, articulate, witty and charming people, and our respect for them only grew as their stay with us continued. Isabela and Jérémie were dedicated workers, curious about all aspects of our farm, and genuinely wanted to learn and immerse themselves in farm life." - Ben McConnel & Vanessa Bates, owners and founders of Bouldin Food Forest

Read more about Raíces del Viento here:
Read about my final permaculture design project here:
Read more about Bouldin Food Forest here:

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