I’ve made it very clear on my social media how important this planet is. The sea, the land and everything in between. The climate crisis saddens me no end. It hurts me that we as humans have caused irreparable damage to the earth that serves us so well. I think there are many topics within the climate crisis that need to be discussed and more and more people need to make changes to their habits in order to help the planet recover. That is one of the main reasons why my journal is trying to bring more topics to the surface for people to educate themselves and ultimately make those changes.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a young black female regenerative grower. Exploring a healing, symbiotic and dynamic relationship between humans and nature is central to my work.
Where can people follow your blog?
You can follow my story on instagram @poppyokotcha
What made you start your blog?
I had a period of poor mental and physical health because I was working super hard but also not looking after myself. When I started seriously considering my health I realised pretty quickly that human wellbeing is totally connected to that of the Earth’s soils, eco systems, the whole planet at large. For me learning to eat really well was a biggy; “we are what we eat”.
What are your thoughts on Climate Change?
Abundant, healthy, nutritious food comes from diverse, nutrient dense soils and ecosystems. But so many of us don’t have access to this, or don’t know it’s importance. So in order to bring that knowledge to people and advocate for a world that everyone has access, I started my journey to address my life, set an example and hopefully inspire… Remembering the old ways of growing, harvest, food preparation, plant medicine, understanding the seasons and the landscape, is also part of honouring my heritage, keeping indigenous ancestral wisdom alive.
Have you changed much about your lifestyle?
Composting my kitchen waste is 100% my favourite habit! 8% of greenhouse gasses are produced by food waste! (The Guardian). When food rots down on landfill it produces methane, a nasty greenhouse gas. Composting is so fun when you get into it plus it’s like rocket fuel for plants! I now have a bokashi compost system in the kitchen, a worm bin on the deck and a compost heap in the garden!
I no longer fly (unless I absolutely have to e.g. when covid hit to get myself home toot sweet!). So when I travel Europe modelling I just take buses and trains. I wish I switched sooner! It has given me the best adventures and life experiences!
Eating seasonally, and locally grown and plant based is just the yummiest! I’ll never look back!
What sort of reactions do you get from people who come across this?
People find the changes needed overwhelming, time consuming… a bit of a sacrifice… the changes I have personally made are only the beginning of the journey we have to embark on away from destruction of the natural world and over consumption. I personally feel the most important thing is not to strive for perfection but to strive for the genuine best we can do in your circumstances. Going in with that mindset makes the process more realistic, enjoyable and achievable… then once the balls rolling it just keeps going! Finding a way to connect with nature and really get to know Her, in a way that feels comfortable for you, is also so important. When we fall in love with the Earth and all Her inhabitants, making “sacrifices” or changes to protect them suddenly doesn’t really feel hard anymore.
What changes have you found the hardest to make and what have you done to overcome them?
Giving up flying was incredibly hard because I currently make my money as a model and travel is a big part of that. I found changing my perspective on travel made a big difference. Seeing it as an adventure and learning experience to be savoured…rather than something to be rushed through as just a means to get from A to B. I feel this slowing down and enjoying the ride rather than just the destination is something working with plants teaches you too.
What is your biggest fear about the future?
That those who do not have a voice and yet are most impacted by climate change are not protected by people like us, the ones with enough privilege to make huge change… the ones doing the consuming.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I have too many to list but one would be the herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy and another the seed saver Mandy Barber.
What is the one thing you would like people to take away from this?
Nature wants to teach us, all we have to do is listen.
Do you have any advice for Appletree and Avalon?
Keep doing what you’re doing!
What an interesting read from Poppy. So refreshing to hear how she’s adapted her lifestyle. What have you taken from her inspirational story?
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