This chapter of The Artist Way sees me stretch the meaning of the term artist. Or does it? One could argue that the ability to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs and actually turn them into something delicious to eat is an art form in itself.
Driving down the street, I couldn’t help but notice the verges all look the same, filled with pine trees. When I arrived at my destination, I did a little happy dance as I was instantly transported to an urban jungle of sorts (granted, there was still a pine tree on the verge… council regulations), but the front yard was a hive of excitement. This was just a taste of things to come.
Dr Casey Lister, a qualified psychologist, a closet gamer and the brains behind an online community and education platform called Seed to Supper. The premise being this is a community designed to help people create a thriving garden, growing everything from vegetables to flowers and, unlike most, providing recipes and ideas on what to cook with what you’ve grown. An idea that I fell in love with from the moment I heard it.
As usual, the coffee was brewing (let’s take a moment to appreciate this kick-arse coffee machine!) and, like all my artist visits, we spend time in the most inspiring and loved places of the house (usually an art studio) in this case it was the kitchen and the garden. Casey was prepping some lunch as I asked a million and one questions on how Seed to Supper came about, favourite songs (High and Dry by Radiohead and Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen), favourite quotes (“A garden is not a place. It’s a journey.” – Monty Don) and how she likes to spend her time when not in the garden (Loves a good game of Call of Duty).
It was at some point during the first lockdown way back in 2020, a conversation with her partner lead to them deciding it was the year they’d become self-employed. Before this, Casey spent her days in the academic world, which while great it was at times loney and was not very creatively fulfilling. The self-employment journey began with selling books and the odd workshop here and there. Although great, as with anyone who needs to pay bills, there was a need to find a way to monetise and make a regular income. It was one sunny afternoon, sitting out the back, cup of tea in hand that it hit. Many online gardening courses don’t show people what to cook and how to use all of the vegetables they’ve grown.
Combining all of her favourite things (cooking, gardening, writing, photography and psychology), Casey began to work on creating the Seed to Supper community. Already a well-regarded blogger, an author of 2 self-released cookbooks (if you’re lucky, you might be able to jump on and get some of the last remaining copies) and an all-around gardening nerd, Casey knew how to get things off to a cracking start. With many exciting projects in the works (none of which I can reveal at this stage), Casey is looking forward to exploring the benefits of gardening for the mind and equipping people with the tools to grow some of their own food.
I’m proud to say I’ve been a member of this community since its launch. I have not been paid to say any of this (just so we are all clear). It was way back when Paul West first hit out screens with River Cottage Australia that I became slightly obsessed with trying to go all self-sufficient and growing all my own vegetables. It was soon after many failed attempts that I realised it was nearly impossible to be 100% self-sufficient (with growing your own food) while working full time and raising a family. Seed to Supper keeps things a lot simpler and allows the whole community to celebrate wins, morn losses and hold each other accountable for planting that month’s seeds. Since joining, I have had the most success with growing seasonal food and making entire meals from what’s grown in the front year.
To find out more about Seed to Supper or just follow Casey’s adventures, check out the links below.
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