by Kimberley Cummins
Unhappy with the rat race of the corporate world, Lisa Browne quit her job in the pursuit of true fulfillment.
This may sound like the story line of a best seller but in fact Lisa Browne is not a character, she is an actual person and that is her real life story.
After years of working as a financial advisor she reached a stage in her life when she realised she was working but was not enjoying what she was doing. It was as if what she was doing no longer meshedwith who she was. She felt like something was missing and as a result the 40-year-old resigned and embarked on a six month sabbatical to relax, enjoy herself and really reflect on what she wanted to do.
Being a person who was always very interested in earth energies and nature she decided she wanted to do something which would be a tangible benefit to herself and others. This all happened in 2012 and in January this year she went, bought seeds and started the business Crop In A Pot.
Crop In A Pot is a plant nursery, where the farmer planted an array of fruits and vegetables including: pigeon peas, tomatoes, okras, lettuce, hot peppers, jalapeños, parsley, celery, mixed herbs, strictly in pots, containers and plastic bags for sale as well as for her own consumption. This technique of farming promoted “live food eating”, a method Browne believed was much healthier than purchasing vegetables. For the reason that from the time vegetables were picked they began to lose life force and by the time one was ready to eat it, it would not contain as much nutrients as it would have if it had been picked and eaten at the same time.
Sitting in the living room of her home/plant nursery located on the ridge in Castle Heights in St. Philip she explained to LOVING ME that this ingenious concept was a way to promote the belief of food as medicine. Initially, she did not have a great plan of how such an idea would work as a business and was a bit hesitant but as she began practising container farming, passers-by to the area showed much interest and began to query about how they too could do the same. Coming from a farming background she said “why not do this?” and that was when the whole concept evolved.
With her four year–old–son, Imhotep Heru, nearby demonstrating that he too, even at such a tender age understood the importance of healthy organic eating, she continued: “Still in the back of my mind I say ‘this may not be possible’ but I want to do this because I wanted to show people that you don’t have to buy everything. At first people would question ‘is this going to work? My space is too small’ but you just need a windowsill, a step, a small patio, you don’t need a lot of space. Every householder, even those who live in apartments, can grow their own food and grow it economically.”
Though the concept had been slow to catch on the part time yoga instructor said since showcasing at this year’s Agrofest she had seen a noticeable increase in people who were now doing their own container gardening and home gardening.
”A lot of it is fuelled through health problems but you don’t want it to get to that stage where you wait til you are sick then want to do something about it,” she said.
”When you have good health, life can only be better. . . I see it as a way of improving health, allowing people to live longer and I see food as medicine. To me it would eventually element the cancers, diabetes, the stroke and all of these social diseases. Live food imparts the highest amount of energy to the person that eats it, the highest amount of vitality comes from live food.”
Browne’s goal was to, in the near future, evolve the business to the stage where it was a whole food market. Where there was not a finished product but instead food still growing — still on the vine and people go buy the plants and when the vegetable ripens you eat it at that stage. All her plants are 100 per cent organic.
Browne, who lived a stone’s throw away from Long Bay beach produces her own fertilizer from seaweed, they were said to be extremely rich in growth hormones and nutrients for the plants. She also makes own pesticides from garlic and neem and in some cases she practised companion planting by interspersing between plants other plants like: marigold, basil or oregano, which helped to drive away pests naturally.
”Operating in harmony with earth and the other kingdoms; plant kingdom, animal kingdom, I try to be gentle on mother earth, everybody has a contribution or a role to play on this planet, it is just to find what it is. It is not just a rat race; working hard and coming home crashing and starting the day again. We all have a service to perform and to me it is my duty contribute to this earth in a positive manner and encourage other people.
”So it is just not about selling a plant, it is about helping the person understand how each plant benefits you– it gives you a gift of health. I help them to understand how the plant can increase their longevity and satisfying life. Food is medicine, it is not just about stuffing into your mouth and keep you going – it is much more than that, it feeds the mind and the body and it can heal the body.” she said with a smile. [email protected]