Leslie C. Bennett
Leslie Bennett works as a volunteer apprentice for Garden Fare to help urban residents to produce affordable, nutritious and environmentally sound food for themselves. She finds that farming and gardening has been physically and emotionally restorative; and appreciates that growing food has helped her to develop a more meaningful relationship with the land.
Leslie grew up with a small vegetable garden at her family’s home in Palo Alto, California. Her urban gardening vision began to take shape during her undergraduate studies at Harvard University in the field of Environmental Science and Public Policy. Through her subsequent environmental and public health work in Geneva at the headquarters of the World Health Organization and in Cape Town with a movement of activists concerned with the provision of HIV/AIDS treatment for poor South Africans, she became convinced that our health, identities and relationships with each other are very much linked with how we see ourselves in relation to the earth and the landscapes that surround us. Leslie’s legal studies at Columbia University and the University College London, especially in the area of cultural property and landscape protection, further contributed to her appreciation of the role that a sense of place has in developing individual and community vitality and identity. Through her work in the areas of international corporate law, indigent criminal defense, British historic preservation and European agricultural policy, it has increasingly seemed to Leslie that food serves as a great connector between people and the disparate politics that so often divide them.
Learning to grow her own food has been an integral element of Leslie’s journey toward more sound and grounded living. She has apprenticed and volunteered at organic farms in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica; Surrey, England; and Nevada County, California. Leslie is a certified permaculture designer (2007) and has completed Ecology Actions’s GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming Workshop (2008). Leslie is a current member of the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Biodynamic Association of Northern California.