Jacqueline Edmiston

I am Jacqueline.

Mother, activist, teacher, convergent thinker, beloved, constant gardener and artist who thoroughly enjoys music, good food, art, reading, collecting teas, good coffee, cultural experiences, travel, the outdoors, bird watching, cycling, pottery and family board games. 

I’m a Permaculture facilitator and landscape designer with a passion for soil rehabilitation, community development and medicinal plants. Permaculture is my dynamic toolbox to proactively address our escalating human and environmental crises. My work is an expression of my own self-awareness and is my response to the word around me. A love and a nurturing of all that is sacred.   

I know that I can make a difference to the world and to the lives of people around me, wherever my feet may take me. I’m creative in the way that I approach life and community projects. “A mover and shaker!” as my friends would say. I absolutely love engrossing myself into the different cultures that I find myself in through my work and play. I consider myself an activist at heart and will stand strong for what is true and just.

I recently moved from Cape Town, South Africa to Geneva, Florida, with my beloved Daniel (to whom I’ve been married to since 2005) and our two children, Sarah (14) and Troy (12). We’re on 5 acres of land with an existing home, which we are developing from scratch. I’m still learning about the local soil, plants, wild foraging, animals and climate.

Besides implementing outreach and community projects, engaging in private design projects and running courses and workshops, I have been busy building up my skill set:

2020:

Hemp in Tennassee 

I’m consulting for a small Hemp farm in Tennessee on building resilience and remediating their soil.

Practical Permaculture in Uganda

In March this year I’m going to Northern Uganda to teach a Practical Permaculture cause to dispersed people in the refugee camps up there. I’m looking for some funding for this outreach project. Feel free to get hold of me if you would like to invest of your time, skill or money.

The Camino

In mid-May to July I will be walking the Camino from France to Spain to do some soul searching.

Coffee In Liberia

I also have plans to visit Liberia this year to do some work on coffee.

2019:

Cocoa In Ecuador

We’ve just returned from a month long trip in Ecuador where we had the opportunity to experience the majesty of the primary rainforest, the Amazon. Our travels here added substantial knowledge to my ongoing cocoa research project. My husband Daniel has established a Papua New Guinea outreach project working with micro vanilla farmers from the Sepik Region. The local farmers there require a great deal of education around vanilla and all the processes from start to finish.

2018:

First Aid

Due to the nature of my work which takes me to remote areas like Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Uganda, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge of First Aid. I have just redone my Level 1 First Aid with St John Ambulance and went on to completing my advanced First Aid Level 3.

East African Permaculture Convergence

In May this year I attended the International East African Permaculture Convergence in Sanje, Uganda where I met incredible people from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia, Rwanda, Australia and Belgium. 

Gut Health

In April I attended a series of Gut Health workshops with Foodology in Cape Town.

2017:

Snake & Venemous Scorpions & Spiders

Daniel and I completed a Snake Awareness and Venomous Snake Handling Certificate Course with the African Snakebite Institute (ASI), taught by Johan Marais, an internationally known herpetologist and author of Snakes and Reptiles in Southern Africa. It covered Snake, Scorpion  and Spider Awareness and their biology, behavior, myths and their identifications. As well as basic first aid for snakebite and scorpion stings. We were taught how to safely handle snakes when capturing them for safe relocation.

Integrated Design Course

In June, I completed an Integrated Design Course with Daniel Halsey from the USA, who is a professional agro-ecosystems designer, director of the Permaculture Research Institute in the USA, Southern Africa, and Italy. Dan is the principal partner of Natural Capital, LLC, Plant Database, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Temperate Climate Polyculture Designs and a Masters of Professional Studies in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota.

This course taught me the in-depth design of integrated polycultures and how to translate a physical site design into Adobe Illustrator.

2016:

Permaculture

I completed my Introduction to Permaculture, Permaculture Design Course and teachers training Permaculture Facilitators Course at Hope Foundation in East London.

Lifeline Training

During this busy time, I also managed to complete a Lifeline Training Course.

About Me:

My youngest memories growing up are of me around age 5 growing food with my grandma Betsie in her tiny garden in Muizenberg. They grew most of what they ate and fished the ocean for the rest. My grandma Betsie was a fisherwoman. I remember my excitement at digging my fingers into the soil pulling at the potatoes beneath the earth. A miracle! I remember how in my late teens living in Scarborough, how I fed my thirst for knowledge by reading amongst many others, Margeret Roberts’s books on the healing properties of various herbs and their various growing characteristics and requirements……..and the joy I took in collecting and growing as many as I could.

Later I entered the great wide world and gave and gained pieces of myself through the years…..waitresses, washed windows, practiced Chinese medicine, worked in customer service, worked in sales, got married, bought a house, gave birth to my daughter, opened a pottery studio, renovated a house, gave birth to my son, studied photography, built a house in Riebeek Kasteel, fostered a special little girl, had a life changing accident, worked some more as a web designer and then as an apprentice chef…….and then I realized that my passion has always been around the ethical production and consumption of food and how our daily choices impact the environment.

I have always been fascinated by the community stories and traditions around food and the way that it brings us together.

All my life, wherever I’ve called home, I’ve nurtured and tended a vegetable and herb garden.

I’m now 39 and I have come full circle. I have found my shape and framework in Permaculture. I can see how each path that I’ve explored has given me the foundation and building blocks for the work I’m doing now and how it has provided me with the insight and depth for the path that lies ahead.

I’m deeply passionate about soil rehabilitation, habitat/ecosystem restoration and  working with small subsistence farmers.

My favorite quotes:

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” – Chris Maser, Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest

Just For Fun ( :

Favorite movies right now: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Lion………..The Proposal (yes yes I know….don’t judge)

Favorite vegetable: brussel sprouts and cabbage (kraut and kimchi….yummm)

Favorite fruit: overripe bananas, papaya, oranges, mangoes and pineapples

Favorite season: Winter

Favorite food: salad & hot spicy curry

Favorite animals: bears, bees, elephants, lions, raccoons, birds and foxes

Favorite activities: gardening, eating good food, reading, dancing, listening to great music, time with my partner and our children and driving

Favorite drinks: tea (I LOVE TEA!) and coffee (Fairtrade & Organic from Quaffee….of course) and hot cocoa.

Favorite Poem:

When Great Trees Fall

When great trees fall,

rocks on distant hills shudder,

lions hunker down

in tall grasses,

and even elephants

lumber after safety.

When great trees fall

in forests,

small things recoil into silence,

their senses

eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,

the air around us becomes

light, rare, sterile.

We breathe, briefly.

Our eyes, briefly,

see with

a hurtful clarity.

Our memory, suddenly sharpened,

examines,

gnaws on kind words

unsaid,

promised walks

never taken.

Great souls die and

our reality, bound to

them, takes leave of us.

Our souls,

dependent upon their

nurture,

now shrink, wizened.

Our minds, formed

and informed by their

radiance,

fall away.

We are not so much maddened

as reduced to the unutterable ignorance

of dark, cold

caves.

And when great souls die,

after a period peace blooms,

slowly and always

irregularly. Spaces fill

with a kind of

soothing electric vibration.

Our senses, restored, never

to be the same, whisper to us.

They existed. They existed.

We can be. Be and be

better. For they existed.

– Maya Angelou