Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Heart Diana Beresford-Kroeger

I recently listened to an interview with Diana Beresford-Kroeger on CBC's the Current (Part 3) and immediately fell in love with her.

"Tree-huggers may just want what's best for trees. But it turns out that hugging a tree might be good for the hugger too. Trees are the most visible part of an eco-system ... and the support system for a lot of the life in it. For example, we mammals wouldn't exist if it weren't for the oxygen trees provide.

But according to Diana Beresford-Kroeger, trees do a lot more than provide oxygen, food and wood. She says they have healing properties that we are just beginning to appreciate and understand even if our ancestors seemed to be aware of them thousands of years ago.

Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a botanist and biochemist based in Merrickville, Ontario about an hour's drive south of Ottawa. She's also the author of The Global Forest."

I went on to the internet to see what else I could dig up on her.

I found this.

"One hour from Ottawa in Merrickville, Ontario, is Diana Beresford-Kroeger and her husband’s 160 acre property. Over eight acres of the property have been carefully designed to provide a background for her substantial botanical research. Within this garden, Diana has trialed over 6000 species and varieties of flowers, shrubs and trees including varieties she has bred to withstand the rigours of a changing northern climate.

The garden compasses a number of diverse habitats including a water garden, a small vineyard, a North American medicine walk, a potager, a formal mixed orchard and an extensive perennial flower garden. Incorporated into all this is a collection of North American nut bearing trees, the "anti-famine’ trees of the past.

According to Diana, "These trees kept aboriginal communities alive during times of famine. Hickory nuts and others are very high in fat, carbohydrates, and protein and they would sustain a people when the animals disappeared".

Diana is passionate about the preservation of rare and near-extinct plants and the medicines they contain. Throughout her gardens are what she would name her "holy grails", trees and plants nearly lost from the earth. Some of these rare and beautiful specimens have been discovered during her travels into the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes forests. Others have come from places as far away as Japan, Siberia, and the Balkans. A strong believer in sustainability and diversity, she often collects the seeds from her varieties of rare trees and plants and protects them for future use through distribution to research institutions as well as members of the public."

I also got this book out of the library. It's lovely.

"Now to survive as a species ourselves, we must put nature back together, we must hold hands, one with the other, and enact the bioplan. And like the stars of the heavens, each one of us must light our own pathway. It is only then that our combinations of connections will make the magic of the Milky Way. This we can do, not solely because we are just human, but because we hold the noblesse oblige of another's hand."

I also learned that she is speaking in Ottawa tomorrow night as part of the Writer's Festival.

Who's the most excited person on this blog!?! Me! I can't wait to hear her talk in person.

Do you think it would be inappropriate for me to tell her how much I heart her? Would it be weird if I asked her to take me home and adopt me into her family? What if I just hid in the backseat of her car and waited until we were all the way at her place before popping up and saying, "Diana I heart you! Will you adopt me?"

How could she say no?

O.k. o.k. maybe I'll just politely ask her to sign a copy of her new book...

Update: I just found this PDF article about Diana and this radio interview. The interview is from just this past Monday and it's awesome!

(I'm not internet stalking her, I swear! It's just good, wholesome research is all. I'm doing it for the trees really. For the trees.)


wendyytb said...

Amber... Ask her if she needs a volunteer to help on her property. It would be a winwin situation!

Oh! You lucky girl! I wish I lived near, or in Ottawa! Some of the nicest people live there!

Liz said...

Amber. You're nuts. And that's why we heart you. ;-)

Amber said...

Wendy, I'm already planning a totally appropriate and not weird way of visiting her garden at the very least! Volunteering for her would be a dream. I definitely want to look into the possibility of that too.

Hee hee! Thanks Liz. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I so wish I could go tonight!

- Katherine/Kif

Anonymous said...

Just heard her (for the first time) on the BBC's World Service: