From psychologist to edible forest farmer

Dani Baker was a practicing clinical psychologist and at the end of her career she was doing work with the prison system in Upstate NY. She had also developed a “side hustle” as a photographer and won several awards for her photography.

As someone who does not do well with idle time, Dani was concerned about how she would fill her time once she retired. So she and her partner bought 100 acres of land that had been used as a dairy farm. Her original thought was that she would wander around, do some landscaping and have access to outdoor recreation. That lasted about a year, and then they started a small garden. They grew enough vegetables to begin selling them, and the garden expanded.

Seven years into this journey, Dani took a course on permaculture, and by the end of the course she knew she wanted to create an Edible Forest. In this episode we talk about her transition to farming and then to creating and maintaining the Enchanted Edible Forest. We learn about a typical day on a working farm. We talked about her nature photography and how it has enhanced her new book, The Home Scale Forest Garden: how to plan, plant and tend a resilient edible landscape.

Finally, with the recognition that at 73 she is slowing down some, we talked about how she is reinventing herself again, with the new book.

Episode Takeaways:

1. Take what you loved as a child and bring it forward into this next stage of life.

2. You can’t control life or a garden, learn to accept what is.

3. Follow your passion

4. Pay attention to your health, physical, emotional and spiritual health

Thanks so much for listening.

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– Wendy Green is a Certified Life Coach, working with people going through the sometimes uncomfortable life transition from full-time work to “what’s next.” Find out more about Wendy’s 6-week “What’s Next Transition” Coaching workshop

– You can find Dani and the Enchanted Edible Forest at Enchanted Edible Forest 

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