Fran Pickering

Fran Pickering

Food production, catering and green building

About Fran:
Fran Pickering has been with Brighton Permaculture Trust since 2003. She has been a director for five years and is on the Management Committee. She received her Permaculture Diploma in 2009. Her main areas of interest are local food production, grass root catering, green building, and community building. Crafts multidisciplinery. Status shifted from peasant to Artisan in 2010! She is dyslexic and ADHD – or, an extremely lateral, quick paced and rubbish speller, who abhors paperwork but can see patterns in the chaos of life and large events.

Name your permaculture hero? Why them?

My heroes are:
Aranya Gardens because he is just such a lovely example of living a better life and bringing people in.
Bill Mollison for giving me his humour, vision and his principles.
Bryn Thomas for daring to dream of an orchard city.

Which permaculture principle do you have to remind yourself of the most?

The permaculture principle I need to remind myself of is Never have just one element supporting a critical function.

Which permaculture principle is always popping up in unlikely places?

The principle that keeps popping up in the most unlikely places is Placement and the importance of beneficial connections. For instance, signing my son up with a temping agency as he hadn’t got qualifications above AS level. Therefore, was not getting in on his CV alone to get an interview. Agencies pretty much give everyone who is of legal working age a chance to do all sorts of jobs. This gave my son a chance to shine and be taken on, through his own merit. He had filled in 30 application forms before that, without one response.

Another example is cooking for three different fields at a festival. This brought groups together who would not usually meet; giving them all the permaculture food experience. It was placement and edge all in one. And opened eyes and doors to whole new worlds. Putting energy and effort in at good strategic moments can make something really prosper.

Best example of permaculture in action?

Best example of Permaculture in action close to home is my chicken composter (not what it sounds like). My chickens compost all our green waste and make fantastic poop enriched soil and delicious eggs- they are also great company.