Make Play Happen: Poppy Okotcha
“It’s so easy to move so fast that we forget to play. We forget to have the moments of enjoyment, the moments of release…”
In Episode 3 of the ‘Make Play Happen’ series, we ask what it means to understand the natural world on our doorstep, home-growing food and finding escapism working with the land.
We follow ecological home-grower Poppy Okotcha in her own backyard and in the community as she makes time for play while creating edible gardens...
"So I started interacting more and more with the natural world, trying to understand how to grow food, and that has become my escapism, but also my career too.
I’m really lucky with that because I think that it means that I can kind of play all day. I think that it’s important to keep a balance though, in order to make sure play doesn’t become work.
Living in a more urban setting and engaging in a different career path, I definitely felt a real strong sense of needing to escape. Building moments of escape into our lives makes them so much healthier and us more resilient."
"There’s something so magical about going up this alley and then coming out in an open space with the garden and the hills in the distance. For me that contrast makes it even more special.
Now I’m connected to the community garden, which is a network that gardens around town rather than out in the countryside which is really nice. It’s about connecting a network of people who are plugged into a common vision."
“Stepping away from rigid structures that can come with work and daily life, it really helps to become more childlike. It shifts us from seeing the landscape as big washes of green, and instead we pick out the details, which can focus our mind.
To me, play is movement and change. It creates moments of excitement and interest and curiosity. Finding space to just be able to improvise and respond to the natural world.
"Even if I’m not gathering anything, even just going for a walk and observing and noticing all the different wildlife and naming it in my head; that practice is soothing for me, it’s grounding.
It’s so easy to move so fast that we forget to play. We forget to have the moments of enjoyment, the moments of release…”