Ewa Pettersson, the author

Ewa Pettersson, the author, was raised on a farm on the island of Gotland, Sweden, where her family grew potatoes, strawberries, and other vegetables by hand – which led to Ewa Pettersson being very tired of farming when she moved away from home at 18.

The farmer in Ewa never gave up

When moving from the farm Ewa then proclaimed that she would never live in the countryside again! But at 25, her attitude had already softened. The lack of fresh produce right outside the door made itself known.

So in the muddy lawn of her terraced house, Ewa planted the first potato. And at 30, Ewa left the city and has since lived in the countryside in different places, with varying amounts of gardening space. Just past 40, Ewa got her first greenhouse. And not a small one either – a whooping 40 square meters. It was joy, pure joy; now she could grow more produce, with an extended growing season.

Having her own restaurant

Ewa Pettersson’s interest in food and the quality of it awakened as Ewa and her family started a restaurant in 1998. The guests would be offered the best ingredients available, some home-grown, others from local farmers. What could not be obtained locally would at least be Swedish in origin. Ewa remembers that they wrote in their menu that “We serve food from Gotland, and in the worst-case – Swedish”.

Some tourists probably thought it was a bit cooky, but not the Gotlanders. Another memory from that time is the numerous discussions had with the meat wholesaler, who for a long time insisted on delivering Danish pork when the Swedish was out of stock. Each time Ewa pushed back; she only wanted Swedish meat, so the Danish meat had to go back. Nobody understood what she was on about. It is only now in recent years that more and more people are beginning to understand what Eva meant back then.

Ewa Pettersson, the author, became a Permaculture Designer

A few years ago, Ewa came into contact with something called “permaculture” and became curious. The more she read about, the more interested she became. So much so that Ewa studied to become a Certified Permaculture Designer. Once she started the course, her view of nature and cultivation changed forever. To think how much easier everything is when people take a step back and learn from nature – and not only when it comes to gardening!

It became a book

In the beginning, not many people knew what Ewa was talking about when she began to talk about permaculture in a garden setting. Still, over time, more and more curious questions started to pop up.

Several of her friends asked if she knew of any courses for someone who wanted to learn how to use a permacultural approach in their gardens. She did not, and it turned out that there were none anywhere close-by. So Ewa thought, how hard can it be… and promised her friends to arrange a course.

Then reality hit – when you want to teach, you need course material! Once she started writing, Ewa soon realized how much knowledge she wanted to convey. Knowledge which, if you only know about it, makes growing so much easier. The result of all that writing eventually became the book you hold in your hands.

Ewa Pettersson

Author of the book Sustainable Gardening Made Easy