Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Women Who Travel Podcast: Sophia Roe on mushrooms, growing your own food and filming Counter Space around the world

So before you know it, you have cultural obliteration as a proxy for productivity. That’s how I feel about it. It’s like we’re just completely eradicating an entire generation’s ability to know what to eat.

LA: You know, you were a chef and cook. And now you’re the TV host of this food and travel show. What was that learning process like for you and becoming a host?

NO: great fun You know, I really feel like it was meant to do this job. And I think some people feel weird saying that, or, you know, I really feel like I was made for television. Um, I’m never more comfortable than when there’s a camera around.

I just love a camera lens. Uh, you know, it’s just… it doesn’t say anything back to you, right? It really gets you. It’s really raw, isn’t it? It’s not acting, is it? I’m… That’s really me. I’m really in the middle of the Atlantic, interviewing a fisherman. One of my favorite interviews was with this incredible fisherman, Bren Smith. His love for the planet, his love for the ocean is just absolutely inspiring. And he sort of stumbled into seaweed farming from the fisherman. So we decided to say, “Bren, can you please show us your seaweed farm?” And he did. [laughs]

And so we were literally in the middle of the ocean. And just to see and experience the ecological diversity through this incredible vertical farm, I mean it’s just…I’m so stunned. I’m freezing.

Bren Smith: We are on Thimble Island in Branford, Connecticut. We’ll run to my farm.

SR: And your farm is in the water.

OS: Yes. It’s underwater. So that used to be like the incredible fishing community, lobster shacks, oyster shacks, uh, shacks, like shacks at the end of the dock, all gone. It’s as important as climate change in this new air, how do you think culturally?

NO: What’s the point of living here, right?

OS: Yes.

NO: When there is no money, people move. And then it’s just that these places are completely deserted.

BR: Here it is. That’s 10 acres, a quarter million pounds of seaweed, 200,000 oysters, uh, a few hundred thousand clams, all in those 10 acres. We have horizontal lines, uh, just below the surface. So it’s like a rope scaffold system.

NO: To the right.

OS: Our seaweed absorbs five times more carbon than land plants. I mean it’s the sequoia of the sea. We create artificial reefs. So the best fishing in the area is around the farm because there is just so much going on. Ducks, seals, everyone gathers here. It’s also replicable. So if you have $20,000 and a boat and a lease, you can start your own farms.

SR: It happily eliminates the land acquisition problem.

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