Member Interview: Norma Burnson, author of Sustainable Food for the Globe

Norma Burnson

Norma Burnson

Name:

Norma Burnson

Book Title:

Sustainable Food for the Globe, Everyday People Producing Food in Abundance.  *2nd Edition coming out on Earth Day, 2016.

Your book’s Amazon purchase link:

Author’s Page: http://ow.ly/MmsDg

What is your book about?

It brings to the forefront the importance of food production for all living beings, plus examples of how people use various gardening techniques. In Sustainable Food for the Globe: Everyday People Producing Food in Abundance, I have interviewed 16 individuals, running the gambit from avid gardeners, everyday people, entrepreneurs, and food production experts. Taking control of our food production empowers us to create safe and secure access to our own healthy food supply.

Sustainable Food for the Globe: Everyday People Producing Food In Abundance

Sustainable Food for the Globe: Everyday People Producing Food In Abundance

What inspired you to write your book?

In 2012, Richard Branson stated (paraphrased), “Plan A is not working; we have to create a plan B.” During the same period of time, the naysayers were constantly harping that the planet would run out of food by the year 2060. At the time, my grand-niece Leanna was only two years old. I was deeply concerned that she and other children her age would not have anything in the future. I started researching the situation and came across several articles and videos showing alternate methods of food production, such as square-foot Gardening, vertical gardening, aquaponics, and permaculture. This motivated me to take up Sir Richard Branson’s challenge. Because I wanted to keep control of my work, I published it, keeping full ownership and copyrights. Sustainable Food for the Globe: One Square Foot at a Time was the first book in my SFFTG book series.

Can you describe your writing process? 

When I was 12 years old, one of my teachers assigned the class a year-long project. It consisted of keeping a daily journal for that particular school year. I was hooked. I have kept a journal every day since 1967, so writing has become second nature for me.

How did you come to do what you’re doing today?

This question makes me laugh out loud. I listened to my first webinar in 2012, and I state this with a great deal of love: I was “bamboozled” into participating in a weekend workshop for writers. It changed my life.

It was an intensive three-day workshop. Alicia Dunams is the coach’s name. She challenged us to “write a book, start a movement, and change the world.” More than 9,000 authors have found their voice thanks to Alicia Dunams’ excellent coaching skills. She goes above and beyond the call of duty. Alicia has created a safe haven for writers to become authors. By being a member of her Facebook group, we can securely bring topics and question up for discussion amongst our colleagues. They are batallion-full of resources, plus a large sounding board. It is very comforting to have Alicia’s and the group’s support, especially when dealing in such a competitive field.

Can you describe a typical day in your life? 

Actually, my typical day is rather unpredictable. I do most of my writing during the night, starting at about 10:00 p.m. I get so focused on the projects that I am working on, I lose track of time and will fall asleep anywhere between 6 a.m. and 8a.m. (It’s a carryover from my schedule at the airport when I was stationed in the U.S. Navy base in Rota, Spain.) My “morning” might start anywhere between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. I enjoy a long, hot shower and then a leisurely breakfast with my husband. We use the time to chat, read, catch up on the news, and check our schedule for the next few days. Then, I take an hour to play with my furbabies, Bubbles and Flirt. Once spring arrives, it’s time work on my garden.

When all that is squared away, I begin answering my emails and the posts from friends and readers all over the world. My work entails writing my own books for the Sustainable Food for the Globe series and reviewing other writers’ material that has been submitted to me by LinkedIn’s new publishing division. In addition, I collaborate with other authors who contact me and request that I work on their book as well. As the Executive Director of Fundraising for Energime University, I develop relationships with prospective donors interested in helping our launching team and procure monthly articles and interviews for Energime’s website. My areas of expertise are international trade; project development; strategic planning; gardening; advocating to secure food supply channels and rescue wasted food; writing; and serving as an advocate for worldwide food production.

What do you most enjoy about what you do? 

Publishing. My associate, Chris Coope, is developing a children’s book series that will enrich their minds and bring about awareness of gardening and its effects on the communities all around the world. He is an inventor and I am looking forward to launching a number of items from his new product line. It’s still a work in progress.

Are there any people and/or books that have inspired you along your journey? 

My dad. My father taught me how to read. He wrote many children’s and life-lesson stories. I plan to have the stories edited, compiled, and published a few years down the road.

Can you share something that people may be surprised to learn about you?

I am a long-distance swimmer. My best has been 60 continuous laps on an Olympic-size swimming pool. One lap per minute.

What’s next for you?

Book three in the series—Sustainable Food for the Globe, Future Pioneers: The Children.  It is scheduled to come out on Earth Day 2018.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

First: Although there is a significant shift amongst the younger generation embracing food production and agricultural careers, there is still the stigma of being a worthless serf tied to the land. Most young adults focus on IT, law, finance, etc., as careers. My way of changing their perspective is to ask a few questions:

  • If you are hungry and go to a lawyer’s office, can he or she feed you?
  • If you are hungry and go to a gardener or farmer, can he or she feed you?

Think about it.

Second, about me: Mrs. Burnson received the International Women’s Leadership Association’s Delegate Award in 2013, in recognition of services rendered as a U.S. Navy veteran and for demonstrating leadership in national and international business arenas; for dedication to her community as a college professor and mentor; and for being a sustainable food activist and humanitarian. She is the Founder and Senior Partner at Burnson & Associates and Director of Fundraising at Energime University, an innovative institution that teaches sustainability subjects worldwide. Currently, Mrs. Burnson is working on her third book: Sustainable Food for the Globe, Future Pioneers: The Children. It is scheduled to come out on Earth Day 2018.

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