Ruth Lapp

Founder and owner Ruth Lapp has been planting trees and designing & creating edible landscapes for over 45 years. Grandmother Birch Forest Garden Designs is the creative integration of these decades of research, hard work, study, and community engagement. Ruth is a land-regeneration practitioner, soil artist, ecological farmer, sustainable woodlot manager, creative visionary, and community educator. For 20 years, she owned and operated Herb and Roots organic farm in Centre Burlington, Nova Scotia, during which time she supplied garden produce to the Halifax Farmers Market, the Windsor Farmers Market, and the Wolfville Farmers Market. In partnership with Human Resources Development Canada, Ruth both: 1) designed and facilitated an ecological farm apprenticeship program; and 2) operated a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) that provided fresh produce and educational events for low-income families in Hants County West, NS. Additionally, Ruth ran a successful CSK (Community Supported Kitchen), for which she utilized her own garden produce and other locally-sourced ingredients to create meals for customers in Halifax, NS. In 2018 Ruth re-located with her family to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia -- creating a vibrant homestead with a few dairy goats and chickens and forest gardens.


Augmenting her continual self-directed research and study, Ruth's formal education includes Permaculture design studies, the Master of Arts in Atlantic Canada Studies (Saint Mary’s University, 2004), and PhD Studies in Cultural Studies at Queens University.


  Creative land-based teaching experience includes:

  • “Conspiring Soil” (2016-2018, Lake St. Peter, ON) land-based art installation 
  • “Building a Black Walnut Tree Guild” and other Permaculture techniques (2018, Maynooth, ON) 
  • video installation at “Food for Thought” (2015, Harbour Front, Toronto, ON)

  Speaking engagements include:

  • "Re-indigenizing the Food System", (2014, Guelph Organic Conference) 
  • keynote speaker of “Life in the Soil" Visual Arts Conference (2018, University of Windsor) 
  • "Temperate Forest Gardening", (2018, United Church Parish, Maynooth, ON)

  Education & Outreach:

  • co-author of “Defining the process of re-indigenization through soil communities" in Perma/Culture: Imagining Alternatives in an age of Crisis (Routledge Press, 2018). 
  • Harvest the North Community Garden Program (2016-2017, Bancroft, ON) W.E.E.D Youth Project 

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