Thursday, August 20

where did i come from?

Im not sure where my passion for ecological living comes from. The love of forests full of hidden edible treasures, the thrill of catching your own dinner, the skills inolved in boning and carving, the use of 'weeds'' and 'trash' to their full potential, the art of minimising expenditure and consumption, conserving energy. It all gives me a great thrill. Is it a mindset we're born with or is it created? Can we teach it? Is it a religion? Am i a zealot? Or is it just an interest that i have developed through years of reading and listening to theory and practice about urban and environmental ecology? I mean, i have loved Landline since I was a teenager!

At the heart of my love for all things eco i think is the fundamental challenge of doing things the smart way with the least amount of stuff, in the most artistic or creative way possible and with minimum disruption to natural ecosystems. Its smart living, not mindless living. Thats where my spirit is nurtured, in that moment, in that decision to take or make or change something in a way that is least disruptive to the world around me, knowing that the decision is made with the best of intentions. It requires knowledge, skill and thought. Consciousness. But really, what is it about the idea of self sufficiency that gets me just so excited? Seriously, why do i find the idea of rearing a pig, butchering it and then finding every possible way to cure and use it so enthralling? Why does foraging for mushrooms give me butterflies in my stomach? What is it with self sufficiency and food?

Whats going on ? Im a small c career academic with smallholder tendencies. Somethings gotta give.


Ramsey said...


You just have to borrow Victorian Farm and View from the green valley off the Crone.
I think you will get SO MUCH from these fine BBC series.

Veggie Gnome said...

Smallholder! Hands down. As you said, what is more satisfying than growing and harvesting your own fruit & veg, providing meals with the least impact on the environment, sustainably... ??

Ps.: Just you wait till you see 'A Pig in a Day' then you really, really want to get stuck in a pig. We have been trying to persuade Popeye the Neighbour Gnome to get a pig so we can share it. Prosciutto, chorizo, bacon, speck, sausages, roasts ....

Stewart said...

Ditto on the Victorian Farm series. Once you have watched that It all becomes clear.

Rixa said...

I'd like to say that I am doing those kinds of things, but mostly I think about them and don't really know where to start. I know how to find morels but that's one day a year...anyway I guess you need to start by thinking first, right?

Julie said...

I think one is just born that way, with an appreciation and love of nature. Many people I know could care less about the outside world - the less they see of it the better! - and consequently don't understand or appreciate what I'm trying to do. Totally, utterly uninterested.

I loved the adage that the Nearings lived by in 'The Good Life', whereby their "bread work" (i.e. food production and preservation) was to be completed by lunch, and the afternoon spent in personal/academic pursuits - music, reading, etc. I'm not sure I could manage to be so focused for the whole morning (and they worked very hard - but they didn't have any kids or animals to care for) - but the appeal of having the afternoon to myself for academic pursuits definitely appeals. Two birds with one stone...

Gavin said...

Can we teach it? Most definately! Is it a religion? Maybe, Druids have been doing this stuff for years! Am I a Zealot? Aren't we all who read your blog ;-)

When someone asks me why I do it, I reply "Because it is fun, fulfilling and I have never felt such joy in my life". Growing or catching your own food is one of the most rebelious acts someone can do in this day and age. We are independent from the system!

Just my two bobs worth.


Kel said...

ramsey - i 'googled' the victoria farm series. Im interested. thanks for the tip!

veggie - i definitely think its the nightly threesome with hugh thats gots me in reflecion some serious reflection. and yes yes yes, the neighbor gnomes NEED to do that!!!!

stewart - yes but WHAT will be clear? I need to know now. Although i have to add that looking at the reviews i have to add that Im into modern low impact sustainable soloutions and dont really want to actually live in 18th century conditions!!!!

rixa- right on. it starts with a thought.Im just shocked on reflection that im really yearning to do some more serious farming.

julie- yes i think we are born with our interests to some degree, maybe sensibilities more than interest. hehe i LOVED watching the good life when i was a kid, but im really intrigued what the essence of this 'at one with the environment' really is. Why dont we all have it? what is so appealing about killing your own meat? Is it a sense of the i can if i need to? Self sufficient. what does it give us? but a balance as always, is ideal.

gav- yeah , we can teach the principles but the passion..surely its there already for those who take it up?? wherre does the joy lie? what is it thats so joyful? Is independence and self sufficiency a natural state? is that why it feels so good? theres a few of my bobs!

Annuska said...

I think it comes to a degree with preservation & survival instinct- and some have more left on them than others- I have seen this on my kids so often (one has a lot of it and is interested on all natural, how to catch, hunt, grow, how to be safe but take challenges, find solutions to the problems of survival, and the other is not, is really not). In a parallel way one would find a safe way to cross the street or touch the fire since toddler-hood, the other would cross without looking and grab the fire. I always have thought it was survival instinct. Fascinating.