It is amazing how human language distinguishes one behaviour from another. For example, consider the act of ‘eating healthy’…as opposed to eating unhealthily?! Shouldn’t it just be called eating? Why does anyone eat unhealthily? The language we use on a daily basis almost makes it acceptable. Another example, ‘volunteering’. How about just being human? Why do we need a separate word for it. Eating healthy, and volunteering should be so common place that we can’t even describe them, much like a fish trying to describe the water in which it swims.
Extravagance of desire is the fundamental cause which has led the world into its present predicament.
Fast rather than slow, more rather than less- this flashy “development” is linked directly to society’s impending collapse. It has only served to separate man from nature. Humanity must stop indulging the desire for material possessions and personal gain and move instead toward spiritual awareness.
– Masanobu Fukuoka, The One Straw Revolution
For last night’s dinner Ben, one of the other volunteers here at Cerenity, and I decided to create a soup completely out of fruits, vegetables and other edible organic matter growing onsite. With a great deal of enthusiasm we collected as much of a variety of ingredients as possible hoping that our one-pot wonder would provide a tasty treat for the other volunteers. And, as it turned out, it was amazing!
Our soup contained;
- Potatoes from the vegetable patch,
- Tomatoes from the polytunnel,
- Some cooking apples,
- Garlic from the vegetable patch,
- Blackberries from the hedges,
- Mushrooms found in the field,
- Courgettes from the vegetable patch,
- Carrots from the vegetable patch,
- Chives from the herb garden,
- Coriander from the herb garden,
- Nettle Leaves growing around the vegetable patch,
- and some kale.
So ALL of the ingredients come from the ground of the camp site grounds. All together and chopped up it looked like this…
Once it was all chopped up and chucked in the Dutch Oven we filled it with water to cover and left it to cook for an hour over a fire using a fire tripod.
We then sat there in the rain around the fire watching our meal cook. It was a massive success, everyone enjoyed it and we decided to call it ‘Cerenity Stoup’ because we don’t quite know if it is a soup or a stew. It was immensely satisfying knowing that our ‘stoup’ was completely derived from the land so it is needless to say that we will try to do more of these meals in the future.
Well I have just returned from a 10-day holiday in the beautiful Algarve region in Portimao, Portugal. Myself and a few friends decided to rent an apartment and soak up the rays by the pool and the beach. We hit the town a few nights and run into quite a few people that we had met last year in a great bar overlooking the beach, On The Rocks. The local food was amazing too. I don’t know what it is but all of the food there just tastes better than here in England! Well….store bought stuff anyways.
It is such a beautiful part of the world down there. The people are so friendly and life is seriously laid back. I can’t wait to go back there. I have been learning the language for about a year now and actually having to use it was great. Even though some people I spoke to could tell I wasn’t that brilliant they still knew what I meant and showed their appreciation for my efforts with a smile. I can really see that they genuinely appreciate it when you make an effort to speak their language.
I am hoping to make my way back there in about 8-9 months where I plan on living for a year travelling around doing volunteer type work on organic farms and permaculture sites. From the minor research I have conducted there are numerous eco-communities living self-sustainably, growing their own food and harnessing their own energy promoting the principles of permaculture. I would love nothing more than to spend time in these amazing communities learning the language and living with the land.
There was another amazing thing that stood out to me whilst I was there. Our apartment was in a rather bland and monotonous holiday resort. All of the apartments and villas looks the same and the plant life was very ordinary and mostly ornamental. One morning, whilst my friends were still sleeping I decided to go for a walk through a very local-looking area, just roaming the streets, passing Portuguese locals saying “Bom Dia” and smiling. I noticed that 9/10 of the locals gardens contained fruit. Everything from Apples, Figs, Grapes, Lemons, Limes and Oranges. I thought this was amazing. Everywhere you would look there were healthy bunches of grapes and the most orange oranges I have ever seen.
It’s not always the answers that will change your life; it’s the questions
If more people started to grow their own food, for themselves and as a community, the strain on the global, unsustainable and centralised industrial agriculture system would decrease. Putting an end to the harmful practices, returning the land to the people and, in turn, making the people, and the land, healthier.
If you think that your sustenance comes from the store, and it comes from the tap, and it comes from your job, then you will defend that system to the death. If you think that your sustenance comes from the land, then you will defend that to the death.
– Derek Jenson