Monday, 8 August 2016

Taken for granted ?



An interesting question, among many, arose at last weeks Agroecology; investigatory project.

The researchers wanted us to consider how nutrition, human or otherwise, affected our crop choices; and production methods.

And to be honest; most of us were initially flumoxed by the inquiry. 
We couldn't think of a cogent answer.
Did in fact nutrition; play any part in our management decision making?

Was it a relevant question?

What were these academic types driving at?

Had they got the wrong end of the stick; about what we do?

And then it gradually dawned on us. 

Nutrition; or optomising nutrition; through producing food in ways that would seem beneficial to 'health' in its widest sense was, and is our main driver.

But most of us have been doing it for so long that it had become a wordless motive.

That 'reason for doing' was so deeply embedded in what we all do; a taken for granted given that we had forgotten.

As someone put it...

"A fish is not aware of the water that it swims in"

It was good to be reminded.
Of why we do what we do; and why it might be valuable.

And; if the properly grown food tastes good, you want to eat more of it.
Which in turn builds health.

It isn't some 'sack cloth and ashes' self denying chore to eat tasy veg' or other food. It becomes an anticipated pleasure...

Maybe that "It's like Christmas every week" hyperbole from some customers isn't all flannel?

The surprise, and the variety, and the taste do all add up to fresh delights each time.

But of course that isn't how most food is produced. 

Not to criticise anyone else trying to make a living from farming however they do it.. It isn't easy, even taking the 'conventional' route.

One thing we also agreed on was not to 'bash' other farmers; and their methods. 
It's no help to anyone; to fall into the 'divide and rule' trap. 

  If the 'general' food 'merely-as-commodity' market will only bear, a very small price, hardly covering the costs of production, then who could be blamed for taking the most cost effective route? 

Especially if no one wants to undertake the 'lowly' task of harvesting it....






Here optimising nutrition for the Autumn Savoys...

Hoeing  a scattering of 'supadug'  into the top inch or so of tilth.
Killing off any seedling weeds germinating at the same time.
This might appear a lowly task to some.
But with slanting evening sunshine; enthusiastic birdsong; and the far distant thrum of a neighbour turrning their hay; this doesn't fall far short of that oft quite rightly lampooned 'bucolic blissfulness' vision of country life..


And doing a spot of thinking ahead also; in terms of personal nutrition to take on a bit of a wander through some more southerly hills. 
Will be drying approx half a hundred weight of kale, and same of flat parsley too...


They comprise very much welcome additions to the somewhat 'lifeless' but not wholly unappreciated; packeted rations.

But intend taking some of this too...


By chance (via connections really) a very hardworking young man; came to do a few days properly remunerated labour for me some weeks back. Mostly weeding if memory serves; it so often is....

His other Summer job is undertaking harvesting work for the Cornish Seaweed people on the Lizard Peninsula... Lovely.

Given that he is also a very keen surfer it puts him in exactly the right position.
Lucky fellow... Working at the beach.

This mix of wild harvested seaweeds is an ideal 'adds vitality to anything' tracklement to ensure all those micro nutrients get topped up whilst away from the fresh stuff for some days...

And equally vitally ; leastways in these parts; it weighs virtually nothing...   



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