I’ve turned into a squirrel.
No, I’ve not grown a tail and an insatiable appetite for nuts and hiding them. I have instead been gathering nuggets of inspiration, knowledge, skill and passion – wherever I can find them.
When you look, you often find what you are looking for. Before I started looking, I had no idea how much I was steeped in inspirational treasure. When we initiated our current venture, it felt as though we were doing something unusual, novel and certainly not mainstream. How wrong we’ve been! The gardening revolution is happening beneath our feet, it is now global, it is exponentially increasing and threatens to unshackle us from consumerist slavery and all the various forms of poverty it brings to each and everyone of our lives in terms of increasing ill-health, lack of community, family life and spirituality. I’m sorry it took us so long to wake up.
I’ve recently written about two local sources of inspiration: Incredible Edibles and the Bedford Fields Forest Garden. I was delighted to learn that Incredible Edibles has found a new home: in the nearest town to me. As I took a short cut along the canal to catch a bus I saw the familiar boxes and beds of food with the Incredibles Edibles logo. It cheered up my day and I volunteered to help out. Circumstances seem to be keeping us local until at least March of next year, so I feel inspired to make that time count. I’m excited about this volunteer work, as it is within cycling/walking distance of the front door.
The find led to my usual daydreamy musings to while away the time spent on the bus. I sat on the top deck, giving me a good judgemental view of all the wasted gardens covered in vibrant green and well-cut and sprinkled lawns that I wanted to turn into picturesque food havens. If only the residents knew!
I did catch my judgemental thoughts and gave myself a reprimand and instead kept an eye out for all that wasted public land. A particular unmanaged woodland caught my attention. I stored its location in memory and determined to bring Verdant along to ascertain its permacultural potential.
I was inspired indeed. However, over a lazy breakfast I happened upon this particular TED talk that moved me to tears. A believer in the power of storytelling, I could never tell this story quite like Ron tells his own:
Have I been inspired to action?
I’ve realised that I should make food not the sustainer of my life, but the regeneration of my life. Growing and cooking food is becoming an increasing obsession. For someone who has actively resisted being tied to the kitchen, I’m spending a lot more time within it, creatively experimenting with whatever is available. This week I baked for the first time since my teens (Scottish oatcakes) and during the writing of this post a gluten, egg and dairy-free banana bread emerged from the oven, looking strangely edible.
And there, in the kitchen, my daydreamy musings continue as I involve a like-minded community in the preparation of these glorious concoctions and my dream skips to the inevitable communal festivity where we share in the labour of our day and gorge in the evening sun.