Our forests are complex communities of life. Most of that life we don’t notice. Not because we are lazy or unobservant but because it’s quite hidden from us. But it’s there and it’s wonderful.
I’m an observant person. I notice most things. Especially in and around the bush. Of late I’ve seen birds busily flying back and forth with sticks, twigs and grass in beak, no doubt constructing new homes for the coming spring chicks. The late winter bulb flowers have started to appear, poking their sharp grass like heads from the cold soil. New lambs arrive each morning in the surrounding fields and in our forests the mushrooms species have shifted to the late varieties and the last of the pine mushrooms for this year are becoming slim pickings.
In fact I have a theory about these late season pine mushrooms. I think they’re greatly ‘confused’. I mean, surly they instinctively know they should have arrived months ago, and not now in the middle of this cold winter. It’s wet, freezing and becoming frosty. In any case these limited edition ‘confused’ mushrooms made their way into the picking box to provide us with the last few mushroom breakfasts.
The forest has so much to offer. Food, shelter, peace, solitude and remarkable natural beauty. And a place for my dogs to run free.
I went to a Michael Pollan talk last night in the big smoke. What he had to say was common sense, although a bit convoluted at times. The basic message he’s giving is similar to my approach to food. Although I add that we should be more hands on in our acquisition of our food. Which I know isn’t for everyone, but when you take time to walk the forests, collecting the raw materiel for future meals, the satisfaction level is magnified. Not everyone has a forest at their back door, a vegetable patch to turn, an orchard to prune nor field in which to hunt in. I understand that. But surely getting access to some soil is achievable for all. They do it in Cuba and that country is tiny! So much public space there is used to grow vegetables for the city communities on tiny patches of land. Our society just has it far too easy. People have too much money and not enough sense, nor do they have the inclination to work hard for a meal. The only way to get a lot of people to stop buying lazy food from supermarkets it financial hardship. The last period of time when people ate rabbits and grew vegetables in Australia was the period after World War 2 when times were tough and people lived off food stamps. Now that our society is in a period of ‘wealth’ there is no need for a connection with your foods origin. Most people appear to be content that food comes from the supermarket and it’s made easy to acquire. That doesn’t sit well with me at all. In fact it angers me. It’s easier to buy cheap shit food than basic good food. And that rubbish food is making people obese and lazy. Lazy not only in food but in their entire approach to life, and they appear to be breeding….and in great numbers. Another generation of sloths is on the way.
It was in days pasts that the common people like me and you would grow and raise food for themselves and the community. I lament the passing of that time. I lament that we have access to foul cheap food that has an outrageous cost on the health of the planet. And some bugger up the top is rubbing his hands together and swimming in money.
When I drove through the city streets last night, I saw ‘the people’. Buying rubbish food and ‘stuff’ from chain outlets, getting refueled in a robotic ant like way. Industrious people part of the machine of consumption most likely unaware of the beauty in that forest that I had the privilege to walk in earlier in the day. That forest that I couldn’t wait to get home to, to take my dogs and my girl through looking for those little bits of beauty we might normally just walk right over.
Shake off all of those thoughts and focus on putting that seed into the soil and taking back the control. Of your food and of your life.