View Full Version : Family visit opens my eyes a bit more
This week we have my wifes Slovenian cousin and her friend staying with us, these girls are in their late twenties and early thirties, live in a fair sized town and work in a local goverment office.
At their request we went for a walk through a local wood, as we were walking along they wanted to know the english names for various plants and trees. O.k. I'm no expert, but I'm O.K. on trees and fungi, plants I have my top 20 and working on it. I named a few plants, told them of any uses the plant had etc.they then went on to tell me what they use the plant for i.e food, medical etc.
As time went on and I was running out of skill, they took over, identifying plants, fungi etc.
It struck me that these people who do not 'practice bushcraft' embrace nature in a far wider sense than we do, this stuff is everyday life incorperated into the culture of the people.
How nice would that be in this country, to have the whole community enjoying and understanding nature, to have families harvesting natures bounty without getting funny looks, and have a closer relationship with the earth.
Thats a great observation Steve. I totally agree. We've had a few discussions here on what people think of you while you are bushcrafting and how the public think we're a bit weird. It would be good to be in a country where they are weird for buying crap filled ready meals form the supermarket instead of collecting their own food or at least caring where it comes from.
The approach to life in the rest of Europe is so often better than britain even in France or Spain it is normal to produce your own food and have some idea about the natural world even if you do live in town.
The arguement goes that we,in the U.K. are more 'civilised' than eastern Europe.Looks more like we as a nation have dropped some essential life skills.Those of us who still require these skills or deliberately aquire them have probably an enhanced appreciation of the world we live in.Even eating offal such as liver or kidneys is regarded as revolting by some of the next generation. the nation is heading towards a situation where the majority of the staple diet is in the form of factory proccessed foods.
Looks like it's up to us then to give the next generation something better and return to them some of the knowledge that's being lost. One of the advantages of having kids is that you know you can contribute to the future...
Even eating offal such as liver or kidneys is regarded as revolting by some of the next generation. the nation is heading towards a situation where the majority of the staple diet is in the form of factory proccessed foods.
And that is a very bad state of affairs. It's amazing that people dislike well produced liver or kidney but will happily chow down on a burger or sausage made from .... well lets say hooves are the least of your worries. How do you think they make them so cheap?
Bushcraft people should care about the natural world and that includes what you eat at home as well as away. Woah I sound like I'm preaching but this is a subject I'm interested in and more people need to care about. You would be much better eating tongue like my butcher had the other day then willy meat sausage.
I've been to Slovenia a number of types, also Croatia, and the people there really do seem to have 'remembered' a lot of the skills and knowledge that us more urbanised people have forgotten.
I pride myself on being fairly competent at plantlore, but on a walk with an old man from the village I was staying in, he really putu me to shame with his knowledge of plants, butterflies, bird calls, etc. Even his grandson, only 7 years old (who was acting as interpreter), knew more than me.
Made me feel very humble and very ashamed at the the knowledge that most of the 'civilised' world has lost due to Birdseye, BK, etc...
when i was in finland i was amazed but the general populations knowleadge of there natural surroundings and there ability to make things by hand
somthing which the general population of the uk seems to be rapidly losing
You're right about France 10bears. I go there quite often. The local people are always going for this or that wild mushroom or herb or asparagus, or something, truffle hunting, sanglier shooting, walnut oils etc etc, and fussy about exactly what they are eating They wouldn't freak out so much as folk here would if "supermarches" shut down (but at the moment they don't sell the same levels of junk they do here)
Mr Dazzler :wink:
Thanks Mr D
Supermarkets have a lot to answer for. The main question is why they are called super?
IMHO cos the clique that run 'em want to "super"cede every other food retail outlet and be the only way to obtain food :wink: :wink: :wink:
The worst thing is that having closed almost every small food retailer supermarkets now open local branches which sell us New Zeland lamb and apples :***: :rant:
The truly scary aspect is how global agribusiness is concentrated on a few major crops such as wheat and rice and equally few varieties of those. Heirloom and native seed projects are doing yoeman work preserving our rich agricultural biodiversity. My introduction to ethnobotony came during a drive in Arizona. Our Chrysler hemi engined V8 lost the fan belt. This apache cowboy rode up to help. Withing minutes he had braided a belt from a native plant. We drove 35 miles in 100 degree+ heat to the local trading post/ garage.
Chris, you mentioned rice! many 3rd world countries sell their surpless rice on world markets as their main crop.Unfortunately the American government is subsidising their own rice farmers and undercut the international prices. Doesn't sound to bad until you realise the 3rd world producers cant sell their rice which they rely on at the expense of 1st world profits. :cry:
American agribusiness is run by pirates. Monsato with their GE corn actually tresspassed into an ajoining farm and stole samples. It seems the guys nieghbor used GE and the inevitable drift cross pollinated his crop. Monsato successfully sued him. Our bannana monopoly cried foul with caribean producers and destroyed that market. I imagine those farmers are growing marijuana now to add to that problem. There is a plant in India cultivated and used for centuries ( my mind went blank on it's I.D.) another american concern patented it and now has the leverage of american trade interests to control the market. Then there is the silent crisis of world water supply. Many companies are quietly buying up water rights to the detriment of local peoples. They are the oil brokers of tommorow.
It gets a bit scary when you consider who controls the food supplies.I heard today that large supermarkets have squeezed fruit and veg producers so much on price that they can sell at profit margins between 3-400 percent whilst the producers often supply at a loss because they are contractually obliged.Its no surprise that the Walton family(walmart) has 5 of the worlds 10 richest people in their ranks. Imagine what that lot are like around the xmas dinner table!
:soapbox: Better get off me box
I thought water was a basic international Human Right? But as Uncle Sam has now waivered its adherance to the Geneva Convention nothing would surprise me now.