Permies and Fermies

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A little while ago I overheard some students discussing a paper given by a professor on the 'end of wilderness'. The justification I think, for this seemingly totalising view, is that anthropogenic climate change effects every inch of the world and therefore everything is now of human making.

David Holmgren, on a walk and talk a few weeks back, spoke about two dominant strains concerning 'the wild' in western thought. He posited historian Simon Schama's suggestion that there is the dark, foreboding and conspiratorial strain, and the pure, unadulterated and sacred strain. Holmgren spoke about how both predetermine land management and environmental politics today. On the one hand you have the 'better tame wild nature before it's on your doorstep' ideology – bulldoze, herbicide, sterilise, etc., and on the other hand you have urbane ideologues obsessing over the few last bastions of wilderness as it were a church, while flying all over the world and buying their food transported in – evidently sacredness is somewhere else.

All of this is a segue to singing the praises of Sandor Katz and his brilliant book 'Wild Fermentation', which I'm totally obsessing over at the moment. And there are many of us, permies and fermies alike, falling deeper and deeper into the everyday wilderness that is live-culture food. The wild is airborne. It is microbial. We speak it out and breathe it in. Below, you can see my new ciders (made from wild apples) gathering in the wild yeasts (fungi) inherent in our home. Some will be left open for longer to be further exposed to the vinegar microorganisms that are also everywhere.

Yesterday my awesome boy Zephyr turned nine. Our friend Brett came over to join the festivities and to teach a small group of boys to hand carve spoons from plum wood prunings.

With a lovingly carved spoon and apple cider vinegar on the make, Hippocrates knows we will need no petroleum-based pharmaceuticals once again this winter.


catherine ryan said...

thanks for the ongoing inspiration patrick. So perfect and timely to drop into your blog again after a day of apple picking and pear bottling. The joys of parenting xanthe (now 18months) haven't left me much, if any time, for relaxed reading - eg your blog -etc... but that's made up for in so many other ways. Great to read of all your actions and projects. I must keep checking in regularly to keep abreast of interesting things going on down there over the volcano. All the best, keep fighting the fight in your unique creative and inspiring way and happy birthday to zephyr.


Permapoesis said...

thanks cath, much love bounced back over that lovely old volcano.


we're having a 'world naked bike ride' event this sat in daylesford. all manners of nudeness and clothed personage welcome. it's also chill-out, so should be pretty crazy – wild fermentations amassing!


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