As we emerge from lockdown we shall be able to travel the highways and byways again, visiting fabulous members, friends and family…making up for lost time. But I think all of us, to some extent, have made discoveries over this past year: our resilience and what we hold dear; maybe reading books or learning a language; baking bread or zooming friends. Many have been lifelines to others: our incredibly brave healers in healthcare and the non-stop local food networks, farm shops and community volunteers keeping us nourished.
As I write this I have re-read Silent Spring, among other books, and watched Seaspiracy. I am reflecting on our food security and how we, as a nation, value and respect food. Fife, our native heath, has fertile farmland producing high quality food and a coastal fleet of small fishing boats we see laying their creels outside our windows, all sustainable and productive. The answer is definitely not to stop eating fish or tally up your carbon offset for a guilt-free tuna. We must differentiate between industrial trawlers scarifying the seabed, damaging ecosystems, and fisher folk who tread lightly on Mother Earth. Likewise meat eaters can support ethical pasture fed meat and boycott the feedlot cattle systems.
We also need to appreciate our local products: learning ways with lesser known species of fish for example. Resources should be not squandered or unappreciated, producers should receive a fair price and our diet follow the seasons. No waste. No greed. No arrogance. Utopia? Well maybe… but we can try and all of the above is within our reach.
I am writing this sitting on a bench in the walled garden at Ardross whilst Bosse is planting some experimental plots of rare grains he has been #seedsaving over the years. We are excited to see what emerges and taste their flavours. There is birdsong: yellowhammers and blackbirds, hedge sparrows and the occasional pigeon… not so welcome perhaps with all this lovely newly planted seed! Claire Pollock’s beehives are coming to life, the gentle hum a promise of honey to follow… #EarthDay