A deep adaptation experience
This is the beginning of the extinction rebellion week called the ‘Impossible Rebellion’ I am not sure why it is called that but it may be as a challenge- can we take on the impossible? Because all the events here in Norway are up in Oslo and I can’t get up to Oslo until Thursday, I woke up this morning and decided to use this week for a ‘rebellion of food’
Not a fast, but a weeklong commitment to eat ONLY from the food we have grown ourselves. I wander into the garden before breakfast to look for what it might be. I pick beans, chard, onions, garlic, plums. The quinoa is not ready yet, but I still have some quinioa left over from last year. We have picked apples and raspberries and so many cucumber and green squash and some hokaido squash. There is dill and oregano and basil and sage. There are lots of potatoes. I feel a sense of gratitude and think of Joanna Macy’s spiral of the work that reconnects- I already feel reconnected to my place, my living on this small piece of land, and am filled with gratitude at the harvest that is available.
I also find myself thinking of Jem Bendell’s Deep adaptation and of the principle of relinquishment: what will I need to relinquish this week to accomplish this rebellion? Salt. Sugar. Coffee. Of course, Chocolate. The raspberries have all been made into jam, with sugar that was not grown here. I question myself whether this will be ok, and decide no, not for this week. No wheat either. No oatmeal, although we have some oats grown down in the far field for the goats. I wonder how much is there, how to thresh it, if it is possible to make bread or small cakes. No yeast. Of course yeast is naturally occuring in the environment, but I am not sure if I can make a sourdough with oats. I muse on how much we take for granted, what deep adaptation will mean, even for those of us that have some land and can grow some food. Of course we will need to work together, come together communally and share what we have grown. But not this week, and so I ponder how ready, how unready we are for living in ways that are really light on the Earth, and on the need to start now, not later. There really is no later now.
I decide to use half of the small amount of quinoa I have left from last year, and make a quinoa pudding. Quinoa needs to be soaked, then boiled, and the water changed several times because of the saponins in the seeds. I save the water- if it contains saponins can I use it as soap? Can I use store bought soap this week if I am taking this challenge seriously? How could I make soap? I begin to think of all the things I need to learn.
I am aware as I boil the quinoa and then spin it to a pulp that I am using electricity that does nto come from here. In a perfect experience I would need to use solar or wind power, or build a fire with my own wood. Our wood is from the farm next door, but not from our own land. I decide that for htis week, I will have to compromise on the energy.
I mix the quinoa with some apple pectin I cooked down two days ago, and with small pieces of apple and plum. No sugar or salt. We have some honey from the neighbor next door- I reflect that this may be ok, but I am not using it this morning. I regret slightly, that I did not pick more raspberries when they were ripe, or more of the black cherries. I wish the hazelnut trees had nuts this year, and that the sunflowers had grown better. I am aware of the better choices I would have to make, the care I would have to take, if my garden were the only source of nutrition.
The pudding is slightly nutty and creamy from the pectin, slightly tart and slightly sweet. I drink mint lemon water with mint from the garden and slices of lemon from our indoor lemon tree. It’s fine, and I have gratitude for nourishment, food planted from seeds by my own hands, watered an nourished by my own energy, now providing abundance and giving energy back to my body. It’s actually very filling, and I save half the bowl for tomorrow’s breakfast. I think of people who do not have enough to eat, of the coming food crises due to climate calamities, and move also into The Work that Reconnects’ “acknowledging our pain for the world”. The next step of the Work, “Seeing with New Eyes”, is also right in front of me: We are of the Earth and nourished by the Earth, and the solutions to this crisis are in reconnecting to the Earth, relearning to grow and harvest from her bounty without destroying ecosystems, and working as community to help each other. There is no other way.