Today, Jaye, Sarah and I went out into the woods and in true Freegan spirit collected a huge tub of blackberries. Last year Jaye made a few truly awesome apple pies from the apples that grow wild in the woods. This prompted me to regale my family with the memory of our down and out days when my benefits claim was lost/delayed in the government behemoth and I needed to feed my family. Clearly I was not enough of a needy person despite having three children under the age of eight and no money to feed them with, simply because I did not abuse the DSS clerk sufficiently or would have been difficult to eject from their offices due to inebriation or an unpredictable high. but I digress...

Sarah-Lea foraging

During those hard days, I found a fabulous recipe for nettle soup in my local library and yes also found some apples growing wildly, but I made the deal of a lifetime when every Thursday, I would go to my local greengrocer and relieve him of all the slightly off colour, mishapen fruit and veg left in his shop for the princely sum of a pound. Even twelve years ago that was a fabulous bargain.

After noticing that the Freegans have had substantially more publicity than in the past, I was wondering how many people out there have truly thought of making small adaptations to their lives that in the long run will make a huge difference. Think about this.

This afternoon we went out foraging for food. We collected enough to feed our family of five, walked the dogs, got plenty of excercise, enjoyed a social experience that involved sharing of ourselves and it didnt cost us a penny.

I'm not saying that we should all go digging in Supermarket bins, but if a lot more of us did, even if only to help the needy amongst us, and more of us used our natural environment to sustain ourselves, the'red be less demand on the planet and on the food economy. Therfore there would be more money to spend on less easy to produce items such as clothing and household goods.

But even there is a great way to save. I am a person that uses freecycle religiously. Its become a way of life to many. I am about to set up a business with a huge amount of resources taken from freecycle. The only thing that I will sell that was resourced from freecycle are second hand books and trinkets, with the objective of also supporting charities that our business will contribute to.

I have done some growing of my own veg this year, alhough the patch was neglected while I was abroad and we have some fruit trees planted in the garden, that although producing fruit will really only be viable next year, but from then on provided they are cared for, the residents at our address will enjoy fruits of the earth - Free.

SO before you throw anything away think..... Can someone else use this , Can I use it for something else, can it be f/recycled and does it make a difference?

Ruthie Richards-Hill

Ruth, a free range human being and a middle aged mum of three adult children and very young grandmother to two little girls, is a glass artist, and a digital strategist, She retains the right to change her mind about anything and believes in a compassionate approach to most things, you can contact her using the contact page on this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Collected nettle soup ingredients

    To make delicious nettle soup, all you need is a bagful of nettle leaves, about the size of a football, for four people. Also:

    •1 large onion and garlic cloves to taste
    •2 or 3 potatoes
    •olive oil, salt and pepper
    •some stock or a stock cube (chicken or vegetable)
    •cream to taste
    Preparing nettles
    Firstly prepare the nettles. Wash and drain them. Trim the stems out of the nettles you have picked, leaving just the fresh, young leaves. Go through them carefully separating stalk from fresh leaf and discarding any discoloured or dubious looking leaf. You can do this easily by picking up the nettle tops by the main stalk, compressing the leaf stalks together with your fingers and cutting across the tops with scissors. If you are worried about being stung – wear some gloves.

    Making Nettle Soup
    Then chop up the potatoes, onion and garlic and sauté them in a 2 litre saucepan with a splash of olive oil and a bit of butter to taste. When the onion starts to soften and the potato is forming a slight crust, drop in the nettles and give them a quick whisk around with a spatula. Then add a litre of boiled water and your stock. Stir it all up and let it bubble for about 12 minutes, or until the potato is soft.

    Put it through a liquidiser once it has cooled, then return to the pan to warm it when you are ready to serve. To serve, pour the soup into a bowl and add some cream. Swirl the cream around with the back of a spoon to make an interesting shape. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roger Phillips suggests serving this soup with butter-made croutons although I prefer it without. It is also nice with a drop of wine.