Why oh why is it so difficult to preserve the excess fruits of nature? As I travelled trough Eastern Europe a couple of years ago , I had the privilege of meeting up with some friends who in an urban city , showed me how to be self sufficient in many foods items. Down in the cellars where we normally keep all the excess fashion wear, baby clothes from years gone by and cycles that never had their punctures repaired lay thousands of jars of bottled fruits , meats , vegetables, and of course some home brewed spirits.
This larder brimming full from summer jaunts to the countryside for blackberries and the like , but one thing I did not expect was the way farmers sold in season bulk food along the roadside. So they picked up huge sack full of peppers, courgettes, apples, potatoes and many other fruits herbs and vegetables as they became in season, only to be brought home to be bottled, pickled, spiced, jammed and chutnied.
This helped the local farmers and the need for storage became the responsibility of the consumer, whereas in the west it now belongs to big business and the State.That is a lot of trust embedded into our societies over our national security and wellbeing?
This hive of industry in the kitchen and the subsequent storage and final eating will of course tell many tales of where they have been and who the they met on the way. It is a story in fact of how social cohesion is being kept alive from just the way everyone share recipes and experiences of making a secure store of food for the year to come.
If in times of need as we see in Syria and the like , they rely on these stocks of food to tied them over in such curfews and crisis, I just wonder how we will survive in such times ?
To return to the point , I wonder why all the bottles are so rare and expensive in the UK with prices in Canada at about 50 p a jar and Eastern Europe 25 p and The UK is at £3, there is little chance of any real sustainability being brought back to life here. We on our holidays bring back jars and bottling equipment while most bring back trinkets made in China from Benidorm and the like.
Where is the long term sustainability in this lack of resources to to the job?
Sustainability is a rich man's game and hobby, in real life for the everyday person the lack of the tools and lack of cheap wholesome local food is preventing a truly sustainable way of life for the masses. Accommodation with no vegetable plots, so cheap excess food is not available any more on a mass level, they only place left now is the supermarket waste bins , or street markets at the end of the day. and one own garden , if you are one of the lucky ones to have one.
To this end may I suggest that many more fruit and nut trees are planted in the parks, gardens and hedgerows and people encouraged to pick the fruit for free? any spare will then also help the birds, bees and insects which are in decline.