What does it mean to understand the land that sustains us?
Around the fire this month, we heard from speakers working in, around, and for the land, against the dappled backdrop of the green Potager glade.
From photographing communities that work in the land, to the systems that abuse it, the creative practices that can help us grow closer to it, and what it can teach us about our own roots…
The first Firelight of the season was all about a deeper knowledge of our human relationship with the land; and how those shoots of understanding, if handled correctly, can be nurtured and grown.
Below are a few snippets from Back to the Garden.
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"It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you do it well." – Mark Harris
"People in some traditions come together and talk about how important it is to make decisions that affect so many more generations than the one we're in. That involves our imagination, to be able to think about what it would feel like, and look like. People have to dream about how it might be, in order to make it happen." – Carmel Lousada
"Be prepared, and then also be prepared to go with the flow. It means you can be very free when you work, and maybe find some unexpected gems." – Oliver Udy
"I really felt like I was confronting myself in this space. It felt as though I would go into the garden and pour lots of undigested, nameless feelings into the soil and the plants – into the stuff I was doing in a very untutored way in the garden – and it would help compost those ideas for me, and help me make sense of things. When I started writing, I called it 'These Are the Things My Garden Tells Me', because that was very much what it felt like." – Marchelle Farrell
Listen here to Marchelle Farrell reading from her memoir, Uprooting, winner of the 2021 Nan Shepherd prize for nature writing:
"There are so many positive stories. I'm forever dumbfounded by the amazing things that an increasing number of farmers are doing in the UK. But they are still the minority. So you need to support them. You need to buy their produce. That's the only way you can support them. Talk about them, tell their stories, yes – but also buy from them. Ultimately we need the market to grow bigger." – Catherine Chong
If wielding the power of words to win hearts, change behaviour and amplify impact gets your pulse racing, then this may just be the role for you.