Saturday, March 24, 2007

Social Science or Storytelling...

I like media critic Neil Postman's observations about the similarities between storytelling and sociology. Postman argues that our obsession with science creates the desire to constantly be separating narrative from social commentary with 'empirical evidence'. Maybe the local grain initiative is telling us a story, maybe it is stating the obvious to some, maybe it offers something that could be developed further to find its way into the scholarly realm. I am not sure anymore. Take from these posts what you will. If its truly a social commentary and a story about a part of the ecological crisis there is no need to classify its objectives. I am not claiming to be an expert on grain or grain systems, a master baker, a botanist, a perfect sociologist or a flawless environmentalist. I'm just telling a story.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Information transfer

Backyard Grain: seed, symbol and social capital

This workshop will cover the basic botany of cereal grains and address part of the history and sociology of grain systems. It will focus on why growing small-scale grain plots is important at this time as well as advocate the role local grain systems can play in connecting people with place. To support the theoretical premise that working with small-scale grain is a symbol of the origins of cooperative life, this workshop will encourage collectively participating in ‘the evolution of grain milling’ and involve planting grain crops on site.

Held at Edible Landscapes, Roberts Creek. April 29th, 2007. 10AM-11:30AM. See www.ediblelandscapes.ca under the Sustainable Living Arts School programs for registration information.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wheat as catalyst

“During its life cycle the grain of wheat dies and is reborn months later in the form of a spike capable of providing sustenance to human beings. Wheat is the quintessential nutritional plant. It was believed to contain the mystery of life and death and thus it became a sacred plant. One of the essential features of the Neolithic era was plant cultivation. This led to a way of life that had previously been unimaginable and gave birth to new beliefs that completely altered the spiritual universe of humankind”

Food and Culture information about Symbolism of Bread
Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. Copyright © 2003 by The Gale Group, Inc.

Note** I have been practicing baking bread over the last two weeks. I have a much greater appreciation for the craft of a baker- the art and creativity that is worked into each loaf. When I am confident with my abilities, the spring wheat grown in Roberts Creek last year will be milled, mixed, kneaded, baked and eaten.