|Searching for dinner!|
|Crossing the salt-marsh|
|Trudi demonstrating how much food there is on Rum...|
|...getting it out of the ground can be somewhat more awkward!|
As the tide rushed back in the foragers had to abandon the rocks to cross back to the island, but not before they'd made an impressive collection:
|What they found.|
I had given up on the walk before this stage though, as I dislike taking creatures from the sea. I know it's illogical as I will eat fish, but there's something about prising sea creatures off the rocks that makes me feel worried - we don't exactly have to hunt them down, they are too easy to catch! - also I feel very protective of the seashore. Perhaps because I swim by the rocks so often, it feels strange to evict the creatures that live on them from their home. We have so much space already - though maybe not on Rum, where we are in the minority...
So I returned to the garden, where despite all the hurdles we have faced in growing stuff, it is, unbelievably, still growing! We have already harvested our first onions, lettuces and salad leaves, and it looks as though the potatoes may be ready soon, not to mention the hordes of tomatoes that are turning the polytunnel into a forest. For a while I was dismayed by the garden and the over-fecundity of the weeds, rats and generally by "Nature" - it made me realise how hard it is to grow food and how much is stacked against you when you don't use masses of technology to "fight back". It's not all pretty tweety birds and beautiful butterflies - those butterflies kill your broccoli! It made me understand why so many people see Nature as their enemy and feel a need to fight - for centuries, survival was incredibly hard; and for many people it still is. But nonetheless I wouldn't be comfortable spraying it all with pesticides or turning it into a garden centre; it's living with nature that's the challenge, one that people perhaps haven't really got to grips with yet: how can we live with it, still survive (happily) while allowing everything else to survive too? What is the balance? There are lots of farmers in the UK trying to achieve this and I am amazed at their persistence, and also proud that I am trying in a tiny way to see how it feels, too. Although what I may chiefly remember from Rum gardening is learning to hate dock-leaves...
But ultimately, it's good to know that if all else fails, we can at least eat potatoes, onions and, er, marigolds. Not sure if they're a "foraging" food...
|It's madness inside our polytunnel! The squash monster is gradually taking over...|
|...beans growing madly upwards now they've run out of bamboo to climb on...|
|Although the carrots were devoured by rats, the marigolds have bravely taken their place and are flourishing!|
|And the curly kale and potatoes are still hanging in there...|