Buying Decisions Shape Supermarket Offers. Those can Shape Landscapes

Doing something by hand can change a lot. Buying something handmade out of conviction can do the same. It changes - or has already changed - the way we think. Especially when it comes to our food. What do we buy? Who made it? What can we perhaps grow ourselves? How do our actions and decisions change, first ourselves, then our purchases, then the landscape?

The Influence of the Handmade on How the World Around us Looks like

Our Daily Dose of Democracy. Some say that even in democratic societies the opportunities to partake in the decision making process are limited. What we forget is that we do have the power of co-determination. And we do have it several times a day: in our purchasing decisions.

We Decide How the World is Shaped with our Consumer Preferences 

If one buys industrially made white bread, (see our article on sourdough) one shouldn’t be surprised if there are huge wheat fields stretching to the horizon without a tree or shrub in between. Those who let themselves be guided by price rather than taste when buying food should not be surprised if this has consequences somewhere in the world — or even in our regions’ landscapes.

You know that, dear reader, and it’s not written here because it’s supposed to make you feel bad. But because there is always at least one alternative. Through our research and curation for the books in the Makers Bible series, we want to provide alternatives and inspiration.

For example, to inspire to take a little more time on our food and nutrition. Hunting and gathering used to fill the days of mankind — a very long time ago. Today we order food and meals online. Something has gone missing in between. 

Whether gardening fresh herbs on the balcony; foraging mushrooms, wild herbs or berries from the woods and meadows; a fresh fish from the neighbouring fish farm or – lucky and patient you, even fished by yourself – or even seasonal fruit and vegetables from your own garden: What we harvest or bring home from nature ourselves, we can trust. The enjoyment of these products is doubled if we have done something for them ourselves! The investment is time.

If you have any doubts about that fish, talk to the fish farmer. There is expert advice for food from forests and meadows, by real people. There is always someone experienced and wise in the know about mushrooms or herbs. You are never alone — if you care to talk.

Those who cannot donate the time or patience to care that much can still tend to the regional shelves in local supermarkets. It is a start. Checking out the producers eventually, is another small step. (just google the producer’s address — and one day do your dog-walk around their greenhouses or show the kids where the food is coming from).

In our books we also provide references by having added QR codes that direct the readers to the source. In our latest book on Crafting Cuisine we have identified and recommended seeds, sprouts and even cultivated mushrooms, which can be ordered on the World Wide Web. Just to get you started.

“I’ve grown a thing!” — Popular Streaming Formats ‘edutain’ also 

“I’ve grown a thing!” cries Jermey Clarckson (by pulling out a potato off the ground) towards the end of season 1 of Amazon Prime’s series “Clarksons Farm”. This series lets us participate in the economic and agricultural activities — and struggles — of a large, but still family-run farm. 

Decisions made at the beginning of the year only prove to be right or wrong at the end of the season. But also: Subsidy systems (in the EU, likewise the UK) suggest a tendency towards a few varieties in large quantities, which is synonymous with large fields. The result: Large farms with large fields benefit the most. The consequence: monocultures. And also: field boundaries consisting of bushes, trees and streams are rather rare because they are in the way of the large tractors. And so it is obvious why there are fewer beneficial insects, but also birds and small rodents. But more pesticides.

A Mind Changer: “There Used to be More Insects

Clarckson’s farm is somewhere between conventional and organic. At one point, he drives his car across the countryside beside his fields and realises that his car’s windscreen would have been full of dead insects, if he were to drive the same road, say, twenty years ago. Not any more. The insects no longer exist. Another thing influenced by our own buying patterns, if you think of it.

A look at South Tyrol – Logical Thinking Leads Back to the Roots

During the research for our South Tyrol book, we met many remarkable people. People who read the signs of nature in a similar way to Clarkson in the Cotswolds in central England. South Tyrol’s long-term problem will be its monocultures. One person who has recognised this is Karl Perfler from Vinschgau, whom everyone in the valley calls the philosopher. A man, probably around 70, with attitude and strong opinions.

From his castle Tschenglsburg in the rear Vinschgau valley, Karl looked down worryingly. Monocultures and the ever-faster-ever-more-profit mentality led him to realise: The corn has been forgotten for all the apples.

He was the first to realise this and so Karl started an initiative to grow diverse grains in South Tyrol again – the basic ingredient for the most important food of all, no, not pasta (but also), but bread. Vinschgerl and Schüttelbrot were no longer made with local grain, but with grain imported from overseas. Thanks to Karl Perfler’s persuasive efforts, this is changing again in some places.

Another example: Until the end of the last millennium, the Luggin family farm in Laas in the Vinschgau was still a conventional fruit farm, mainly with large apple orchards. It is said that a conventional South Tyrolean co-operative apple tree sees the pesticide spray jets six to nine times annually. Out of concern for nature and its diversity – and the grandchildren playing on the farm – they switched to organic farming in 1999. Their apples were no longer destined for the apple co-operative. The Luggin family decided to process, refine and market their apples, pears, apricots and strawberries themselves at Kandlwaalhof’ farm shop. Mustard was added a short time later. And as mustard only grows two years in a row, maize was also added in between mustard years — their popcorn is divine, by the way.

The winyards of eco-pioneer Alois Lageder is another story. First the century old winyards were turned into eco-wine, when this was achieved the Lageders went one step further, or better: backwards. The turned the winyard into a farm. They planted a far more diverse array of fruits, laid out a vegetable garden, enlarged their gastronomic farm to table offerings and let beasts of burden graze among their wine stock for natural fertilisation — and to increase the beneficial flora and fauna. Read that story here.    

In our books, we are looking for these people, makers, who have taken a level-headed approach and are satisfied with a little less market share. They offer inspiration on a small and large scale by taking things into their own hands.

An interest for Tools — An Eye for Details and Slowness — A shift of Value 

Inspired by those, spare time gardeners, especially at the beginning, will start noticing things during growing and harvesting and even experience a shift of values. First of all, an interest and passion for garden tools, handmade ones, preferably. Garden scissors replace any stress ball. One may marvel how long an own-grown courgette lasts at room temperature without refrigeration in comparison to the supermarket ones. How carefully you look after earthworms when digging. That horse manure and autumn leaves – the so-called gardener’s gold – are something to which value is attached all by a sudden. That a bumblebee is twice as efficient and hard-working as its relative, the bee! (both are welcome though!)

With this in mind, simply start gardening! Anyone can! On the windowsill or balcony. Get involved in a communal gardening project, lease an allotment or finally turn the sealed rock garden in front of the house or the backyard into a bed, it may be done on the company premises, on the roof or simply approach the single pensioner with the front garden two streets away. Where there’s a will, there’s a garden. Become a maker. It’s worth it. And, it will have an influence on what you buy and on how your surroundings are going to like.

one of nearbees team bees — watching bees is mind cleansing

We are always interested to hear / read from you. Mail: info@makersbible.com

Want to know more about Crafing Cuisine? Check out their website:

JOURNAL. What you might want to know…

Typical sourdough pockets

The Revival of Sourdough — Sparking new Thoughts on Agriculture

Every sourdough – that culture of lactic acid bacteria and yeast in a mixture of flour and water – is unique, like a fingerprint, because in every region there are individual bacteria in the air that give each loaf its very own flavour. One person who knows more about the infinite variety of sourdough cultures than most – whose culture is culture, so to speak – is the Belgian Karl De Smedt, keeper and archivist of Europe’s only sourdough library.

Read More »
Julius Brantner Brothandwerk Makers Bible

The Simple & Honest Principles of Julius Brantner

It’s virtually impossible to miss Julius Brantner Brothandwerk if you’re a fan of baked goods and find yourself in Munich. The charming Swabian baker has recently opened his second location, the first being such a success. With his team working transparently behind large glass windows, Julius strives to make “honest and trustworthy handling of all ingredients and processes accessible,” he says. Unsurprisingly, locals and tourists flock to the shopfront to sample their aromatic bread and delectable treats.

Read More »

SHOP. Our latest releases….

Original price was: 126,00 €.Current price is: 90,00 €.

39,00 

FINDER. Find your maker…

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