The first day of the programme saw an early start with Herb collection with Rascha. Rascha identified 5 herbs growing in the feild around Uelenspieghel camp site and asked 5 collectors to go and find these. In the cold morning dew, Nature was shining and offering her healing plants for those who had eyes to see and hands to pick. The herbs were washed and blended into the first smoothie of the week with pear, water and banana. It seemed an incongruous mix-the local and fresh mystical herbs with the the global banana pear from who knows where.
After breakfast the first session was facilitated by Monique as a welcome and run through of the programme and surroundings. The idea of the talking stick was introduced as a tool to share learning, thoughts, insights and actually community empowerment. Some learners were new to this method and others well versed in it. But as a tool, it ensures that everyone present has the opportunity to talk about what is going on for them, to share-their thoughts, ideas, inspiration, frustration. It allows to an ordered method to ensure equal representation and it could be introduced in every school around the globe on a daily basis to give children the idea early on that their voice will be heard, is important and is valued. Imagine the order in classrooms when you remove the competitive edge to be heard-where only the loudest get heard.
The day continued with a very interesting exploration of plant phemonology with Belinda once again. Belinda had each participant represent themselves as a flower or plant as a way to understand ourselves and how we are in community better.
The pictures represented how we are rooted, how we conduct energy, how we relate to others and how we are in the world. The pictures were later gathered by Gabo who created a food landscape picture as she matched up the pictures and people were photographed near to their work.
Tuesday also saw a workshop with Lydia on Diet and Landscapes-the learning tool was to to use illustrations to delegates how their present food landscapes looks. The pictures people could choose from ranged from industrial meat plants and battery farms to forests and tropical plantations. It was a very interesting exercise to bring into awareness how we are responsible for contributing to food landscapes by our actions. The particular group of learners were largely in agreement that the way they actually eat is not the way they would eat in an ideal world. In an ideal world we could all forage from the wild-but there are too many people and too little of forests left in Europe to make this a reality. So the question is how do we progress and contribute to our food landscape? Local food markets were agreed on by all as the key activity to ensure we are supporting the small local organic producers to protect our local food eco-systems.
A project on food has to include food preparation so into the kitchen for raw food preparation with Rascha, Agi and Terra to show the use of hand tools in raw food preparation. This was of particular interest to those who were being introduced to whole idea of eating more raw foods for the first time.