Here are five things you could try, if you haven’t already, to expand your wild horizons. Non of them cost anything. They can all be done anywhere, possibly with the exception of deep Antartica… 1. Get outside. 2. Google one of your conventional ingredients. 3. Eat a flower. 4. Drink a weed. 5. Take a walk.
But first, why would you want to disrupt the status quo?
For us, foraging for The Botanist’s wild ingredients has opened up a whole new world. Once you realise that food and flavour are available outside of the standard system, and that you can provide for yourself, you start to see that system for the construct it is. You can get to know and appreciate plants independently and on a different level than just ornaments. And through plants, you can enter a renewed relationship with the natural world around you.
1. Get outside
As a species, we have not been universally brilliant at making beneficial environments for ourselves to inhabit. In all our centuries of congregating and creating cities, have we hit on a model of city design that is healthy for us, or sustainable? Do the interiors we’ve made to work in and live in uplift and optimise us? Whatever your opinion about that, an urban park or even an urban wasteland can always be a source of hope.
You have to hand it to plants, or perhaps to weeds specifically; they get everywhere, and they flourish. And just by living there, they make that place a better place, by pumping extra oxygen into it.
From a human to plant relationship point of view, green pigment is physically restful for your retinas – that’s why Victorian theatres had “green rooms” so that the performers’ eyes could rest from the searing “limelight.”
I recently took a 510 mile train journey, including a sleeper service, carrying a potted fern and a hellebore (don’t ask), but every time I looked at the living things on the table in front of me in that most unnatural of environments, I felt better. Calmer.
So If it is possible to get outdoors, wherever you are, and clap eyes on something green, or immerse yourself in it for a few minutes, you should do it. Remember you are an animal, part of the living world. Disconnection with the earth is disconnection with part of what you are.