Alone we Rot, Together we Ferment is the slogan of Iggy’s Live and Cultured – an inspirational brewhouse and fermented foods enterprise in the Salish Sea.
These are some words for a brewing revival culture. A forest tribe called the Baka have this as their maxim: “The world is abundant with plenty for everyone, scarcity is caused by people who have forgotten how to share”. It is from this place we brew. For to brew is an ancient process, not restricted to the brewing of beer. To brew is to harvest and infuse, to steep and to simmer, to decoct and to blend. It is the art form extracting the power of plants in water, and the production of drink that we can consume, for our bodies and for our enjoyment.
When brewing is practiced, the realisation of plenty creates stronger social relationships. When there is loads to go round, loads goes round. And when there is loads to go round new circles are created. New circles create new collaborations. Friendships gain currency and scarcity and waste are reduced when people build capacity to grow and produce together. Abundance is created when people take brewing and gardening back into their hands.
Alone we Rot, Together we Ferment.
Like Apples scattered about the earth, we can either be consumed by the forces of nature or pull ourselves together and make nutritious foods and drinks, (precious juice, cyder and vinegar)!
The human body contains approximately 37 trillion human cells – a huge but tiny number compared to the number of bacterial cells we co-exist with – coming in over the hundreds of trillions. These bacterial cells that make up so much of our bodies are known as our microbiota or micro biome.
A healthy microbiota helps our bodies: digest food, produce vitamins and essential amino acids, influence fats and glucose metabolism, help maintain normal body weight, regulate energy levels , reduce inflammation, neutralise carcinogens and build a healthier immune system. Its now thought that the microbiota might even effect our behaviour and cognitive functions such as learning and memory.
As within so without. In studies of bacterial life both in the human body and in our agricultural soils theres been observation that greater microbial diversity results in increased stability, nutrient cycling, disease resistance and resilience.
However modern we may feel, our biology is ancient. As the weight of the bacteria in our stomach alone is approximately 1KG, the same weight as our brains, and as 1/10th of our bodies(bacteria are continuous in the soil, we can say that: –
"Bacteria keep both our human bodies and our Earth's body alive and continuous." – Pheobe Tickell, Microbial Sceintist (These two sentences are quotes by the co-founder of the Future Farm Lab project).
In the age of Industrial food, where bacteria are nuked out of existence to give many of the products we buy as food shelf life, and when our most popular food and drinks are crammed with sugar water or pasteurised for higher profit margins, and when we are all consuming largely dead foods.. brewing can make us more alive.
To brew is to be connected to the seasons and to a wider web relationships. To make the most of the earth’s fruits that are produced in abundance by the power of sun, rain and insects alone, each year. It is to expand your sense of self, what you identify with, to the whole of life.
Fermentation and gardening can give us a better relationship with our own bodies, with the people around us, with the soil and water that feeds us and with plants that can surround and nourish us.
The culture of Remembering How to Brew.
It is this culture that we will share freely, as it is only through the sharing of knowledge that our culture will evolve. As our brewing and gardening histories are so rich, this evolution is to remember: to remember how to be gardeners – how to forage, harvest, prepare and ferment – the abundance of our living landscapes. We do not need to rewrite cultural history as much as to revive and share it.
We need to open-source this culture, because the faster it spreads the faster it can heal the damage being caused. We need resource sharing networks of small-scale producers for all forms of resilience.
When our biosphere is dying, and we depend on its health for ours, we need to displace the destructive culture for one that can help it self heal. This culture starts with reclaiming our food and drink systems by growing and producing locally for as many of our primary needs as possible. Every human being on Earth deserves the means to access healthy food and drink, as every organism deserves an uncontaminated environment to feed from.
As our stomachs share bacteria with soil, we can feed ourselves in the future. As the branches of an Oak tree are in an Acorn, we can can create a culture that sustains life.
From this place, we invite the world to brew.
Join our mailing list or follow our blog for the launch of our brewing and plant drink revival WIKI in 2017.