Borrowed Earth

There is certainly a lot of wisdom to be found in some of the North American writings. This quotation seems particularly apt now –

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. – Native American Proverb

While the earth is our responsibility, we must do all we can to preserve it and keep it in good heart. This must surely mean avoiding burning fossil fuels, abandoning one-use plastics and if at all possible becoming vegan or at least eating less meat and dairy produce.

Michael Berkeley’s guest on Private Passions on Radio 3 this Sunday, was James Thornton – an environmental lawyer and ClientEarth founder.

ClientEarth is a charity – you can read more on their website; they are well worth supporting – see below

We are Europe’s pioneering environmental law charity. We take governments to court and win. We force polluting industries to shut down. We protect irreplaceable habitats and vulnerable species.

Now more than ever the planet needs protection. By choosing to support us you are changing the system – for good.

It’s over fifty years since I became vegetarian and twenty six since I became vegan. Back then, it was almost impossible to find much in the way of vegan produce in the supermarkets but now it’s very different. So, more people are gradually beginning to think that we’re not just cranks and that there might must be some good reason behind that choice.

The following poem is a version of one written when I was reading a vegan recipe and thinking of the appalling amount of wasted food which is thrown away every day. A hideous waste when we have so many families going to food banks and so many homeless on our streets.

Recipe

You will need one large onion diced

two garlic cloves finely chopped

two inches of fresh ginger peeled and grated

heat oil in a large saucepan

 

sauté for a couple of minutes

add the spices cumin, coriander and paprika

colours of autumn –  the leaves float

down onto frosted grass and paths

 

paving the streets with gold and brass

frost brings beauty but not to those

sleeping in doorways and on park benches

add lemongrass, cumin and coriander

 

take one or two chillies and finely slice

the chilly nights will bring death to some

peel and dice three sweet potatoes

add these chunks to the pan

 

fry and gently stir to coat with spices

for a couple of minutes add coconut milk

some shiver in thin clothes – no winter coats

leave to simmer gently until tender

 

left in the cold ignored by crowds

rushing from work to welcome warmth

make sure nothing sticks to the base of the pan

add oriental greens or spinach leaves

 

in woods soft mosses cushion fallen trunks

vivid greens against the bark and bracken

season with lime juice and salt then serve

on a generous pillow of  jasmine rice

 

pillows of leaves blown into doorways

gold, russet, soft yellows and brown

mix with empty food cartons and cans

serves four

 

 

 

 

Recipe – yet another version

 

One large onion diced,

two garlic cloves finely chopped,

two inches fresh ginger peeled and grated.

Heat oil in a saucepan, sauté for two minutes

add  spices cumin, turmeric

 

colours of autumn –  the leaves float

down onto frosted grass and paths,

pave the streets with gold and brass

for those who sleep in doorways, on benches.

Add  paprika, lemongrass, finely slice two chillies.

 

Chilly nights will bring death to some.

Peel and dice three sweet potatoes

add these to the pan, add coconut milk after

frying, gently stir to coat with spices

leave to simmer gently until tender .

 

No winter coats – they shiver in thin clothes,

left lying in the cold, ignored by crowds

rushing from work to home.

Make sure nothing sticks to the pan,

add oriental greens or spinach leaves –

 

vivid greens against the bark and bracken

soft mosses cushion fallen trunks in woods.

Season with lime juice and salt then serve

on a soft  pillow of jasmine rice.

Pillows of leaves blown into doorways

 

mix with empty cans, food cartons.

Serves four.

 

 

 

Author: annedunford

Now fulfilling my ten year old self's ambition to become a writer - it's taken many years and a long,long winding road to get here! After a lifetime spent teaching, making miniature ceramics, returning to teaching and training, I am now indulging in a lifelong ambition to write!

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