Earth Beat, 21 October 2011. We head back to the land, to the simple life. But is it really that simple? From killing your own deer for meat and clothing, to growing things in a cramped slum, or foraging in the forest, we examine how to get the most out of the land around us, and what it takes.
Download as MP3 (right-click and 'save as')
Subscribe to podcast feed Subscribe in iTunes Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Eustace Conway has been living off the land for more than 30 years. He has built his own home, does all his own blacksmithing, makes all his own tools and medicines, doesn’t personally use electricity or running water, grows and hunts for his own food and makes his own clothes. And he has since he was 17. For nearly 20 years, including his college years, Eustace lived in a tepee in the Appalachian mountains, where he still lives today, and fended for himself. And it all began at a very early age. (photos below).
He speaks to host Marnie Chesterton about why it’s important to stay connected with the natural world.
Earth Beat producer Anik See, though no stranger to turning food into delicious things, has not fulfilled her foraging potential.
So she paid a visit to Michiel Bussink, a journalist who writes about wild food, in a village in eastern Holland, to see what she could harvest, in the hope she’d make something yummy for her colleagues in the office (photos below).
Before her divorce, Susan Gregory Thomas wanted for nothing.
She ordered organic food online, shopped in expensive delicatessens, and was able to offer her children an extremely healthy diet.
But when her fortunes changed and she found herself strapped for cash, Susan was forced to grow her own produce.
She tells Marnie why going back to the land wasn’t a choice, but the only way she could stick to her principles.
Not everyone rolls their sleeves up and works the land willingly.
From the age of four, Eric Osoro was expected to help out on the family farm.
He describes to Marnie the gruelling years he spent tending crops and animals, while studying for school by the light of a burning branch by night.
Through sheer hard work he managed to get himself a good job in Nairobi, but pressures to return to the farm are never far away.
The biggest slum in the world, Kibera, is within the city limits of Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
While people there would love to grow their own food, there just isn’t the land available.
Step forward Solidarités International, a group which is teaching locals how to grow their own garden, in a sack.
It’s basically, low-tech vertical gardening, as teacher Sam Walari explains to Marnie (more photos below).
Watch a video about The Kenya Sack Garden Project.
Finding brass amongst the muck
London’s roads might not be paved with gold, but British recycling giant Veolia says they may be strewn with other precious metals, which are emitted from catalytic converters in the city’s cars. Earth Beat producer Marijke Peters took a trip to the English capital to see the platinum literally being swept off the street.