But before I say good bye, I'd like to share some happy surprises I've come across in the past few months..
Here is the first: People in England enjoy Japanese insects!
So how did this happen?
When Becca and I visited Japan in May to give presentations on insects, nutrition and sustainability, were given a very generous 3kg of edible insects by Mr Tsukuhara. Becca had the great idea of using these to share information about insects as food at a local festival - Tandem festival. Becca is a political economist, and she also recruited Annie, a psychologist, so we were a three-person team. Here are their accounts of the event: Grub's Up (Annie) and Look Down (Becca)
The workshop sparked a lot of discussion...
This time, though, we’re hoping to reach thousands of people! We have some core funding and we’ll be holding an insect picnic in Einstein’s Garden, under the grandiose banner of ‘Bug Banquet’ (I love this name, because it’s so true. In many places in the world, insects are festival foods, seasonal delicacies for special occasions.)
We have initial funding, but in order to really make an impact, we need a little more… so please do visit our kickstarter page if you’re feeling generous, and if this is something you’d like to support. We’re running this on a not-for-profit basis, and our aim is to get people discussing, thinking about and enjoying edible insects.
Anyway. On to my second topic for this post... Honeybees!
My biggest surprise, though, came from the style of hive:
Which brings me to my third ‘meeting of worlds’.. Foraging.
And this is a crayfish trap!
Anyway, using this ingenious invention (it’s Shoji’s and I think he should patent it, it worked so well) and some fishguts, free of charge from Hayman’s fisheries in the Oxford covered market, Shoji and I caught 8 little crayfish in a single evening - all in a part of the river Isis that I've swum in and rowed on, countless times, without ever thinking about the animals beneath me!
I’ve enjoyed finding out that familiar worlds can meet in unexpected ways on home turf, but I’m leaving now for a little while, and looking forward to learning new things in unknown places.
When I come back, though, I do hope that in my ‘back garden’, these very well-known berries will be ripe for the picking..