Imagine you are studying at a Food + Gardening + Self-sufficiency school (nice thought!). Your homework assignment for today is:
"You are marooned on an unpopulated island in the middle of nowhere (assume the presence of fresh water and fertile soil). If you could have one food item, one plant/packet of seed, and one self-sufficiency tool/object delivered to you right now, what would these items be? Describe and justify your choices. Time allowed: 30 minutes. Marks available: 20."
Here is my answer.
My chosen food item would be a pack of dried beans, e.g. Borlotti.
|Photo from 2010
I would like the beans because they would provide me with a reasonable amount of protein and fibre, and could easily be cooked simply with water. Furthermore, I could save some of the beans for planting. If some of the beans did germinate and grow, I could save seeds from them in turn, thus hopefully providing me with an ongoing supply of food
My chosen plant/seed packet would be the biggest pack of tomato seeds available - e.g. from Seeds of Italy, whose packs are well-known for their generous quantities! The fruits of the tomato plants that I would grow from these seeds would combine nicely with the beans (see above). I would choose if possible a pack of mixed varieties, which would provide me with morale-boosting visual and taste variety.
|Photo from 2010
My chosen self-sufficiency item would be large and durable knife, which would help me to make some further tools (assuming wood to be available), and it would also help me with food-preparation, and possibly (before I had the chance to make other tools) it would serve as a garden-cultivation implement. Furthermore, this knife could also if necessary be used as a weapon or for killing food animals - if there any on my island.
Arrrgh, the thought of using my best 8" Henkel as a trowel...!
So those are MY choices (at present. I'll probably change my mind tomorrow. I'm just wondering whether a mobile phone counts as a self-sufficiency item these days!) Would anyone else care to tell me (in a comment) what THEY would chose?