Wednesday, October 20, 2010

River Cottage future

When we were in Devon in the summer, we stopped off in Axminster to visit Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's River Cottage Café. We arrived at 10am, there were very few people there, which gave me a chance to take some pics of the rustic eclectic interior. It has the feel of a church hall or old classroom, furnished with handmade tables and whatever wooden chairs that the local charity shop had:


The River Cottage series is one of the few things we make a point of watching on tv - the ethic and the aesthetic of what Hugh FW does captures a lot of how I grew up and of how we try to live as a family. However his vegetable patch is far more successful than ours... I also think that there are some markers in his work which show how those who seek to represent "the community" could work, or should work, especially within rural areas.

"...River Cottage is not a charity, but does aim to be a ‘more than profit’ organisation. This means, firstly, that we are ready to re–invest much of our income in developing our ideology and the base of our activities. It also means that we should be ready to hold back from, or turn down, business that conflicts with our ideology and our commitment to ethical business practice. Thirdly, we feel we should also be making links with, and finding ways to support, other organisations who share our ideas..." (from "About Us")

Perhaps our economic climate of cuts might cause us to stop and consider what "rich" really means - an ethic of local produce, sustainable living and homegrown austerity were things that our parents and grandparents treasured. In fact, they didn't actually treasure them at all, it was just how they lived. After all, "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."