After a year of absence in which my ‘turf’ moved from Chalford to Stroud/Slad valley I have been persuaded to reinstate my Edible Landscape series of walks in and around my new patch.
We will be starting on Sunday 27th April with Exotics and Natives, an Urban forage in and around the lesser-known footpaths and back lanes of Stroud.
As well as seeking out the wild in the domesticated, we will be discovering some of the overlooked edibles of our local parks and gardens.
Time:, starting at 10.30 am .Walks last approx. 2 hours
Meeting at: Park Gardens, bottom of Slad road
Cost: see note below
To book on line click here
Notes on a new pricing system
From March 2011 to December 2012 I ran two edible Landscape walks a month (mostly). The price I charged was £5 a person. Many said this was very reasonable, indeed positively cheap. – but I decided on this price because whilst I was hoping to get a reasonable hourly return for the work and experience I put into these events I also did not want them to the entirely the preserve of the financially solvent .
Even so, I still find the process of charging people to experience nature problematic. The deeply critical might even go as far as saying these events represent the commodification of the commons.
Then again living in a capitalist society one needs to raise capital in order to survive within it. And as Edible Landscape has neither private nor public funding and I do not have a permanent job in the city, or elsewhere, some capital needs to be raised in my many and varied ‘portfolio’ career.
The tried and tested model of course is to sell ones labour. And the great thing about money and the exchange contract is it’s simplicity – we all understand the game. I tell you the price, you pay the money, or not (that’s the wonderful power of consumer choice, sir/madam).
But Edible Landscape has always been about more than a guided walk led by a professional. So I decided to take all the problematics of labour, capital, nature and exchange and share them with you, the customer/ participant/ collaborator.
So for the new season of Edible Landscape walks I am trying an experiment in exchange where I do not set a price for my labour. Instead I will be inviting participants to pay as much or as little as they like – what they can afford, or what they think its worth.
It may be a financially risky strategy for me, but I’m hoping that mutually beneficial arrangements will be negotiated. Along the way, as well as sampling the gratuitous bounty of the Commons, we might also explore the some of the murky back woods of labour, exchange and natural capital.