Visiting a friend last year in the peak of the Australian summer, I was lucky to be staying a 15 minute walk from a fantastic indoor market for fruit and vegetables. Tropical fruits were mixed in with Vietnamese and other Asian groceries, and near closing time the fruit sellers would discount their fruit and tout it loudly.
It was mango season, and I’m a mango fan, so when I saw a shop had 5 different kinds of mangoes on sale, with samples, they had my attention. That included some small, soft, wrinkled mangoes – I assumed they’d have that sour, unpleasant, overripe taste – but out of curiosity, I tried the sample.
In an instant, like the food critic in the animated film Ratatouille, I was transported back to my childhood. This was the same fantastic, indescribable flavor, better and more real than any mango I’d had in years. As a child I loved my mangoes squishy ripe, and now I realized why: that’s how this variety is meant to be eaten. I piled several kilos into the bags I’d brought with me, and enjoyed them over the next few days.
I was lucky that summer. You don’t often get surprised by fruit in your average supermarket, or overwhelmed by choice, and you don’t generally get ugly, wrinkled fruit, even if they taste better. But if you have an excellent market near you, or you have your own tree, vegetable patch & fruit-producing shrubs, and especially if you trade produce with someone else who does, you can be lucky, and get a taste of abundance.
What inspires me about Appropedia is not just that it supports renewable energy, permaculture, healthy soils, clean water for all – though those things do inspire me. But it’s more – Appropedians share a vision of abundance with people around the world, with hard-nosed science and engineering types working on sustainability, along with Transitioners, permaculture devotees, and people of all different cultures and philosophies. We know that a low-carbon economy could be a better and richer economy in the ways that matter, and we’re finding ways to help create it.
Sharing our knowledge and wisdom about how we’re creating abundance is one of the ways that we bring it about.
To explore this idea of knowledge sharing and a better world, over the next few months we’ll be having guest posts from leaders of online communities. Tomorrow: the OECD project, WikiProgress.
Image by me (CC-by license). This is a very different mango, which I bought from the roadside in Northern Malaysia in 2007. Green with pale flesh, it was another wonderful surprise – absolutely delicious.