If you’re not familiar with Matt and Lentil, honestly, get familiar, as these two cuties are amongst the most inspiring people we’ve ever been privileged enough to meet. You can find out far more about them in their own lovely words here, but in brief, these two are contemporary crusaders for a life of simple pleasures, honest hard work, genuine relationships and a better, cleaner, more beautiful world. These guys are no dreamy hippies, they’re successful entrepreneurs, trailblazers, deep thinkers and action-takers, an incredible almost-untapped global resource, a fountain of practical knowledge, producers of wonderful things… and incredibly they’re also sweet, smart and charming. A lot to take in huh?!
We came away super inspired, eager to get dirt under our nails, clutching fistfuls of foraged greenery, Little Bird treats and bunches of wildflowers picked by Lentil and traded by us for everything from homemade cold cream and lemon cordial to feijoa jam and bunches of beets.
For young people especially, Matt and Lentil have an amazing amount to teach and share, but one of the things that impacted most strongly with me was the idea of trade that they instigate across almost every product and service they require in their lives, a new modern money-free marketplace.
“Trade is honest. There’s no better word for it. It connects you with your village, your people. And it creates relationships and conversations,” they say on Grown & Gathered.
From the smallish plot of land they live and work on in country Victoria they produce more than 500 varieties of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers – with many of the flowers contributing to particularly effective (and beautiful) trading via The Flower Exchange.
We got a taste of this on the day, and I wanted to share both the idea and some images of the wonderful locally-collected wildflowers with you. All the flowers were hand-picked by the pair, with Lentil identifying them as “a mix of proteas, wild carrot flowers, privet and some native foliage, which I’m not familiar with.”
“Privet is one of my favourites,” she told us, “as it has an amazing purple berry this time of year. It’s also considered a noxious weed, but I think it’s beautiful, and the more it’s utilised, the less it will ‘take over’.”
As long-established lovers of flowers, I feel like I’ve had my eyes opened to even more possibilities (though a good florist should be given much love also) for prettying up life, and can feel a wildflower obsession coming on…
How many of you are already trading and/or foraging or keen to do so? We’d love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Images by Aimee @ Hope & Organic