Organic India invited us to India and I was so incredibly grateful and bewildered by the whole experience. I learned about Wildcrafting, Ayurveda, Organic Farming, and most importantly I made life-long friends in the process.
Wildcrafting, ever heard of it? It’s like foraging with a conscience. You are careful how you harvest, you replace what you take in some instances, remove invasive species and replant native species. It is now called “Regenerative Agriculture” because when done well the forests, mountains, and habitats regenerate and thrive.
This has multiple benefits for us all but there are medicinal herbs and plants that grow in specific places throughout the world where in some cases only tribes exist today. If these tribes can continue and/or be trained to harvest this way and then sell that bounty to a global market, which would pay far more than the local markets can bear, they would have the choice of staying within the tribe in an economically viable way. Put simply, they could stay a tribe if they like.
A story from India:
I was walking outside the city of Lucknow, India just randomly taking pictures when I came across this cow.
I got pretty close to her, and she seemed to get mad at me, so I gently walked off.
When I was about a block away, I heard from behind me, galloping hooves on a cobbled road.
Just then I noticed to my immediate right a group of working men staring with horror, and some with delight, at something behind me.
I turned around – yep, my brain and auditory perception were right – that damn cow (sure looked like a bull from that angle) was running straight at me.
It was such a zen moment, I wasn’t afraid or even confused as to what to do. I simply put up my hand and shook my head “No”, American-style (Looking back, I wish I would have Indian-waggled.)
The cow stopped so fast she skidded… and ended up about 6 feet shy of me
We stared at each other for a few seconds and in that moment, and without words, I offered her my respect and apologies if I offended. After a few moments, I turned and walked away, never looking back.
I wonder what the workers thought… I never looked to see.
~Topi Wallah (What the Indians called me. Hat Man.)