George Smithwick Lost Trades Fair

Lost trades

I’m in Kyneton with 16,000 others this weekend to see the Lost Trades Fair. The Labour Weekend event has become so popular they’ve capped the numbers this year.

Spread around the Kyneton Racecourse on the banks of the Campaspe River is a world made by hand.  People’s intimate lives with clay, wood, flax, wool, leather, bees wax, steel, stone & glass are out on show.

The clack a loom, the rhythm of a foot driven lathe, the smell of the forge has a deep familiarity.  Even the trades themselves linger on in our family names; carving, weaving, turning, dyeing, milling, fletching, smithing, coopering….

I stand in crowd six or seven deep around cooper, George Smithwick (that’s him above), as he makes a wooden bucket.

It’s such an everyday item; something we’d pick up from Bunnings via an anonymous plastics factory in Guangdong without a moment’s thought.

But here we all are transfixed, witnessing a man making a bucket.

And I find myself willing to swap every plastic bucket I’d ever owned for a wooden one made by George. Something I could pass onto my sons one day – our cherished family bucket.

It’s estimated that the wealthiest ten percent of the earth’s population (read us) produce about 50 percent of the emissions that are wreaking havoc with our climate.

I think all of us know that if we are to get through this disconnected era somehow we have to transform ourselves.

Why else are we drawn in ever increasing numbers to events like The Lost Trades Fair?  Why else Permablitzes, Food Swaps, Good Karma Networks? What else could explain wooden spoon carving festivals?

Learning how to make wooden buckets again may not save our planet, though it could replace the plastic Bunnings versions.  However, it may play a part in the rewiring of our brains that we are so desperately seeking.

The Lost Trades Fair also holds a range of hands-on workshops throughout the year

CERES too teaches all kinds of grounding things such as on gardening, beekeeping, preserving, cheese-making, tanning, weaving.

And if you have an unexplained desire to carve wooden spoons – there is an emergent wooden spoon carving movement. Yes, it is a thing and no, you’re not alone.

No box left behind

One of the biggest things you can do to contribute the sustainability of our food system is send your cardboard boxes, your eskies and your frozen water bottles back to us for reuse or recycling.

The stuff your stuff is packed in is one of the most energy intensive (more energy than it took to deliver your food – true!)

We use as little packaging as possible and reuse as much as we can – the large polystyrene eskies for example are recycled broccoli boxes.  Those frozen water bottles that keep our fridge items cool are reused as many times as you send them back.

Our average return rate for boxes and eskies is around 60% but we know we can do a lot better.  So please help us get to our return rate up to 100%.

All you have to do is leave your cardboard boxes, eskies and iced water bottles out for collection where your order is dropped off.

Have a great week

Chris

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