Drink Forests is an open book and video blog about creating botanical drinks & edible landscapes for health and wellbeing.
It is the beginning of a collaboratively edited encyclopedia to open source all the secrets, both old and new and contribute the widespread revival of plant drinks co-production and fermentation.
It's published by Old Tree, which is a growing collective of brewers, makers and gardeners learning together to innovate ways we can re-localise our food-system. Old Tree run a cafe, brewhouse and event space, as well as an educational ’drink forest’ garden, on the Lewes Road entrance to Brighton, UK.
Drink Forests has three main stems that it’s setting out to open-source all useful knowledge about. The first is brewing, the second is gardening (growing), and the third is the ground that joins them, which is Soil.
We plan to develop this to have a function like wikipedia, but with a focussed knowledge-share that reveals the forgotten depth, simplicity and important details in these fields. We hope that by making this knowledge as global as the internet that it can be an invaluable tool for people to make the most of all the benefits and healing gardens can bring.
This is an experiment in cultural revival that is part botanical; of plants and landscapes, and part fermentation; of living foods and beverages. By creating a platform for users all around the world to share knowledge through Drink Forests, we hope to be able to preserve knowledge and spread a healthier, more localised food and drink culture far and wide.
Its also envisioned that wit a rating system for posts on the site - the best practices, such as the most intelligent processes (for saving labour or capital), or the most delicious recipes, (for enhancing the enjoyment of plant ingredients) can rise to the top, and become the most replicated - saving huge amounts energy, time and potential material wastage.
The ultimate aim is to open source all ways we can harness the full power of biological diversity of both plants and micro-organisms, to contribute to earth repair, for human health and resilience.
Why? Called to action by the declining state of our natural world and inspired by the phenomenal variety of life forms we share the planet with… the mission is to open source all ways we can harness the full, (edible and useful) power of biological diversity, both of plants and micro-organisms, to contribute to earth repair, without which there is no hope for the future.
Our focus is on food and drink that can be gathered and prepared by hand with ‘human scale’ tools, from local landscapes. We see this as being key to restoring the health benefits of human food in an age of serious over processing and non-organic farming methods that have removed many nutrients (which are created from the microbial diversity of healthy soils) from our diets.
The answer to many human health problems is our broken and harmful relationship with the soil that grows our food. Composting all our organic waste (that we currently send to landfill on a mass scale) as locally as possible – we have the potential to create rich soils everywhere. Rich soils, combined with the appropriate education of how to raise productive gardens, save seeds and grow diverse plants well, provide the only decent answers to our global food, water and climate crises.
The goal is to create a botanical brewery and cafe network that uses gardens (and people power) instead of farms (and machine power) to source its ingredients. By rediscovering the some what lost or veiled art of fermentation and sharing it in the most accessible way.