I live in a kitchen. Well, a cottage really, that was once a working kitchen – an adjunct to a country homestead; an external structure which housed the wood-burning stoves that kept the farmers nourished and warm. Today, I chop trees myself, for heat. Our electricity is solar, the water is bored, the compost bins on the track to the vegetable patch. (I’ve had zero luck with pumpkins, but a distant neighbour excels at them – so we exchange my chillies for his squash.) The fresh water pond is a swan dive from my back door, the garden predominantly native. Coffee grounds become fertiliser, recycling is systemic, foods kept fresh in a meshed meat safe dating from the middle of last century.
In many ways, my ‘kitchen cottage’ seems to resemble a blueprint for the kitchen of the future.
And yet, no Proustian madeleines are being baked at my place. Moving to an outback ranch was not a retreat to a cabin in the woods, nor a quest for Plato’s cave – more a search for a more integral way of being. Coincidentally, it’s a way of being that is increasingly getting a grip on the culture. If it’s a return to the source, it’s no nostalgic mission: It’s more about a vivid awareness of a new ecology and economy, a desire for authenticity, integrity and responsibility…
To read the full article, pick up a copy of the Kitchen and Bathroom special issue of Habitus magazine.