If there’s one thing we at They Knew They Were Pilgrims love almost as much as our Plymouth Primary Sources, it’s jumping on the most recently trending bandwagons and relating it to our seventeenth-century existence. We’ve made internet memes, Plimoth-Westeros comparisons, commentated on current events and weather events. If you’ve been anywhere near the internet recently, and presumably you have, you cannot possibly have avoided the phenomenon that is The List. You know what I mean. Posts* entitled “13 Ways That Henry Ainsworth Can Change Your Life”, “72 Adorable Pictures Of Native Corn That Will Bring Tears To Your Eyes”, or “265 Reasons Everyone Needs A Fake Husband” are taking over our news-feeds and sucking up our free time.
*These are all fictional titles, but who could not wish they existed for reals?
As if you needed any more proof that we are “down with the kids” (and this time, I don’t mean baby goats), here goes.
They Knew They Were Pilgrims presents:
1) Retro Fashion
Introducing…The Hipster Pilgrim:
O how he doth looketh down his nostrils at he who weareth ye olde-fashioned slopps. Verily, the Hipster Pilgrim, in his skinny breeches and ironic doublet, bringeth retro to its logical conclusion. All of our clothes are handmade from natural fibres, some of our knitted items are even made with hand-spun wool from an historic breed of sheep. If that’s not seriously swag, I don’t know what is.
2) Historic Spellinge
Embracing the true nature of hipness and postmodern thought, in 1627, what is correct spelling to you is not necessarily (that’s one coffee, two sugars) correct spelling to me. The way I see it, it’s a seventeenth-century man’s way of saying YOLO. Who needs to worry about spelling when there’s an ale-house to keep? Therefore, this:
That is Master Bradford himself, introducing his journal, Of Plymouth Plantation. He says in his own, not so simple, spelling:
And first of ye occa
tsion, and indusments ther unto; the which that I may truly unfould, I must begine at ye very roote, & rise of the same. The which I shall endevor to manefest in a plaine stile; with singuler regard unto the simple trueth in all things, at least as farrnear as my slender judgmente can attaine the same.
Right. Ermm..I mean, Right On!
3) Burning Wood
As it turns out, heating and cooking over a wood fire is where it’s at, yo. Done responsibly, it’s a sustainable fuel source, and cooking like it’s 1627 adds incredible flavour to your food that can’t be simulated. Moreover, every hipster with a back yard homestead wants a wood fired oven. We do our fair share of splitting and storing firewood in the English Village, and our sources tell us that the original settlers did too:
So, being both weary and faint, for we had eaten nothing all that day: we fell to make our rendezvous; and get firewood, which always cost us a great deal of labour.
Our greatest labour will be the fetching of our wood, which is half a quarter of an English mile: but there is enough, so far off.
- Mourt’s Relation
4) Environmental Friendly Building Methods
Utilising low-impact materials, getting back to basics by using hand tools and living in a structure that is smaller than our society insists you need are bang on trend. As we find in Mourt’s Relation, the colonists quickly realised the value of what they had here in New England, writing “there is much good timber: both oak, walnut tree, fir, beech, and exceeding great chestnut trees.” By December 23rd, 1620, they had already begun working some of that wood:
…so many of us as could, went on shore, felled and carried timber, to provide themselves stuff for building…Monday, the 25th day, we went on shore, some to fell timber, some to saw, some to rive, and some to carry.”
There’s something quite profound about the idea that these houses, one day, could simply biodegrade and become the earth which gives us more trees in order to build more houses. It’s the circle of life. If you are concerned about your carbon footprint, living in a sustainably harvested timber-framed home is the way to go. Furthermore, the stuff our artisans get up to is downright awesome and should be celebrated.
5) Off-Grid Living
1627 Plymouth is lit by candles made from renewable sources (beeswax or tallow). History was the original inventor of composting toilets (aka a dung heap). The water comes from “a very sweet brook [that] runs under the hill side, and many delicate springs of as good water as can be drunk” (Mourt’s, again). What more can you possibly need?
6) Non-GMO Corn
If you’re a follower of the organic food movement, you know what I mean by this. Everyone and their mum wants to eat pesticide-free veggies and drink milk from grass-fed cows. Moreover, these foodies agree that the only food that should contain corn is corn itself, and if at all possible, that corn should not be genetically engineered.
Not only is the native corn untampered with scientifically, it’s grown completely organically. Every year, in the spring time, the herring run up the brook to spawn. And every year, in the spring, the herring was taken from the brook and used as fertiliser.
Isaac de Rasiere, a visitor to Plymouth in 1627 describes the process:
…and they draw out the fish with baskets, each according to the land he cultivates, and carry them to it, depositing in each hill three or four fishes, and in these they plant their maize which grows as luxuriantly therein as though it were the best manure in the world.
We bemesten de grond met haring, Meneer de Rasiere!
It’s hip to be hatted. ‘Nough said.
It’s 1627 again!
Tags: bad spelling, composting toilet, corn, earth fast, GMO, grass-fed, hats, hipster, irony, low-impact, off-grid, organic, renewable power, sustainable living, timber frame, tiny house, wood fire, zero carbon footprint