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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Garbage for Dinner - English

This I posted on the good old bonsaitalk when it was the most active forum in the world. This thread got a real lot of traffic and comments.

I am not so much on cooking forums and don't really know what 's going on there. Is it often that one of the cooking pundits is presented this?: "I went through the municipal garbage cans recently and have accumulated a lot of things which possibly could make a good meal. I have invited my boss and his wife for dinner tonight and ask you, Pundit of Cooking, to give me your best advice how to arrange a wonderful dinner with what I have." I would love to read the answers! Cynical? Well, it happens every day in bonsai. For some reason quite a few people think that the art of bonsai consists of making a masterpiece out of garbage. The reality is this: the art of bonsai consists in learning how to judge and select the best possible material first of all. Sometimes this can even come from the garbage can, but then it is still good material which the master can tell very quickly. If a beginner tries his luck with garbage, he will invariably fail. Why is it that people save 20 US$ on buying decent material and then spend hours and hours on their most pathetic stock? If one has an honest job it should be possible to receive from 10 to 50 and often much more per hour of work. How long does one work on a bonsai over the years? 10 hours? 100 hours. Well here is my simple equation: take the number of hours that you think you will work on that material in the future, multiply it by your hourly rate. The result is a sensible sum to spend on raw material to spend your time in a useful manner. I spend the most time, effort and money on getting the right kind of material. The very best is just about good enough. And then people ask me what to do with what they saved from the garbage can - and want a polite answer on top of that!! This goes beyond the reasons for political correctness for me. Somebody's got to tell them. I do!

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