The Irish Celts had a deep respect for the land, water and forests around them. They believed our natural world was sacred, and treated their resources with a reverence similar to our modern concepts of limiting waste, and preserving and recycling every resource.
Interestingly, like most ancient peoples, they used animals not only for food, but also to make tools, clothing, and rugs which doubled as seating areas in their homes, even the ancient Celts had the same love of comfort as their modern counterparts! They were adept at animal husbandry, using cattle for transportation and to farm. Meat was salted and preserved, so there was no throwing away anything they couldn’t immediately eat. Every bit of food was used and if not used immediately, preserved for later. Mmmmm, jerky!
They farmed the surrounding lands, sometimes clearing parts of forests to create space to grow the grains they ate. As farmers, the Irish Celts were so successful they had to come up with a way to preserve excess for winter, they would dig a pit in the ground, and use it to
place grain in layers, so only the top layer fermented, while the other layers remained good for eating. The original grain silos!
They used the surrounding forests to hunt as well as gather fruit and herbs. Trees were a major part of the Celts spirituality, and were treated with special reverence. Although they would clear trees and deforest small areas, those areas were used to cultivate plants, and the felled trees were often used to build roads and for housing. Nothing usable escaped their attention, even rushes found by rivers were used for roofing as well as flooring, and even baskets and other common household items.
Celts were successful traders, trading jewelry, art, and salt. Salt, as we know, was a valuable resource worldwide, the Irish Celts mined it and traded it for other goods as well as using it for their own purposes as a preservative and seasoning. Perhaps this was the beginning of Irish cuisine?
Irish Celts were a resourceful group, finding ways of nurturing and sustaining the earth, treating it with reverence while still using it for survival.