Field Notes Volume 3 | Number 6 July 6th, 2015
Food Creativity and Togetherness
by Athena Freedlander
Happy 4th of July, everyone! Sky and I were talking after dinner tonight about food. We talk about food all the time, naturally, with our lives centering around it not only as the stuff that fuels our bodies, but the stuff that sustains our livelihoods- his in agriculture and mine in the restaurant industry. After an uplifting and energizing Sunday at the Bridgeport Farmers Market, I had a lot to say tonight about the ability of food to creatively engage and bring people together. Sky suggested that I write the field notes this week. So here I am, and here it goes…
Today I saw people being creatively inspired by food everywhere. I saw kids rushing towards brightly colored vegetables and creating little Â‘rainbowÂ’ salads at the POP tent. I saw chefs making chilled beet soup that glowed with such a rich magenta, that it seemed it would glow in the dark. The soup was finished with smoked goat cheese and poblano jam, which brought an unexpected splash of white and green, something Jackson Pollack might have eaten. I saw SkyÂ ?????????????carefully setting up the Harmony Farm tables with a keen eye for color and texture- bright yellow squash, smooth and shiny, piled high next to copious bunches of gentle green lacinato kale, with its broad, supple leaves laced with dark purple. A stack of carrot bunches in the middle obviously drew many admirers- they were amongst the first things to sell out! Carrots are such expressive vegetables! With those bright green, abundant, lacy tops (make them into a pesto!) and vibrant orange bodies that remind me of lightning bolts sometimes, or dancerÂ’s legs, or tree roots, or a network of rivers or veins- nature gives us patterns and ways to see things differently all the time, if we stay open to it.
The people at the farmers market were all participating in a creative celebration, whether they were conscious of it or not. There was an intricately interwoven shared celebration of food and life happening all day. From the kids coming to build something full of color and learn a bit about nutrition at the POP Club, to the farmersÂ’ harvests and farm stands, displaying their flavorful bounty, inspiring the way people cook at their homes or restaurants. Everyone was smiling and engaged with their surroundings and with each other all day. The chefs chatted with farmers, and parents chatted with the chefs, while the kids chatted with everyone andÂ looked curiously at the bright pink beet soup.
Today was wonderful. It can get discouraging sometimes when I read too much about our broken food system, or the state of our health as a nation, but seeing all these people from our community today coming together and celebrating reminded me of what is at the heart of our relationship with food. It is union. It is the stuff that nourishes not only our bodies, but binds our creative souls. It is the stuff that brings us together and reminds us that life is good.
Happy 4th to all of you- have a great week! I hope to see you at the market!!
Salad Mix or Spinach – Enjoy!
Carrots- A strong flavored, robust variety, which would be great roasted.
Basil or Parsley- First of the season! Do not refrigerate! Store in a cool place in your kitchen in water (like a flower)
Red Cabbage- Great as a slaw, chopped salad, or stir fried.