By: Frances Einterz Edible Campus Initiative Intern
With fall in full swing, it brings to mind warm sweaters, pumpkins, harvest dinners, and all of the upcoming holidays. The central focus of the traditional festivities revolves around food. Candy and caramel apples are handed out at Halloween, for Thanksgiving, families assemble around tables heavy with the burden of mashed potatoes, gravy, and overstuffed Turkey. For Christmas, we snack on gingerbread and hot chocolate after carols have been sung. Food is a unifying force, and in general, we are closest to those people with whom we eat.
Last Friday, the Edible Campus Initiative and had its own chance to celebrate a bountiful harvest, good food, and good people at the second Seed, Weed, and Feed. The chefs from RPS magically transformed vegetables from the garden into warm concoctions of creamy leek and potato soup, arugula salad, and a pot of delicious broiled greens to accompany the juicy sausages links (generously donated by Fischer Farms). In the small room gathered a mix of students, adults, and children ready to celebrate and eat locally grown food from the garden.
As people continued to trickle in, even later in the evening, the festivities migrated into the greenhouse where Jamaican poet and singer, Mbala, entertained the group. With the glorious sounds streaming from the greenhouse, some brave souls headed into the cold rain to plant cover crop and tuck in half of the plots for the upcoming winter. At the end of the night, stomachs were heavy and satisfied as we tramped back into Hilltop where the pleasant, lingering aroma of the meal, and euphoria of dinner and friends remained.
It was, in many respects, a glorious evening. But it was particularly powerful that a community of strangers arrived and left later as satisfied friends who were content with the central purpose that had drawn them together. It is the community-builder, the foundation of our livelihood and health, and it is too often taken for granted. Delicious Food. Certainly, it is joyful to celebrate the luxury of a bountiful harvest, but keeping in mind the storm on the east coast, the hungry of our city, and the holidays, I find that it is even more joyful to share it with others.
* A huge thank you to Mbala, RHA, Brad Hayden, Fischer Farms, and the group from HPER that made Seed, Weed, Feed possible this semester.