A rich autumn harvest of stories

Categories:Events, Main, People, Story
Elizabeth Brouwer

September storytelling

If you weren’t sure already, *culture is not optional and company love good food. Out of this love grew a storytelling event on Friday, September 12, with the theme of (you guessed it!) “Food.” White Yarrow Farm — a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm in Marcellus, Michigan, operated by Dale Hasenick and Jo Beachy — co-hosted this event. All the CSA members were invited, and several of the stories told were testimonies of the famous vegetables that Farmer Dale and his crew work so hard to bring to our tables.

Old friends and new friends gathered in the Huss Kindergarden Room for our final storytelling event of the summer. We ate a wonderfully abundant potluck meal, overflowing with different hues of watermelon. Autumn’s harvest was definitely present in all the dishes! Afterward, friends stood up to the microphone and recounted stories of both good food and bad food, about food bringing people together and about food teaching us what it means to be human.

The overarching theme was clear to me: food and stories are transformative. As my friends spoke, it was so tangible to me that communal change happens by the way we talk about what is important to us. By talking together, we might not realize it, but we are growing social capital. We listen the other’s story, and we begin to imagine what we can create together as a community. Whether it was the story about reclaiming peas as edible, drinking Tang as a way to connect with neighbors, introducing a new fruit, or the beauty of the growing process, there is healing and togetherness surrounding food. Food is one way we can gather together to create the future we want to live into.

Through this rich event, I was reminded of my excitement to be part of all this. Not only because we get to eat amazing food together, but also for the sense of belonging and possibility that grows with every harvest.