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Eater’s Almanac: Eating together

Spring Break group in 2012

Eater’s Almanac is our weekly newsletter for the Huss Project Farmer’s Market. You can receive a print copy each week at the market, which includes a recipe for seasonal vegetables!

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

Thorin to Bilbo in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

For many of us who work at the Huss Project, eating together was one of the things we missed most during the pandemic. Sharing meals has always been a joyful occasion for our crew, whether it’s a quick lunch on the farm or a celebratory feast. Most times before we eat, we share about where the ingredients or recipes came from and read a poem to bless the meal with intention and thanks. At some point during our time together, if we’re lucky, there’s occasion for a three-song dance party. 

These shared rituals are not dependent on lots of money or fancy food, but on imagination and collaboration. In fact, it’s the simplicity that most contributes to a feeling of joy and gratitude: the simplicity of friendship, of a candle in the middle of the table, of shared dishwashing duties, of laughing at silly dance moves, of using up whatever food is on hand. Sometimes ingredients even come out of the dumpster! 

All this said, some of us struggle to put even the simplest food on the table for ourselves and our households, and this is an issue we as a society know how to fix if we have the will. We’ve made a game and a virtue of hoarding gold, when the true riches of life lie in sharing so that all can eat, all can sing, all can dance, all can be merry. What will you do to make the world just a little bit merrier in the coming week? 

Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma

Kirstin is a member of the *culture is not optional core community and is the Head Caretaker at GilChrist Retreat Center.