Conversations

November 2017 @ wherever we are

793A3183.jpg

We're hitting pause this month to assess what we've learned so far and contemplate the future of this project.  Stay tuned for our December gathering date and location!

As we discuss our model for coming together and sit with emerging food systems themes, we keep coming back to the word digest.  What does that mean for us?  How do we facilitate experiences together that encourage digestion of ideas alongside a meal?  How do we remain focused squarely on the food, each other, and carrying our conversations from month to month, rather than the documentation and promotion of our time together?  How do we really move this gathering beyond the people we know so it's a reflection of our larger community and not just those who look like us and live near us?

We're inspired by The Civil Conversation Project, from On Being, and their Better Conversations Starter Guide - 

Our young century is awash with questions of meaning, of how we structure our common life, and who we are to each other. It seems we are more divided than ever before – unable to speak across the diferences we must engage to create the world we want for ourselves and our children. 

Yet you and I have it in us to be nourishers of discernment, fermenters of healing. We have the language, the tools, the virtues – and the calling, as human beings  – to create hospitable spaces for taking up the hard questions of our time.

This calling is too important and life-giving to wait for politics or media at their worst  to come around. We can discover how to calm fear and plant the seeds of the robust civil society we desire and that our age demands. 

This is civic work and it is human, spiritual work – in the most expansive 21st century sense of that language. We can learn for our time what moral imagination, social healing, and civil discourse can look like and how they work.  

The Civil Conversations Project is a collection of audio, video, writings, and resources for planting new conversations in families and communities. How do we speak the questions we don’t know how to ask each other? Can we find ways to cross gulfs between us about politics and the meaning of community itself? How to engage our neighbors who have become strangers? Can we do that even while we continue to hold passionate disagreements on deep, contrasting convictions? How is technology playing into all this, and how can we shape it to human purposes?  You will have your own questions – particular to your community and concerns – to add.

Lunch on the Farm

October 8, 2017 @ Ecolibrium Farms

The ideal circumstance for efficient digestion would go a little like this: You begin preparation of your meal with your family by going our to your own garden and picking fresh vegetables. You see fresh food and vibrant colors, and completely appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into growing it. The appreciation would not be limited to yourself and your family who tended the garden, but of course also to Nature—for the plants’ efforts and the miracle of the sun, the soil, and the seed all coming together to create this beautiful food. You bless the food first and then eat the food over thoughtful conversation, or listening to music that is conducive to good digestion.
— Melina Meza, Art of Sequencing

We began in the fields with this reading.  We wandered and gathered, whatever looked good.  We brought it all to the table by the fire and made up a menu together.  Some washed, some chopped, some nibbled, some stirred the pot.  We sat down late afternoon to our feast - radishes, bread, butter, soup, salad, wine - and with each other.   

When was the last time you were on a farm?  we asked each other.  The answers led us here and there and everywhere.  We showed up mostly strangers and left friends.