Feeding Farmers: Marina Kelly, Trent Miller, and Jenny Conrad for Harmony Valley

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PROCESS

Upon my initial meet up with Andrea, she mentioned that she liked the idea of a picnic, delivered so that she and her husband could enjoy some ready made food post farmer’s market. Trent knew Andrea from childhood so that was a cool connection. We decided to make the meal together. I met with Trent to purchase fresh produce and baked goods at the Wednesday, October 19th Dane County Farmer’s market. The purchases we made there served as the framework for the developing menu. We wanted to share some delicious foods from local farms. We agreed on a beautiful/ simple picnic meal with each course to be paired with a poem. Trent and Jenny picked out poems to pair with each course. Trent and I prepared the food separately with he including his mom’s famous green pepper jelly and I picking the flowers/ gutting the tiny pumpkins and preparing the candles, making fresh juice, massaged kale and potato salad. Yum! We chose to include cookies after deciding on the cookie poem. Trent and I met up with his little ones underfoot to put together the final picnic baskets. I delivered the meal to Andrea at the Dane County Farmer’s Market on October 22nd. As I said in a text to both of you following delivery of the meal:

: ) It was really a joy/ relief to make something imbued with generosity during this week of hard to take realities in the world. Thank you for including me in yet another heart centered practice of community building. It means a lot to me.

EMAIL FROM ANDREA POST-MEAL

Dear Marina, Trent & Jenny—
Thank you so much for the lovely picnic you prepared for Richard and me last weekend. Saturday evening held a few unexpected things for us and it got late, so we saved our picnic for Sunday brunch…which was perfect. It allowed us to have a delicious meal without me having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen….which meant I was able to enjoy more of my Sunday! We enjoyed every part of the experience from modeling the apron (super clever neck/tie design), to eating the food to reading the poems. You thought of every element (pumpkin candles were a nice touch). We enjoyed reading and reflecting on the poetry…not something we do every day! We enjoyed all of them….but the cookie poem was a favorite and a beautiful way to remember the experience.

So…thank you for participating in this project and for sharing this gift with us. I took a few pictures of our spread…if they have any relevance to the project, feel free to use them. The one close up of the cracker with the pepper jelly was Richard’s idea—he thought the jelly was beautiful. One of his mother’s specialty preservation products was always a similar pepper jelly, although she’s retired from that now.

Thanks again….and perhaps we can work together again in the future.

Sincerely,
Andrea & Richard


Feeding Farmers

A Picnic for Andrea Yoder & Richard de Wilde of Harmony Valley Farm
Prepared by Marina Kelly, Trent Miller & Jennifer Conrad
Delivered: October 22, 2016

BASKETS
Mini pumpkins w/ tea lights
Spatula & Barcode apron
Marigold flowers
Cards to be opened w/ poems associated w/ each course
Letter/ “Open Me First”:

Thank you for all that you do.
Thank you for tending to the land in your care and for the people in your community.
Thank you for sharing the fruits of your labor. Thank you for…
seeding, sowing, cultivating,
raising,tilling,
nurturing,
directing, managing, facilitating,
ploughing, hoeing
…waiting…
reaping, sharing,
farming. Thank you for all that you do and thank you for how you do it.
xo
Marina, Trent, Jennifer
℅ The Feeding Farmers Project

APPETIZER
Violet Rose Rosemary flatbread crackers w/ green pepper jelly
A poem by Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend
all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking
of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body
accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among
the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

MAIN COURSE

Sandwiches w/ Honey Wheat Bread, Farmer John’s Mozzarella Cheess, Peppers, Pesto, Tomato
Massaged kale salad with a avocado/ salt/ lemon juice/ pepita/ apple cider vinegar dressing
Potato salad w/ green onion, vegan mayo, garlic & goat cheese
Meditation at Lagunitas by Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

DESSERT
Chocolate chip w/ Door County cherry cookies
The Cookie Poem by Jeff Gundy

“Here are my sad cookies”
The sad cookies. The once and future cookies.
The broken sweet cookies. The cookies
of heartbreaking beauty. The stony cookies
of Palestine. The gummy and delicious
olive and honey cookie. The pasty
damp cookie trapped in the child’s hand.
Sad cookies, weird cookies, slippery
and dangerous cookies. Brilliant helpless
soiled and torn cookies, feverish and sweaty
cookies. Sullen cookies, sassy cookies,
the cookies of tantrum and the cookie of joy
and the sweet dark cookie of peace.
The faithful cookie of Rotterdam. The wild-eyed
cookie of Muenster. The salty Atlantic cookie.
Cookies in black coats, in coveralls,
in business suits, cookies in bonnets
and coverings and heels, cookies scratching
their heads and their bellies, cookies utterly
and shamelessly naked before the beloved.
Cookies of the Amish division, cookies
of the Wahlerhof, cookies of Zurich and
Stassburg and Volhynia and Chortitza,
Nairobi Djakarta Winnipeg Goshen.
Cookies who hand their children off
to strangers, who admonish their sons
to remember the Lord’s Prayer, cookies
who say all right, baptize my children
and then sneak back to the hidden church anyway.
Cookies who cave in utterly. Cookies
who die with their boots on. Cookies
with fists, and with contusions.
The black hearted cookie. The cookie with issues.
Hard cookies, hot cookies, compassionate
conservative cookies, cookies we loathe
and love, cookies lost, fallen, stolen,
crushed, abandoned, shunned. Weary
and heroic cookies, scathingly noted cookies,
flawed cookies who did their best.
Single cookies, queer cookies, cookies of color,
homeless cookie families sleeping the car,
obsolete cookies broken down on the information
highway. Sad cookies, silent cookies,
loud cookies, loved cookies, your cookies,
my cookies our cookies, all cookies
God’s cookies, strange sweet hapless cookies
marked each one by the Imago Dei,
oh the Father the Son the Mother The Daughter
and the Holy Ghost all love cookies,
love all cookies, God’s mouth is full
of cookies, God chews and swallows and flings
hands wide in joy, the crumbs fly
everywhere, oh God loves us all.

DRINK
Yellow/ red beet with kale, apple, orange & ginger juice
Eating Poetry by Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.
The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.
Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.
She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.
I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

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