Entering the Wallace center, gently lit by strands of Christmas lights, I am struck by how warm and intimate the room is. 12 tables are set with steaming pots of soup, goat cheese salad, and brown spelt rolls on starched white tablecloths with beautiful centerpieces of red maple leaves. I grab a seat at a table near the kitchen, and listen. A buzz of excitement can be felt in the dim room, rumbling through the voices of 88 diners. For who wouldn’t be? The food is fresh, delicious, and local, all from withing 28 miles of Chewonki. As we lick our lips in anticipation, a sharp *ding* punctuates the atmosphere. Ben Clark stands up, and begins to speak.
“Today, from the farms,” he says, beginning the usual list of local food in the meal with an added emphasis on the plural noun. “…we have carrots, onions, peppers, sage, parsley, chicken, potatoes, beans, pumpkins, apples, goat cheese, goat meat, maple syrup, honey, spelt flour, rolled spelt, butter, milk, rhubarb, eggs, gelato, apple cider, and salad greens”. He finishes to applause and a few light chuckles from the audience. Katie and Maggie stand to tell the fable of ‘Stone Soup’, a dish symbolic of our 35 mile meal today. The moral of Stone Soup is “by working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved”. As I take my first mouthful of Stone Soup, I smile. This doesn’t just apply to delicious soup making, but to the whole concept of the grassroots environmental movement. What we have done today for the Global Work Party, learning and teaching and working on a local scale, really helps when you put it in perspective with the 7346 other events that took place across the globe today. I cannot help but sit and listen once more to the content hum of the people around me, and remember that this is what it feels like to be a part of creating the greater good.
New York City, New York