Thursday, October 11, 2007

conscious kitchens

the beauty and bounty of late September was a time of creating and cultivating conscious kitchens.
at our farm in the Gatineau hills in Quebec, affectionately known as The Barn, i joined 8 other women in a weekend-long harvest cooking spree hosted by our neighbour, vegetarian chef and healer, Tanya and her 2 daughters. feasting and festing, we created intentional practices around our food, its preparation and presentation, and consumption. conversation, meditation, silence, edible flowers infused our harvest weekend with such delices as .... salted herbs and herbed oils, soups and quiches, espresso chili and root veg stews, crumbles and cakes, picking and cooking wild mushrooms, salads and salsas, flower drinks and elixirs...

that same weekend, i went down to the Kripalu yoga centre in Lennox, Mass for Conscious Kitchens: Feeding Ourselves, Sustaining the Planet to join food activists, authors, filmmakers, nutritionists, and chefs for five days of experiential inquiry into the personal and global implications of our food choices. .... conversation around healthy eating, whole foods, environmentally sound agricultural methods, and how our approach to food can change our lives and our world...

through cooking demonstrations, panel discussions, interactive workshops, and organic food tasting, we explored the healing effects of a whole-foods lifestyle, cultivating consciousness around food, and focused on aligning beliefs and actions.

Our days included lots of yoga and delicious macrobiotic meals as well as nourishment for mind and soul:
Keynote by mother-daughter team Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé who wrote Hopes's Edge: the new diet for a small planet

Viewing of The Future of Food with filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia
Cooking demonstration and talk by Bryant Terry, chef, food activist, and coauthor with Anna Lappé of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen
Out of the Kitchen, Into the Fire, a workshop with Anna Lappé about bringing awareness into our local communities
Viewing of the grassroots film The Real Dirt on Farmer John
Spiritual Alchemy, Food, and Health
with Annemarie Colbin
Ideas for incorporating whole grains into your cooking routine, with Kripalu Executive Chef Deb Howard
From Plate to Farm with Dan Barber, chef and owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Sourdough and Wheat-Free Bread Baking workshop with Richard Bourdon
Harvesting Abundance and Planting New Seeds, with nutritional coach Danny Arguetty
Yoga in the Kitchen, a workshop on eating according to the seasons, with gourmet organic chef Leslie Cerier
An organic food tasting.

we talked of the integrity of food and how its integrity feeds us; how technology and ancient wisdoms can work together and how Flavour can be the basis for sustainable and whole farming practices... i learned about the small actions in towns and cities in the US that are resonated across state lines, and how The Boston Food Project and B-Healthy work with young people who become advocates, farmers and chefs to inspire their families and communities to nourish themselves... stuff is cookin' both in the extreme conglomeration of multi-nationals owning life sources like seeds and genes and the proliferation of local actions building a web of systemic change~
integrity. eat it, have it!

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