Industrial Harvest

Inspiration for Documentation by sarah kavage
July 11, 2010, 10:08 pm
Filed under: project updates, where the flour went | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today I received an email with documentation of what one of the flour recipients did with the flour and she gave me permission to share it with you all.  It’s a lovely story very much in the spirit of what I am trying to achieve with these flour giveaways, and sharing it articulates my goals better than I would ever be able to do on my own.  This is not to put undue pressure on the flour recipients, but I do hope that others find it inspiring.  A huge thanks to Erin for sharing!

Attached is photographic documentation of what I did with those four cups of flour on 4th of July weekend.

One of my favorite breads to make is Challah because it tastes so good and because of the mind/dough/body connection this bread inspires.  Challah means “dough offering” in Hebrew and, like any good offering, it never fails to bring my friends and family together in surprising and delicious ways.  The three strands of this braided bread stand for truth, peace, and justice.  Challah lets us hold these things in our hands and in our mouths, and it reminds us of all the ways in which human beings nourish each other.

Fourth of July weekend is a big celebration of national and personal independence.  This 4th of July, the people I love came together over challah and grilled vegetables to celebrate all the ways in which we are dependent.   We wanted to take the time to honor how much we mean to each other and how much we have needed each other.  And how much we hate to say good-bye.

Because this 4th of July was also a good-bye party.

After the January earthquake that devastated so much of Haiti, my Haitian friends came to live with me and my roommate in Chicago. The nearly-six months that have followed could not have happened without the miraculous support of so many people.  My Haitian friends (Michelaine and her children ages 12, 8, and 2) were given free food, toys, winter clothes, medical attention, English classes, and day care.  The alderman helped us find the family an apartment, the French immersion school accepted the kids for free in the middle of the year, and hundreds of friends, family members, and complete strangers donated their time and resources.  We raised $10,000.

Throughout those 6 months, the baby began to talk (in English, French AND Creole), the 8-year old made many new friends, and the 12-year old discovered that she likes to dance.   Michelaine made us diri ak pwa, my roommate gave up her bedroom, and I learned how to ask for help.  We tromped through snow.  We skyped family in Haiti.  We cried and laughed and played silly games.  We fed each other.

This 4th of July, as we stuffed challah rolls into our mouths, we celebrated all those things while we fed each other one last time in Chicago.  On July 5th, Michelaine and her kids flew back to Haiti.

We miss them terribly.

The bread we made with this flour was one of the many ways we learned to nourish each other.  We are very grateful for the time, the community, the stories, and the food that we have shared.

-Erin Edwards

Challah rolls and bread before they went into the oven

4th of July picnic with the challah (and other delicious foods!) in our garden.  Pictured:  Michelaine, Anaïka, my dad (Wayne), my mom (Susan), Taïsha, my partner (Liz), Yamiley.