Posted on Sun, January 04, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
9 Comments | Categories: Farms and Farming, Youth Food Movement,
by Sam Levin, one of three coordinators of Project Sprout. Project Sprout is a student led and inspired onsite garden that supplements food served in the Monument Mountain High School (in Great Barrington, MA).
The best part of the beginning of a new year is when everyone makes their resolution. Every New Years Eve, sitting around the table, my family and I set our goals for the coming year. Tasting roast leg of lamb and swallowing bites of chocolate cake, we throw out suggestions like trying to do something that scares us once a month or doing something special for one of our neighbors every two weeks. Most of the time one of my brothers suggests something that cripples us with laughter, and someone else tosses out a hallmark card suggestion that gets dismissed with a little disgust. Usually after dinner, in honor of an old Latin American tradition, each of us eats twelve grapes to bring good luck to every month of the coming year. However, its not just that I love setting goals for myself, or hearing Will tell me with a grin that his goal is to cover his clothes with duct tape every day. That piece of it is great, but this year, I discovered something even better. That piece of it is great, but this year, I discovered something even better.
On New Years Eve I decided that I would resolve to get garden projects initiated in six other high schools. And as I thought about what that meant, I have to admit, I started to get a little excited. As I sat at the table listening to my family members laugh and eat and talk, I began to think about all of the other people in the world sitting at their own tables, counting down to 2009, and resolving to accomplish their own goals.
I thought of Will and Jake resolving to open an educational farm-to-table bed and breakfast, and my guidance counselor resolving to be in the garden almost every day after school in the spring. I thought of all of the new members of Slow Food beginning to plan their escapades into the world of good, clean, and fair food. And I thought of all of the veterans of the movement mapping out their ventures into new realms, and extensions of their previous slow work. Because, as I began to realize last night, New Years is about exactly that: everyone figuring out how they are going to change the world in the coming twelve months, in their own big or small way. It is about everyone figuring out their roles in the bigger picture; how their resolutions can affect their communitys resolutions, or the worlds resolutions.
Trying to think of my New Years Resolution, I imagined myself sitting at my table on the brink of the 2010. I asked myself what I would want to be able to say I had accomplished in 2009. Sitting at our tables one year from now, looking back, what do we want to be able to say we accomplished?
Do we want to be able to say we extended to a new age group and brought the world of high school-ers into Slow Food? That we completely eliminated the image of Slow Food as being elitist? That we entered Barack Obamas consciousness and put sustainable agriculture and pleasurable eating for everyone on the top of the nations agenda? That we brought paw-paws back from the dead, or saved the mulefoot hog?
So, as you think about what you want the slow food movement to be able to say on the edge of 2010, consider how your individual resolution will contribute to the collective goal. I hope that Slow Food will cross the last age frontier, and bring culinary and agricultural pleasure and sustainability to high schools. In order to aid that cooperative undertaking I plan to help develop student run gardens in at least six high schools in 2009. Those are my main collective and individual resolutions. What are yours?