Northampton

It was a day of intermittent rain and I wondered how we would fair at Northampton’s Tuesday Farmers Market. Luckily the heavier downpours were earlier, and the short bouts of rain brought everyone together under the trailer’s canopies. We had great support for setting up from: Ben James, of Town Farm, a young farmer who organizes the market; Rich Madowitz and the crew at Thornes which supplied us our power; and Parking Czar, Bill Letendre, who provided us with a parking spot in the garage and a much-needed ladder to set-up our sign. The market was a great space/place for us and visitors were curious and excited to discover the project, discuss our goals –and even offer us some advice/critiques about how we can better communicate that our containers and cups are compostable. As at our opening at UMass everyone was impressed by the excellent food prepared by our chef O’Brien Tomalin of Sierra Grille. O’brien’s wife Meghan was on-board helping out with the food, and Molly Totman, our intrepid student of food anthropology, served both food and information on the project and our mission. One aspect of our project is to provide a context for discussing, highlighting and disseminating information about healthy community-based food practices in Western Massachusetts. This discussion is different in Northampton than it would be in Holyoke or Springfield, and while challenges in the valley’s disenfranchised neighborhoods can be daunting, our hope is that Movable Feast can link diverse communities to catalyze creative solutions and original collaborations–that draw from the region’s vibrant agricultural heritage–in our efforts to support food system change.

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