Get Real. Food.

Last October, despite frozen ground, numb fingers, and dripping hats, a group of passionate students started a community garden behind Massell. After just seven months, we now have delicious veggies growing in over 100 square feet. You probably didn’t know a community garden even existed here, did you? Well, now is your chance to get involved – tomorrow afternoon from 1-3 we’re having a Real Food Eat-Out!  You can do some garden work, eat real food, and discuss the role we play in the food system.  We’ll also have a taste test with milk from a local farm!

As a child, I never realized how privileged I was to walk out my front door, meander barefoot across the dandelion-laden grass into the steaming greenhouse to pick a tomato (and eat it, of course).  I did similarly with peas, carrots, beans, lettuce, chives, plums, strawberries, apples…the list goes on.  I can still feel the dirt rising between my toes as I reached for that plump, sugar-snap pea taunting me from the top of the trellis.

I never refuted my friends when they called me a hippie-child, but I’ve grown to firmly disagree. My parents have invested in the land and experimented for over a decade now, each year pushing the boundaries of how much zucchini will fit in the fridge and how many apples will fit in the dehydrator. They were never discouraged by clay-like dirt or the multitude of aphids, slugs, rabbits, and deer who treated our garden as if it were Sherman. I, too, reaped the benefits of the garden quite often – despite my parents’ pleas, a few mint leaves or a sprig of fennel became an almost routine snack on my way to school.

I grew fond of the joy and pleasure from eating fresh, local, organic produce. I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t in love with the taste of a fresh-picked tomato. I adore the sweet tang of the skin, juice and seeds bursting out of each pocket into my welcoming mouth.

Most consumers experience just this – we eat food, and are aware of what our taste buds prefer and the relative price. On the Brandeis campus, many share a vague idea that terms such as “organic,” “natural,” and “cage-free” are somehow better. However, we’re still infinitely detached from our food.

If you’re fed up (no pun intended) with any aspect of the food system, join us in the Patchwork Garden community between the Chapels and Massell Quad.

You’re always free to meander barefoot across the mowed grass to admire the fruits (and veggies!) of our labor, but tomorrow we’re having a special garden bash. You can water, weed, construct raised beds, beautify the shed, plant seedlings, eat real food and witness our garden and community grow! We’ll be feasting on stir-fried swiss chard, salad, and fresh-baked bread. We welcome any contributions from point surplus – try to bring real food items such as local SoCo ice cream!

If you want to fight for honest labels and transparency, want to know the ingredients in our food, or don’t want to deal with the intricacies of corporate labels, join us.

If you long for that perfectly crisp and tangy apple, the indulgent whiff of a tomato vine, sweet peach juice dribbling down your chin, or a candy-sweet crunchy carrot from a farm down the road, join us.

If you want to push Brandeis to follow through with our climate commitment and reduce carbon emissions, join us.

If you wish to consume products from animals who were treated ethically, choose to not eat animal products at all, or are concerned about corporate consolidation, join us.

If you want to help workers earn a living wage, join us.

Although as a child I didn’t realize the weight of my actions, I’ve come to greatly appreciate the values my parents exposed me to. If you share some of these values, please join our community. We don’t bite, except into delicious food.


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