If you’ve been part of The Ecology Center community for any length of time, you know that Green Feast is an important event in the life of our Village. It’s our opportunity to gather together around the past year’s work and collectively ground ourselves in our gratitude for this farm and the family we’ve built around it: our supporting members, our organization staff, our culinary, education and community leadership partners, and of course our legion of volunteers. All these people put heart and soul, as well as countless hours, into the important work of growing food for the community and deeply engaging the next generation.
With this in mind, Green Feast is when we raise our glasses to the hard work we’ve done as a community, and raise important resources to move it forward. The support we raise at Green Feast provides foundational resources for community offerings such as our field trip scholarship fund and our Nourishing Neighbors program, along with the continual effort to model a regenerative farm future that is worth replicating.
It’s also an opportunity to ground ourselves in the land that makes this future possible. Thanks to the presence of an Acjachemen elder who opened the night with a traditional prayer over our gathering, we were reminded like never before that this land is our teacher in the exploration of stewardship and regenerative relationship.
The connection with the land was amplified in another new way by bringing the culmination of our four-month HEARTH residency to Green Feast. We collaborated with a number of partner chefs and culinary students to recreate the HEARTH kitchen in the middle of the farm, to the point of digging a 25-foot pit and an above-ground earthen hearth for Chef Tim Byres’ signature “live fire” cooking style. It was a seminal moment of bringing back the native Californian tradition of cooking underground and plugging it into the future of this rigorously bioregional cuisine that Chef Tim has been exploring in partnership with our farm.
The incredible flavors, the occasion of gathering together for the first time in two years, and the first time hosting it in the middle of the farm—all these elements created an atmosphere of unparalleled depth and intimacy that was unlike any Green Feast before.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to you, our community of sponsors, donors and bidders, for helping us raise the resources to continue the important work of deeply nourishing our community. It was incredible to witness the excitement generated by the unique experiences provided by our sponsors—we even had some last-minute offerings spontaneously pitched by members of the audience. All in all, the event raised a record total of over $350,000; an impressive number by any measure, this amount reflects not only transformative potential in expanding our organization’s capacity over the coming year, but also our community’s faith in and commitment to the work we do. Words aren’t enough to express our gratitude.
Yes, sharing values in common allows us to enact crucial change in our food system. But when we come together to share in the nourishment provided by this land, a wonderful alchemy takes place. Our consciousness is refined. Our vision is aligned. Our movement becomes more than the sum of its parts. We experience a real taste of the transformation we’re working for.
This is the energy that changemakers are born from. This is how culture is transformed.
If you weren’t able to attend Green Feast this year, the door is open for you to taste this powerful experience for yourself. Join our Village as a supporting member, and take the first step toward becoming a changemaker for the health of people and planet.