Connecting over good, wholesome food is a central part of the Evergreen experience. In my program, the Practice of Sustainable Agriculture, which meets through the summer, our twice-weekly potlucks are especially important testing grounds for diversity of flavors and ideas. Every Tuesday and Thursday, a quarter of the class is excused from work an hour before noon in order to prepare lunch for the rest of the class, the faculty, farm managers, and farm aides. (That’s about sixty people in total!) Each of us prepares a dish, and oftentimes these highlight seasonal or hyper-local ingredients from our own gardens, the Evergreen forest, or the farm itself. We aim to respect dietary restrictions and preferences, from pepper and nut allergies to dairy- and gluten-intolerances to vegetarianism and veganism, and make sure there is more than enough food for everyone.
The theme of last week Thursday was Indian, and lunch was complete with honey-sweetened, almond milk herbal chai and gluten-free naan bread. Other notable dishes from potlucks past include organic, free-range bison meat shepherd’s pie and fresh-picked huckleberry pie. This Tuesday my group prepared a breakfast-for-lunch feast which included a pancake bar with toppings like strawberry jam, processed by students just last week in our very own farmhouse kitchen. We dressed up in our pajamas to serve, and ate last, according to class tradition. Potlucks are a celebration of our hard work together in the field and an opportunity to nourish a healthy community.