Gratitude for Season Two!

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Gratitude for Season Two!

As the second season of Origins comes to a close, we look back and appreciate how the cafe takes on the life cycle of the plants which we depend on. Spring explodes with a great flood of new ideas and connections to explore. Long summer days of steady growth gracefully shift to fleeting, colorful days of fall when we channel our energy in new directions. Plants set seed, and seeds take flight before frost falls upon upstate New York.

Through food, our hope is to share this connection to the ever-shifting offerings of the seasons. Food can nourish more than our bodies by connecting us to the community and to the earth. We want to thank the beautiful array of people who helped us work toward this mission this year. For every spinach seedling transplanted, every onion chopped, every leaf of kale picked, every farmers market excursion - we give infinite thanks to the Origins family who joined us from all over the world and created this experience over the past six months.

While we have participated in work-trade exchanges on farms around the world through the WWOOF network in the past, this was our first season hosting volunteers. What an inspiration to receive such a flood of interest from people all around the world who seek opportunity to learn and contribute to the sustainable food movement! Every single volunteer to join us has been such a gift, and brought with them a unique talent and desire for new experience. Andy (New Jersey), Estelle & Marie (France), Tom (Israel/NYC), Annie (Colorado), Abdul & Carrie (Ohio), Eduardo (Italy) & Rocio (Chile) - infinite thanks for your powerful energy and for all that you taught us. We will continue doing our best to provide a space for volunteers to explore the the movement towards a good, clean, fair food system, and hopefully open doors to new opportunities.

Eduardo (Italy), Rocio (Chile), Abdul & Carrie (Ohio)

Eduardo (Italy), Rocio (Chile), Abdul & Carrie (Ohio)

Estelle & Marie (France)

Estelle & Marie (France)

Cali & Andy (New Jersey)

Cali & Andy (New Jersey)

Dana & Tom (Israel/NYC)

Dana & Tom (Israel/NYC)

Team O - September 2013

Team O - September 2013

Next season, we are excited to expand our educational outreach to the local high school so that students can learn about travel possibilities through the WWOOF network. Together we can empower youth to become active participants in the youth food movement which is gaining momentum across the globe.

Now we depart on winter adventures, and this year we'll split forces to explore food and culture around the world. Kristen is venturing east to Thailand, India and Nepal; while Dana & Sandy traverse the United States by bicycle.

 

Look forward to tales from the road!

Love,
Team Origins

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Origins at Terra Madre  :: 2012

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Origins at Terra Madre :: 2012

Here I am in a small cafe on a Greek island, Kefalonia, with sand on my feet and more ideas in my head than my fingers can handle. For weeks Team Origins (thats Kristen, Dana & Sandy) have been on the road, backpacking across Italy and Greece on our neverending exploration of food and culture. We set of on this journey to connect to the global movement toward good, clean, fair food, and first found this in Torino, Italy.
 

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[[Wild fruit juices from Senegal. Date palm syrup from Morocco. Honey, mango jam and shea butter from Mali. Walking through the electrifying mosaic of cultural diversity that is Terra Madre, I have stumbled upon Africa. In just a minute’s walk, I may be immersed in the heavenly cheeses of Switzerland and France, sweet olive oils of Greece and Spain, even reindeer meat of nomadic Scandinavian people.]]

Terra Madre is a network of 'food communities,' bringing together players in the food chain who support sustainable agriculture with the goal of preserving taste and biodiversity. Food communities represent a wide variety of social groups – ranging from whole villages to clusters of families, to associations of small-scale producers. At the event, each representative shares his or her unique product. The result is a sea of flavors and colors, an exhibition of the co-evolution of people and food since the dawn of humanity. These are the true ‘intellects of the earth,’ as Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food says, because they hold the wisdom of traditional food production.

This experience brought to life the idea that, more than physical nourishment, food is a network of people, places, products and knowledge. It revealed that food holds the power to bond together a global community with shared values. We were fortunate to hear the perspectives of food producers, experts, community representatives and youth from all over the world during daily conferences. They gathered around issues that have no borders - like food systems education, seed freedom and sustainable production & consumption.

And as luck should have it, we had several close encounters with personal heros, some of the greatest leaders of the food movement. We shared a meal with Vandana Shiva, an activist for biological and cultural diversity. We drank Italian wine with Alice Waters, who advocates universal access to healthy, organic foods on the national level (basically the reason there is a garden at the White House). And we danced with Carlo Petrini, the founder of the international Slow Food movement himself, the reason that hundreds of thousands of people continue to come together for a better food system.

We went to Italy to connect to this global grassroots movement and we did so without a plan - knowing the next part of the journey would present itself. All signs pointed to Greece. Now we're on this small Greek island of the Ionian Sea, harvesting olives & almonds, making olive oil, and learning how to keep bees! More to come. Stay tuned.

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The Birth of Origins

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The Birth of Origins

Over the past nine months, something very special has begun to take shape on the Beaver Meadow Road.

It started with a seed of an idea - to connect the growers and eaters within our community - and to bring people together around a table of food that's grown with respect for the environment. Thanks to the help of our family, friends both old and new, and talented food producers nearby, the seed of an idea that we called 'Origins' has developed into something very real. As you might expect, the evolution of Origins has followed the shifting seasons...

Winter 2012. During the mild winter, we were setting first posts of our new greenhouse café 

Spring 2012. With the first shoots of green and swelling buds of spring, we were sowing seeds, staining walls, designing our food trailer, meeting the farmers whom we'd depend on for the season.

Spring erupted and melted into long, colorful summer days while we were flying in and out of our kitchen-on-wheels. 

We took our local food revolution on the road to Ommegang concerts,   The Smithy, farmers markets & private parties. 

We took our local food revolution on the road to Ommegang concerts, The Smithy, farmers markets & private parties. 

Late summer - we outgrew our first food trailer (and all it's shoebox-sized glory) and invested in a new kitchen-trailer! Filled with new possibilities.

We set the wheels in motion, but Origins has taken on a life of it's own, and it's driven by this community of growers and eaters together. The feeling of community has grown stronger each week as we celebrated the local harvest and food culture with new friends and musicians. We've shared the joy of eating healthy meals alongside the farmers who grew our food. In this space we've also celebrated births, marriages, and the life of the departed.

And now we've glided into the crispness of fall. The cafe will be dormant until spring returns, and we are preparing to depart on the next adventure - to Italy for Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre! Thousands of people will soon come together in Torino to discuss the future of food, the importance of our everyday choices, and to celebrate the incredibly diverse food cultures of this planet. Looking forward to bringing a whole lotta goodness back to you in the Spring!

We'll be using this blog to share more about our journey to the origins of good food and of our experiences abroad. Follow along if you're curious!

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