Thursday night was first community dinner hosted by The Eddy Pub in Saxapahaw. While The Eddy is celebrated for it’s food, chef Jeff Barney said that their intentions for the evening centered around creating conversations, fostering camaraderie and making human connections with food taking a back seat. (Don’t worry, the food was still delightful.)
The event was held in the Farm Table Room with family style seating at a big U-shaped table.
The meal was priced at an affordable $12 per person. It was simple, honest, good food. Fresh baked bread. Salad greens with a sweet vinaigrette dressing. Risotto style rice garnished with pork shoulder (carnivores) or vegetables (vegetarians).
After the meal and whole lot of laughing, chatting and sharing… Haruka and Jason of Edible Earthscapes took a few minutes to talk about their farm. Haruka used the opportunity to share her concerns about GMO (Genetically Modified) foods. A growing number of farmers are raising alarms that GMO feeds may be causing their pigs to have fertility issues. GMO crops have been banned by over 50 countries around the world because they feel that there has not been sufficient long term testing of the potential effects on humans. Haruka feels that everybody should have the opportunity and the right to choose whether to eat GMO foods. Because of this belief, she has become active in promoting support for labeling of GMO foods here in the US.
Jason spoke about their food journey that lead them to take up farming. Edible Earthscapes has begun growing rice right here in the Piedmont area. It is a feat that many said could not be done. “Every grain of rice you ate tonight was individually harvested, by us, by hand.” He went on to talk about their farming philosophy that lead them to hand harvesting versus using mechanical means. When they first started growing rice, they would cute down the rice, load it into wheelbarrows and feed it into a machine that separated out the rice. It was a process that felt labor intensive and that they came to dread. Inspired by some Hmong refugee farmers living in Western North Carolina who harvest rice by hand, they decided to try it out. It may not be the fastest way or the very cheapest way to harvest rice, he said, but there is a peacefulness to it akin to a meditation. It allows them to remember why they became farmers in the first place.