Over centuries, communities around the world have learned to become self-sustainable through agriculture. Many cultures have developed different traditions and rituals to celebrate and give thanks for prosperous crops and bountiful harvests.
At the co-op this fall we will celebrate the harvest in ways that uplift the diversity of our community and begins to validate harm and erasure to Indigenous community members’ cultural contributions. Thanksgiving has long been the holiday highlighted to celebrate the time of harvest in United States mainstream culture. Our cooperative values of equity and solidarity cue us to acknowledge that the story of pilgrims and Indians feasting and celebrating together harmoniously is a myth. This acknowledgement isn’t meant to shame anyone, rather to challenge us to reimagine what harvest celebrations could look like in the United States. Sean Sherman writes in Time Magazine, “Many of my indigenous brothers and sisters refuse to celebrate Thanksgiving, protesting the whitewashing of the horrors our ancestors went through, and I don’t blame them. But I have not abandoned the holiday. I have just changed how I practice it.” Sherman goes on to recommend, “No matter where you are in North America, you are on indigenous land. And so on this holiday, and any day really, I urge people to explore a deeper connection to what are called “American” foods by understanding true Native-American histories, and begin using what grows naturally around us, and to support Native-American growers.”
Harvest Celebrations provide an opportunity to celebrate the diversity within our community, learn about cultures and cultural practices outside of our own, and honor the multitude of ways to celebrate the harvest. Whether we take this time to honor ancestors, pay tribute to cultural customs—food can create opportunities to unite people in celebration of inclusivity, generosity and gratitude. At Seward Co-op we invite community members to join us in honoring our differences and celebrate the harvest, within our co-op community.
Return throughout the fall as we highlight various holidays!