I write this on the eve of this year’s Presidential elections and you will all most likely read it after the ballots have been counted, sifted and with another hopeful at America’s helm. In the meantime, lest we become bogged down with the dross of politics and its ever-yielding promises, exciting things are afoot in Indianapolis.
Upon hearing the words, ‘Goose the Market’, it's most likely that delectable cheeses, hanging hocks of ham and baskets full of freshly baked breads will come to mind. You wouldn’t be wrong. Only this Thursday, Goose is partnering up with local photographer and farming ambassador, Kelley Jordan, to showcase Kelley’s love-filled images of farmers, their workers and the land they till.
Kelley’s work has a knack in its ability to demystify both the origins and journey of food. Perhaps it’s in how she captures the sobering reality of birds hung upside down ready for slaughter alongside their freedom in fields beforehand. She doesn’t gloss over things - but, unlike ‘Food Inc’ (which left most of us hungry insomniacs for days), she shows the tender balance and beauty between our food and us.
In January of next year, Kelley will be leaving Indianapolis with her ‘Farm Stories’ project to travel to the U.K., France and back to the States. She will go to see the workings of winter farming in Fife, Scotland, to learn the art of cooking in the Burgundy region before heading back homeward. All with the aim of showing how good food can be - when we get it right.
Food in America is puzzling at best. Sometimes we’re so zealous for it that the President’s wife tackles childhood obesity whilst the Mayor of New York simply bans large soda drinks. Other times we gorge ourselves or watch others do so (Man Vs Food). And yet with more than one third (35.7%) of U.S. adults obese, Kelley’s efforts no longer seem simply artistic and tasteful as much as necessary and life saving.
When we meet to talk, Kelley tells me about one of the local farmers she’s worked with. The Gunthorp farm in LaGrange, Indiana has a way with their pigs. There’s a picture of a sow and her band of piglets following her in a snowy field that speaks loudly about ‘little agriculture’ and our desperate need for it. In one shot it’s easy to see a gentleness and genuine respect for these animals and, more humbling, a thankfulness that you would be hard pressed to find however wide you searched.
But don’t take my word for it, come to Goose the Market November 8 from 5:30–7:30pm and taste and see for yourself.
Erina Ludwig is the author of Unnoticed Neighbors: A Pilgrimage into the Social Justice Story. Read more of her writings at erinaludwig.com. You can meet Erina as she speaks to Sam H. Jones Community Scholars at IUPUI November 27, 2012 4-6pm.