I love the long slow meals that I’ve experienced in Africa and southern Europe. One of my favourite meal-memories is with an Omani family in Nairobi, who welcomed me in their home and prepared such an array of mouth-watering dishes the likes of which I’d never seen before. We sat for ages, talking and listening, and enjoying the feast prepared for us.
To a great extent, I think we’ve lost this in the urban West, where meals are generally short affairs, squashed into busy schedules. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a strong link between the de-prioritisation of mealtimes and the social decay and growing sense of isolation in the West.
The slower paced mealtime would have been common in biblical times. Meals and food feature prominently in scripture. I like to think that the two ingredients Jesus emphasised for remembering him, bread and wine, were selected because of how common they were. I think he was saying “Remember me every time you eat.” Sharing food is part of sharing faith and I hope will be a fun and significant part of being a community that follows Jesus.
As you may gather, I love food. I love growing it, cooking it, and eating it. I believe the best practices that I’ve mentioned in Part two would mean the farm is growing some of the best food you can find. The food will be chemical free, packed with nutrition, and of course incredibly fresh! The food should be diverse, tasty, and good for our bodies. The farming method follows that healthy farming practices leads to healthy soil, which leads to healthy crops and then healthy people!
In addition to normal meals, I would love to see the farm hosting bigger parties and seasonal feasts, where friends and family visit the farm to share food and join in with the merriment. As I’ve said before, the farm is not meant to be an isolated commune, but an open space, and sharing food is one of the best ways to facilitate a broader connection with people.