If you want to learn the definition of resilience, shadow an old farmer. Shake his hand. Listen to the boom of his voice. Follow his gaze. If you want to see the definition of fearlessness, attempt to keep up with that old farmer. If you want to bear witness to your own limits and timidity, attempt to help that farmer. That's exactly what I did this past fall when I helped with a cranberry harvest.
For the past six months or so, I've been working on something big, something scary, something that has broken me, built me and flipped me every which way. I've missed summertime traditions, family gatherings, and missed seeing lots of my friends, but there was one day I couldn't miss: my Rustbelt Farmer's birthday! That's a day that called for cake, specifically a Gluten Free Rhubarb Cake with Whiskey Whipped Cream and farm-fresh strawberries and mint.
So, when I find true corn, corn with history, sweet, imperfect corn from smaller farms, who have put their foot down, who have held fast to purity, all I want to do is celebrate! And while the absolute best way to eat corn is still just a simple slathering of butter and a sprinkling of salt, it wouldn't be a proper ode if I didn't begin to experiment.
What we offer as Harvest & Gather will be different than any other series in Pittsburgh. We're moving the farm dinners away from the farm, inviting guests to overlooked spaces with transformation potential. We're calling attention to the aged bones of our city, to the storied layers and the past, through design, food and storytelling. My sentiments for architecture preservation run parallel to my sentiments for farms. There are lessons in bricks and in seeds that we risk losing.