One of our key annual food justice celebrations is “StoryHarvest: From Seed to Table,” encouraging diverse members of the community to celebrate and connect through music and stories of food. Initiated back in 2012 by food artist Ellie Markovitch, Ellie returned to North Central for in September 2023 for an NEA Our Town Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail Residency to focus on the Indigenous and diverse cultural legacies of food. A KitchenSanctuary workshop ahead of the workshop with Ellie Markovitch, Amy Halloran, and Azuré Keahi provided free food for the festival and context around the importance of corn, one of the few grains native to the Americas, in Indigenous food and cultureand yet….
Corn is at the root of our processed food supply, and with soy, dominates American agriculture, to the detriment of biodiversity; corn and soy are also trailblazers for dubious technologies and chemicals, like genetic modification & use of the chemical glyphosate. Perhaps most importantly, corn bears witness to the crimes of colonization, and the public has grown sensitive about who has permission to love and play with this food, as if this is the only thing we can give corn’s indigenous stewards: our hesitation and guilt.
And yet, many of us love and explore corn.
Elie Markovitch is the founder all the way back in 2012 of StoryHarvest: from Seed to Table, a ritual annual food justice celebration at Freedom Square. “This event encourages diverse members of the community to come together to celebrate and connect over stories of food.
Ellie Markvotich and friends, “StoryHarvest Corn Residency on Eco-Art Trail Artist Residency” creates a stepping stone for future participatory community action around food and health justice along the Sanctuary Eco-Art Trail. . The trail embeds art, culture, Indigenous history and deep ecology into an urban nature walk on 6th Avenue in North Troy. Visitors engage with stories of environmental justice, ecological restoration, and the living legacy of Indigenous presence on these lands through art installations, live events, and workshops.