I was sleeping and being comforted
by a cool breeze, when suddenly a gray dove from a thicket sang and sobbed with longing,
and reminded me of my own passion
I have been away from my own soul so long,
so late-sleeping, but that dove's crying
woke me and made me cry, Praise
to all early-waking grievers 
I found myself at South Pine Street City Farm on a Monday. This oasis in a desert of concrete brought my shoulders back down from around my ears. I was urban food-garden bathing akin to "Forest Bathing" I will say this: recreation therapy is real. Most activity where my neck loosens up and my breath lengthens sounds like a good idea.
I have had a week and months full of hard news involving my own and others' losses and myriad griefs. I have also been feeling the albatross of unfulfilled deadlines around my neck so an email from Trish Hawkins, one of the South Pine Street City Farm's farmers, was welcome. She invited me to come visit the South Pine Street City Farm which was a reminder to take a breath of fresh air. The lure of oxygenating my body and soul hooked me and I went. 
Trish and I saw each other this week at an Eat Well Kingston meeting. Trish and Joel (the other Farmer) and I know each other from a gardening training at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County. In the Eat Well Kingston meeting the group of about twenty had the opportunity to brainstorm about what our hopes and dreams and desired outcomes around what an Eat Well Kingston will be.
In this meeting, I spoke about reclaiming the joy of a culture of food. Someone asked me to clarify what I meant by culture. My definition of culture is many-layered, like an onion. By culture I mean creating those little daily rituals and traditions of creating meals from delicious, nourishing food so that preparing food become second nature. Beyond the literal nourishment and calories-in and calories-out of food there is that ineffable thing that can happen called joy. My dog Jasper, a Redbone Coonhound, embodies this quite well. When he has eaten and is full, he gets on his back and rolls around making happy noises. It it is hard not to giggle at and with him.
By reclaiming a culture of food I also mean re-learning how to prepare food and sharing the stories about food. Some of us have grown up eating only commercially processed food, as have our parents and grand-parents and great-grandparents. What foods were our great-great grandparents eating? How were they preparing these meals? What was the process? Was there an alcove set aside for yogurt making? Were the collards and dandelions from a certain spot good for braising? Were there fruit trees? Did the eggs at a certain time of year have more than one yolk? Were the cucumber pickles sweet or sour? Did the chickens ever get drunk on fermented cherries and dance around the coop?
Food nourishment and soul nourishment are so important. When they appear in one place, it is kismet and... the very literal fruits and vegetables of people working with the intention to realize it.
At South Pine Street City Farm, I was honored to give Joel and Trish money in exchange for the food I was receiving. Like Wendy, a customer at the Farm stand said, "this food is priceless". This is quite a different experience than the one I often have in supermarkets where I am at the cash register lamenting the cost of food. My food, I feel, is pretty alienated from me in little and large plasticized paper boxes and bags. My connection with working and exchanging money here was radically different. It was a transaction that was filled with love.
Steven from RNN Television was there, letting the Hudson Valley and beyond know the who, what, when and the where of this place. As the Thirteenth Century teacher Rumi wrote, "Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,/there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Meet me there, at the picnic table, at South Pine Street City Farm in Kingston on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3-7pm through mid-October. FMNP is accepted. (Farmer's Market Nutrition Program checks).
South Pine Street City Farm is located at 27 South Pine Street, Kingston, NY 12401, south of Greenkill Avenue across from Binnewater Ice Company and near Stewart’s and the infamous “five corners.”
 Rumi quoting the Andalusian poet Adi Al-Riga through the translations of Coleman Barks
 I remember the first time I heard the expression, "a breath of fresh air". I was eleven and I read it in a feedback form a camp counselor wrote to my Mom describing me. Patty Conley (wherever you might be) wrote that I was, "a breath of fresh air". It was one of the first times a person in authority, a teacher-like person sweetly complemented me. That was nourishment for my soul.
 This is a word used in Turkish, Arabic and Hindi, From the Arabic qisma for "portion" or "lot". There is a nuance of fortune, fate, inheritance and coincidence rolled into one, in this word.