A Community of Bakers

If I transform the clay into a statue, I become a sculptor; if I transform the stones into a house, I become an architect; if I transform our society into something better for us all, I become a citizen. Augusto Boal, The Theatre of the Oppressed

If by extension, I transform flour, water, leaven, and salt into bread, do I become a baker? Maybe. What if I add community members into the mix, will it become a community of bakers? I believe anything is possible. I imagine an ever-evolving prototype that delivers a healing ethos with organizing principles that respond thoughtfully to each of us, in a positive way. The challenge is to recognize the opportunities and act upon them. Bakewell Farm works with a social imaginary that is part of an amazing history of bread. It’s about sharing stories, finding agency and realizing the practices that interact and benefit from this imaginary.

How do we manifest the conditions that nourish us? How do we act upon these conditions to become more exemplar and less reactive? Where are the opportunities that shape a supportive community? These are but a handful of some big beautiful questions that I posit while searching for the small, beautiful, and actionable answers. These questions are about how we wish to act today and how we will act tomorrow. It’s a new choice architecture (at least for me) and because it’s new, my immediate surroundings expand to make room (like the way yeast works in fermentation). With a more just distribution of opportunities a shift occurs. It’s about leveling the playing field. Imagine altering a hilly landscape to make it more navigable and less strenuous. Sharing skills and knowledge are examples of acts that give shape and meaning. Opportunity to find and fulfill one’s purpose is a basic tenant of a healing ethos.

I came across an article about how physicists are able to slow the speed of light to a leisurely 15 miles per hour! Light is passed through a “gel-like” field causing light to slow down (my grossly simplified version!). By applying the healing ethos found in the Slow Food Movement, (the use of extended fermentation and gentle dough handling) methods of production become it’s own type of “gel” that slows down our cooking and eating habits. By attaching new meanings, and taking the opportunity to learn something new, we can play within this social imaginary.

Bakewell Farm offers a place to discover new opportunities to shift the meanings we attach to the events in our ordinary lives. Do something “extra” ordinary; learn how to make bread for yourself, with friends and for others.

Marc Jalbert, Founding Director of Bakewell Farm, a 501c3 non-profit whose mission is to promote “bread-centric” educational programs for building community while engaged in the practice of public service. Please visit us at: www.bakewellfarm.org