Learning the history of our food, and learning new (and old) techniques to use in our kitchens today, are both profoundly impactful ways to connect with what you eat. However, that connection does not occur in a vacuum.
The history of what we eat has always been tied to local and global exchanges of goods and ideas, interpersonal power dynamics, and dependent upon what foods we can source and how we can prepare them.
I keep all of this in mind in all my work, but this perspective informs the core of how I run Root as a business.
An important component to Root is community service, with food at the center. This is an ever-evolving area within Root’s business model, as new opportunities to serve arise and as people’s needs and interests change, but currently includes:
Every Atlanta-based workshop run through Root includes a scholarship to allow someone from an underserved community to attend free of charge. These scholarships are heavily focused on people who do not have the financial means to attend, as well as queer people and people of color, but all eligible folks are welcome to apply.
To apply, please send me an email with a few sentences about yourself and what you hope to get from the workshop. Please make sure to specify what workshop you want, and offer a few backup options (these scholarship spaces fill up very quickly!) I can’t guarantee I can accommodate everyone, but I do my best to spread scholarships around, so please keep applying if you don’t get one the first time!
Community events + collaboration
Root takes part in activities like Queer Soup Night, originally founded in Brooklyn to raise money for queer-friendly causes using a fun and low-key party (and some good soup) as the nexus for fundraising. I started up our local chapter to bring this important work to Atlanta, and so far we have raised funds for scholarships to Sandor Katz’ fermentation residency program, and will next be raising funds for Lost n Found Youth.
Root joins with other community partners as well, such as our partnerships with Homestead Atlanta, and with Murmur Gallery.
Reducing food waste + feeding our neighbors
Many Root workshops, and all Root demonstrations, include space where we make extra fermented foods together to ‘pay forward’ into the community. Once they complete the fermentation process, all these foods are donated to Umi Feeds, which reduces food waste and provides meals to Atlanta community members facing homelessness.