You might call the union of FreshFarm Markets and its landlord a perfect marriage of church and crate. The church, Washington’s first to integrate, was founded in 1865 by abolitionists. The original church has been rebuilt twice over the years to accommodate growth and now occupies the first two floors of a multi-use, 10-story, LEED-certified building completed in 2011.
“They were looking for just the right tenant,” explains Yonkers. “One that shared their values.” The missions of both organizations include environmental stewardship, but something else was just as important, says the Rev. Sidney Fowler.
FreshFarm, he says, “provides a link between rural and urban in a very powerful way. They provide precious food, but their drive is social justice. They relate to those who have a hard time getting food by providing the ability to use food stamps and using food that isn’t sold. This commitment is at the heart of what we’re all about.”
Throughout lunch, Yonkers looks down the table from its head and grins with pride, like the mother of a large, accomplished brood that gathered from all over for Thanksgiving. She muses about the years of diligence it took to get FreshFarm to this place and how moving to the church building coincided with the organization’s 15th anniversary and its earning of a Mayor’s Sustainability Award last year.
When dessert time rolls around, chatter stops momentarily as everyone heads back to the buffet for clean plates, filling them with full-size slices of all three pies and adding for good measure a generous scoop of the homemade vanilla ice cream that market manager Dana Rybak churned the day before.
Glass’s pies are de rigueur at every monthly lunch. She never considered herself much of a baker but got into it because she had access to such amazing fruit from FreshFarm’s markets. Now she bakes at least three pies a week, using pastry chef Elisabeth M. Prueitt’s foolproof recipe for buttery, flaky pie crust found in “Tartine” (Chronicle, 2006).
“Who doesn’t love pie?” Glass asks rhetorically. “Besides, I love people showering me with compliments.”
She deserves every one of them.
Hagedorn is a frequent Food section contributor and co-author with chef Cathal Armstrong of the upcoming “My Irish Table: Recipes From the Homeland and Restaurant Eve” (Ten Speed Press, March 2014). He will join today’s Free Range chat at noon at live.washingtonpost.com.
Dry-Brined Pork Chops
Farmers Market Herb Potato Salad
Minted Green Bean Salad
Roasted Eggplant Dip
Shaved Summer Squash Salad
Vintage Rhubarb Pie
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