Bread & Politics
Dear Bread Eaters,
During the month of February (and perhaps beyond) a portion of my profits will go to community organizations working for justice and sustainability here in Bellingham. If you have thoughts about which organizations in our community are doing the best work, shoot me an email, or stop by to chat at the next Saturday Farmers Market on the 18th.
If you're already signed up for a winter bread share, thank you! I'm so glad you're a part of this bread subscription experiment. You can, of course, still buy cookies, add bread to your order, or just come visit me at the market. And if you're not part of the winter bread subscription, order bread! Order your Bittersweet Chocolate Cookies for Valentines day! And definitely come to market on the third Saturday of the month.
I am trying to make democracy a habit, like feeding my sourdough. You know, get up in the morning, put on the kettle for tea, brush my teeth, feed the sourdough, and call my representatives. Some days I do better than others.
I have always read voraciously, though never fast enough. Books wash up against the shore of my bed in ever-growing drifts, even as I request others from the library and am drawn as inevitably as the tide into used bookstores to gather more. I stack articles and essays along the top of my web browsers in neat rows like offerings, like a wall to hold back the rushing media on the days when keeping up with the news feels like drowning.
Because I read so much, and not enough, I have always understood the vast expanse of my ignorance. For most of my politically-aware life, from that Sunday in middle school when I cried while reading the double page spread in the Seattle PI on the invasion of Iraq to the uneasy year spent following our most recent presidential election, my ignorance has been my excuse to stay quiet. What could I say that hadn't already been said elsewhere and better?
It is hard to break a long habit of silence, but I'm holding on to the hope that it will get easier. Calling my reps is still uncomfortable--I have to practice what I want to say in my head beforehand or I lose the thread of my thoughts entirely--but the discomfort is there and gone so quickly that the anticipation is worse than the reality. Speaking out through the platform of my business demands greater commitment because it invites conversation, praise, and some very pointed condemnation. But as I told one former customer who wrote to express her disgust at my mixing of bread and politics, this business has always been political. My commitment to biking, to sourcing ethical ingredients, to minimizing packaging, to taking the long way even when shortcuts beckon, these are moral and political decisions. Stenciling vulvas, or anarcho-feminist fists, or Bread Without Borders on my loaves is just a more overt expression of those quieter values.
Thank you for supporting me as I continue to define the shape of this business. I hope you will continue to come for the bread and stay for conversation. Tell me what you like. Tell me when you disagree. I may not change my mind, but I will listen.
Owner | Baker
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