Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Local food and an historic avant garde

This past Sunday's Plain Dealer contained two pieces of particular, and for me not unrelated, interest.

First, a nice little feature on City Fresh, the farm share coop i've been working with the past few months. City Fresh is a CSA (community-supported argiculture) co-op: several times a week a truck that runs on vegetable oil makes the rounds of organic farms in nearby Summit and Portage counties buying available produce and bringing it back to various distribution points throughout the city, where shareholders have placed advance orders for whatever the farms have available that week. This is rare among CSAs, which usually require shareholders to purchase an entire season's worth of produce in advance, usually from a single farm provider. Our weekly shares are also priced on a two-tier system so that those who can afford it subsidize those who otherwise couldn't.

Second, a backgrounder on the Kokoon Arts Klub of Cleveland, which promoted experimental arts dance and lifestyle even before the famous 1913 Armory show in New York City. Founded mostly by disgruntled German lithographers who were bored with commercial art (particularly movie posters coming out of Cleveland's then-major lithography industry), the KAK held an annual "Bal Masque" or fundraising soiree that featured some rather outlandish for-the-time attractions. But they were also committed to the kinds of innovate arts emerging elsewhere to the local Clevleand audience. The Klub's history and their work are featured in an exhibit running though March 2010 at the Kent State University Museum.

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