Homemaking: A Speculative Pantry

June 2021-October 2021

Evolving Installation:
preserved goods were added to the shelves as produce became available from local farms

See excerpt below

Public Programs:
Sauerkraut Making Workshop and Women Farmers Panel Discussion


May 26, 2050

Dearest Granddaughter,

            I wish my grandmothers would have left a letter like this for me. My Grandma Dorn had over twenty grandchildren and started her family early in her life at the age of twenty. I think well before she was ready. She got pregnant, then married, had a baby and then got pregnant at least nine more times. I had your mother well after I found and established who I wanted to be in the world and what I wanted to offer. Maybe that could have been enough. In my generation there was always this message that you had to choose a career or a family or you would be doing too much if you didn’t. I hope now that capitalism is flailing and on its final legs you don’t have to choose like that. If you have a partner, no matter their gender, I hope they know how to make a life with you that allows both of you to be giving back to the world and to be part a community that supports you in doing that. When I was getting ready to have your mother the world fell into a COVID pandemic chaos. People, told to not leave their homes unless necessary, swarmed the grocery stores terrified that they wouldn’t have access to what they needed.  I was there too, gathering what I needed and what your great-grandparents needed. I was so scared to be around other people in a way I had never imagined possible.  For the first time in my life the grocery store shelves went bare. Having more than enough food in my house has always made me feel safe. The years preceding the pandemic I had felt in my gut many times, this is fragile, this system that brings us food is fragile and destructive. It is making us sick. (…)

As a young woman often walking into the homes of older people it felt a shrine to their past selves. So here is my past self. I’ve always gravitated to the styles of my grandmothers, of the 1950’s and even before. When you come into my home, I hope you see a past that has been repurposed to serve us now and you find beauty in these textiles, jars of preserved local goods, and your great-great grandmothers sofa. Your great-great grandma Dorn was a quilter, your grandma Lawson a seamstress, and well I’m the chef. I was the only one of that lineage to make a living with my creativity. That has its own burden, but I promise you if you cultivate a relationship with the part of you that creates, whatever your creation, it is a deep well of resilience and connection to possibility and beauty will carry you through the moments when the world feels desperately bleak. I hope you have the relationship to growing plants, to what your body wants and needs that I never had enough time to cultivate in my lifetime and in my moment in history. There is something I want to pass onto you buried here in these words, in this guide. I hope you find it and hold it dear. I’m grateful to be part of your lineage. I’m grateful you’re on this planet. I love you dearly.


Grandma Maggie 

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