Kristen Psaki. We worried a bit about how Kristen would fare in the middle of a rural farm field after so many years in deeply urban settings: Detroit, D.C., New York. Her most recent work that had anything to do with a field was as field organizer for the campaign that landed President Obama in office. Since then, she’d been advocating and organizing for urban agriculture and food justice issues.
While pursuing graduate work at Union Theological Seminary, in Manhattan, Kristen worked with a horticultural therapy program at Rikers Island Jail, and directed The Edible Churchyard, an organization that works with its surrounding Harlem community to transform undeveloped plots into urban gardens and green gathering spaces. Throughout, Kristen never strayed far from the table. ‘The kitchen table is a sacred place in my life,’ she says. ‘It’s where I’ve cried with my mom and sisters, laughed while baking bread with my roommates, and fallen in love.’
As soon as Kristen graduated with her Masters in Divinity, she packed up her car and drove out to Colorado, where she had no difficulty trading her urban table for our long one set among rows of crops. Even while hand-shaping orecchiette or slicing fire-roasted peppers with her new chef’s knife, Kristen continued to employ her skills as an organizer, making every visitor and guest feel instantly at ease at our table. With such a penchant for building community, Kristen is already well on her way toward achieving her very admirable and powerfully articulated goal: ‘I root my spiritual practice in the earth and hope to one day be part of a queer-loving multi-ethnic faith community that intentionally caters to the needs of formerly incarcerated men and women and gathers in the midst of nature’s cathedrals.’ Amen.