Artist Grant Wood’s American Gothic, the classic painting of a rural couple of the 1930s, got an update at the Church of the Epiphany’s Free Community Meal March 16.
One of the newer businesses in the county, Hippie and the Farmer, presided as chefs and co-hosts at the monthly buffet and brought Wood’s enigmatic image into the 21st century.
The Hippie partner in the business is Pamela Bowshier, owner of Cosmic Charlie’s Bread, organizer of farm markets throughout the county, member of Champaign Local Foods Council and the Monument Square District and chair of Art Affair on the Square.
For those to whom the term “hippie” may suggest an unfortunate figure fault, it should be explained that Pamela favors the signature haute couture of the Hippie Youth Movement popular some 60 years ago and applies its philosophy of peace and love to the new venture: “A whole new level of local love,” proclaims their business literature.
The farmer of Hippie and the Farmer is Mark Runyan of Oak View Farm, second generation of one of the county’s leading pork producing families. Mark‘s red plaid flannel shirt, jeans and high topped work shoes have replaced the once-standard bib overalls and a high-collared, long sleeved cotton shirt and dark suit coat immortalized in Wood’s painting.
Pamela and Mark’s business collaborates with area producers of foods to offer catered meals, box lunches, original menus for special events and, coming soon, a retail “kitchen” serving only local foods: fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and Cosmic Charlie breads.
Epiphany guests were treated to home-cooked cheese-stuffed individual meat loaves, potatoes in herbed broth, French cut green beans, red cabbage cole slaw with carrots, several styles of Cosmic Charlie’s artisan bread and brownies, coffee and cold beverages.
Hippie & the Farmer promotional materials characterize the business as: “The home of the fully licensed Cucina Rustica Kitchen experience.” The Italian, cucina (a style of cooking) and rustica (rural), can be translated several ways as occasion demands, but this new enterprise presents it as simple, attractive, wholesome meals of healthy, home-grown foods produced by Champaign County families.
The Epiphany Community Meal’s reputation of good food well served, enhanced by Hippie and the Farmer, was confirmed by March diners including Sadie Mae, a Dalmatian-shepherd mix who came with a friend. Her diet didn’t permit people food, but she snoozed contentedly under the table while her friend enjoyed the hospitality.
For more information or to arrange catering call Pamela at Cosmic Charlie Breads, 937-926-4833 or Mark at Oak View Farm Meats, 937-869-6083.
Submitted by Sally Johnson on behalf of the Northern Miami Valley Episcopal Cluster.