The Perennial Closes, Mission Street Food Returns, and more

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This morning, I woke up to the news that Anthony and I are on the James Beard Foundation’s list of semifinalists for Outstanding Restaurateurs. That felt good (of course), but also a bit mournful, since we are currently in the process of winding down The Perennial, the restaurant that I’ve been most emotionally invested in for the past few years. We closed for many reasons, most of them personal, but they could all go under the broad category of time management. We felt torn between tending to the restaurant and the advocacy work of its non-profit sister, The Perennial Farming Initiative. We tried to juggle both projects for more than three years (along with everything else that crops up in a life), and we have been feeling pretty worn out.

The Perennial closed its doors about three weeks ago, and already, I’ve had more time to reflect—and to reflect about time. We only get so many hours in the day, and we only have a few years left to turn this climate change thing around. Anthony and I want to put more of our personal energy into systemic approaches to climate change, which we’ve mapped out here (and in the graphic below). I’ll continue to be Executive Director of The Perennial Farming Initiative, with Anthony in the Director of Operations role, until we discover another, better way to make change. In the meantime, Anthony has been getting back into cheffing with Vesterbro Chinese Food in Copenhagen and a revamped Mission Street Food truck operated by Off The Grid every Friday at Fort Mason from March through October this year. But our focus is PFI and building a renewable food system rooted in healthy soil. So, we forge ahead, bridging the worlds of food, environment, writing, family, and friendship. We’ll continue to add items to our to-do lists about as quickly as we cross them off, and that’s the plan until we come up with some way to do more with these lives we’ve been given.