Wigata N’dakinna is in the western Abenaki language and means roughly Tasty New England, or more appropriately Tasty Dawnland. The Dawnland is the area in which the Abenaki people call home and is roughly what we now call New England. The Abenaki title is a form of land acknowledgement, as well as a way of recognizing the role the indigenous Abenaki people had in developing the sense of place and taste of our beautiful home. The Abenaki are accredited for discovering maple syrup and other delights that are intertwined in our culture. As master foragers they discovered and used many ingredients that I use in my business.
I will be highlighting the best flavors, forage, food, and drink of the area that I have discovered through my life work as an entrepreneur and time spend travelling. Wigata N’dakinna: Tasty New England, illustrating the captivating flavor and sights of home. I will be attempting to answer this: what distinctive flavors make up our local culture and how can it lead us to a sense of place? The Project will show that we have much more culture and diversity to represent in the northern parts of New England than we realize.
Although Wigata N’dakinna will represent businesses and flavors outside of my own entrepreneurial realm, my business Yeoman Brewing Company will be the backbone of the story as we travel the journey of the place specific ingredients we use in our beverages and pickled goods. We will feature the process of making kombucha and Jun, as well as other beverages like Chaga. We will also talk about the “fiddleheading” process and other foraged ingredients. Many people don’t realize how much delicious food is made or grown around us. A great deal of empowerment can come from discovering what is available as close to where you live as possible. I hope this brings awareness of your local surroundings.
Tasty New England is for those people looking to draw a deeper connection to this area. Most of these individuals may be new to the local food and beverage scene where they are looking to draw more conclusions on the benefits of eating closer to home. Other readers will be more like myself, young foodies with a burning passion for all things local. I am looking to draw inspiration that will allow me to connect the dots and bring meaning to my work. This project will act as a great conduit for anyone who wants to take a journey in discovering our home in a new and different light.
Academically, learning to be a reflective writer has prepared me to work on this project that has been floating around in my brain for quite some time. I also believe that my entrepreneurial journey through classes in college and my real-world experience has been one of discovery leading me to find my passions. Many of those passions are topics that will be outlined. Through the years and the growth of my business, I have developed a real passion for supporting both what is sustainable and what is hyperlocal. More times than not, these subjects merge in a true interdisciplinary fashion. Not everyone cares about taking care of the planet, but in my world, that consists of farmers markets on Sundays, mornings in small town cafes, and adventures to diversified farms, I see people who care and have a stake in the game. I see examples of sustainability every day, sometimes in unlikely ways.
Local food and beverages, with the places and culture they represent, feelings and senses they provoke, are interdisciplinary in nearly all aspects. I hope to represent that. In the journey I am embarking on, I will show interdisciplinarities by blending a sustainable entrepreneurial representation of local culture through the scopes of photography and storytelling. I hope to shed light on locals who do not know what is in their backyards or for some who might feel a lack of place in our multicultural society. It will also be laid out for individuals to explore foods, flavors, forage, and drinks further. I am working to make meaningful connections and help represent the bigger picture of our food scene and landscape.