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    detail, Michael Naples, Bread Cork Cheese

    Plough Quarterly No. 20: The Welcome Table

    Spring 2019


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    front cover of Plough Quarterly 20, The Welcome Table

    About This Issue

    Food – how it’s grown, how it’s shared – makes us who we are. This issue traces the connections between farm and food, between humus and human. According to the first book of the Bible, tending the earth was humankind’s first task: “The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Gen. 2:8). The desire to get one’s hands dirty raising one’s own food, then, doesn’t just come from modern romanticism, but is built into human nature.

    The title, “The Welcome Table,” comes from a spiritual first sung by enslaved African-Americans. The song refers to the Bible’s closing scene, the wedding feast of the Lamb described in the Book of Revelation, to which every race, tribe, and tongue are invited. To those who composed the song, the welcome table must have seemed a remote dream. But it was also a promise – a divine pledge of a day of freedom and freely shared plenty, of earth renewed and humanity restored. In the case of food, the symbol is the substance. Every meal, if shared generously and with radical hospitality, is already now a taste of the feast to come.