Origin Stories: Five mostly true stories of how I got the idea for the Hillside Produce Cooperative

Where did the idea for the Hillside Produce Cooperative come from? As far as origin stories go (and really – who doesn’t love a good origin story?), the co-op has quite a few good ones. The idea was born of a need, a serious bone-crushing lack of money, a gourmet cooking addiction, a Peeping Tom, an attempt to repay the kindness of strangers, a very bad job working in Japanese animation, and a towering desire to use all the fresh produce I saw growing on the hill. Sound disorienting? Well, first let me confess that every time I’m asked where the idea for the co-op came from, I give a different answer. And though admittedly they’re all really different answers, they’re also all really true. As a life-long actress I claim my birthright to remember things free of the constraints of – shall we say – accuracy. My memory is nebulous – colorful, but nebulous. So with the preceding fact in evidence, I shall now do my best to recreate each version of how the Hillside Produce Cooperative came to be as fantastically as the fun-house mirror through which I remember it. Then perhaps like Rashomon, we shall all find truth in synthesis. But first, join me as we return to the birth time of the cooperative, in the summer of 2008…

  1. Crying Over Onions (need)
  2. Let it Roll (waste)
  3. The Bucket (substance)
  4. The Bear (community)
  5. Twenty-Two Dollars (moneylessness)