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Revelers At Winter Solstice Feast Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, Celebrating Food and Community

Supporters of Bushwick non-profit

Supporters of Bushwick non-profit

came out to the

on Friday night to eat, drink, be merry, and celebrate EcoStation's five years of service to the community. We were there to participate in the festivities and bring you some highlights of this annual fundraising party where food is celebrated both for its own delicious sake and its power to create positive change in our communities.

Local food and drink startups showcased their wares.

John Ratliff of Ends Meat NYC was serving up crostini topped with pork paté and pickled beets, an unctuous, fortifying hors d'oeuvre to fend off the winter chill. Ratliff's small business produces 18 kinds of fermented and dry-cured meat products (i.e. charcuterie), and will be opening up a retail shop in Sunset Park next year. S&M Bitters was also on-hand to offer tastings of piquant concoctions that featured their small-batch bitters, which are made using wild plants foraged in New Jersey ("S&M" stands for the first initials of founders Shawn Kelloway and Mallory O'Donnell--not what you were thinking...). S&M's DeMario Wallace, who is also a mixologist at innovative East Village cocktail bar Pouring Ribbons, was pouring spiced cider and a special "rum Negroni" which both featured S&M's bitters.

Hungry revelers line up at the buffet for the main event: the feast.

Photo by Steven Trotman for Bushwick Daily

Feast-goers were treated to a multicultural smorgasbord featuring dishes provided by Bushwick restaurants, as well as a bar serving local craft beers and locally-distilled spirits.

LightSpace Studios was an elegantly minimalist setting that was transformed for the occasion into a glowing banquet hall centered around rustic, picnic-style community tables.

Photo by Joel Wolfram for Bushwick Daily

EcoStation:NY's Executive Director took the stage to award "EcoStation Honors" to critical supporters.

Photo by Steven Trotman for Bushwick Daily

Other members of EcoStation's staff spoke about the organization's mission "to create a thriving community around food", its belief that "food and social justice are intrinsically linked", and described recent changes that would allow the five-year-old organization to evolve and further its mission in the years to come. EcoStation's youth leaders also took the microphone to speak about how their work at Bushwick Campus Farm & Greenhouse and Farm-In-The-Sky had profoundly impacted their lives. Iyeshima Harris, now a freshman at York College, said that her work with EcoStation was not a passing fad, but part of an enduring "lifestyle I plan to live."

Feast-goers got goofy at LightSpace Studios' digital photo both.

Photo by Joel Wolfram for Bushwick Daily

No actual chickens were harmed in the making of the fun feast mementos churned out by the photo booth, which both printed photos and sent digital versions via email.

We look forward to next year's feast!

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