“Every time we step to our stoves to make a meal we’re engaging with the society around us. Each ingredient that we use, every technique, every spice tells a story about our access, our privilege, our heritage, and our culture. The foods and dishes we consume are all part of larger forces that impact our lives. Our appetites and what we crave are the result of our place in the world at that time.” – Korsha Wilson
An Elm City native; Disha (she/they) is a queer femme of color, who believes in the transformative power of youth/community, the outdoors & snacks.
They have been her grandmother’s kitchen helper since the 1990’s and comes from a family of agriculturalists, so much so that their last name – Patel – stands for the Gujarati word “patlikh” or farmer. They have spent most of their years on a circuitous path of immigration advocacy, community organizing, arts/cultural programming to the most tangible of pursuits: producing healthful food. They believe cooking & growing your own food gives you power & that it isn’t just the food that is vital, but the act of eating together that creates a platform where any form of activism can sustainably happen.
As of now, Disha is a cook, grower, & youth educator at Common Ground High School who also teaches social justice, art and the community at Gateway Community College, and is on the co-founding team for Sanctuary Kitchen. They survive on a steady diet of hiking, climate organizing and holds reverence for theater/film, Ayurvedic food as medicine and for lifting up the stories and agency of those in the in-between spaces.
They are also an alumnus of Soul Fire Farm’s BIPOC FIRE Farmer Immersion (Black-Indigenous-People-of-Color Farming in Relationship with Earth), and is a member of the Northeast Farmers of Color Network, Queer Farmers Network, and outdoor wilderness educator at Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC).