the cactus garden is a small space for anthropology, cultural and media studies, food, and sometimes fiction.

and for people who like thinking and discussing these things.

sometimes it's a quiet place — we try not to yell in caps lock, and generally we're pretty polite.

sometimes it's a little louder. we get excited. there's a lot to talk about.

because, you see, we like thinking and talking about some pretty interesting things:

often we talk specifically about the anthropology of food. the anthropology of food examines the many ways in which food — the preparation, the eating, the sharing of it — creates, develops, and cultivates identity and culture. as cultures and societies become more and more global, the foods we eat, the way we eat, and who we eat with is drastically changing.

food culture — including food writing, food media, and food movements — in general is becoming an exciting new field, one where anyone is welcome and new ideas, concepts, and trends are rapidly becoming aspects of cultural and self identity.

the ways in which we express all of this change and the imagination we employ to share our thoughts and ideas through writing — fiction, nonfiction, poetry, play, random words scribbled on a napkin — are all ways in which we share and communicate with each other.

the food posts might make you hungry. or gross you out. both are fine.

the anthropology posts might bore you a little. or they might give you something to talk about next time an awkward silence happens at a party. those are both fine, too.

the fiction posts might distract you during your lunch break. or maybe you just put off reading them because you missed the first few posts and don't know what's going on. that's all okay, too.

all of these things come out of imagination.

all of these things are things we've not only created, but we've deemed worthy to continue and cultivate.

and that's pretty impressive when you think about it.