Alisa "Lisa" Lay, part of our new Greenwood Farmers' Market oral history project, passed away yesterday. She was 54 years old. Her passing was unexpected, and the loss is great. Lisa was a fixture at the market, and her personality energized Saturday mornings for vendors and customers alike each and every season--and beyond.
Lisa and her sister, Brenda, operated under the name 2 Sisters in the Kitchen, and canned all manner of foods: pickled green beans, dilly green tomatoes, black bean and corn salsa, apple preserves. But the jars they were most proud of held their pickled okra, which they grew from heirloom seeds. From Lisa's interview, which we collected just last month:
"We have okra that has been in our family, the okra seeds have been in our family almost 200 years, passed down from my grandmother from generation to generation…For them it wasn’t a sentimental thing; it was survival. And for us it’s a sentimental thing."
Lisa's interview painted a wonderful portrait of the market but, more than that, it spoke to the connections made through food. We only just got to know her, but we sure did love her. She was a gem of a woman, who touched an awful lot of people.
Our thoughts are with Lisa's family, especially her sister Brenda, as well as the market family she loved.
We are glad her story lives on.
Our Greenwood Farmers' Market oral history project is being processed now and will appear online in the coming weeks. We will be featuring Lisa's interview on our next edition of Okracast, the SFA podcast, which we will air next week.