The head growers have prepared a bonus distribution of vegetables – a final, Thanksgiving harvest for members already signed up for 2011. I can only gape, astonished, at the endless banquet table, groaning with a medley of autumn vegetables - red and green cabbage the size of soccer balls, golden beets as big as baseballs, fat leeks, and clumps of chubby crooked carrots.
The butternut squash has been prolific – not one, but two?
And of course, there are always vibrant, life-giving greens.
The farmers – our farmers – Dan and Caroline seem happy and content. The pace at Restoration Farm will slow… for a time.
I stop to chat, but this is not the usual relaxed weekend distribution. Within minutes, a drove of members flood the tent with recyclable bags in hand. It is as though someone has just convened a frenetic harvest square dance. People gather their produce with a sense of efficiency and purpose. There are still pies to be baked. I jump into line and get with the business of gathering and weighing.
Last spring these vegetables were tiny seeds, pushed into the soil by index fingers caked in dirt. Such potential now fulfilled, but it required an investment - sun, sweat, collaboration, water, weeding and a nurturing community.
Such dividends are found in every bite – brilliant color, variety, flavor and nourishment for the body and the spirit - satisfying our hunger, stocking our freezers, and filling our lives.
As the butternut squash puree, the green bean casserole, the beet salad and the pumpkin bread are placed on the table on this day of Thanksgiving - and passed between friends and family - there is reason to smile. We all share in the farm this day.
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