Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving at the Farm: All is Safely Gathered In

Once again, we pause to give thanks. We give thanks for the good times and the blessings, and if we are really brave and honest, we give thanks for the tough times, and consider what it taught us, and how it helped us grow.  
It’s the same at Restoration Farm.  Some things thrive and some things struggle, but we give thanks for it all. As Thanksgiving 2014 approaches, we gather again at the farm to share the final bounty of the season – root vegetables, Long Island Cheese pumpkins, winter squash, potatoes, stunning heads of broccoli and whimsical Brussels sprouts that look like sleigh bells.

Head grower Caroline Fanning talks about the unpredictability of the weather, and the cold snap that has gripped Long Island.  
“I thought we’d have beautiful lettuce for the members, but it didn’t make it,” she says. “The water was turning to ice on the ground as I washed the carrots.” 
Nothing is guaranteed.  We can only soldier on, hope for the best, and celebrate and be grateful for what we have.  
Members stream in for their Thanksgiving produce. The Tin House pulses with a sense of excitement at the bounty spread before us. 

The fields of Restoration Farm will take a brief respite, but even as they anticipate slumber, they are drenched in rich, emotional colors. It is a fiery, final celebration of the season that was. 

And, even still, things grow. As I walk in the fields, Glenn Aldridge pulls the truck to a stop in front of me and opens the passenger door.

“I have sage,” he says with excitement.  He passes me a handful of fragrant, slender leaves from a basket on the car seat, which I stuff in my coat pocket.  It smells like Thanksgiving dinner. 
At Apple Trace, the heirloom apple trees planted in memory of my dad Jim are shedding their leaves, but they grew extensively this season.  Some tower over me by three or four feet.  He would be amazed at how these trees have grown. 
I revel in the crisp beauty of it all for just a little longer, think about what germinated, blossomed and was harvested since that frigid New Year’s Day when we sat around the table selecting seeds, and wonder about the season that is yet to come. 

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