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. 

©2014 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Restoration Farm looks very peaceful while it slumbers for the winter. Winter came awfully early this year and I know it must be hard on farms.

Happy Thanksgiving T W. We are truly blessed. And welcome back!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

A beautiful close to another season at Restoration Farm. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving T.W. and enjoy the bounty that the farm provided you .

Deana Sidney said...

So many lovely thought about the farm. It has a life of its own, doesn't it?

have a happy thanksgiving!!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi T.W!
Oh it's so nice to "see" you and especially nice to see how wonderfully Restoration Farm is thriving.

It sounds like it was a bountiful year albeit a bit short but we do have so much to be thankful for and that's really the story behind Restoration Farm and indeed Thanksgiving.

Thank you so much for giving us a "taste" of all the goodness T.W. I'm pretty impressed at how tall that apple tree has gotten. It won't be long now:)

Thanks for sharing, T.W. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Be safe and eat lots and lots...(bring home some leftovers if you dine out:)

Jann said...

What terrific farm shots and those of the veggies!!Oh to be able to hop in the car and visit this place~all delicious and many of my favorites!