Thanksgiving – today and every day

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I cannot keep this blog without taking a moment to tell everyone how much I appreciate all your support – through the rise and fall of garlic (hopefully to rise again!) – through all the follies of this backyard “bigger-than-a-garden/smaller-than-a-farm” pursuit of living closer to the earth, working to be more self sufficient, growing enough to share, connecting enough to give, understanding enough to see what is truly important: love, laughter, friendship, doing what we can to make this world a better place.

I am so overwhelmed at times at how fortunate we are to have such an abundance of the good things in life – because the world is not a fair place, and it is so very sad to see that as a species, we still have not been able to overcome our differences enough to eliminate hunger and sickness.

It strikes me that one way each of us can help to change the world is to think a little differently about our food and what we eat – where it comes from, who grows it, how it was raised, whether what we pay for it is supporting a living wage or supporting what amounts to slavery. It is so easy to overlook the hard work that it takes to get the food from a tiny seed to the market, and so very easy to take for granted this food that is so accessible to us. Is it food that nurtures? Did it come from good soil? Is it free from poisons? Can we even recognize it? (so many “foods” look nothing like what is grown in the field!)

Garlic? Are you there?
And speaking of recognition – I just returned (fortunately! almost got stranded!) from a little vacation only to find 15-degree temps, icy roads, and everything under a foot of snow! The Northwest just got hammered in my absence! I took a quick survey of the garden, and hardly anything is recognizable. Today is another chilly morning and the garden sleeps (or dies) under a cold blanket, with more snow in the forecast. I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to before I left, but one can only do so much.
Oops. No protection. Maybe just as well.

I am glad I didn’t get around to covering certain beds with hoops of plastic, because it all would have been blown away or shredded. When the snow melts, we’ll see what survived and what will be an “oh well” moment. It may be too late for the red wigglers. 🙁

But there are bright spots. I have seldom seen so many birds at our bird feeder — they barely waited until I finished filling the feeders, scattering seed on the ground, and filling up a small dish of water before they were there in great numbers. Finches, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees, juncos, towhees, woodpeckers, jaybirds, mourning doves, quail … large and small, they all eat together. They are obviously thankful for the abundance of food.

(Note to self: plan on growing some birdseed next year!)

Mmmm. Homemade pies and cranberry sauce.

And speaking of abundance, I have three pies in the oven: apple, pumpkin, and green tomato mincemeat, all made from the fruits of the garden. We are looking forward to a large family gathering, full of chatter and a high level of chaos.

It is something to remember – just how blessed we are in this country. This holiday tradition of celebrating the harvest and taking a moment to be thankful for what is meaningful in life is one that can be extended to every day of our lives.

And with that thought, may I extend a happy Thanksgiving today and every day to anyone reading this. May your day be filled with many blessings: good food, a wealth of love, laughter, and good health, a warm place to be, safe travels.

And, as always – grow your own when you can, but when you can’t grow your own, thank a farmer who makes your meal possible — buy local and support family farms!

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