LocalHarvest Newsletter, November 30, 2015|
Giving Gifts, Giving Thanks
Photo by Amity Highland Ranch
Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.
November is a traditional month of completing the harvest and of giving thanks. Thanks to the soil, to the rains, the plants, the animals, and to each other. It also marks the season of rest, when we turn inward for self-reflection, spend time communing with friends and family, repair our bodies (and often our homes and equipment), and make plans for the future. Some go away from their homes during this time to ‘vacate' reality, but I like to hunker down by a warm fire and a good book while looking out the window at the ice covered tree branches. I don't get a lot of time to sit and watch, nor read and self-reflect the rest of the year. When I used to farm in California, I never got this down time. The farm was on all 365 days a year. Now that I live in a true four-season climate, I am grateful for the slowness and forced rest of winter time.
In truth, this year's countless mass shootings and violence around the world have me struggling to find gratitude. I should be immensely thankful for the healthy baby boy that has entered our lives this year, or the new book we wrote together that hit bookstore shelves in June. Our garden provided an insane quantity of huge garlic, grapefruit sized onions, boxes of potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, plums, and many other crops that we have filling our larder. We have three animals that we will harvest in the next month, so our freezer will be equally loaded. We are healthy, we have a little patch of ground to call ours for the time being, and we have the privilege to live in one of the most gorgeous regions of the country with an amazing community of people. But I can't help but think of all the people who don't have this security, who don't know where their next meal will come from or even where they are going to lay their head at night. There are more people displaced from their homes than any other time in human history- an astonishing 60 million people. How do I tap into joy and thankfulness when I know that is going on? I have to tell myself a different story. I have to live a different story.
As Native American ecologist Robin Wall Kimmerer writes in her book Braiding Sweetgrass, telling a different story can change how we relate to one another and all the beings on this planet. It will teach us the way of gratitude. She says, “One of these stories sustains the living systems on which we depend. One of these stories opens the way to living in gratitude and amazement at the richness and generosity of the world. One of these stories asks us to bestow our own gifts in kind, to celebrate our kinship with the world. We can choose. If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become.”
What gifts will you sow? What gifts will you leave behind? I will focus on writing with integrity and honesty, raising my children with empathy, creating a biodiverse oasis on the land we call home, and being generous with my time to help our community. Small acts of kindness will lead to a world of good.
From the LH Store
Chestnuts roasting by an open fire. Cracking walnuts in the shell. Roasting fresh pecans in maple syrup. Grinding almonds into cookie dough. I'm nuts for nuts in winter time. How about you?
This time of year many CSA farmers are saying to themselves, "Next year we HAVE to figure out how to streamline membership management!" If that sounds familiar, this winter might be a great time to take a look at our CSA management software, CSAware. If you would like to see how it works, and what it can offer your farm, let us know. and we'll set you up for a tour.
Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetable and Sausage Stuffing
This rustic stuffing is all about subtle layers of flavor. It has a creamy tang from the goat cheese and a sweet earthiness from the roasted rutabaga, red beets, carrot, and onion. The citrus notes from the lemon zest provide an extra punch of brightness, which is the perfect counterpoint to the savory artisan handcrafted sausage. Recipe