First and foremost I hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. This was meant to reach you Tuesday night or Wednesday morning before we got too busy with our own Thanksgiving preparations, knowing full well that in the midst of that we wouldn’t be sitting down to write this! What we have come to realize is that it is hard to keep the same momentum as we slide into winter with the newsletter and the blog. As we work towards full time farming, the reality is that last fall and winter and this, both Andre and I work away from the farm to supplement our income. Andre returns to helping his good friend get through the leafy season doing landscaping as he did before we started the business, and last year I had the pleasure of working in the field I was pursuing prior to the farm thing…providing postpartum care at Bella Vie Gentle Birth Center. As wonderful as that was, once we got back into the thick of the busy season this year my availability for that line of work was greatly diminished. So this year, I took a job at Cana’s Feast Winery. Andre and I are both largely unfamiliar with the wine scene here, and as we love good food so much but have no wine knowledge to speak of, the few hours that I give to this side job is more than just financially rewarding. Besides, their menu is hugely seasonal and local, and they have a wonderfully productive garden that they rely on for much of their produce, it’s great!
The point of all of this is mostly that even though we are continuing to harvest through the fall and winter, most of the work for these crops has been done, and because our business is young and we had no capitol or credit to start it, the slow road leads us to dividing our attention right now, making it harder to squeeze in the same amount of time on a schedule to get this newsletter ready…especially on a week when we had so many other activities going as well. Our oldest son participated in the McMinnville Library’s art and craft sale, selling copies of his new line of comic books, proud as a peacock he and I both were! Then, of course, Thanksgiving, here at the farm with good friends!! I had wanted to give you all recipes to use for this special day, but to recap, here is what we chose to make with Growing Wild’s produce: roasted root veggies, sage winter squash soup with caramelized onions, cornbread stuffing with pac choi, onion, rosemary, sage, and walnuts, and a large salad. Our friends were able to provide mashed potatoes and beet salad from their CSA share. We roasted a turkey that we got from Hope Springs Farm, and there was pumpkin desserts that our guests brought made with local pumpkins as well. We used up some local apples for apple crisp, and voila…a very local and seasonal holiday meal. The flours, oats,
salt, and such….not so much, but the butter and cream from Oregon dairies as well. I hope that all of you had a nice day with great food! And because I was busy with cooking and cleaning, when we came to giving our thanks around the table and many of the simple but true things had already been accounted for—husbands and children, friends, good health, good food—I found that I hadn’t in my mind procured a list of what I am thankful for. I realized that the things I am most grateful for are really nothing big, still, it is these things that are truly the grandest—so, here it is!
- I am thankful for this life—how wonderful it truly is! There really is no end to the beauty one can find if looking around positively at the birds in the sky, the tree and the hills, the colors of nature, the laughter of children.
- I am more specifically thankful for the life I am blessed to be living because in spite of all the beauty that abounds, there are those who have to look a lot harder through the weight of their lives to find this beauty than I. We are continually blessed with all the necessities of life without too much worry—freedom, love, shelter, warmth, food, water, and a life without violence.
- I am thankful for the advent of the printing press, the preservation of thought through the ages, and in this one case…distribution! The works of great thinkers, past and present, have been a blessing beyond words. The stirring power of truths shared through millenias have led me here to the place I am and lead me forward ever thoughtful about my own and the world’s going ons.
- I am thankful for finding one of the most (in my opinion) great little communities to build our home in, and very,very thankful for all of you who are part of the building of this farm. We try to say it as often as we can because we really do feel deep gratitude for those who are sharing in creating a sustainable and local food chain. To all of you: thank you,thank you, thank you!