A New Thanksgiving Tradition

November 27th, 2009

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No gifts to buy, no religious differences to divide us.  Simplicity reigns. A delicious meal, a gathering of family and friends,  and an aura of gratitude for all we’ve been given  — that’s Thanksgiving.

This year I did something almost as an after thought, but it turned out to be such a moving experience that I hope to make it part of my Thanksgiving tradition for years to come.

csa-thanks-photo

My CSA has a requirement that members take on various  chores throughout the year. When I signed up to help with the set-up the day before Thanksgiving,  I did so figuring it would be a slow time at work, not too cold to stand outside moving boxes,  would find it hard to break away from Thanksgiving preparations  to volunteer.

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I  didn’t know what a beautiful experience it would be to move bushels and baskets of just-picked food from truck to table.  It was a cold, rainy morning,  and as I shivered and wished I had some hot tea on hand, I thought about the workers who had been out in the fields that morning, picking the crops and packing them up for us to receive.

I remembered how at the launch of the Farmers Market by the White House FRESHFARM Markets co-founder Ann Yonkers stated that farmers were the most under appreciated group of workers in the US.

Suddenly I wondered if we could turn Thanksgiving into a National Day of Thanks for Farmers. Perhaps I’d contact the American Farmland Trust and suggest a new program. My mind raced with all I could do, suddenly in full marketing consultant mode, instead of in the “here and now” of the muddy, raining morning with tot soi, muddy carrots, kale, and more all around me.

moving-potatoes-at-csa-photo

It was then that I realized that we don’t need MORE to do on Thanksgiving. We need to preserve its simplicity. But from now on, part of my Thanksgiving tradition will be volunteering at the CSA on Thanksgiving week as a way of giving thanks to the farmers who feed us year round.

What were you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Any new traditions in your family?  Please leave a comment and share!

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8 Responses to “A New Thanksgiving Tradition”

  1. Sandy on November 28, 2009 3:53 pm

    I think working closely with animals and vegetables is definitely the way to appreciate ANY meal more, but most certainly Thanksgiving! I spent the morning preparing desserts for the dinner we were invited to attend, but in the evening I volunteered at Flint Hill Farm, milking the herd of goats. Those critters don’t get holidays off! I was happy to give the owner a little time to enjoy her family, since mine was scattered that day. And, as always, the goats were very appreciative. A perfect holiday!
    .-= Sandy´s last blog ..Memories…All Alone in the Moonlight… =-.

  2. mcmilker on November 29, 2009 9:36 am

    That’s a beautiful tradition, Lynn! In my single days, I always helped at a Shelter on Thanksgiving- serving Turkey dinner. When my son gets just a little bit older, I want to take him with me to start that tradition again!

    Our Thanksgiving this year included neighbors whose plans suddenly changes when the mom got sick and they were unable to drive 2 hours to visit family. We included dad and kids in our feast!

  3. Allen on November 30, 2009 12:27 pm

    Sounds like a good tradition to me. Thanks for the mention.
    Allen @ American Farmland Trust

  4. Lynn on December 1, 2009 9:55 am

    Thanks so much for your comment, MC, and for your thoughts. I love your traditions too, and I think I saw your tweet about that pumpkin creation you made this year! Sounded very yum!

  5. Lynn on December 1, 2009 9:56 am

    Sandy, I had no idea you could volunteer at a farm – makes total sense but just not something that many people would think of! Thanks for sharing this wonderful Thanksgiving tradition!

  6. Lynn on December 1, 2009 10:01 am

    Wow, Allen! I can see the Trust is doing a great job with social media monitoring and outreach! You’re beating most of the big brands out there! Great work you do! I’ll connect with you off-blog. — Lynn

  7. Judy McGary on January 2, 2010 6:53 pm

    As owners of a small Certified Organic farm, we thank you for keeping us and other small farmers in your thoughts on Thanksgiving Day. The work is not always pleasant due to the weather, pests, etc. but the rewards of seeing others enjoy the fruit of our labor is wonderful!

  8. Lynn on January 2, 2010 7:02 pm

    Thank you for leaving a comment, Judy – it’s wonderful to see farmers using social media! Thank you for all you do and happy new year to you!

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