Forager Finds: Giving Thanks

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The other day I stopped by one of the local farms I frequent and had a nice conversation with the farmer out in the field. It was a hot, sunny day. We walked through the towering green wall of cherry tomato plants and traversed the nasturtium plants with flowering petals of muddled orange and deep-hued magenta. As we chatted about the drought and heat wave after heat wave we’ve endured this summer, I realized how lucky we are. Right here, our neighbors down the road are growing and nurturing fabulous food for us to enjoy. We get to eat food so fresh it’s never been refrigerated and talk to the people about how they grow it.

We get to eat food so fresh that it’s never been refrigerated…

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s I reached down to pick a few pieces of baby lettuce leaves, I looked at this hard-working farmer; soil-stained hands, big floppy hat to keep the sun off, sweat drenched from tending to our food source. It’s easy to forget the human side of the food chain. We buy our salad, triple washed, prepackaged and bar-coded in a climate controlled, air conditioned food super dome. But somewhere, there was a hardworking, sweat-drenched farmer or farmhand that planted that food. That watered that food. That picked, washed and packed that food. How far removed some of us have become.

As we finished our conversation about what would be ripe and ready to pick next week, she paused and said “By the way. . .” She told me about a friend of hers who had recently dined at Seasons restaurant at Ocean House. She was particularly enjoying some salad greens, and the server mentioned the farm they had come from. It was the same lettuce I was snacking on during our walk through the field. You can imagine how excited and how bright her smile was!

As summer winds down and fall creeps up with its cool nights, everyone goes apple picking, pumpkin picking and takes hay rides through the farm. It’s a great time of year with harvest festivals and fairs. So while you’re there enjoying a centuries-old profession, shake one of those soil-stained hands and say thank you. We may not always see the people behind the food, but it’s nice to recognize them when we do!