When the Beautification Team was here for fall clean-up last week, they finished their work in the flower gardens in record time. With their extra time, they helped out in the kitchen cleaning, cutting and flash-freezing squash. The squash was donated by one of our local farmers who has helped us out many times by sharing the bountiful harvest from his garden. One of the volunteers also spent some time cleaning cutting and freezing a variety of peppers from our garden.
Another crew of volunteers also came in last week and cleaned, cut and cooked apples for applesauce for the freezer. (Health Dept. regulations do not allow us to serve home-canned food to the public, so if we can’t serve it fresh, freezing is our only option.) Apples from our apple trees and from one of the volunteers will become applesauce bread or cake or some other delicious treat over the winter months.
These gifts are in addition to the tomatoes, beans, peas, lettuce, cucumbers, berries, grapes and other produce team members and guests have enjoyed all summer long. We have truly enjoyed a bountiful harvest thanks to the bounty of our garden and the generosity of local farmers and gardeners. All these gifts are also the result of months of planning, planting weeding, watering and harvesting by a whole team of volunteers.
Whether the food comes from the garden or the grocery store, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes before it gets to the table. Often, those putting in the work go unnoticed, and perhaps sometimes even taken for granted. When we pause to give thanks for the food we are about to eat, we might want to also give thanks for all those responsible for producing, harvesting, transporting and preparing the food for us, as well as for the pollinators that fertilize the seedlings, the sunshine and rain that make everything grow, and the animals that augment the bountiful harvest on our tables.
For the blessings of a bountiful harvest, for all the love, care and labor that contributed to the bounty, and for the gifts of nature that blessed the work of many hands, we say Deo Gratias!