Over the past year, as I have tried to become more attuned to the natural rhythms of the seasons and the celebrations of each, I have been focusing more on the "harvests" of each season. We celebrated the fall equinox by harvesting apples from a country orchard, the winter solstice by harvesting our holiday tree from a local tree farm, the spring equinox by harvesting maple syrup, and tomorrow's summer solstice by--yet again--picking strawberries at my favorite little farm just a short trip from the city.
Joined by city friends, we happily roamed the pastures, visited the animals, and soaked in the work and wonder of life on a small farm. We also visited some of the animals that will become our food, like the Thanksgiving turkey and the chickens, and had a conversation about the importance of knowing our food, of being more greatly, reverently connected to it and understanding, not only the conditions under which it has been raised, but also the humility involved in eating an animal that we have gotten to know. I used to be a vegetarian, but the more I learned and the more I contemplated, the more committed I have become to eating local, pastured foods from all food groups that are organically raised on small, nearby farms.
Every time I visit a farm, particularly this sweet one, I leave feeling more grounded and exhilarated, more connected to the food my family consumes and the farmers who work hard to produce nutrient-dense, organic, sun-soaked meals for my family. It reminds me of life's natural cycles, its seasonal riches, and the awe of being a small part of it.