Monday, October 31, 2011

A Feast fit to be Shared

On a rainy weekend in mid-June of this year, my fiance (now husband) and I took off for a few days and nights of planning.  Thanks to the rain and a big tent - we were cozy inside, working on our holistic goals for our life together as well as doing some more immediate scheduling for the rest of the year.  

One of the goals we wrote is:
"We are eating and sharing nourishing food with family and friends."  

We'd already put in a large-ish garden and knew we were going to be raising 200 pastured chickens but we, honestly, didn't have in mind just how we would get to share this food with our loved ones.

At the same time - we were planning our wedding for the Thanksgiving weekend (October 8th) and had met with a caterer who was willing to let us source the foods from our own garden and pastures or from our farmer friends.  Our intent was to have a lovely harvest-style meal: perfect for a Thanksgiving/fall wedding.

These two streams of intent merged over the summer and by the time the wedding day came, we were serving our own beef, chicken, potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabagas and pickles!  Some of the desserts were made with our own fruits and the wedding pie that we cut (in lieu of a wedding cake) came from strawberries and rhubarb that we grew as well.  I also made up small jars of jams, jellies and other preserves for people to take home with them.

The head table had to be set on the stage of the hall, which was a bit nerve-racking for us: everyone could see us so clearly!  It felt like we were setting up ourselves to be king and queen of the night, which wasn't really what we wanted.  But it was a great spot because we could watch the crowd line up at the buffet and could see people coming back for seconds and thirds!  I didn't expect the food to be a big part of the wedding - even though I wanted it to be food I was proud of and felt good about serving.  Honestly - I don't remember the food from other weddings I went to!  So it felt great to see people enjoying and commenting and to still be getting notes from friends (3weeks later) about how they enjoyed the meal.  
There was a great sense of satisfaction in sharing our produce with our loved ones and felt we were living out this goal that we'd set only a few months ago.  It gives me confidence in the direction we are going and means that every time I dig out more carrots or defrost one of our chickens, I am reminded of this special day.  

We are humble in our ambitions to be farmers and food producers - but knowing that we started out our marriage and partnership by sharing our own food with our loved ones, I feel like those ambitions just might be possible and might be already realised, in some small way.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Stirred, not shaken

I'm all stirred up tonight.
By the conversations and reflections I've been having through my work - off the farm and on.
The reality I want so clear, so visible, sometimes almost tangible - yet it (more often than not) feels like dreamcastles built in the sky....
dreams many of us see and want but aren't sure how to get to, now
Yet we're all trying, sometimes together, and talking and doing what we can to live it... live our way into it.
And that makes it worthwhile and possible.

I find myself in one of those rare moments where no hope or fear exists.  I don't hope or put faith in succeeding... but I'm not afraid of what happens, then, if we 'fail' - - - It's like there is no succeed or fail.  There just is....  a doing, trying, being, moving forward and creating the path as we walk - - and then we'll see and touch what we create.