Friday morning was early, too early for going to bed close to midnight and getting up before 5am.
After chores it was a quick drive to the shed and picking up ingredient from the fridge and collecting what I needed for the day. Than the cooking began, interrupted only by setting up tables and telling volunteers what to do. The day finished and as I climbed into bed after being on my feet for 20hrs I felt satisfied.
I felt like an artist does when he brushes his last stroke onto the canvas painting. The way a baker puts the last rosette onto a wedding cake, or takes the freshly baked baguette from the oven and sets it to cool. I was finished. Hours of prep, coming up with a menu, collecting the details, confirming guest counts, and the last finishing touches, it was over and I was satisfied. I'm constantly trying to be more efficient at what I do, slim down the hours put into something, consistently asking if there's a better way to do things, but I have to remember. It's my soul that I'm pouring into this thing, and that's what attracts the people that come. I believe they find a piece of me in it, and that's what we're all looking for in life. We're looking for passion in those around us, we want to hear you tell your story, we want to watch you sing, we want the authenticity that comes from true artists.
My ideals, my ideas of what a Farm to Table dinner on our farm looks like finally happened in my mind. Everything fit together. The tables in one long row giving you the feeling of being around family or somehow connected to one another. A string of lights that illuminated the food and decorations on the table without taking away from the fact that you're outside in nature. The cool Autumn air just perfect for a sit down dinner. I feel like I'm finally starting to gain my confidence in public speaking and growing in my areas as a host. My only regret is that I couldn't sit down and talk to each one of the guests--I was able to sit down with a few and tell them some of my story and hear theirs.
Food and farming coming together into one. The hot sweaty kitchen filled with steam and heat from the stove, onion peels on the counter top, flour dusting the floor and the smell of apple crisp filling the house. Fresh bread that is cracking and whispering as it cools from the fiery heat of the oven. Drying pasta that awaits the steamy pot of salted water. Fresh greens rinsed and spun dry are cooling, just waiting to hit the plates topped with carrots, beets, and cheese. The long hours spent in the field pulling weeds, weeding, and sowing seeds and watering. Feeding chickens and moving pens, lifting 5 gallon buckets of water from the creek to water barrel. Early mornings with grass wet with dew and sleeping chickens as you quietly move the chicken tractor to fresh grass with new pasture and bugs. The warm sunny afternoons with a couple of wire baskets filled with large brown eggs laid that morning. I get to see the start and the finish. I get to understand on every level the work and labor involved. I may not be here forever, but what I've learned here I'll never forget.
My table is your table, my farm is your farm. Because if we're honest, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing without you. A table needs a guest, a farm needs a farmer. Food needs an appetite, and a person needs community. It's the people in my community that make the farm what it is. It's the showing up when you could've gone or been somewhere else but you said, I'm going to support local food, local business, and a local farm. We vote with our dollar, the way you spend your money and the way you spend your time says what you're being a part of. Talking is good and essential as human beings, but it's our actions that will define us and make us who we are. Will you talk about finding a farm to support, or doing more in your community, or will you actually do it?