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We are Grateful!

Posted 11/16/2018 12:11pm by christy kantlehner.

Gratitude. Mentally listing the things that I am grateful for has been helping me when my thoughts start to spiral. warmth, safety, food. During an attempt to circulate more oxygen and blood around my body (and brain!) at the Y, I was browsing a magazine giving tips about home decorating - to advocate installing a dimmer switch with new lighting, the writer wrote "nothing is worse than an overlit dinner party." Although this was surely just to put emphasis on a point, I am quite sure it can indeed be worse! But instead of thinking of all the ways things could be worse, I'd love to give a shout out to all the things (or let's face it - people) I am so grateful for.

1. thankful for: my heroic husband

Monday was lovely and sunny, but I had an appointment to pick up evergreen wreaths in New Hampshire and Chris was working for Green Trees til dark. Tuesday poured rain in the morning, so we transformed the back of the greenhouse to be workshop ready for Thanksgiving Centerpieces this Saturday and Wreath Decorating the next two weekends. When the rain stopped in the afternoon, Chris and I were able to harvest bunches of curly kale, baby bok choy, lettuce mix, and a handful of other specialty salad greens. When the time to go meet Graham at the school bus rolled around, we still had bunches of baby carrots left to do before the temperatures plummeted to the 20s overnight. Fear not, that darling husband hero of mine donned a headlamp and completed the task alone in the dark! He finished up the washing in our new indoor wash space, which is very brightly lit (much too bright for an intimate dinner gathering). He even created some raw video footage for Facebook.

2. thankful for: Our amazing crew. gratitude for the attitudes!

Wednesday and Thursday, Mike Lawyer and Dan Belair, the core members of our field crew, showed up to help Chris bring in turnips, radishes, more carrots, spinach, lettuce mix, and more, despite winds gusting 35 to 40 mph. They've got rosy, wind-burned cheeks to prove it. The talented Laurene Hulbig seemed to effortlessly embellish and decorate the gorgeous evergreen wreaths in the greenhouse (so you can put one in your garage to hang up as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes have been put away). We had Laura and Sofie helping out with Brussels Sprouts clean-up and preparing all of the bags of tender salad greens. Thursday they all rocked out to tunes and got it done, with good spirits and no complaints! Sofie was back this morning, unloading the cooler in the pouring rain-on-top-of-soaking-wet-snow, quietly getting stuff done and being her ever so pleasant self! We have lots of other staff to be grateful for too - two behind-the-scenes Jens, one farmstand Jen, plus Shannon, Kayla, Andrew, and Angelina.

3. thankful for: Family Generosity

First of all grandparents! We could not get all we need to get done without the assistance of grandparents helping raise our son. My dad, Eliot, gets extra recognition. He tirelessly attends to the parade of mechanical problems that our farmer's budget vehicle fleet falls victim to. He is fixing, fixing, fixing, with a side of repairing, ordering parts, inventing, and building. He designed, orchestrated and has been doing the nitty gritty and heavy lifting to get our wash station addition/renovation completed. We now have a sloped concrete floor with a drain, indoor frost free hydrants, insulated walls, and did I mention the lighting? The sustainability for human beings to do this work in the cold months just increased tenfold!

4. thankful for: YOU!! Our Customers!

Seriously you are a wonderful group. You bolster our spirits when they are beginning to falter. You show up! This season has been extra rainy, windy, and cold it seems. Of course it is easier to get all of your groceries in one big store, but you choose to come to this place to find the building blocks of your family's meals for the week. Whether you like to support a small local business, or this type of land use in suburbia, or organic farming methods, or if you just like good produce and want clean food - we recognize and appreciate your choice. You are directly supporting this project, and we thank you. You can be truly proud of the dishes you prepare with produce from the farmstand! The food is real and nurturing, but symbolic as well. 

5. thankful for: our farm network

As the years go by, we have started to bring in produce from other nearby growers when we are not able to keep up with local demand. The efficiency of scale (and economy of upstate NY land) allows Sparrow Arc farm to provide organic potatoes for many farmstands and restaurants in crowded eastern Mass. Kevin and Brittany at Upswing Farm grow amazing sweet potatoes and winter squash and have just enough more land in Ashland to grow our winter storage share of these crops. Yoder in Dover grew a beautiful crop of rutabaga, parsnips, and sweet potatoes to grace your tables this holiday. Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA has provided excellent quality organic, ruby red cranberries for sauce, chutney, baked goods, and more. The cooperation and interdependence of small growers in New England is a beautiful thing and offers even more food security to our region than any one organic farm on its own.

There is always more to be grateful for and things could always be worse . . . 

so anyway, Come to the Farmstand! Park close to the barn if there's room! Don't step in the puddles (unless you want to!)

Friday 11/16: 10am - 6pm (seafood truck is 2pm - 6pm)

Saturday & Sunday 11/17&18: 10am - 4pm (seafood truck is SAT 10am - 2pm)

Wednesday 11/21: 10am - 2pm

You can search by ingredient on our recipes page

Some recipe brainstorms:

Honey Glazed Baby Carrots and/or Hakurei Turnips

Shredded Radishes and Rainbow Carrots on your own salad mix of Baby Head Lettuce, Frisee, Red Cabbage, Napa Cabbage and Sugarloaf (slice those last three in thin ribbons)

Roasted onions, shallots, sweet potatoes, and beets (extra points for being beautiful!)

Cabbage and dried cranberry slaw with toasted sunflower seeds

Garlic and Kale cooked in olive oil. serve on its own or chop and add to an omelet, warm potato salad, a slice of baguette smeared with Adelisca cheese spread

Celery Root and Leek stuffing

Roasted Sunshine Squash (that bright orange kabocha) Soup

Heirloom Long Pie Pumpkin - Pumpkin Pie

Pears, Toasted Walnuts, and Blue Cheese on a bed of Bitter Greens

Come to the farmstand and browse around for more inspiration and ideas!!!