Happy Thanksgiving! Week 26 from Valley Flora!

  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Rosemary
  • Shallots
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Winter Crisp Lettuce
  • Kabocha Winter Squash

REMINDER: All Harvest Baskets are being delivered TODAY! There is no CSA delivery this Saturday.

  • Bandon Pick-up hours today: 10:30 to 5 pm
  • Port Orford Pick-up hours today: 8:30 to 5 pm (please try to pick up before 11 am or after 3 pm to avoid congestion on the loading dock at POCC)

I love this holiday above all others: a day that boils down to the simple basics of food, family, love, gratitude. This year I am especially excited because we are reuniting (after a round of nose-swabbing COVID tests today) with my Dad's side of the family, most of whom have traveled from Chicago, Boston and the Bay Area to spend the week in Bandon. It's been 7 years since I've been seated around a Thanksgiving table with all of them - enough years ago that they have never met Uma, my 6 year old (she was a taut 8-month basketball in my belly the last time we were in Chicago together), nor have they met Jules, Abby's 5 year old. Blame it on a too-big country, spreading ourselves amongst multiple families during the holidays, juggling the baby and toddler years, and then COVID.

But aside from not knowing our kids, perhaps the worse travesty of so many years apart is all the missed meals together. My aunts and uncles and cousins love cooking and they love eating and they love food. Better put, LOVE (all caps, underline, bold, italics). We've had an elaborate family email thread going for the past three weeks in anticipation of this reunion and the entire thing has been about the menu - not just for Thanksgiving day, but for the whole week. Thanksgiving will be quasi-traditional tomorrow, but all the meals before and after are what really make me hungry: Catalan fish stew, seafood thai curry, goat cheese Delicata enchiladas, lots of salad (radicchio!!! Abby's Greens! Slaw!), and much more.

That epic family email thread was transformed into an equally epic excel spreadsheet listing all the ingredients we needed for every single meal, which was then further distilled into a produce order that we harvested and packed this week on the farm. I am immensely proud to say that my family stood toe to toe with our largest wholesale buyers this week, ordering as much produce as Coos Head or the Port Orford Co-op. That's what I mean about loving food. We have our work cut out for us the next five days: lots of chopping, lots of chewing.

I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate food and family and friends this week, too, and are reminded of all there is to be thankful for. I felt a wave of gratitude for so many things while I was bent over harvesting those petite little heads of winter crisp lettuce for you on Monday morning. The first sensation was: thank you for this sunshine! It's been a beautiful, easy week of farming - no hellacious Thanksgiving storms like those that have challenged us in year's past. Sure, it's those years of driving rain and gale force winds that make for the best storytelling now, but I was just fine with sunny skies this time around.  

As I continued cutting and counting lettuce heads with the sun warming my back, the next thing I thought of was all of you - the reason we bother planting and harvesting all this lettuce. Thank you dear CSA members for your commitment to the farm, for riding out the whole season with us, and for rising to the challenge that a weekly Harvest Basket can present.

Then, a wave of gratitude for my crew - Allen, Jen and Roberto - who were simultaneously bent over other crops in the field that morning. There are times when I don't know why they come to work day after day when they could certainly earn more money and benefits doing something else. But they do: they show up early and they stay late, and they throw themselves into it with a dedication that leaves me humbled and thankful. They also make me laugh and feel bouyed by the strength of a team. I could not do this alone, and would not want to.

For Sarah and Donna and Maggie for their smiling faces at the farmstand, and so much more. For Evan for shuttling empty CSA totes back to the farm each week in trade for strawberries and onions :). For Charlie for all his greenhouse and irrigation expertise and volunteerism. Sondra who raises such beautiful eggs and shows us so much love and generosity; for Farmstead Bread who bakes such beautiful bread for us; for our CSA hosts - the Port Orford Co-op, Coos Head Food Co-Op, and Well Within Acupuncture - for welcoming us and our CSA circus to their space each year. For all of our customers - u-pick, farmstand, and wholesale alike - who keep this place humming.

Gratitude for my mom and my sister who have built this farm up from its earliest inception and are so part of my life they are like external organs or limbs. For my loyal dog, Juno, sitting zen-like while sniffing the morning air. For my big shaggy ponies grazing across the road and all they do for the farm - all the hours of labor they save us by virtue of their quiet willingness to work in harness all season. For the creek that waters this farm, flowing fast and filling with salmon right now. For the soil itself and the 7 billion microbes teeming in each teaspoonful. Mycelium, wow! For the other farmers who grow my seeds, for the ladies at B&B feed store and the guys at Western Growers Supply and the crew at Coos Curry Supply who keep us supplied with so many essentials. For all the people who support the farm in various capacities (scientists! the Small Farms team at Oregon State University!). My step-dad, who saves the day by making quesadillas for my hungry kids all the time and gives them music lessons and makes a mean margarita on Friday night. My husband, who keeps loving his wife in spite of the extreme hours she puts in at the farm all season.

Sometimes when you turn the gratitude spigot on, it barely drips at first. But if you leave it on, eventually the drip becomes a trickle, becomes a gush. And it's one of those things where less is not more. More the better. I felt so good, so full, but the time I got to 250 heads of lettuce on Monday morning that I was practically floating. Cup runneth over.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

(And remember, this is not the end of the season! There are two more weeks of CSA deliveries post-Thanksgiving: the week of Nov 29th and the week of Dec 6th.)