an ode to our csa
What hampers gratitude?
(That's the question Dan and I mulled over when we were invited over to a Hope apartment this week to talk a little bit about gratitude. It is November, after all.)
Disconnection, we said.
When we buy four chicken breasts shrink-wrapped to a styrofoam tray, whom do we thank? Or a can of Campbell's? Or even our apples that come from Washington?
We're too far removed from the source to know whom to thank. We hardly know who stocked the shelf at Meijer, much less who grew the apples or raised the chicken, and much much less the one who gives the rains in their due season.
In an effort to make it possible to remember the sources in our lives, we've joined a CSA, a farm that operates by Community Supported Agriculture: we buy a share at the beginning of the season; they give us whatever produce grows each week from June through October.
Eighth Day Farm, how we love you.
Now we know the source. Each week, we go pick up (or pick ourselves!) boxes and boxes of tomatoes and carrots and kale (we just finished up the last of—I swear—our four trees of kale last night). If the week is too cold, the tomatoes are slim pickins. If it's too hot, the greens don't do well. We reap the bounty and bear the scarcity.
We remember our farmer, Jeff, and his band of tireless workers—Gary, Melody, the interns, all the rest.
We remember the ground; we touch it for goodness sake! It gets in my sandals when I bend to pluck tomatoes.
We remember the rain, when a downpour catches us in the middle of the string bean patch, only halfway through picking our quarts.
We remember the one who sets the whole chain going: “I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:4).
And we return the scraps of our food as an offering of compost. It's our way of saying thank you.
Thank you, Earth.
Thank you, Jeff and Gary, Melissa and Melody.
Thank you, Lord.
(This post is one in a November series for NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month. You can find the rest here!)