Dear Farm Journal,
This sunny Sunday, we are surrounded by family, farming, and food in abundance. It is my grandmother’s surprise birthday party at my cousin’s beautiful homestead. The weather is perfect, the tables of food are sensational, the bloody marys are just right, and catching up with family just makes my heart happy and full. We bring catering trays of veggies and melons which stir up some curiosity. Sections of the trays are not the veggies you find in your typical grocery store; a colorful mix of heirloom cherry and full size tomatoes, rainbow starburst carrots, ground cherries, bright bangles blend peppers (with a few spicy ones mixed in), and the star of the show, the succulent yellow doll watermelons. Sharing these unique food gems with my family made my day. A few people even saved their seeds. As we meander across the party, we talk about what others are growing in their gardens, seasonal problems with certain crops, success with pickles, and failures with tomatoes. I love the commonality and common grounding that growing food brings to conversation. You can experience an almost instant connection with someone you haven’t seen for years or may not even know, shooting the breeze about your gardens. If I had to guess, I would say the highlights of Rufus’s day were catching trout down in the valley with his buddy in the morning and checking out a sweet little greenhouse at my cousin’s place, the natural joys of a farmer.