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November 26, 2020. I was thinking about the Indians and the Pilgrims. And how deeply thankful the Pilgrims must have been to be alive and eating in November of 1621. Thankful to have had a harvest to celebrate. And how thankful they must have been to the Indians, who brought them food. And taught them how to grow food in the New World. Who taught them how to eat in the New World.

Which made me think about my CSA farmers. And my neighbors who gather every Tuesday for 6 months to bring home our farm shares. All of us living in the New York World, where few of us know how to grow and gather food. Where we all rely on the older world skills of others so that we can eat.

Every Tuesday, we’re really happy to see all these wonderful vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats and mushrooms that our farmers bring for us. And we see each others’ happiness. And appreciation. The Tuesday CSA pickup is a little ritual, our weekly pilgrimage to a sustainable way of sustenance. One that we don’t take for granted. Ever. You can tell. It’s the opposite of strangers rushing through supermarket aisles full of packaged goods and shrink-wrapped produce.

I think it’s because we know our farmers. And, through them, we know where our food comes from. There may be magic in our food, but there’s no mystery. We trust them to take good care of their produce. And to take good care of us.

So before I get down to cooking some of that produce, let me give thanks to our farmers. And to our neighbors for banding together to make our weekly ritual.

Last week’s was the last one of the season. This Tuesday was the first one without it for six months. Hard to accept that at first. A little like going cold turkey, I guess. But we know we’ll be back again next Spring, appreciative and thankful. Together.

Eat something really good today.

Holiday Spirit
Let me tell you about sweet potatoes and how you can help someone in Africa. Orange-flesh sweet potatoes are extraordinarily rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant our bodies convert to Vitamin A. We all need it, but millions of people in the developing world don’t get it.

This is where you and
Helen Keller International (HKI) come in. HKI saves the sight and lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year through Vitamin A supplementation programs. Their Homestead Food programs teach thousands more to grow orange-flesh sweet potatoes. Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable pediatric blindness in developing countries. It not only causes blindness, but also increases the risk of child and maternal mortality. Provision of Vitamin A is one of the most cost-effective ways to save the sight and lives of kids.

I tell you this so you’ll know how good and good-for-you sweet potatoes are. And because you should know that they’re incredibly inexpensive lifesavers in many parts of our world. A small donation to HKI’s sight- and life-saving programs goes a long way. [Full disclosure: my wife, Kathy Spahn, is CEO and President of Helen Keller International, so: a) I’m biased; and, b) I have personal knowledge of the effectiveness of their work.]

Eat Better and Cheaper. Save money. So maybe you can make a small donation. Happy Holidays.

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