We are entering a time of remembering and imagining: we remember feasts both recent and far into the past — gatherings of loved ones around barbecues, picnic blankets, campfires and tables heaped with traditional foods of every kind. As we dream through the long dark nights of winter, we will imagine the earth sleeping along with us, and think about the garlic and daffodil bulbs we planted, safe underground for now. The green leaves and bee-adorned blossoms of the fruit trees are nowhere in sight, but in our hearts they are as vibrant and real today as they will be next May. We may spend hours flipping through seed catalogs, creating a mental picture of what it will be like to sit in our garden in a t shirt at 8pm in July, surrounded by a sea of foliage and edible abundance, all born from these winter imaginings. For farmers, the harsh realities of days spent in relentless sun, cold rainy afternoons at sparsely-attended farmers markets, predation, pests, and sore, tired bodies are muted in memory, and planning for the future takes them into account while still being infused with hope, inspiration, and creativity.
On average, farmers and ranchers who have worked to put food on the table for a Thanksgiving or other holiday feast make about 12 cents for every dollar spent to buy that food. When you buy locally and direct or support those businesses that do, you are keeping the money you spend close to home and maybe increasing the portion of your dollar that goes to the people who worked hard to produce your food and are planning to do it all again next year. We are thankful for your support of local food and of our producer partners through your thoughtful food purchases and the generous donations that help HDFFA support them throughout the year. Thank you for dreaming along with us — may your holidays be all you imagined and more, and may they become the happiest of memories!