I have sat down to write a blog at least a half dozen times over the past few months. Words failed me (shocking) because all that came to mind over and over again was finding something worthwhile to share. Commentary on the impact of the past year and a half has been covered from every angle. But the truth is, moving forward only comes with reflecting on the impact of the past. And, one last introductory thought, if you follow this blog, you all know I have abandoned my original commitment to make this all about food and farming. You get a lot of heart and emotions from me; I cannot be authentic any other way.
Last year felt like crisis mode. Uncertainty held an ominous cloud over our heads. We worked so hard just to meet needs, basic needs and to create a higher level of convenience and service. I am not taking any credit here, my staff did it - they did it all and they did it well. We kept our outdoor events and workshops going, we watched families enjoy our kids garden when so many other places roped off and canceled their programs. I never doubted for one moment we had the platform and responsibility to provide these services. It was the right thing to do and I am glad we did.
This year feels like recovery mode. It has been encouraging to see people out and engaging social life again without that ominous cloud. Yes, there are some who still carry their umbrella’s anticipating that cloud is going to appear again but, on our farm, and in our little space in the world, you can put down your umbrella and find a little respite from the storm.
Two things really stand out to me that have impacted the recovery process for me personally. The first is gratitude. Gratitude is a principal I have always tried to practice. It does make a difference in our emotional lives and our perspective when we can find even the little things to be grateful for. More than ever though, I see people more grateful for those little things that we all took for granted for so long. It is more meaningful now for people to be together with those they care about most.
The second thing is less wasteful. We are less wasteful from a practical standpoint of our resources. When some of our basic supplies felt threatened, we learned how to be creative with our stewardship. But more importantly, we are less wasteful with our words and time. I hope this lesson sticks for people, that despite the hard road traveled to get here, I hope we all remember to use these gifts that we have been given.
Less wastefulness with our time and our relationships is a generous gift the past year has given us. More gratefulness for what we have and less longing for what we don’t is another generous gift. As we move into recovery, I challenge you not to cast those gifts aside, but to hold on to them tightly and treasure them. Gifts are to be received with grateful hearts and used as they were intended.
Oh, and a quick note on the farm side of things. It is an exciting year! Our new fruit trees are all doing well, they will not have production on them this year, but hopefully they will start next year! Strawberries have been abundant and beautiful. Our plan to plant so many more has been a success! We have been able to provide an awesome picking experience for the community and it warms our hearts to see people enjoying the opportunity. Pumpkins are in the ground; the corn maze is about 6 inches tall and getting bigger every day. This will be the last year for our older peach tree orchard but we will have a pick your own opportunity there as well, another welcome experience after losing all of last year’s peaches. Kid’s workshops kick off this week with just as much fun as we have ever had before (oh and lots of learning too).
Perhaps the most exciting thing of this year is that Big Dan’s BBQ restaurant opened inside. After being delayed a year (for obvious reasons), Dan and I have been so thankful for the timing of opening. We are also thankful for the way we see our guests coming to gather and simply enjoy time together. We also enjoy the gift of togetherness that it has given us with our staff and our family. If you haven’t already, we both hope you will come visit us.
With a grateful (and less wasteful) heart,
Hello! I am Denise (Rohrbach) Bosworth. My husband Dan & I established Big Dan's BBQ in 2012 & took over the management of the farm market in 2015.