Finding Things Big and Small

I’m feeling thankful for the little things today.  Like finding my flashrive.  Foggy mornings (a rare treat!).  Sour cherry jelly on toast.  And free bird food.

I actually did a little happy dance when I found my flashrive.  It also will allow me to finally get on with this post I've been waiting to publish.

See, I found my flashdrive after two weeks of searching for it…just as I was beginning to think I certainly must have dropped it somewhere out it the world where I’d never see it again.  Ugggghhh….you’d think after the first lost flashdrive scare in college I would have learned to back up my work in more than one place!  But I didn't.  Obviously.  I had the whole year of tie-dye expenses and income logged on a spreadsheet on there.   I had a few photos that I didn't manage to save anywhere else yet on there.   So, it was with great relief that I found it this morning at the back of the coat closet, behind the stack of milk crates which I use as shelves.

Now that I've found it again I can finally upload the photos from the community garden Harvest Dinner to share.
This kettle dates back to at least 1880.  Lots of things cooked in it during its time.  Corn from community garden being just the latest in its service.  Grady, the corn chef, is one of my community garden favorites.  Talking to him is like talking to a living museum.  I love his stories.
Matt and I are ever so grateful to have found the community of gardeners that we have found there.  The main leader of the group always stresses that point.  That we are a community of gardeners, not just a community garden.  I like that sentiment.  A sense of community, of belonging, is so often lacking these days, I've found.   I've learned so much from these people about gardening, cleaning, chickens, Iowa, cooking, moon signs, and so on.  I've shared many laughs and even a few sorrows with them.  We've worked together for a common good.  I expected to love the gardening aspect.  I didn't expect to love the community.  In fact, despite the name, I don't think I expected much of a community at all.
To help foster the community feeling we all participate in raising crops on the common ground to donate to the needy in our area (over 3,000 pounds this year).  We also have group work days and harvest days.  And just as important, we also have community celebrations such as the Summer Picnic and the Harvest Dinner.   Everyone brings a favorite dish to share.  The church that hosts the garden provides cutlery and tables and usually the main protein piece of the meal (burgers at the picnic, ham at the Harvest Dinner).  And everyone visits and eats and gets to know each other.  It is absolutely wonderful. 

Photo by Dave Kimball

Photo by Dave Kimball
And since we're on the subject of the community garden, Matt and I harvested a number of the large headed sunflowers at the community garden last night to use as bird food around our place.  We also went through the brown and picked-over corn patch to pluck out any ears that had been overlooked, also for the birds.  I am so pleased with this free, locally grown bird food.  I especially like watching the birds work for it as they pull the shells form the flower heads.  The birds ate it all up last year so I take it to mean they like it, too.  I'd never thought to make my own feed before I found the community garden.
Photo by Dave Kimball 

Photo by Dave Kimball
Its so amazing to look at these photos and think that they were taken just a month ago.  So much has changed in just that short span of time.  The green grass is now scattered with golden and brown leaves.  The garden plants shriveling and being cleared away.  Coats needed in the chill of morning...and sometimes the chill of afternoon.  Its an amazing transformation no matter how many times I see it.  All the nicer to have a community of folks to celebrate its arrival with.


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