When the craziness of Farm Day is behind us, and I have some time to catch up and reflect on the day and what it means, I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in my life, who give of themselves to help me, my family, and this little local farm succeed.
Many of you know that 2016 has been an especially trying year for my family. Jorge and I ended our marriage, and he decided to move back to his homeland of Argentina. My two boys are missing their dad, and have had to take a giant step into manhood at the tender ages of 11 and 13. Thanks to family and friends they are doing well, and this all will become a part of their life stories.
I hope you will read this whole post because this event is a reflection of community at its finest. Family, lifelong friends, newer friends, church family, and kindred spirits pulled together to say,
“We want preserve these traditions. We want to be part of this larger community. We want to support each other and healthier lifestyles. We want healthy, chemical free foods. We want a place for our children to come connect with the land and the food they eat.”
If you visited and ate samples or snacks at Gaucho Farms on Saturday, you didn’t just fill your stomach, you nourished your body. And hopefully you nourished your soul.
In my feature photo I posted a quote by Thomas Merton that starts out, “To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us…and He has given us everything.” And I am truly grateful, thankful and humbled by the show of support from so many of you to pull off another great farm event, but also to make it through this tough year. I want you to know I never take any of this for granted!
To my children, Daniel and Jacob, I’m so proud of you for all of the hard work you’ve put in without grumbling, and how you’ve taken charge of so many duties this year. To my parents, Henry and Afrey Wright, who give tirelessly of themselves. My sisters Nona Stockton (who pressure washed my house!) and Denise Wright, who give me limitless support and feedback.
Stephanie and Joe Varner, great friends and supporters who were the backbone of pulling off Sustainable Fall Farm Day 2016, and Stephanie has helped me streamline so many things lately.
Lucinda Harrison, my lifelong friend and sister, set up and ran the on-farm store like she has so many times in the past, and offers loads of friendship and moral support every day.
Lavonda Gosselin, who absolutely mastered the sample preparation and service, and is another source of constant encouragement. Lavonda’s husband, Andy, who was grill master, daughter Allie who helped with samples, daughter Victoria, who ran the Children’s Learning Center, and son Anderson, who made an emergency run to rescue my new chicks – the entire Gosselin family showed up and helped!
Christi Ingum, lifelong friend and confidant, who came all the way down from Auburn to man the sample table as she has several years in the past.
To Nicholas Ireland, who has helped every year with parking, safety and overall event timing. (You may have seen him running up and down the dusty road all day – a special thanks!)
Dr. Scot and Amy Thompson, who besides being my Dothan drop partner, showed up and helped greet visitors, helped with trouble shooting, and emptied garbage cans (such servant hearts!). They are the real deal when it comes to supporting your overall health!
William Shirling, who ran the hayride, and spoke about chickens and bees. William is my go-to person for information and building projects throughout the year.
The Samuels (Ben, Jen, Stephen and Abby) who are part of my church family, and just always show up when I really need them – I don’t think I ever thank them enough. Their son, Phillip, has worked here some, and daughter, Hannah, now in college, has helped in the past.
Dr. Niel Rasmussen, wife Amy, and daughter Marie (and friend), who are so right on as an M.D. and as a family, about healthy lifestyles. He was kind enough to share his knowledge about the dangers of sugar, and I suggest you friend him on Facebook and read his posts on this topic, or look him up if you are interested in a more preventative approach to health.
Lisa Williams of Goodeye Girl Photography who came and took mini-portraits. Lisa and Mark are inspiring people to know!
David and Lisa Dault of Dault Pottery, who brought their wares and shared their talents with the pottery wheel. They are such an inspiration with their knowledge and skills as artisans, and interest in healthy lifestyles and foods.
Shan Harley, kindred spirit, who took it upon herself at the end of farm day, with her lovely daughter and Nicholas Ireland, to cover my beans so they wouldn’t freeze and I would still have a crop. (It worked and I do!)
Working Cows Dairy, who brought their milk and milking cow for the day.
Jimmy Riley and Ten Mile Branch, who played bluegrass for us on a beautiful fall afternoon! So fun!
There were also some folks who were not physically here for Sustainable Fall Farm Day 2016, but had a big role in making is all work.
Wes Green has been helping with repairs, building projects (the new bucking barrel for one) and clean up for months. He is such a great person to have around.
Juan Sanchez, my neighbor, stops by daily to help with any heavy lifting, and chicken and turkey processing. I can’t thank him and his family enough.
My book club compadres Mary Anna Davis and Ashley Mertz (and Lavonda Gosselin), who listen to my concerns and questions, tirelessly offering hope and encouragement – thank you and I love our book club so much!
Many, many other friends and customers who have become friends, who encourage me daily – too many to mention - but I promise you, I hear you and you help carry us through!
Any of you who are ever involved in putting on an event know that it takes a tremendous effort. With a small budget and a lot of moving parts, we just couldn’t do it without all of you. So from the bottom of my heart, I am THANKFUL!
Suzanne Wright, owner