Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving, part 1

I have known Matt, over at Blue Valley Gardens, since my buying days at L’Etoile Restaurant several years back. Matt’s asparagus is legendary. If you’re from around here and you like fresh and honest, you’re at his stand at the market stocking up on the green (and white) stalks in the spring. It’s a given.

Matt also grows berries in the summer and spinach in the winter and, more importantly, he raises turkeys. Good turkeys.

I bought one from him this year (I am not alone – he sold some 200 for Thanksgiving meals around the county) and on Monday, I drove out to his farm to pick it up.

No, no, not by the neck, out of a flock of gobbling birds. Mine was out in the shed, in a box and ready to go. But I am of the opinion that those of us who do eat meat should treat it as something that comes from a farm, not from a freezer section of a supermarket. And, we should care about what happens to that turkey down there on the farm, before it reaches the store shelf or your table.

So, there I am, out at Matt’s farm, admiring the winter greens...

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And the half-out-of-it bees (that still manage to get tangled in Matt’s pony tail)

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And they’re all swell, but what I want to admire most are the turkeys.

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And they are beautiful.
So I ask – am I going to be eating one of those?
No, no
– he tells me. Yours is closer in kind to this one:

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So the others, what are they for?
Oh, just as pets. They’re really neat, not at all dumb. And here, see what I can get them to do?
[Matt shows how he can lull a turkey to sleep]

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Turkey time, coming up. May all yours be as well cared for as Matt’s are.

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Driving back, I’m remembering the conversation with my Yorkshire colleague. I note to her – your grass is still green, isn’t it?
Green? Yes, of course.
It’s green year-round?
Absolutely. Yours isn’t? What color is it then?

Well, it turns brown. But on days like this, it is a beautiful brown.

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