Being grateful for the family and harvest

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. When I was younger, Christmas was my favorite holiday because I got a new toy tractor, video game or some other gift that inevitably was pushed aside for something new. Our oldest child (5-years-old) has some of these characteristics as she is already talking about the newest Hatchimal (most annoying toy ever) that she wants to put on her list for Santa.

As she gets older, I hope she realizes that all these things are just that — things. This is the realization that I ultimately came to as an adult, and this is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

To me and many others, Thanksgiving is an occasion to spend time with family and friends. In our house, the highlight is not about the next present to open. Rather, it is sitting at the dinner table watching the little ones shove mashed potatoes in their face, lounging on the couch with family and enjoying each others company.

If I want “things” I can always buy them, but I have never found a store that specializes in selling memories.

Thanksgiving is also synonymous with harvest, as they are intertwined going all the way back to the first Thanksgiving. Celebrating the harvest in the 1600s meant that the literal fruits of labor were realized ensuring enough food for winter.

Although we may feel far removed from the extremes of surviving winter with enough food, farmers still have reason to celebrate during harvest. The hard work, money invested, and stress from the growing season all come down to a few weeks during harvest when the crops are ready. Watching the corn, soybeans, tomatoes, blueberries, apples and other crops fill wagons is magical.

I think I’ve complained about the weather every month this year and it won’t be any different today. Farming in 2018 was rough — there is no other way to put it. The weather was bad during planting, it was bad during hay making season, and it’s still bad now during harvest.

I know many farmers would be thankful for a break from all this precipitation. So while you are saying thanks this Thanksgiving holiday, don’t forget to thank a farmer for the wonderful meal you will be enjoying. This year they worked hard for those crops and they will be at it again in the spring to do it all over again

Extension notes

The Ohio State University Extension Trumbull County, Trumbull Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have teamed up to offer a Trumbull Farmer Lunch series this winter to provide hourlong educational sessions on a variety of topics. Our first lunch series will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 4 as we learn about tax updates and how they affect farmers.

You don’t have to be a farmer to get something useful from this program. David Marrison will go over all the changes to the tax law. Cost for this program is $7 a person for early registration and includes lunch.

Be sure to mark your calendars for the other upcoming events in this series: Jan. 8, “Beef Quality Assurance;” March 5, “Climate Impacts for Ohio Agriculture;” and April 2, “Tillage and Soil Health.” Each of these programs will be at the Trumbull County Agriculture and Family Education Center, Cortland.

For information about farming, gardening, the Master Gardener program or any other program, call the OSU Trumbull County Extension Office at 330-638-6783 or visit our website.

I’ll leave you today with a quote from Ralph Marston that sums up my feelings pretty well, that every day is Thanksgiving if you allow it:

“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.”

Submitted by Lee Beers who can be reached by email or phone at: 330-638-6738.

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