Jessica Walliser
November 22, 2012

I pulled the last carrots from my garden to serve at our Thanksgiving feast. Photo by Jessica Walliser (
Photo by Jessica Walliser
I pulled the last carrots from my garden to serve at our Thanksgiving feast.

It is always my intent to harvest from the garden year-round. I plant plenty of root crops, like beets, turnips, radishes and others, so I can keep harvesting for as long as possible. Come early November, I nestle them under 6 inches of straw mulch and peel the mulch back whenever I am ready to pick the roots. But, it is a rare year that my plan actually works, because come Thanksgiving, all bets are off!

And so yesterday, the day before Thanksgiving, I went out to the garden to see what I could find. Admittedly, I take great pleasure in feeding our guests food that we grew ourselves and I suspect that other gardeners feel the same. We are having 11 people for Thanksgiving dinner and I raided the garden so that we might have some homegrown vegetables on the table. I pulled out the last of the carrots (so much for my year-round harvest on those!), which I will use to make my Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling, a dozen radishes to use in the salad, a handful of shallots for the stuffing, enough lettuce and baby pac choi to fill the salad bowl, parsley, sage and thyme. The potatoes dug in September will also find their way to the kitchen from their bins in the dark garage. It was a pleasure to be in the garden on such a cold day, picking fresh produce for family and friends.

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Now, on Thanksgiving morning, the kitchen is filled with the wonderful smells of home cooking and homegrown herbs. Our turkey came from a friend’s farm, where the poultry is treated nearly as well as the children. I know it will be delicious. I am grateful to know where my food comes from, to have the opportunity to raise some of it in my own backyard and to know the people who grew the food that I myself could not. Happy Thanksgiving!

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