Over the centuries, Thanksgiving has become a special day to share a home-cooked meal with loved ones and an offering of thanks for our blessings. In many ways, Thanksgiving is the quintessential “Slow Food” holiday. And yet, as many of us know, Thanksgiving has a complicated and controversial past. As we celebrate with family and friends, it’s worth remembering the complexity and suffering from which our modern holiday of love, food and family was born.
Many of us are familiar with the story of the first Thanksgiving: Pilgrims celebrated a successful harvest after a few years of starvation and struggle together with friends from the Wampanoag Nation. That harvest was made possible thanks to the knowledge, seeds and traditional farming practices that the Native Americans shared with the newly arrived settlers.
What many of us don’t know is the story that followed in the intervening years between that celebration and the holiday of family, food and giving that many of us are familiar with today. Following nearly two decades of peace, newly arrived Europeans began massacres of native peoples across the northeast over issues of land rights and ownership. (These killings were widely condemned by the original Pilgrims – many of whom were expelled from the society for voicing their opposition).
After one particularly successful massacre in what is now Connecticut, settlers gathered for a feast of “thanksgiving” – giving thanks for their victory over the native peoples. This is the tragic story of the second Thanksgiving. In subsequent years, as the killings across the northeast took on a frenzy, settlers held feasts of thanksgiving after each successful slaughter. By many accounts, George Washington brought order by declaring one day to be celebrated across the nation as “Thanksgiving Day.” Thanksgiving then became an official state holiday during the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln declared that it would fall on the fourth Thursday of every November.
Though none of us alive today took part in these atrocities, it is important to know the full context of the holiday in order to understand why some people find it difficult to celebrate. It is through this awareness that we bring thoughtfulness and true thanksgiving to our enjoyment.
Our food system is becoming increasingly industrialized. Every year, more family farms are disappearing and being replaced by factory farms.
More than 90% of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields. Half of the breeds of many domestic animals have been lost. Just 3 companies process more than 70% of all U.S. beef
More than 70% of large fish species have been over-fished in the past century, with many fish populations virtually becoming extinct. More than 80% of corn and 90% of soybean seeds are now patented by just one company. This approach to food is unhealthy for us and for the environment. It disconnects us from our cultural food traditions, and presents a serious threat to the future of our food supply. Rich biodiversity is crucial to our food security. Without it, just one new virus or pest could decimate an entire plant or animal species – leaving us vulnerable to famine and destroying our planet’s environmental stability.
Blue Moon Acres and Door to Door Organics Tri-State invite you to enjoy the Fall Food Festival at Blue Moon’s Pennington, New Jersey location on November 2nd from 11-4 PM. Bring your friends and family out to enjoy a delicious spread of fall’s bounty from Blue Moon Acres and other nearby farms, as well as seasonal desserts. Meet many of the producers who supply both Door to Door Organics and the Blue Moon Acres Farm Market and visit the booths of local artisans, craftspeople, and more! There will be tractor rides and pumpkin painting for the kids and live music and entertainment for the parents. Both Blue Moon Acres and Door to Door Organics look forward to sharing the fall harvest with you! (Rain date November 9th.)
This event is free and open to the public.
All Day Activities:
Hayrides around the Farm – Join Farmer Scott and the Blue Moon crew on a hayride while learning about the farm.
Face Painting – Fun designs for little faces
Pumpkin Painting- Choose your own pumpkin, paint it at the farm, and take it home!
Pony Rides- 12 Pm – 2 PM
Balloon Animal Artist – 12:30 – 2:30 PM
Costume Contest – 3 PM
Come dressed in your Halloween best for a costume contest! Gift Certificates to Blue Moon Acres or Door to Door Organics awarded to the best costumes in the following categories:
MOST CREATIVE COSTUME
BEST OVERALL COSTUME
Tell your friends and head on over to our Facebook page to let us know if we’ll see you there!
Ricotta! Make your own ricotta using our grass-fed raw milk. Participate in the process of “re-cooking” (the literal Italian translation of ricotta) milk to form this sweet, delicate cheese. Learn how to make it in your own at home, plus lots of information about how to use ricotta in new and interesting ways!
Mozzarella! In this fun and informative class we show you how milk is transformed into curds and then guide you through the steps to stretch the curds into mozzarella.
Price: $65 per person per double header class.
Space is limited! Due to high demand, we request that full payment is made at time of reservation to hold your spot. Class price includes a Cherry Grove thermal bag as well as recipes to make the cheeses at home.
To register please call 609-895-1502 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breaking News: I’m Back on the Radio, with My Own Show! I’m thrilled to announce the debut of my radio show Dining Today with Pat Tanner! It premieres this Sunday, November 3rd from 2 to 3 pm on 920 The Voice, a new AM station in Central NJ. Joining me as my first guests are Chris Walsh of River Horse Brewing and Rosie Saferstein, whose njmonthly.com column, “Table Hopping with Rosie,” is a prime source for NJ restaurant news.
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion. Our panelists include Angela Davis,Weston A. Price Foundation Jersey City Chapter Leader; Lucia & Charlie Huebner, Owners of Beechtree Farm, and Joh McConaughy, Owner of Double Brook Farm.Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why.
Farmageddon highlights the urgency of food freedom, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals’ rights to access food of their choice and farmers’ rights to produce these foods safely and free from unreasonably burdensome regulations. The film serves to put policymakers and regulators on notice that there is a growing movement of people aware that their freedom to choose the foods they want is in danger, a movement that is taking action with its dollars and its voting power to protect and preserve the dwindling number of family farms that are struggling to survive.
It’s harvest season and our friends and seed library members are busy harvesting and saving seed. This statement and these photos were posted September 26 by Wendy Weiner (a.k.a. The Front Yard Farmer) of Transition Monmouth, a collaborator on the Raíces Seed Library:
I was out in the garden this morning gathering seeds for our new seed library and for my own stash. This aspect of gardening is equally as important as is gathering your vegetables or fertilizing your beds. Please consider making a contribution to our Seed Library that is forming. Hold your seed and stay tuned. These 2 pictures show my growing collection and seeds yet to be thrashed and cleaned.
It’s so exciting to see such a variety of seeds being saved by our friends and participants of this project. Please send in your seed saving photos to email@example.com so we can feature you and your seeds in an album of local and regional seed savers.
Whole Earth Center
360 Nassau Street
Princeton NJ 08540
12:00 pm-2:00pm: Music sponsored by the Whole Earth Center
A Little Bit Off : Lolly Barton (bass & harmonica), Kristin Westbrook (fiddle) Gretchen Jaeckel (mandolin & vocals), Carolyn Haines (guitar & vocals)
2:00-2:20: Welcome and speaker introductions.
Speakers at the Whole Earth Center:
Laurie Hunstman–President of the Whole Earth Center Board
Kathleen McKenna– mom
Carol Grace — Wife of Vietnam Agent Orange victim
3:00-3:20: Speakers at Battlefield Monument Park:
Carla Díaz Stringel (Monsanto’s Corn in Mexico)
Jim Walsh Food & Water Watch
Barbara Thomas GMO-Free NJ Puppet/GMO myths & truths.
Sing-a-long: GMO Frankenfood Rag
Action plan discussion
Please come to Princeton Early and have lunch. Try to park somewhere along the middle of the route, have lunch, then walk over to the Whole Earth Center. The Whole Earth Center also serves up some good lunch dishes.
Our color theme for the March is red and black. Here are some good organic cotton t’s: http://tinyurl.com/lzynda2
Can you help us out? We can also use a sound system for our end point rally. If anyone can help please email Therlam@yahoo.com