Thanksgiving by kayak
Three years ago my roommate and best friend Ginger came
up with the idea that we should have a community thanksgiving gathering
where all of the food would come from within a hundred
miles. By embracing local food we would recconnect with the
land and save a few barrels of oil too. Our food, she told me,
doesn't need to come on a truck from a thousand miles away.
Envisioning a dinner plate with a small piece of lettuce and a lonely
hard boiled egg, I was skeptical. I'm the sort of guy who thinks
the natural state of cranberry sauce ought to be a purple gelatin
cylinder shaped like a tin can. Resigning myself to
starvation, I was astonished that first year when dish after dish of
delicious food arrived. Bread and flour were in short supply but
surprisingly the rest of the meal was actually more diverse, more
delicious, and certainly more heathly than any thankgiving feast I'd
Three years later we now have a small farm, located 10 miles upriver
from where the gathering is held. This year we thought we'd up
the ante so Ginger, our roommate Jesse, and myself decided to kayak to
the thanksgiving feast.
Ginger grew these pumpkins specifically for the feast.
Jesse picks herbs from the garden.
This old Magestic wood-fired cook stove heats our home, our water, and
I found our cat Una on the porch finishing off a nut hatch, happy
Unsatified, her attention then turned to this giant bowl of whipped
cream, and my attention turned to throwing her off the counter.
Behind schedule of course, we change into our superhero costumes.
A final check of the tides, weather, and currents.
Our adventure begins. It's raining and 40 degrees, which I think
is the coldest kind of cold.
Unpacking the food.
A steep walk up a long hill.
This is baby Yukon. She is the reason I care about stopping
climate change and kicking the corporate theives out of our
government. She deserves a future with clean water, clean air,
safe food, and universal health care. Growing our own food
is just one more way we can pry the corporate claws from our lives.
Every dish has a story, a connection to a person and place.
After eating local organic turkey basted with wild mushroom gravvy, I
couldn't imagine going to grocery store.
Jesse is crazed with hunger!
Ginger is the picture of contentment.
Fred and his brother entertain us as people settle in to sing and chat
and laugh together. Too soon, however, the tides have changed and
it's time for us to begin the long paddle home.
Our return journey is not without it's trials though. Dark,
cold, rain. Three and a half hours against the current and a
hideous portage through brush and knee deep mud to circumvent a log jam
we just barely slipped through at the high tide earlier.
Golden raccoon eyes followed our passage, three little pools of white
light slipping though the inky quiet waters.
We finished our trip feeling strong, vigorous, and self
sufficient. We know that everyone can't live on a small
farm or kayak to thanksgiving dinner, but we can all work harder to
fight lazyness and live smarter. By riding bicyles, growing a
garden, and consuming less, we can give baby Yukon a world that's worth
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