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Wyatt Lawrence looking over the Lawrence farm. Lawrence is the fourth generation on the family farm. (Marytina Larence/Special to Agweek)

Reflecting on the season of feasting

I love the fall. It is a time of the year where we transition out of the craziness of the summer and anticipate the opportunity to slow down, regroup and more importantly bring in the harvest. Months of work and planning, time in the field estimating and hoping for great reward are brought to the storehouses. I have been watching the increased farm traffic over the past month or so, and it warms my heart to see farmers begin to reap what they have sown.

As I was preparing a meal for my family the other night, contemplating the time of year and the anticipation of the holiday season approaching, I began to get excited thinking about all the food and fun that is tied into it. In our home, as in most I am sure, we feast and feast and feast during the holiday season. In fact, every celebration in our home is established in good food. I don't like to do anything without making sure food is involved.

This, of course, got me thinking. Food can be a great way of celebrating, but it also gives grace in times of conflict, neutralizes hurts among friend and foe and gives us comfort from those things around us that can sometimes be too much to bear. It breaks down barriers and opens up discussions, not to mention it can be one of the most enjoyable experiences we can have as a human being. When my children invite their friends to the house, we have a reputation of being a home that you may come to hungry but never leave that way. Food is a peacemaker.

So here is the thing. As I am watching the farm traffic and witnessing frustration by people for the delay on the road, seeing lights in the field in the distance at all hours of the night, watching my husband drag himself out of bed at 2 a.m. to check on cows who are due to calve, I am reminded that without those tireless efforts of farmers, all the food would no longer exist. And the celebrations, conflict resolutions, coffee dates at the local shop and so on and so on would instantly disappear. Life would become sad and gray, not to mention short lived.

As you prepare for your holiday season — planning meals, desserts and everything in between — take a moment if you could and give thanks for the farmer. Their hearts are full as they go the extra mile to fill the storehouse day in and day out. It is a labor of love for them, filled with accomplishment and great joy. Feasting is only possible because of their commitment to a profession most will never know in the world of today, and we are all truly blessed to have them.