Sukkot on a Farm: (Of course!)
What did you harvest in your life this year? And what seeds will you plant now – seeds that will lay dormant for the winter, to be nourished by the rain and soil – that will spread their leaves next spring?
These were some of the questions we pondered as one hundred and fifteen people spanning three generations gathered at Green Oaks Creek farm in Pescadero, CA, for the third annual Sukkot on the Farm Festival last weekend. Celebrating the harvest festival on a small, organic farm seemed to us a meaningful way of understanding what it really means to have gratitude for the abundance of life.
Our friend Dave designed and built us a gorgeous 400 square foot (!!) sukkah dripping with eucalyptus leaves and colorful tapestries blowing in the strong, ocean winds. Sitting in it reading from a 250 year-old torah as the sunshine glimmered through the branches was one of the most powerful experiences of the weekend.
I can definitively say that we ate the highest quality, most delicious, local, organic food you could possibly find anywhere. Our produce came from nearly ten local farms that grow everything from famous artichokes to the sweetest corn I’ve ever put to my lips. And Avishai, our magical alchemist chef, transformed it lovingly into some of the tastiest, most nourishing food imaginable.
Dayenu, right? But there was more… we harvested our food, toured the farms (we were right next door to Pie Ranch), heard from local farmers about their work, meditated in the redwoods, did yoga, learned about food justice from Peoples’ Grocery founder, Brahm Ahmadi, practiced hitbodedut learned how to make herbal medicines, pickles and fire by friction. The kids were treated to a live musical performance by members of Octopretzel, nature walks, and their own sukkah. We filled our evenings with bonfires, stories, and moonlit walks up the hill for an ocean view.
This is how Sukkot should be – connected to the land where our food came from, in the company of new and old friends, deepening our spiritual connection on the land, in the very midst of Creation.
I would say that in addition to all the strawberries and tomatoes, we harvested a lot of love and thanks, while planting the seeds of community, connection, and the healing of the earth.