Summer ended abruptly this year.

When the first snowfall came, I was very thankful that all of our veggies had been harvested. Harvesting is backbreaking work at times, and having snow on the ground and a cold wind only makes it harder to do, especially with root crops.

After the second snowfall a few days later, there wasn’t much that we could do outside. While working inside with the fire keeping things toasty, we could reflect on the summer that has just passed.

We were able to plant very early this spring, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that we now have a very early winter (although I do hope there will be more autumn days in our near future). But early planting meant earlier crops, and for that I am thankful.

The Fireweed Community Market changed its location slightly, and as a result seemed to be busier than ever. Allan was able to be at most of the markets with me this year. This lightened the workload a bit but also allowed us to harvest more. The weather seemed to co-operate with us, too, with relatively few rainy markets. We did have rain, but not every Thursday like some past years. I am thankful for these things, too.

In the past, we had some summers when it seemed too cold even for growing lettuce, but not this year. And while we didn’t get as much rain mid-summer as we could have, we were still able to keep the gardens irrigated, so they were both productive. Another thing to be thankful for.

Although we now have a resident fox family and have lost some laying hens, we were able to acquire replacement hens. Something quite unusual in a territory where there are few chicken farmers and no chicken hatchery. And I am quite thankful for that. (As are my egg customers.)

Even though summers are usually extremely busy, we were able to complete some extra projects on our to-do list around the farm, the mowing of the back field being one of them. And I am thankful for good friends who allowed us to borrow their equipment to make this happen.

We will be butchering turkeys soon, and they are looking nice and plump. Perfect for a Thanksgiving dinner, and something that will make more than just myself thankful.

As farmers, we seem to have a lot stacked against us in the game of life. Low wages, erratic weather, high input costs and a never-ending supply of hard work. It seems very easy to complain about one thing or another. But sometimes it is good to stop and reflect on things that we may have taken for granted. A sunny day that allows us to harvest easily instead of mucking around in the garden in the rain. Heat that allows the vegetables to mature in a timely fashion. Animals that thrive and reach their full potential. Or just a chance to stop and enjoy the benefits that we have in Canada.

Life may not always go our way, but if we look around, there are things that each of us can be thankful for. Have a happy Thanksgiving.