We raised a big patch of sweet corn this year behind the farmhouse in the area that in the past has always been Joey’s garden. It was a much larger stand of corn than we’d ever done before, and we were excited about harvesting it together with some family and friends when it was ready.
Unfortunately, it came in earlier this summer while we were still on the road, so we missed it. Thankfully though, my sisters and family were kind enough to harvest as much of it as they could, and we were blessed to come home off the road and find a couple of dozen bags of the new sweet corn in our freezer.
We have some good friends at Greycliff Mill in Montana whose growing season is much shorter than ours. Since they don’t put seeds in the ground until around Memorial Day, their corn was coming ready just before Labor Day. So last weekend, we made a quick trip back to Montana to join in on a big sweet community corn harvest with more than a hundred other folks who are part of their community just outside of Big Timber.
No combine. No tractors. Just hands and hearts all joined in to harvest, husk, blanch, and freeze thousands of ears of corn… together, as a community the way it used to be done. Mr. Don (he’s the older fellow with the white beard in the video) leads the farming program there and he oversees when the seed goes into the ground and when it’s time to gather and harvest what God has brought forth. The following weekend, they harvested tens of thousands of potatoes together and in the next few weeks, they will gather again to bring in a field full of kidney beans.
There were folks in their eighties working right alongside toddlers, and everyone had an important part to play. The work was hard but it was so fulfilling to do it as families, as part of a bigger picture and goal. The many vegetables that they’re harvesting from the farm are only a small part of the amazing things that God is doing there.
At the end of the day, a few of us gathered for a farm-to-table meal as the sun set over the cliffs behind us.
It was a special moment and memory that we won’t soon forget. Having the opportunity for the little ones to work right alongside the grown-ups is unusual these days, but something we want to be part of every chance we get. Especially here at home and in our community.
If you find yourself anywhere near Big Timber, Montana in the next few weeks (or months), be sure to stop by the Greycliff Mill and take a little time to look around at all they are doing. You can find out more about the community, the Mill, and any upcoming events at www.greycliffmill.com.