Hi folks, as November unfolds, it brings with it a tapestry of special days and traditions that hold a special place in our hearts. Veterans Day and Thanksgiving are the stars of the month, but November is also sprinkled with other significant occasions. Early in the month, Christians around the world observe All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Towards the end, the Advent calendar marks the countdown to Christmas. For many, this month also signifies the start of hunting season – a time when families, young and old, venture into the fields and woods in pursuit of game like small game turkey, black bear, and whitetail deer.
Veterans Day, on November 11, holds profound significance. It commemorates the end of major hostilities in World War I in 1918 when the Armistice with Germany took effect. Originally known as Armistice Day, it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. This day is a universal tribute, honoring all those who have served honorably in the military during wartime or peacetime. Countries such as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and France also pay homage to their veterans on this day, often observing two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m.
Then there's Thanksgiving, a cherished holiday in the United States celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In Canada, our neighbors mark their Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to come together, sharing a grand feast typically centered around a roasted turkey and all its trimmings. As a farmer raising seasonal turkeys, I often jest with my turkeys about the joy they bring to the table – they respond with a chorus of gobbles.
For many, Thanksgiving is more than just a feast; it’s a moment of reflection and gratitude. It’s an opportunity to ask for forgiveness, express thanks for life’s blessings, and acknowledge our dependence on a higher power. Imagine a world where everyone practiced gratitude for everything they received. Farmers, especially, understand the importance of thankfulness as they navigate the uncertainties that nature throws their way while tending to their crops.
As a fourth-generation farmer, standing on our family farm, I’m reminded of the sacrifices made by our grandparents and parents for the sake of our land. It’s my mission to instill these core values in our fifth- and sixth-generation family members. Adversity is part of life, especially on a farm. We face challenges – mechanical and physical – and the choice is simple: accept it and lose, or challenge it and live to fight another day.
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, our farm bustles with activity. We process, bag, weigh, and sell our farm-fresh turkeys to our valued customers. It’s also a week of birthdays – Emily’s on the 16th, Michelle's on the 20th, and the twins Don and Ron celebrate on the 21st. The Tuesday and Wednesday before Thanksgiving are our busiest days, with hundreds of fresh turkeys being picked up. Customers also select our farm's fresh eggs, bacon, sausage, roasting chickens, seasonal produce, and homemade baked goods. It’s a wild time, but there's a deep sense of joy when we finally coast into Thanksgiving Day.
November also marks the start of hunting season in Pennsylvania – a time for hunting grouse, wild turkey, small game, coyotes, black bear, and whitetail deer. For over 65 years, the opening day for deer gun season began on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a tradition cherished by generations. In 2019, changes were made, causing disruptions to Thanksgiving traditions and small businesses. We hope for a return to the old ways soon.
As always, we, at Eichner's Whole Farm and Greenhouses located at 285 Richard Road in Wexford, extend our warmest Thanksgiving wishes to all of you. Come visit us, bring a friend, and enjoy our farm-fresh turkeys, eggs, bacon, homemade sausages, seasonal fruits, vegetables, jellies, preserves, and baked goods. We wish you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Remember, at our farm, you're not just a customer – you're a friend, and we're here to share in the spirit of gratitude and celebration. Let’s give thanks together and make this November a month to remember.