Posted December 1, 2016 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Culture
 
 

Harvest Festival


By Jon Fitzgerald

Photos by Tari Gunstone

The Evergreen Organic Farm celebrated its harvest this year with the 35th annual Harvest Festival. My partner and I walked the path down the hill as we entered the Organic Farm. Everything was still, and arriving at the farmhouse, I felt the first real nostalgic wave of time passing since this school year began.

Last year’s Harvest Festival was my first Evergreen event and somehow, right at that moment, I felt it mark the pass of time, and a loop of cable that I seem to subconsciously wrap as I gather the experiences coming toward me was finished in my head. It consisted of everything in between the two Harvest Festivals and it will most likely sit in my mental pile of never-ending cable, unlabeled, with an equal chance of being unfindable twenty years from now.

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As the trail transitions from gravel at the farmhouse back to a wide path that runs through the organic farm, a band was setting up on the stage that acts as a kind of main attraction area with a couple rows of hay for sitting. I felt the squirm of Olympic mud coming up to meet my boot as it pressed into the path. It was more wet this year than last, but I realized that last year’s festival took place two weeks earlier, and in October that often makes a lot of difference. Despite the weather, all the most classic elements of Harvest Fest were there; the cider-makers’ cider making, the farm tour givers giving farm tours, the clipboarders clipboarding, and I, with no inclinations other than receiving the good vibes of the harvest, became a rounds-maker.

Down the small hill, kids and parents carved pumpkins, students played frisbee, and most importantly, the organic farm sold their beloved harvest. Beloved, not because of its necessity to the Evergreen community, but because of the purpose it contains. The students who work at the organic farm, the students who participate in putting on the Harvest Festival, the families carving pumpkins, and I all benefit from this harvest. We need something to work towards and something to mark the progress of our lives. The harvest and the Harvest Festival happen every year, not because the plants are produced every year, but because people plant crops every year, and work the farm, and organize events, and create recurring events for us to measure our lives with. Depending on one’s distance from the root of this event, we might be working all year towards this festival or just all week or even all day.

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I went to the Harvest Festival and I didn’t buy produce or take a farm tour or drink cider or carve a pumpkin, but going there made all the difference because I know now that my energy is new energy. There’s no alarm in your head that goes off when you’ve begun again. Days are short and mental fatigue can build up even if you sleep well every night. It really can feel like you’re always going, but something cyclical like a seasonal event can make you look up at the time and notice that it’s the next day or the next year. I can be sure that what I am doing now is part of a new cycle, a new loop. I feel like I have the chance to do everything I did last time or I do every time better.

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