There is something about fall that I find so enchanting. The crispness in the air, the bountiful harvest, bonfires, and walks in leaves. It opens the door to the great white winter. Fall reminds me every year that there is a rhythm to life and a time for every season. It is also when my garden is full and flowing with rich and fresh vegetables begging to be delighted in.
For the last ten years, to honor the gift of fall, we have hosted a backyard harvest festival. Each year with a bit of a twist or focus. One year it was the Pie Party, and everyone had to bring a pie dish. The next year it was the Garden Speakeasy, and we celebrated with specialty cocktails. Although the theme has changed, the purpose has not: we gather together to foster relationships, build memories, share in good food, and enjoy good conversation.
It has ultimately become the neighborhood event that no one wants to miss. Food and music have a way of bringing people together. When you ask folks to bring their favorite dish, it opens the door for cultural exploration. I’ve watched the Harvest Supper draw people out of their comfort zones as they interact with folks who they may not normally meet in their everyday lives. It becomes an evening of expansion—a way to expand our pallets, expand our understanding, expand our hearts, and expand our ability to see humanity.