Insider’s Viewpoint: Giving Thanks from A to Z

You’d think at Thanksgiving, I’d write about turkey
But I’d so much rather be just a bit quirky!
My focus today will be cast toward the fields
To celebrate harvest and all that it yields.

No shortage of bounty, it’s so plain to see;
I’ll give you examples that stretch A to Z:
Apples and Brussel Sprouts… this isn’t hard!
Cabbage and Carrots and Celery and Chard…

Daikon’s a radish that has a mild bite
And it isn’t red! No, it’s long and quite white!
Endive and Escarole – both at their best;
When fall comes around, they give salads some zest!

Fennel and Fig, Garlic, Green beans and Gourd;
With all this to choose from, how could you be bored?!
Hearty Herbs, Horseradish, berries of Huckle
(I just threw that in to elicit a chuckle.)

Ice plant is next.
(It’s a stretch, but you see… it’s all I could find for my list “A to Z!)
Jerusalem artichokes – how’s that for “ubers”?
Fall is the time for these smooth, tan-skinned tubers.

Kale and Kohlrabi, fresh Lettuce, and Leeks;
Mushrooms, and Onions, and Pears at their peaks.
Did you notice I skipped over “N”, nice and clean?
That was only to spotlight the great Nectarine!

(Well, actually, friends, there’s another good reason:
You see, for this poem, they’re just not quite “in season”.)

Okra and Pumpkin and Quinces and more;
Radicchio, Shallots, and Turnips in store!
Yikes! Nothing for U, V, or X? Where’s Houdini?
Let’s wrap up with Winter squash, Yams, and Zucchini!

But back up a minute! Do you wonder why?
I want to give “U”, “V” and “X” one more try!
When I really dug deeper, I found “Upland Cress”
What is it, you ask? Well, it’s anyone’s guess!

I’m listing Vanilla, but please don’t be mean;
A veggie, it’s not… but it comes in a bean!
Persistence is something I learned while in school.
Persistence is what helped me “mine” this fine jewel:

Xylocarp! (Sounds like a fish… is it me?)
Like coconut, though, this is fruit from a tree!
The characteristic that makes this a “goodie”
Is having a skin that is brown, rough, and woody.

And now – there you have at least twenty-six reasons
That make this Thanksgiving the finest of seasons!
Vegetables, fruits, and the foods that we share
All serve to give comfort and make us aware.

The gifts of the harvest, they help us feel whole!
They nourish the body, inspire the soul;
Money is only one measure of wealth
No riches are greater than having good health!

Grateful for farmers who till, plant and toil
Who nourish our bodies with gifts from the soil!
Farmers for whom life is full of conundrance
And yet they provide such impressive abundance!

The farmers, the pickers, the packers and such;
The drivers and stockers – we owe them so much!
Checkers and baggers and all who enable
The wonders of nature to fill up our table!

For all those who labor, for crops that they raise,
I heap up a serving of warm, heartfelt praise!
And special thanks, too, for the people of science
Who make us a nation of strong self-reliance.

As long as I’ve lived and as long as I’m living,
I relish the season we know as Thanksgiving.
It’s not just one day! Here’s my message, please hear it:
May you grace the world daily with a pure, grateful spirit!
Joanie Taylor
Director, Consumer Affairs
Schnuck Markets, Inc.
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