One week plus some change until Thanksgiving—are you ready? Here at Heartwood, families are preparing for their holidays: some are traveling to join loved ones; some are staying home to welcome loved ones; and others still are joining with neighbors and guests at the spectacular Heartwood Common House dinner, a perfectly orchestrated potluck of delicious fare, often featuring our very own home-raised/grown produce and meat.
Thankful thoughts are top-of-mind just now, and certainly we have much to be grateful for at Heartwood: a caring community, breathtaking natural beauty, cozy and charming homes, and truly great neighbors in Bayfield. What a gift it is to know your neighbors, to be part of a community like Bayfield, “where the stars shine bright.”
This fall we celebrated at two events with our extended neighbors. At Halloween, a friend to the east, invited all of Heartwood to his home situated high on the ridge overlooking the Los Pinos River. It was a great Halloween bash. We met more Bayfield folks and got to show off our costume-designing skills. (Woot!)
In October, Heartwood threw a BBQ bash for the firemen and women of the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, in thanks for their service to this corner of the U.S. Southwest we get to call home. Led by Chief Bruce Evans, the fire-protection crews arrived in (naturally) the red fire truck and emergency rescue vehicles. They were welcomed by the aroma of Heartwood burgers on the grill (supplied by our resident ranchers Ronda Ramsier and Jack McGroder (thanks, R&J). Inside the Common House, a few of us had channeled our inner Girl Scout to create tissue-paper “campfires” as table centerpieces, while many more prepared enough side dishes and salads to feed a few more fire districts. What a buffet of plenty!
Chief Evans explains the intricacies of mitigating natural forests like Heartwood's.
We also had a fine bar set-up, but our fire protectors in blue and white were on duty, so they enjoyed the fresh apple cider being pressed outside on the village green. Now, if you’ve never pressed cider before, you’re in for a treat if you’re lucky enough to visit Heartwood in autumn. We used Heartwood apples, of course, picked fresh from the orchard down at “the hub” on Heartwood Lane and also from trees in our backyards.
The press requires solid physical labor in a team effort, and the results are fantastic—some say it’s the best cider they’ve tasted, and that’s the word even from a few Midwest-bred folks, a good testament, you have to admit.
Neighbors pitch in for cider pressing.
And now it’s time to say thanks to you for your interest in and support of Heartwood across the years and the miles. Harvest season is over, and it’s time to enjoy the goods with people you care about. From our houses and hearths to yours: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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