Life takes such interesting meanderings. Who would ever have imagined that a person growing up in the area of New Jersey which is NOT the “Garden State” would love visiting farms as I did in West Virginia the past two years? As I met the farmers I came to admire their ethic of hard work and passion for producing healthy flavorful food. I know I could not easily take on their life; I work pretty steady but not the kind of hard labor these people do to feed us. I respect them deeply.
Here in Oregon I am in the midst of one of the nation’s best growing areas. Renown for its pinot noir wines, the Willamette Valley also produces much of the country’s grass seed and landscaping plants. But in between, in all the beautiful farmland, are the family farms where vegetables, fruits, nuts and animals are raised.
I met Jana when she came to pick up some of my moving boxes when I advertised them on Freecycle. We sat on the porch chatting (can you imagine me NOT sitting and chatting with someone?) and I learned she and her husband had moved from Colorado to Oregon to try to do what they could to produce as much of their own food as possible. They currently have goats, sheep, rabbits and chicken and expect to again have cows. Her kitchen garden is still producing abundant amounts of tomatoes and peppers, cabbage, squash and volunteer tomatillas.
I mentioned to her that I wanted to learn to can and she invited me to join her in preparing some tomatilla salsa. What a wonderful time!!!
I picked up some tortilla chips on the way home and Graham dug into it with a huge smile!!!
I need to pick up some more jars and some other tools and I think I found an interesting recipe for something to do with all those apples next!!
September 25, 2013 at 12:22 am
Love this! We are so blessed to be living in such an abundant part of the country. The farmer’s markets blow me away. When you get the canning process down maybe you can teach me? I really want to learn!
September 25, 2013 at 12:24 am
I spoke with the Extension Service and they will hold classes again starting early summer. They ran the last one 3 weeks ago, just before I got here! I feel very fortunate that I met Jana and she was so nice to offer me her time.
September 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm
I miss your energy and spirit. Oh hell I miss you! ! Love you Kim
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September 25, 2013 at 12:26 am
I miss you too..have not even begun to find a new massage therapist but my aches are reminding me I should not delay much longer. No one will be like you, tho!!
September 24, 2013 at 9:33 pm
Great Post! Looks like you have found a new passion! I’m learning a lot from you!
September 25, 2013 at 12:25 am
I understand there are several ways to preserve the great bounty that is harvested in this region, but until coming here all I really knew was how to freeze things. I started dehydrating a bit last year but I know that canning is often the best way to safely store food. It was time to learn!