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 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!!