Farmer appreciation

I spent much of last Sunday on a farm. Not just any farm, but the one that grows the food we eagerly await each week in our CSA box -- the one that I rave about from time to time.  The farm is in Rochester, Washington, about half-way between Seattle and Portland.

As CSA members, we had been invited to the farm's open house, so first thing Sunday we packed a picnic lunch and headed south.  We first stopped at Nisqually Wildlife Refuge -- a place we have enjoyed many times, but didn't see more than a couple bald eagles and a crane this time around.  Oh, and a very cool hawk that we have yet to identify. Gorgeous, cloudy-day walk though.

The two barns trail
The gravel was perfect for practicing throwing -- a popular activity these days.
 
After a picnic it was on to Helsing Junction Farm where we spent almost three hours wandering the fields and harvesting things we couldn't resist (of course, we had permission).  I came home with gorgeous rainbow chard, kale, fennel, and golden chiogga beets.  Oh, and flowers.


A picture taken by Wyatt of Byron harvesting chard.

We found ourselves face-to-face with some pretty cool sheep.  Or "peesh" as Wyatt has taken to calling them . . . we think it is basically the word sheep but backwards.  Whatever.  The sheep were Icelandic sheep, and their leader seemed to be a rather intimidating llama.


Anyway, there was lots of looking and pointing and laughing and no-no-no-ing when we moved on from there.  We caught the hay ride that was pulled behind the big old Kubota tractor and ate some freshly picked sweet corn.  We even shuffled our way into the middle of the corn field and picked a few ears to take home -- that's not something I have ever done before.  Pretty cool.



Back at the barn, the music, dogs, hot tamales, and items for sale kept us lurking around.  For a while, we sat on hay bales under a cloudy sky and ate chard tamales and chicken mole with rice in front of a very friendly dog.  After procuring a couple pounds of honey produced by none other than The Woogy Bee, we headed to the car and home.


I came home feeling grateful that we have farms (and farmers) like this so near to where we live.  Growing high quality organic food, especially 35 acres of it, is hard work -- and work that I truly appreciate.  I am grateful to Anna and Susan, the farmers who grow our food, and their employees for feeding us so well these past 13 weeks (with a few more to go) and also for inviting us to see the important work they do. 

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