Farming and working with the soil has always been important in my life. From my early childhood on my parents orchard, to our family vineyard in my 20’s, to my 19 years with the USDA Forest Service. Now on our own orchard entering our 14th year I can use all I have learned and continue to learn to grow our certified organic fruit.
The Wyoming landscape formed me, wide windy vistas that smelled of sagebrush and the changing seasons. My parents owned and operated a small cafe in Cheynne, with my three older sisters, and two years later a brother, I started life in a metal high chair in the middle of the cafe kitchen, listening to the country music of the 1950's. To this day, some 65 years later my passion is still homegrown food prepared simply and music of all kinds.
Our family moved to Boise Idaho in the late 50's where my father hunted and fished against the wild Idaho landscape, scratch cooking meals along with my mother for a family of seven.
The curve of my life has brought me back to what I know and love the best. In our early 50's my husband Robert and I left McCall, Idaho, to start farming in the Eagle Valley of Eastern Oregon, if we had done a risk assessment of the farm, we would have been told, it was impossible and yet 13 years later we have taken a 5 acre conventional farm and turned it into a wildly rich organic orchard.
What I brought, was a deep abiding love of the physical expression needed to work a farm and the naiveté the comes with being almost clueless as to what it takes to grow food for others. My strength has always been endurance, the ability to rise early with no ill side effects, learn new jobs and let life's experience culminate to bring me to the next task at hand.
Farming has brought me to the realization that I am part of vast living environment, that the web of life's bounty holds the key to our future. If you grow food, you grow life and in understand this we find where we belong, nestled between trees, plants, insects and animals. Humble by the beauty, formed by the work, into a grateful human being.
This is our 1952 TO-35 Furguson tractor, isn't she beautiful, she not only looks good but she's a hard working gal. We use the tractor with our spray rig, brush hog and harvest wagon. Yearly this old gal brings in 50,000 lbs in fruit. Who says, small farms can't compete with the big guys per acre. What's really funny is, ourneighbor Tom, told us how to find the date when the engine was foraged at the foundry it was the same year that Robert was born!