At the end of May I took the girls up to visit our friends, Andrea and Taylor, at their organic farm up in Parkdale. There farm was just beginning to burst with the first of the season’s harvest. Andrea and Taylor were hard at work in the field, preparing their selection for the Gorge Grown Farmer’s Market. I asked Andrea to share a bit about their farm…
First, tell me about a little about the farm, what you grow, and about the CSA and where your produce can be found and purchased?
Taylor and I operate a 6 acre organic (non-certified) vegetable farm. This season we are farming 3 out of the 6 acres. We currently grow 50 different varieties of vegetables that we sell at the Hood River farmers’ market. We also have a 50 member CSA and our produce can be found at Solera Brewery
in Parkdale, Apple Valley BBQ
in Parkdale, and River Daze Cafe
in Hood River.
Why do you and Taylor farm? What inspires you to do all that impressively hard work?
Taylor and I decided to quit our day jobs and learn how to farm 5 years ago. Taylor grew up on a 60 acre organic vegetable farm in Massachusetts but didn’t have any interest in farming until his mid 20’s. We were both living in Bend, OR working jobs that weren’t very fulfilling when Taylor brought up the idea of moving back to Massachusetts to work on his family’s farm. I’d always fantasized about working on a farm and jumped at the idea-I was in for a rude awakening, turns out farming isn’t romantic at all! The days are long and physically demanding. However, the most rewarding part is knowing our produce is making it’s way to our community’s dinner tables every night.
What brought you guys out to Hood River? What is your favorite thing about living in the Gorge?
Taylor and I decided to leave Massachusetts after 3 seasons of farm work because we were missing Oregon and wanted to build our own farm on a smaller scale. We landed in the Gorge because we love the outdoorsy lifestyle and the fact that it’s an agricultural area. We are never leaving!
What inspires your recipes on your food blog, Dishing Up The Dirt?
The recipes on my blog usually come to me when I’m at the farm hot, hungry and craving what I’m picking.
Here are some photos that I took on our visit…
We went up again last week and got a peak at the farm; it looks quite a bit more active these days. The farm is expanded, the produce is bursting, and Andrea and Taylor have much more impressive tan lines. Seeing their farm and how hard they work to bring out community wonderful, organic produce made me even more grateful that we have these small farms so close. Hope to see you all tomorrow at the Hood River – Gorge Grown Farmer’s Market!