a taste of the farm life

last week, my sister asked me if we wanted to take a tour of a friend's farm with her and her family. how could i resist? a tour of a local farm?  heck yeah!

i get excited when we can learn more about local businesses and how we can support them.  especially when it comes to food.  whenever we can, and when our budget allows, we love supporting local farmers by sourcing as much of our produce locally through a CSA, the farmer's market or local grocery co-op.  i have learned a lot about food from participating in CSAs, and have become better aware of what foods are in season and which ones are not (i'm far from being a pro at this, but it's getting easier every year).  our whole family is also exposed to produce that may not make it on my grocery list if we hadn't joined a CSA (think fennel, fava beans and raddichio).

so, an opportunity to tour a local farm is exciting for me, because i get a chance to see where some of the fabulous local produce is coming from.  as it turns out, our farm tour was part of a bigger event put together by sno-valley tilth, an organization that connects local farmers in the snoqualmie valley to the surrounding communities and metropolitan areas.  sno-valley tilth was organizing farm tours of many of the farmers in the snoqualmie valley along with an amazing sounding farm faire and pig roast (aaah!) in the evening. coincidentally, the farm where we have our CSA share was also participating in the farm tour, so bonus for us!  this would be an opportunity to really see where some of our food actually came from.

the drive to the "country" was surprisingly short.  it took us only 45 minutes, which was only 15 minutes longer than if we were to drive to the zoo (and that's in the city). our first stop was oxbow farm, which is where we have our CSA subscription.  oxbow farm not only provides weekly veggie shares through their CSA program, but they sell their produce through a couple of farmer's markets, some area independent grocers, and supply produce to quite a few Seattle area restaurants.  they also provide educational programs for kids and put on seasonal events.

we missed the guided tour, but we were free to explore on our own.  they have a special kids' farm area where you can "guess the veg" in the children's garden, or run through a "living" tunnel made from gourd plants growing right over your head.  our kids were in heaven, and this is where we spent most of our time at oxbow.

they climbed and jumped off tree stumps, and snacked on crunchy apples and sweet strawberries they picked themselves.

there was a little picnic area placed underneath an awning of grape vines, with grapes you can pick off and eat. it felt magical to be standing right underneath it.

and there was a huge teepee like structure with some sort of bean plant growing around the poles, providing shade and made you feel as if you were really inside a tent.

there was so much imaginative play going on, and it felt good just being able to let the kids do some natural exploration on their own.

our next stop was local roots farm where we met up with my sister and family, and had the opportunity to meet the owners/farmers, siri and jason. they're a smaller farm than oxbow, but still provide amazing, quality produce through their CSA subscription, farmer's markets and to many Seattle area restaurants.

the kids had a blast hanging out with their cousins and new friend, siri and jason's sweet little boy, and i gained a greater appreciation for the work that these farmers do to provide food for us to eat. it was a privilege to get a small glimpse of what life is like for them, and thankful that they are willing to share what they do with us.

it was a saturday well spent.  full of learning, fun, and new discoveries.


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