Garlic, southern cooking and a new tradition.

So i guess it must have been about 10 hours after we left Manila that the first of two typhoons hit the capital.  Both were big…not sure what the death toll was when all was said and done – I think it was just under a hundred – but there are more on the way.  At the risk of sounding like a prat, for purposes of continuity I must include that this of course meant our holiday plans were not a go.  It also meant that I’d fly into Manila and have to stay there for 5 days, rather than on some isolated sunny beach.  So within the first two days of being in Oregon, my niece convinced me to check whether or not I could postpone my flight, probably to stop me moaning about how much it was going to suck. Wasn’t a problem, and didn’t cost much, so I was able to move my flight to the same day Chris would fly back, which worked out a treat.

I was meant to meet with my dear friend Sarah the day before I left, but of course now I had days after my family left Oregon, so I invited myself to her beautiful farm in Sweethome.  I had a bit of work the first day, but for the remaining four days I helped Sarah with sorting and cleaning garlic, and enjoying the zen frenzy that is farm life.  Sarah and Andrew have 5 cats at present, all of whom burst with character.  They also have three giant wild turkeys, a few chickens and ducks…and from time to time they have pigs…although they are big fans of bacon, so…

The farm looked amazing, and they really seem to be doing so well.  I’m baffled by their surreal to-do list; likewise by the steady focus everyone at the farm seems to keep.  Theirs is truly a 7-day work week most of the time, but calm is kept and to my admittedly uneducated eye, the farm seems to thrive, as does the general energy there. It’s a complicated thing they’ve got going on…kind of three-pronged.  Firstly, and I think they’d be comfortably saying foremostly, they are seed savers.  They advocate for the proliferation of heritage seeds, and the saving thereof.  To that end comes the second prong:  they cultivate and sell a really great selection of seeds, gathered from all over the place.  Finally, they produce a whole bunch of edible stuff and sell that via a number of different avenues, such as the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme [check out Sarah showing her veggie pride].

It occurred to me that it had been a year to the day since my last visit to the farm, which I found a bit trippy…also thought it was a good way to accidentally start a tradition, although harvest might not be the best time to pop in unexpectedly on a farm.  Nevertheless, all were welcoming as usual and I had an excellent, rejuvenating and uplifting time, indeed…complete with extraordinary vegan delights, all the home-grown veg a girl could want, deliciously fresh and fragrant air, excellent new acquaintances, and quality girl time with one of my best friends.

Last Saturday I bid adieu to all and made my way back to Manila…

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