Sunday, August 4, 2013

Food is Magnet To Meet Wonderful People

I can't believe the gifts of friendship we have received recently, all because our farm's produce brought them to us.
We received a call from the parents of one of our daughter's friends, that had moved to Paradise to retire.  They wanted to know if they could stop by as they had heard we sold produce, which they did.  Frank and I were right in the middle of cutting tomatoes to sun dry them.  The couple was so excited to see what we were doing, they wanted to help.  So we quickly got a huge amount of very ripe tomatoes cut up and set out the screens on the saw horses to dry.  We took them out to the garden where they picked the vegetables that they wanted along with picking some dried beans.  A few days later, they called and said they might stop by to leave us a few gifts.  She had made some delicious beans with ham hocks using the dried beans she had picked and shelled; she made us a peach/nectarine cobbler using our fruit; AND they brought us a garden cabinet that they had made using re-cycled wood, pulls and baskets found at yard sales.  Needless to say, it was such a surprise and a wonderful- way too generous gift/s.  Since that time, they have become Windmill Farm fans and very good friends.
Some people we have met are seasonal friends.  We only see or hear from them during certain fruit or vegetable season.  One dear couple LOVES to can peaches.  Not just any peaches, only a particular variety of CLING peaches.  She sets aside a certain period of time just for canning when her friend comes to visit her each year.  She delights in arranging those fun visits whenever I let her know the time is right for cling peaches.  She and her friend spend days peeling and packing jars of fresh peaches from our farm.  Occasionally, in the winter she may call me letting me know they are eating the peaches she canned and how yummy the flavor is and how much she appreciated me saving her those special peaches just for her.
Another seasonal friend/s revolves around Meyer Lemons.  One day in early
winter, I was out front raking leaves when some people stopped at my roadside stand to look at the Meyer lemons we were selling at the time.  So many people stop and look or purchase what we have, but I don't always see who they may be as it is a self service fruit stand.  This time the man waved at me and asked if I could answer a question about the lemons.  I gladly stopped raking to talk about food!!!  While talking for some time about lemons and other things, Frank heard us and came over to the stand too.  We were out there for well over an hour and felt instantly connected to this fun couple.  The man had gone to school in Gridley when he was young but moved away and he and his wife live in Arizona.  A few times a year, they come visit a friend who happens to live on our street on their way to their 2nd home in Northern Oregon.  They had asked their friend to look out for any Meyer Lemons to buy and their friend remembered my stand and told them.  Well, they ended up reading this blog; sending us emails; and we have become very good friends. We see each other several times a year and every time they pass through Gridley heading North, we load them up with eggs, fruits, vegetables, hugs and well wishes. Oh, and their friends on our street who we never knew until we met the Arizona people? They have become great friends too!!! The Meyer Lemons brought us all together.
In one of my previous posts, I told you about the person who wrote me a very nice email after following my blog about the farm.  She is a life long maker of beautiful braided rugs. After chatting back and forth for several months, we met in person and she agreed to finish my mother's rug that my Mom had started more than 40 years ago.  This last week while delivering our CSA baskets, one of our stops was at her house to pick up the finished rug.  What a fabulous surprise to see it done.  Not an easy project when you think that I did not have any of the original wool pieces my mother used so she had to find some wool in her stash.  She said she ended up going to some thrift shops looking for wool jackets or wool men's pants to cut up to use.  I am so pleased with the results and I can't thank her enough.  She showed me some intricate designs in the braiding that I had not noticed previously, I know my mother would be happy and we have a new wonderful friend that we would have never met if it wasn't for growing fruits and vegetables; and the farm blog about food, gardening, flowers, design and life on a small farm.
Call your local farmer; stop at a local farm stand; order some local fresh cut flowers, you might be surprised to find a kindred spirit, a life long friend along the way.  Until next time from our farm-

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