Saturday, March 19, 2011

Highwater Farm

In February, I quit my soul-sucking job as a groundwater sampling technician and moved to the Skagit Valley, to live with my sister’s family and work at Highwater Farm.
Located on Francis Road in Mount Vernon, Highwater Farm is in its fourth year of production and is preparing for its first CSA season. Danielle and Jeff run the farm with their four boys (the youngest is brand new, born two days after my last day of work there).
During my three weeks on the farm, we did lots of different kinds of things, including
·            Blueberry care
·            Strawberry weeding
·            Shallot preparation
·            Digging potatoes and parsnips
·            Picking kale
·            Readying and delivering orders for the Skagit Valley Food Co-op
·            Fruit tree fertilization
·            Fence deconstruction
Freshly dug parnsips, which were planted last March. Year-old parsnips will have some rust, but are still extremely edible and delicious.
Shallot preparation involves digging through these screens of curing shallots, cutting off roots and leaves, and shucking the nasty old outsides to reveal the gleaming, papery insides. Very satisfying and dusty-smelling.
It was a great educational experience to work with farmers who are new to the business of having their own land. I learned a lot. It felt so good to get out of the city and work outside all day surrounded by snow-dusted hills. I became nearly obsessed with the mated pair of bald eagles that nested in a tree on the property.
I look forward to my next bout of farm work, which starts next month. I’ll be working for Anne Schwartz at Blue Heron Farm in Rockport. I’ll actually be living on the farm, which I’m really looking forward to. Anne has been farming up there for over thirty years and I know I will learn a ton from her. I am fighting dog adoption as part of my next phase of life, which has become harder since I found this dog for adoption, who closely resembles my childhood dog, who used to spoon under the covers with me nightly.

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