From Cyndi Ball:
I'm sitting outside under a grove of old maple trees, a cool wind blowing at my back, not a bug to be seen. While I sit here writing this blog, so many thoughts are running through my head.
Yesterday morning, we met with the gal who owns the Airbnb we were staying in while we were in Yakima. Maria is a true kindred spirit - we knew as soon as we stepped into the guest house. There are herbal books all around, canning jars of dried herbs with labels, and the fridge was filled with all kinds of homemade goodies like yogurt, a jar of whole milk, kombucha, and jams.
She took us over to meet the gentleman who farms on her property, organically in the middle of commercial orchards. Come to find out, he's from Marietta, Georgia. Their growing season is from May to October. He said he could start sooner or go later using his hoop house, but he's limited because of the water rights they pay for. And even during the growing season, it's a struggle because when the commercial places run their water, his pressure is really low. It's interesting to me as we travel and talk with others, to hear about other difficulties areas deal with to grow food.
Yep, Maria was part of our tribe! It was fun to hear her story and the challenges she's had bringing a different perspective to farming in a very commercial area. A lot like my own story. After a lovely visit, we assured her that if we were back her way next year, we'd definitely be staying with her again. She was excited to hear about NLHG and what we are doing. She even mentioned the possibility of starting a Chapter since we had done all the work to establish a structure for the very same goals she had for her area. It was definitely not a coincidence that we were staying at her place. Way to go, Trina, for booking us at this particular AirBnB!
We hopped in the car and were off to Idaho, continuing the trek across eastern Washington on I-90.
Yesterday was beautiful - clear skies, a little hazy because of the fires, but you could see forever! The landscape is magnificent. Rugged, desolate, barren, and hot! And then we'd drive over a rise or come down the other side of a plateau, and there would be pockets of civilization. Patches of green, huge irrigation structures, a small town. Such contrast to Georgia ... and so magnificent. Mostly what we saw growing were acres and acres of hay - a lot of alfalfa bundled into huge square bales. Fields of potatoes, sunflowers, and corn. The closer we got to Idaho, the more cornfields.
Eastern Washington has very few trees being that it's a high desert. We were a little ways from the border of Idaho and trees began to appear, as if to say, "That's eastern Washington, and now you are in Idaho!"
It didn't take us long, and we were at the restaurant where we were to meet the Boards from our two Chapters in North Idaho. Pretty soon we were all together, and the connection was instantaneous. And we had an extra visitor that evening. Jennifer Reed met us here in Idaho!! She'd formed a connection with Lorinda (President of the West Bonner Chapter) over the months and wanted to meet her face-to-face. This was perfect timing!
We shared a meal together and shared stories and Jennifer, Trina, and I learned a lot about Idaho and the challenges they face in their homesteading journey. Such a great time together!! I was so caught up in the chatting and sharing and the building of community, I forgot to take a picture!
After our goodbyes, we followed Miranda home - she graciously offered to put us up for our stay here. The pictures of her place will tell the story better than I can. This home was the original house (built in the 1940s) in this area and occupied 60 acres. The land was sold off, and now there is a neighborhood, but Miranda's home still retains two acres of the original acreage. The old outbuildings are fabulous! And the place where we are staying, above the garage, is just perfect.
We have been so overwhelmed by these two Chapters. Lovely gifts and food in our little apartment, such kindness from Miranda and the other ladies. And now we are off to visit some of these ladies' homesteads!!
(Click here for the next post in the series.)
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