Around Salem is an abundance of farm land, and lucky for us one of Amber's friends, Kathy, was kind enough to let us visit her farm!! It was so much fun to get up close to her cows and learn a little bit about how a farm works (way more complicated than you might think at first glance). We tried to pet the cow but they took one step back for every step forward we took.
Chloe was not surprised or disheartened in the least when Kathy told her that this is where hamburgers come from. Chloe definitely brought it up by asking if they get milk from the cows, "well no.....these cows are raised for food". "Oh. Okay" Of course this is coming from the girl who while eating chicken asked what the animal looks like- and when I said like a chicken, she said "oh I pet one of those at the petting zoo!" (this is not going to go well I am thinking to myself), then she said "well they must have chopped him up!" Hmm, I suppose I thought she might not like to eat meat if she knew it came from animals, but she was not worried about that at all. It looks like she is not likely to follow in her Mother's aspiration of one day becoming a full fledged vegetarian!
Although the cows were totally my favorite part, the towering pile of grain was by far the winner with the kids! Kathy even let the girls climb, play and roll around in it.
Of course her perfect farm had perfect apple trees, which the girls got to harvest from.
I think you can tell they had a great time. Straight from there we drove out to a Salem Harvest event. You can read more about it on Amber's blog, but basically farmers donate their crops that can not be used for one reason or another to be harvested. A ton of volunteers come and harvest the crop, donating half of the fresh produce to the local food bank and getting to take half of it home. The farmers get a tax write-off, the food bank gets amazing fresh produce, and the volunteers get free produce and a fun experience, and the food gets to be eaten by people instead of bugs. We signed up for the event even though we didn't take any produce home. It was fun, although rainy :)
I wish we had events like this in Alaska!! I would pick so much! Squash is like 4 bucks a pound up here! It is hard to believe that there is so much abundance of resources down there, where here the growing season really limits the crops and fresh produce. I grew up in Oregon, but I took the amazing fresh fruit and vegetables for granted! After living in Alaska I sure have a strong appreciation for beautiful fresh abundant produce. We can buy all the same stuff here, but it is expensive and not likely to be local (unless we are talking sprouts, potatoes, squash, kale, lettuce, cabbage or carrots). We have other natural resources in abundance like mountains, oceans, lakes, breathtaking views and limitless outdoor recreation. Yes we do have tons of salmon, halibut and king crab....everything is a trade- off I suppose!