Where did it all start? It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint in retrospect. I see all these moments in time woven together to get us where we are today. I was very overweight in elementary school. Later, I strictly followed an extremely low fat diet and exercised for hours most nights thinking I was healthy. I wanted to learn more about fresh produce and learn to cook so I began reading quite a lot about food. Then one day we met an organic farmer and his family. I had never met an farmer before. I had never been on a farm. I had no understanding of organic farming. Neither of us had a clue then how big of an impact organic food and farming would have on our life.
We quickly became friends with the organic farmer and his family having common faith and love of good food. We were excited to visit their small acre farm and became customers of their box to home program. They seemed excited to speak into our lives too about organic food and many other things.
At first we ordered a small variety box and it seemed like mountains of fresh food. I remember the farmer insisting that we get a bigger box and saying we must eat like birds. I reminded him that there was just the two of us, (he had a family of eight!), but his persistence prevailed. When my box arrived week after week I had the challenging opportunity to find ways to use up all the great fresh food. The farmer’s wife encouraged me to cook with her great homegrown meals bursting with fresh produce flavor. It was a season of discovery. This is the season of life that soup became my favorite food and we learned to love fresh organic produce and the small family farm. We continued to visit the farm most weekends and after awhile we worked there part time.
Our daily life was quite a contrast to our visits to the farm. We lived in an urban neighborhood (our front yard was a five lane road) just outside of Seattle and I was working as a consultant for a Canadian firm that had me travel to clients all around the area. A typical day was a skinny latte on the way to work, taking clients out to their favorite restaurants and then to the gym. Our dinner most nights was from a can, frozen or processed chicken breast with store boxed pasta. Jim’s day was similar working at a church outreach program for inner city youth. I almost always went with him to evening events unless I had to be with a client which meant fast food for dinner. It was busy city life and we loved it. Still, our farm visits were like a breath of fresh air that nourished our soul. It was the beginning of something. We just didn’t know it yet.