Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bountiful Harvest

There's no rhyme or reason to how we plan our days or spend our time when we're in a new area. Sometimes we may be in a small campground in the middle of nowhere so we use the time to relax, read, work on the rig or the truck and socialize with the neighbors. Often we're in an area near a well known national park and we spend our time exploring the area and its natural wonders. Usually we'll play a round of golf if it's not too expensive (that's getting harder to do nowadays when we pay for two.) Museums are always a good bet for us and we've been known to hit a casino or two also.

Yesterday I was reminded that we were within driving distance of the Green Bluff growers group, located north of Spokane off Rt. 2. Driving up there would accomplish two things; allow us to look for Rainier cherries and also to see what driving Hwy.2 through Spokane would be like. That route is the shortest one between Newport, WA (our previous location) and Cheney (our current location). When we left Newport last week one of our neighbors told us to take a different route (through Idaho) that would be a little longer but would have fewer traffic lights and less traffic. The man had even counted the traffic signals through Spokane along the way; 28 to be precise. What we discovered is that he was absolutely spot on about taking the slightly longer route--Hwy 2 takes you through the heart of downtown Spokane and all its traffic and delays (and a 13'3" bridge overhang which could be a little tight for our 13' tall 5er.) We'll remember that for the next time we come this way.

Green Bluff growers is an association of local farms located on a loop off Hwy 2. While there are a variety of items grown, we forgot that Washington's growing season is well behind Ohio's, especially since it's been a cooler summer. So we were too early for tomatoes and corn, but imagine our surprise when I had Denny pull into Knapp's farm to discover they were picking strawberries! Oh yay! We had tried California strawberries this past winter and discovered them to be fairly hard and not real flavorful this year. Denny and I have always raved about Ohio's produce and especially its strawberries but after popping a couple of the Washington strawberries in my mouth while picking--well it was just like eating candy they were so sweet. I was in strawberry heaven.

Our next quest was to find some Rainier cherries. Rainier cherries are a firm, plump, sweet, yellow/red cherry that have become Denny's favorite. We stopped at farm after farm only to hear that all they had left were pie cherries (Montmorency cherries) and a few Bing cherries. Denny was ready to give up, but I insisted we stop at one last cherry orchard. The lady at the counter said there may be a few left in their trees way up high, but that Denny might be able to reach them. And reach them he did! So we ended up with strawberries, Rainier cherries and even a few Montmorency cherries for pie. And we were introduced to a new taste treat: tayberries. Tayberries are a combination of raspberries and blackberries that are very good and would probably make great jam and probably a killer pie. However. How much fruit can two people eat before it goes bad? So we passed on the tayberries this time.

While driving the grower's loop we saw pear trees and apple trees and signs indicating that later in the summer corn and tomatoes and melons would be available, but by then we'll be further west in the state as we work our way towards the Seattle area. As you wind up the loop you have a chance to look out over the valley and the surrounding hills, plus you'll pass the Alpaca farm and some beautiful homes. It's a pleasant drive and you'll end up with some great fresh produce. I'd call it a successful day trip.

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1 comment:

Linda in New Mexico said...

all of the produce looks, sounds wonderful. Great you got a tall one there my dear....we trolls woulda had to settle for the ground fruit....hehehe.
vert word is carla. Carla was in fact a very good friend of mine and we sang duets together in church.

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