Today after visiting a high-tech state-of-the-art apple packing shed in Wapato, we went to visit our friend, Ray Smith’s farm in West Yakima. It felt like going home. This is a family farm with several dozen acres of orchards and some alfalfa fields. It was situated on a rise overlooking the beautiful valley. I felt like I had stepped into the orchards in a Jane Austin film. It was peaceful and pleasant and inviting. The resident hawk swooped over the alfalfa. Owls and frogs are heard at night. The orchards were still and resting after a busy harvest season.
Ray is the kind of farmer everyone wants to know. He raises fruit for others–a few acres of several varieties of apples, pears, plums and cherries. His wife, Sharon keeps a wonderful garden with squash, tomatoes, eggplant, leeks and other vegetables in raised beds. There’s a walnut tree and old fences and the beautiful old barn his father built in the 1940s. They press their own apple juice and dry their own fruit, and shell their own nuts. It felt like home here. There is something soul-filling about spending time on a small family farm. It just feels right and good. I was happy to spend time there today. This is one of the many things I love about this place where I now live.