One thing you may not know is that my mother is she is hands down the most generous person I know. She never ceases to amaze me with her thoughtful extensions of love and support. Just this morning I found one of her infamous secret cards filled with a sweet card and cash with the hopes she can buy myself and a friend dinner tonight. I come from a long legacy of people who share forward and I love that this is what my people are known for. Our farm is a farm that gathers and you will not leave my mom's home or farm without being good and loved and gifted. Kindest!
I want to be like her when I grow up because she is the bravest woman I know on the planet. From being the only girl willing to learn to play the trombone in 5th grade to being on the catcher on the first women's softball team at the University of Oregon this woman was made to be a pioneer and defy gender stereotypes from day one. When I was saving up to buy our small family farm she told me she fell in love with farming at a young age and didn't care that their were no other female farmers. She remembers driving around my grandparents orchard on her tractor all summer summer long around the tender age of eight, imagining what it would be like to raise a family on an orchard one day. She explains that she responded to her calling of becoming a farmer easily and took on her families mantle of growing food for our region with great satisfaction and pleasure and she always hoped and prayed one of her daughters would follow along in carrying on the farming legacy. I was unsure of what it would be like to be a single female farmer in such a small town but my mom assured me that if that was what I dreamed of then I should run after it with all my heart. Bravest!!
My mom considered herself a tomboy growing up in post world war II America in a small rural farming town in Oregon. She explains one of her most favorite Christmas presents was receiving a shot gun and her favorite chores on her families farm involved caring for the animals and farming hard in the orchard with her Dad. She reports that she wasn't the doll type, the primping kind and would arm wrestle anyone who challenged her. She remains fiery to this age as well and I have found memories riding around the farm with her trying to scare of deer in the gator last summer. She has a drive like know one I know and is usually the first one out to work on the farm and often the last one in from the fields even as she has breezed into her 70's. She is compelled by the love of our land and it has been a total honor to learn to farm from my favorite farmer. Pioneer!
She raises beautiful fruit and has learned the important of being a farmer that is well known. We have had people coming up to our farm because they have a friendship with my mother for almost 50 years. There are so many loyal costumers that know her by name and shout out "Ruthie," as soon as they see her our farm stand each and every year. She has been a farmer for 65 years and still farms just as hard since I bought the farm 2 years ago. To the friends of our farm she is semi famous because of her kind heart and ability to open our farm up like a big living room and teach people who to grow fruit in our region. She loves to have large school groups and international farmers come visit and she happily takes them on farm tours because we are a farm that really cares about agri-education and teaching people where their food comes from. She also happily helps out other farmers on the street because she know how important it is to help one other out and be a farmer who is willing to assist another farmer, especially those just starting out. Fiercest!
She is such a compassionate woman and regularly gives away fruit to those who cannot afford it and annually gives fruit away to the Oregon Food Bank and many non profits and schools. She has been very supportive of all of my new dreams and innovations on the farm. She is always willing to try something new that will promote our farm. She was thrilled when I suggested we start an All Fruit CSA and jumped at the chance to help me organize it each week. She is unafraid of change and it has been such a joy to carry on her farming core values. She also has been so supportive of farm to table weddings and making hard cider on the farm. She is a very successful business woman and has many innovative ideas herself that I love trying out each year. We make a great team. She is fearless and is not afraid to try new value added products to help our small family farm be sustainable. Did you know she makes all the jams and jelly that we sell at our farm stand! Unstoppable!
There isn't one job not the farm that she is not willing to do and she has taught me a lot about being a farmer that really values and honors their employees. Many of the families that work on our farm have been here for over 40 years and we have many multi generational family members that help us harvest each and every summer because they have become kin and they believe in the mission of our small family farm.. We believe in always upgrading housing, paying as much as we can afford and always extending generously to your employees is how my mother has taught me how to farm. It is a total dream come true to farm besides my amazing mother and I hope and pray she lives forever because deciding to come home and carry on the farm was the best decision I have ever made thus far in my life. Sure do love you Mom. Thank you for being a farmer and encouraging me to follow after your farming legacy. You are my My SHero! xoxox Your grateful farmer, Trina