Highfalutin Afternoon

In a word, heavy.  There is a lot happening in the world right now that is downright weighty.  Stepping out for some air seems sensible.  Early this morning, as the sun was just starting its rise, I stood on my back porch to enjoy the new cold in the quiet of nearly dark.  It felt … Continued

There’s a Monster in My Garden

There’s a monster in my garden.  I can see its arched back as it writhes through the foliage.  A leviathan made of my own abandon.  It’s a zucchini.  A ridiculously massive zucchini.  A zucchini plant is like a pesky teenager this time of year.  They know when you’re not watching, and as soon as they’re … Continued

Fire and Love in the Back of a ’51 Chevy

Once upon a time in the Wenas, a breeze blew through a hop field.  The lingering smoke that had been hanging in the air for days was finally clearing, and the triple digit heat was noticeably down to normal summertime levels.  It was good.   A bus load of beer lovers was kicking up dust out … Continued

Chipping Spuds

It is early on a clear morning, so the heat hasn’t taken hold yet.  Kevin Bouchey and I exchange greetings just outside of Toppenish before I hop in his truck to head south.  A few miles later, turning right on Schuster off Indian Church Road, we arrive.  Although the morning is fresh for me, this … Continued

Mushrooms: The Return

Hope still lingers around Michael Bennett.  Hope the dog, I mean.  The last time rooted visited the local mushroom farmer, it was winter, and Michael and Hope welcomed us into their shop and the indoor growing chamber used to grow oyster mushrooms.  We were amazed.  Between the columns of pasteurized straw pinning out with Polar … Continued

Unintentional Optimism

As I drive around in the Yakima Valley right now, watching everything that grows, grow, it strikes me how unintentionally optimistic the land is.  Unlike us humans sometimes, it cannot help but move forward.  Given care and water, a seed sprouts, vines curl and move toward the sun, the trees leaf out and set fruit.  … Continued

Zen and the Art of Berry Picking

The earth tilted a few days ago.  Nothing cataclysmic, simply the annual solstice shift that marks summer for us Northern Hemispherians.  Now that it’s official, we at rooted decided to indulge our desire to taste the season, and of course, nothing says early summer quite like the soft, sweet bite of a berry.  We headed out … Continued

Afternoon Delight

Down the street from Shelley’s house sits one of Yakima Valley’s favorite hangouts.  On an 80-degree afternoon, the first Friday of June, we met our good friend Chef Jessica Smith in a hop field, to pair her culinary creations with Bale Breaker Brewing Company‘s daily tap offerings. Just outside of town off Highway 24 on the way … Continued

Rhu-Curious

Either you love it, or you don’t think that much about it.  There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot in between.  I’m talking rhubarb here.  It’s like the red-headed stepchild of the vegetable patch.  If it’s not in your DNA, you disregard it—always choosing around it when presented with a rhubarb dessert opportunity, even … Continued

Salmon for Flowers

Driving into a neighborhood in the middle of Toppenish, Washington, I find myself surprised.  I recognize Les Schwab and the school bus depot, but as I pull off of Asotin Avenue, wedged in-between some houses on an ordinary side street, there is an open field of almost two acres of peonies.  “Adeline’s Peonies” by the … Continued