Live from New York . . . It’s Yakima Valley Hops!

For 25 years I have had the good fortune of journeying “home” to be with family in upstate New York during the summer months. It is where I spent my childhood and young adult years.   The slow pace of daily living on Lake George in the Adirondacks completes me. I crave it all winter … 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

Prosser Farm: A Labor of Love

Eleven years ago this next week my husband, Tom Douglas, and I purchased 20 acres in Prosser with the notion of having a sunny second home to escape the sometimes (sometimes?) drizzly Seattle. Being closer to my family was an added attraction as my parents and only sister had relocated to Prosser a few years … 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

Stone Fruit’s First Harvest

Rooted’s summer college crew, Claire & Brent, came back to work at the farm again this year.  They spent some time out in the orchards of Parker Heights, a unique growing area tucked inside Union Gap, during stone fruit’s first harvest—the apricot. The duo visited Badgley Ranches, whose family has been growing apricots for decades. These apricots are sold … Continued

The King Crab Season of Harvest

Note from Rooted:  If you ask Mark Zirkle what he does for a living he’ll say “I’m a farmer”.  And he means it. What he probably won’t mention is that his family has been farming in the Yakima Valley since the late 1800s, and that they’ve built Zirkle Fruit Company into one of the most … 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

Generations of Guerras: A Family Food Connection

Menu A Small Bite – My Name Is Christopher Guerra. I grew up in the Lower Yakima Valley just north of Sunnyside on a 30 acre pepper farm with my brothers—Aaron, Geraldo, and Fabian. My parents, Lino and Hilda Guerra, grew about 27 different varieties of chili peppers. We also had a variety of tomatoes, … 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