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 long. Now, at 47, I watch my two teenage daughters frolic in the lake on humid afternoons with their cousins; work at the local country store; dig in and feel like they’re really living here for a month.
After two years and 100(!) rootedvalley.com blog postings, Andreana, Shelley and I have gained a wealth of knowledge about Yakima Valley’s resources, particularly our hops, grapes, apples, cherries and stone fruits.
Hand Melon’s Farm Stand in Greenwich, NY
Here in upstate New York, I curiously peruse the produce aisles at Price Chopper, Hanneford, and random fruit stands, searching for Yakima labels. When I talk to people about Yakima Valley, some have heard about it, others can’t believe there is a desert on the east side of our state. I tell them with pride that “we grow your apples, cherries and your hops”!
Yesterday, on a particularly humid afternoon, my father and I headed to downtown Glens Falls for a lunch date, to experience Yakima hops represented at Davidson’s Brewery, the oldest of a handful of cool craft breweries (Common Roots Brewing, Cooper’s Cave Ale Co., Paradox Brewery) popping up over the last few years.
I sampled Davidson’s best-selling IPA and I-87 IPA (both of which are made with 100% Yakima Valley hops) as well as their Ryley Summer Ale. All of them were refreshing and left a familiar toasty after taste, like my favorite, Manny’s on tap back home at the Sports Center.
Steve, the brewer at Davidson Brothers in front of the brewing equipment imported from England.
My Dad, one of my favorite drinking buddies
Wrapping up my final few days on the east coast is always emotional. Living 3,000 miles from family takes its toll at times. I’m comforted knowing that I will be returning home to Yakima at the height of produce season, another thing I crave all winter long!