What’s my story?
Like many of us, the whole story is long, meandering and a work in progress. My farm story is also in progress, beginning in Seattle while attending culinary school after years of owning a small cafe, a catering business and a fishing lodge, always tending some sort of vegetable garden. I need to cook, like we need to breathe, like my artist friend needs to paint, so I said YES to catering a couple of art workshops on Vashon Island in 1998 and here I am, solidly rooted on 5 acres of rich Paradise Valley soil that once upon a time was covered in strawberries cultivated by the Japanese who are an integral part of Vashon Island’s history. The short, asterisks of my story are these:
I felt the rich soil of spring between my fingers and I wanted to get my hands dirty right there growing really delicious food. Someone gave me a goat, some one gave me chickens.
I grew a few tomatoes and some lettuce. So many of us start here, yes? A few tomatoes, some lettuce and we create a meal from the earth.
Someone gave me 2 more goats, I better learn how to breed and milk and……
I pushed the fence back and added potatoes and onions. Some one gave me Luke the Goose and his 2 duck wives. Did I know about keeping ducks and geese ? uh, no.
Someone gave me a dozen raspberries canes. Did I know they were called canes ? uh, no again. So much I did not know, I just kept pushing the fence back, listening and learning as I dug in the dirt.
I pushed the fence back again and grew miles of rambling squash. I grew pigs.
Maybe it was the pigs. The amazing process of piglet to pork chop, and the flavor of their meat defined for me what food should and could taste like. I bred goats, I milked goats. I made cheese and yogurt. I walked out back one early morning to open the chicken coops, feed and milk the goats, check in on the late sleeping, lazy pigs and realized that I am a farmer.
Every day I experience the smell, sound, feel and taste of fresh.
There is more to the story of La Biondo Farm & Kitchen and if you wish, you may read more on this site.