My love of alliums first became evident at age two, when I pilfered an onion from a shopping bag. Throughout childhood, I spent my candy money on scallion bunches at our Seattle neighborhood’s Mom & Pop store. Although mostly well-behaved, I did once or twice (at the instigation of a more mischievous friend) chew raw garlic to annoy a grumpy teacher. She never did figure out where the smell came from.
I went on to become a cultural anthropologist studying agrarian life in Nepal. After several years of living as a family member and raising my son on a farm in Nepal, I realized I’d rather grow food myself than research how others grow it.
I drew on lessons from Nepal to develop a lush urban farm in Portland, Oregon which nourished me both physically and emotionally through busy years of full-time work and single parenting.
In addition to growing garlic and other food, I also write literary nonfiction and poetry. If you want to know more about that part of me, check out my writer website at www.elizabethenslin.com.
Jerry grew up on a fruit and berry farm near Silverton, Oregon. While out picking strawberries with his seven siblings, he often got scolded for idling. But he was busy imagining cool designs for cardboard steam engines, simple radio receivers, and machines that make lots of sparks. He went on to study electrical engineering at Oregon State University. For more than fifteen years, he has been designing products that transfer digital images over long distances in challenging conditions (deep in the sea, far out in space).
Although he never did want to return to berry farming, he longed to get back to rural life. And his engineering and tinkering skills are what keep the farm running. Jerry designs and installs electrical and water systems, builds chicken coops, and puts up fencing.
Thank goodness he also loves garlic, pigs and yaks.