Cebolla en Cuba

Jenny Goff

I am a sailor, a chef, a writer, a farmer.

No really, its true.

I learned how to cook on boats, carrots sliding off cutting boards onto teak-and-holly floorboards in bucking seas. And I loved it. Still do. I've traveled around the world at sea and on neighboring lands, I've wandered through farmer's markets on several continents and countless islands, I've stuffed lockers and bilges with delicacies unpronounceable (but mostly edible). Being at sea for weeks at a time made me aware of just how magical is the act of growing and consuming fresh, nutritious food.

Seeking more dirt in my life, I decided to learn about farming in the far reaches of this country- Maine and Southern California. It was on an island in Maine that I learned about the delights of rearing seedlings, of stepping out into the early morning loamy chill of garden soil with a steaming cup of coffee in shovel-calloused hands, of witnessing a strand of green known as a leek go from seed to stalk to bloom or soup. Years later in Southern California I apprenticed at two urban farms and thereafter had the opportunity to work at a Sustainable Urban Ag farm in the middle of downtown San Diego. As I dug and planted among the skyscrapers and worked with students forming garden beds and connections with the butterflies and worms, my love and enthusiasm for vegetables (and all the dishes they could be transformed into) became fruitfully apparent.

Even though my love of that vibrant community was strong, alas, a need for water and greenery lured me up up up to the glorious Northwest where I found my perfect mix of Maine-ish landscape, west coast warmth and wildness, and a community full of passionate food lovers and subtle (yet fervently potent) farmer activists.

Here on this island swimming between a sky of eagles and a sea of whales, I write about food and dirt and water and life. I have a small farmstead with my husband and daughter where we raise animals, grow vegetables and fruit, and on a daily basis harvest and cook up the goodness the landscape provides.

And I still dream of the sea...

This is the kind of weather where the carrots roll off the counter... but I simmer on nonetheless.

This is the kind of weather where the carrots roll off the counter... but I simmer on nonetheless.