Gardeners for Hire: Portland, OR
Your Backyard Farmer
When Donna Smith, 50, and Robyn Streeter, 30, decided to start a farm, they faced a challenge: They didn’t own land. So the two became personal organic gardeners. Their two-year-old company, Your Backyard Farmer, in Portland, Oregon, now handles more than 60 gardens and offers monthly lessons on tasks like staking tomatoes for clients who want to take a more active role. Smith and Streeter still don’t have any land, but they’ve begun supplying produce to local restaurants and the high-end grocery store Pasta Works. “We have a bartering system with a landowner,” Smith explains. “She lets us grow vegetables on her land in exchange for produce. She eats very well.” 503-449-2402 or yourbackyardfarmer.com.
heirloom tomatoes: Spaghetti with Fresh Heirloon Tomato Sauce
In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until al dente, then drain. Toss the hot pasta with olive oil, then toss with diced heirloom tomatoes, minced garlic and torn herbs like basil, mint and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve, passing grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table. —Kristin Donnelly