photo essay: prosser farm
Jackie Cross is the co-owner of 19 restaurants and restaurant-related properties in the Seattle area with her chef-husband. Just one restaurant is a hectic lifestyle- but 19?! That doesn’t even count the packaged food company, cookbooks and more. In order to occasionally escape the drizzly rain and grey of Seattle and unplug, they bought 20 acres in Central Washington. They bought in an area well-known for its fertile agricultural land - apples, grapes, asparagus are all in abundance here. There was also the appeal of Jackie’s family being nearby including her father and stepmother.
As Jackie began to settle in to their home in Prosser she and her stepmother planted a few tomato plants. Then the next summer, a few more. Then so many that she decided to take the extra tomatoes to one of their chefs at one of their restaurants, Dahlia Lounge. That was the slippery slope, it seems many accidental farmers can point to that moment. The chefs loved the tomatoes and encouraged her to grow more, then asking for the specialty herbs, chiles and squashes that they struggled to find. Jackie found a hobby turned passion turned business.
I often wondered why Jackie was motivated to farm full-time when running twenty plus businesses sounded plenty busy enough to me, but when I see her in her fields, I realize that it was just the respite she needed.
I had the opportunity to invite Jackie to be on the show, Washington Grown with me. We had a great time filming with the crew and her farm provided the most beautiful of backdrops to the story of women in agriculture. Thank you, Jackie!
note: You’ll note that in some of the images from one of my several visits to Prosser farm that the foothills are black. This was due to a wildfire that fortunately stopped short of the farm.