Ever wish for a simpler time? Perhaps a pastoral life on a farm, attending a small country school? Well, our guest today, Patricia Zahare Elling, did just that---and then traveled the world!
Pat told us about her grandparents, Andrew and Gertrude Zahare, immigrating from Austria/Hungary in 1900 and 1902, and settling in the Seattle, Washington, area where Andrew worked in packing houses and at the shipyards. In the 1920s, the family moved to farm acreage in the Chemawa area of north Salem where they grew various types of fruit. In the 1940s they established a winery on the property and bottled wine under the "Island Belle" label which pictured a dancing hula girl. Most likely one of, if not the first Oregon wineries.
Pat's father, Andrew M. "Mike" Zahare, began farming in the Hazel Green area of northeast Salem on 2 acres. The home farm would grow to 52 acres, with another 30 acres leased by 1965. He was well-known in the fruit-growing community, especially for his grafting techniques. He also branched out into growing seed crops--vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, and others that were grown to harvest their seeds. Pat's mother, Margaret, was an accomplished gardener whose yard was spectacular. Mike and Margaret were charter members of the Salem branch of the Audubon Society, as well as the Mycological (mushrooms) Society, with Pat following their lead.
Pat has fond memories of growing up and working on the family farm. She sold produce for spending money, graduating to regular wages. She attended the small Hazel Green School with its 8 grades taught by just two teachers. Pat explained that the first four grades were taught by a teacher with great artistic interests. The children would put on elaborate presentations. The upper four grades were taught by a women more interested in academic endeavors. Totally different experiences, but she feels she received an exceptional education that few could compare today.