By Hannah Curcio
The LFX has shown us how important local food is, especially given the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19. While people in our country count on food showing up on trucks, here in Surprise Valley we have fresh food delivered to the Modoc Harvest office every week, as well as fresh food growing in our hoop house, and preserves emerging from our cellar.
The fear of food shortages has also led us to thinking about room for improvement on our farm. One example: we weren’t able to get more local Tulelake potatoes during COVID, because they are not currently selling from their farm to the public. So, we planted our own, and we are ahead of our usual potato production timeline.
Also, we have been learning about edible native plants. It’s wild onion season and we love the taste! There are so many onions growing on our property that we have been selling wild onions through the food hub. They usually grow for about two months. To prepare for the end of wild onion season, we have planted red and yellow onions in our garden plot.
We have also been acquiring new plant starts; this year we are trying perennial garlic, which was shared with us by a community member at our Hub pickup. This garlic is cool because it comes back each year, and you don’t have to replant.
While we are enjoying the fresh carrots coming out of our hoop house, we are almost through all of our canned fruits from the cellar, and we are really missing fresh fruit. This month we planted a planter box full of strawberries. Thank you Kay for all of your wonderful starts! I have already had my first strawberry and it was extremely sweet, and a treat to my mouth.
Also, asparagus shoots have been coming up in ones and twos. We like it so much, we have planted more this season.
Speaking of fruits, we try to put in ten new fruit trees each year, and this year, our trees are already in the ground! We added walnuts, and more apples, cherries, pears and peaches. We also added new raspberry vines and cold hardy kiwi. Also, this week our bee hive will return to our farm after spending the winter in Chinese Camp!
Yesterday, we opened our final can of bing cherries, dated 7/12/2019, and realized that we are within two months of this year’s cherry season. When our local food experience draws to an end it will mark the start of fresh fruit season in the valley.
Pictured Below: Our hive’s queen bee front and center, ready to return to the valley!