By Hannah Curcio
The local food year is going really well! We have already harvested potatoes, and we are starting to harvest our pumpkins too. With this week’s snow, we harvested the watermelon and cantaloupe. We have also been busy drying and canning fruits and vegetables. My mom’s fruit leather is my favorite by far. To make it, we blend plums and peaches in the food processor. Then, we spread it out on a sheet for the dehydrator, and allow it to dry. This will help us have fruit throughout the winter. To add to our cellar, we have also canned cherries and apricots. Also, we have been fermenting dilly beans and cabbage. This is fun too. In case you don’t know what a dilly bean is, it is made by putting green beans in a jar with salt water, garlic, dill and jalapeno, and then allowing them to ferment. When they are done, they are very good. Another winter food I like and have been working on is dried tomatoes.
Another cool thing that happened this past week is a local food dinner at the Niles Roadhouse in Alturas. They prepared local steaks, burgers with fried eggs on top, kale salad, Hunter and Sarah’s rice, and peach cobbler from Oz Garden. It went very well. A lot of people came to eat, and they got to meet the people who grow their food. I hope we can do it again.
Other new foods we have tried this month include my parents making their own mead, and a substitute for mayonnaise called aioli. We also have been making elderberry pancakes, and made elderberry syrup with honey to help our immune system during winter. Lily also showed us how to make trout fritters. We use Hunter and Sarah’s rice instead of quinoa and it turns out really good.
This month we got chickens so we can get more eggs. We are also waiting to harvest sweet potatoes so we have more food in the cellar.
When we go to the farmer’s market, we also buy as much food as we can that we can keep through the winter. With everything ripe, we have been eating many tasty meals and working hard to make sure we have enough stored to eat well through winter.
I am looking forward to apple pressing this month, and have been enjoying fresh apples and peaches. I really like how all of our hard work pays off having enough food for winter.