A similar journal will be published in the Summer Issue of The AG Mag. Please visit The AG Mag at www.rb9publishibng.com.
By Abbey Smith
So what does a day in the life of a Local Food Experiencer look like? Here’s “a taste” of daily life focused on local, nutrient-dense food. There is a lot to do in the height of our growing season here in Surprise Valley. Now that we are a few days into the challenge, let’s honestly report how it’s going.I’m leaving out work and other daily essentials to focus on food, health and wellbeing.
Sunday June 23, 2019
5:00 am: We are a morning family, rising usually between 4:30 am and 5:00 am each day. Even our one-year old son wakes up early and chipper. This time of year I feel like we are sleeping in because the sun is up at 4:45 am. Today I was on the mountain by 5:15 am for my morning training run. Usually, I start my day with meditation, reading my Holistic Context and planning the day. Planning is a big part of making sure my our ranch kitchen is well stocked with nutrient-dense, local food.
6:15 am: Each morning I make my one-year old son’s milk. It is based on a Weston A. Price Foundation recipe for homemade baby formula. The main ingredient is milk from our neighbor’s (and fellow LFX’er) goat and cow. It also includes lactose powder, which I get from an amazing goat dairy in Washington state called Mt. Capra. It also calls for olive oil which we purchase from our friend Alexis Koefoed at Soul Food Farm in Vacaville, California. Other ingredients, like cod liver oil, are purchased through Azure Standard or the Great Basin Community Food Co-op in Reno, Nevada. This is the best we can do to get him nutrient-dense food with the main ingredients sourced locally (according to our family’s definition).
9:00 am: Sixteen hours after eating dinner, I’ll eat my next meal. Intermittent fasting is a component of healing my autoimmune condition, which I choose to address through diet and lifestyle. Eating nutrient-dense food is essential to healing–and living well. Local food is an excellent source of nutrient-dense food because it can be harvested at its peak ripeness. Today breakfast was eggs from our ranch chickens, 100% quinoa bread from Grindstone Bakery in Sonoma, California, pickled zucchini from last year’s garden (it is amazingly good!), black beans and salsa. Rancho Llano Seco in Chico, California is a good source of local beans.
2:00 pm: My son and I head to the garden to plant cabbage. We learned that when Fort Bidwell was an army fort, they had big vegetable gardens and grew lots of cabbage. We like sauerkraut and cabbage keeps well in winter storage so we’re hoping this year is a bountiful cabbage year in our garden. After planting, we collected eggs from our chickens.
4:00 pm: Lunch/dinner (my second and last meal of the day) is fried ground beef from our ranch, salad greens from Bidwell Canyon Farm, Soul Food Farm olive oil, more pickled zucchini, coconut aminos from an island somewhere (not local at all) and wild rice. Alturas Ranches now sells wild rice through the Modoc Harvest food hub. In the past we didn’t cook wild rice often because it takes a long time to cook on the stovetop. But now we have an Instant Pot. We can have delicious wild rice in 35 minutes. Amazing. Our family actually prefers the flavor and texture of wild rice cooked in the Instant Pot. Here is a simple recipe for using the Instant Pot to cook wild rice.
6:00 pm: Fellow Savory hub leaders and friends from Chile are staying with us for a month. We all worked together weeding in the garden. The garlic planted last October and almost ready to harvest looked grateful. This year in preparation for our local food year, we planted double our normal amount of winter squash and potatoes.
7:00 pm: My family and friends gather around the table for a dinner of buck and elk steaks from the ranch, potatoes from Modoc County and salad from Bidwell Canyon Farm greens. I like to join them for the meal even though I don’t eat in the evenings.
9:30 pm: After my family goes to bed, I head up to lock up the chickens. I love the walk under the stars. One of the many benefits of living in Surprise Valley is the lack of light and noise pollution. Summer days are long. We could go to bed and miss the night sky. I am grateful for the chickens for getting me outside after the active summer day.