First Friday of the month at 5p.m.
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For several weeks Canada geese have been flying over the farm on their way to southern climes. The sound of this annual migration beckons me from the office and reminds me of the pleasure of living on the Pacific flyway. I will hang my thistle feeders at the house this weekend to lure the California finches within sight of our kitchen windows. These glimpses of nature fill me with wonder and hope. The geese call out to one another, hence the nickname “Canadian Honkers”. I wonder about these aerial communications; are they gossiping about the tidiness of farms over which they pass or might they be words of encouragement for the flight leader? The sound is both exciting and forlorn, reminiscent of homecomings associated with these winter holidays. The Satsumas harken us to reread Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. I hope there’s a memory or two for you in this week’s box. – denesse
I don’t like to quibble with the Good Book. Though Matthew 5:45 alleges “He sends rain on the just and the unjust alike”, that was not the case last week. Without regard to which Californians might be of higher virtue, Fresno-Madera’s half-inch storm total was exceeded in Los Angeles by four times and by ninefold in San Francisco! Yosemite National Park’s Superintendent Don Neubacher extolled the restoration of roaring flows over long-silent Yosemite Falls. Even in generous precipitation years, the watershed feeding that cascade, commencing at 7,000 feet, should be a frozen wonderland by December, releasing little more than a midday trickle. [Read more…]
Last Week’s storm brought some much needed snow to the highest elevations, and with this warmer weather a bit of valley fog. I always praise the wretched summer heat and soul sapping winter fog; “without them there would be 3 1/2 million people living here and the place would be ruined!” It looks like we will have some hand-dug Yukon Gold potatoes for the extra-value holiday box next week. The crop is “made”, but we need to wait for the field to dry out and the skins “to set” before harvesting in earnest. – denesse
“DeCesari Olive Oil Syndicate” is harvesting the neighborhood’s trees this day after Thanksgiving to press our coming year’s domestic supply. Four men scramble up and down ladders, stripping every black, oil-engorged fruit in hopes we can meet the 350 lb. minimum that Mill Valley’s Frantoio requires to press a separate lot. Last year, these same trees yielded over 900 lbs. Olive shares an “alternate bearing” habit with a number of other fruits and nuts. Voluminous crops demand extra energy and nutrients that otherwise would be appropriated to form a following year’s fruit buds. [Read more…]
Invest in quality stocks. Do not discard your washed leek tops, parsley stems, kale stalks or cabbage trimmings, save them with carrot peels (NOT carrot tops) and coarse stems from turnips or beets. Refrigerate in a microperf bag until the weekend. Place your collection in a stockpot, add enough cold water to cover and any herbs that strike your fancy, bring to a boil, reduce heat until the water just barely quivers. Simmer for at least an hour and up to 6. Strain, and refrigerate or freeze for use in making sauces, soups and stews, or cooking rice. Your meat trimmings or bones can be simmered along with the veggies, but I try to always have vegetable stock handy when preparing recipes for my vegetarian guests. – denesse