Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Community Supported Forage

What a fantastic idea! A nod to for sharing the latest concept in CSA's. Community Supported Forage (instead of Agriculture).

Getting a box of foraged foods from the Black Hills would be fantastic. Last summer I collected rose hips up in Spearfish Canyon to add to my herbal tea blend which included spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, lemon verbena, lavendar and lemon balm from my garden. What I learned was that the best time to harvest rose hips is when they are bright red! I didn't know that at the time and ended up with some mint tea that tasted like dirt. This summer, I am in the know.

There are many berries in the Black Hills that I would like to learn about. I have to imagine there to be mushrooms, lettuce varieties and other greenery worth sampling. I've got this on my list of to-do's this summer: find a Black Hills forager guide.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The White House Garden

The Obama's will have over 55 types of vegetables growing on the grounds of the White House! Again, I applaud First Lady Michelle in making this happen. I can't wait to see the full list. They are even going to have an on-site bee keeper!

The story is in the New York Times. People will be watching this. Will this encourage people to plant gardens of their own? Or buy local produce? Or eat at home? Or just eat better? This is one experiment I am excited to watch.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is the First Lady a Locavore?

The topic of food continues to braise the halls of the White House and it's a good thing. A story today in New York Magazine talks about Michelle Obama wanting to serve natural food, or um, good food with less calories, I mean, local food or just 'clean' food. Whatever. It's all a bit confusing but she is on the right track and I applaud it. Now if they will just dig up the west lawn and put in a big kitchen garden...

From a locavore standpoint, she could help promote the benefits to health, local growers, environment etc about what is going on the plates for state dinners.

When she talks, people are really listening. I admit that I am very curious about her as a person and what she thinks. Side note: for the first time, we have a First Lady that I can totally relate to.

Another thought. I'd love to see a website that included menus from all big dinners hosted by the White House. Wouldn't that be interesting?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Squash and seeds

Last fall, I stocked up on several kinds of winter squash from Gage's Garden's and the Farmer's Market in Spearfish. I've been storing them in our basement where it's quite cool.

Last night I cooked this acorn squash and it was really delish. Simple: Slice in half, scoop out seeds and put on racks in 350 over for about 45 minutes. One of the best part of the winter squash experience is the seeds. I cook any and all seeds that come out of a winter squash. And not just pumpkin!

In fact, acorn squash seeds are large and rather goo-free. These are some of my favorites. 425 oven, spread seeds out on cookie sheet with a little olive oil (mix together so seeds are covered) and cook until you hear popping! Yes, the seeds pop just like popcorn, which, hey, it's a seed! Once or twice I open up the oven and mix them around a bit as it helps them cook evenly. When they are done, I put them on a kitchen towel (sometimes they stick to a paper towel) and add some salt. Yum! My favorite on the way home from work snack is a mix of seeds, pecans, cashews, raisins, candied orange peel (so easy) and little broken up pieces of dark chocolate.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Obama and Food Safety

President Obama takes food safety seriously as the President and as a dad in a recent New York Times article.  I think it speaks well to the Locavore, especially those who yearn to grow some of their own food. Today, there is still snow over much of the Black Hills but the sun, the glorious sun, tells us of future cherry tomatoes and fresh thyme coming this summer.  

I went out to my garden today and dug around my now sleeping herbs and was delighted to see green leaves of oregano and tarragon as well as little, unfolding strawberry leaves hidden under the snow.  I put out a seed bell and replenished the suet.  Ahhh Spring.