Good fires

Yesterday morning’s drive to Año Nuevo was not the normal jaunt up the coast. As soon as I got over the summit on Highway 17, the sky was filled with smoke, and it got darker and browner all the way down the hill, through Santa Cruz and up to Davenport. Well over half the traffic on Highway 1 was fire vehicles from all over the state.

These were all from Napa county. I saw trucks from Kings County, Visalia and Tiburon on the road. But, as worried as I was about the fire, I felt better after talking to one of the park aides at Año Nuevo. He pointed out that no one had been hurt (yet, fingers crossed) no structures had been destroyed (again, yet) and that the forest would benefit from the burn. He thought it was a good fire, although this is also only true because the firefighting might of the State of California is focused on containing it.

Although the morning started out very smoky and dark, the offshore wind cleared it away, and the many visitors from all over enjoyed watching the young adult bulls wrestling in the shallow water.

This morning was the Veggielution work day, which most of the volunteers spent weeding in the acre. When they weren’t cooing over Amie’s new puppy, Stella.

I cooked two dishes: black beans (which I brought in a can), garlic and onions (also brought from home) with tomatillos, jalapeños and zucchini from the farm. And a dish of tomatoes and wild chard from the farm. Todd, a new volunteer, brought two kinds of homemade bread, apple crisp, homemade jam, butter and cheese. And we picked two enormous, ripe watermelons. I am still very full.

Peggy, another new volunteer, helped me harvest the veggies for lunch, then chopped them up for cooking. She has offered to cook Taiwanese noodle soup for us the next time she comes. And Leland (who brought artichoke bread, I should have mentioned) picked 20 lbs of tomatillos. I’m thinking about our upcoming fundraising dinner on 17 October, and maximizing the amount of food we can serve from the farm. I want to preserve the tomatillos in the best way to be able to use them for ths dinner, so I’ll consult with the Eulpia cooks and see what they recommend.

1 thought on “Good fires

  1. It’s been a great combination, reading all your harvest entries, and listening to “Omnivore’s Dilemma!”
    We are sitting down to a veggie dinner (too many veggies not from home), but crab caught yesterday from our bay!

    It’s interesting how many native and therefore “local” foods up here that I can think of are proteins – crab, salmon, mussels, oysters, clams… But I hear Salal berries are sweet, if mealy!

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