Grist for the Mill
Never mind the year’s first triple-digit day first of next week; today I enjoy the gift of a cool trough from the Pacific Northwest. Everyone talks about weather, right? Despite our cool and wet spring, farmers and gardeners are posting and bragging, because so many blossoms and the first green fruits tip the ends of still-short tomato plants. And my son-in-law’s brother gave me two ripe tomatoes from their plants this week; I dressed one in celebration.
Perhaps it’s excess, perhaps it’s the season: our summer issue brings you three features on local farms, the last of Brush Arbor Farmstead’s Sense of Place four-part seasonal series and the stories behind Cove Crest, a legacy farm, and Fulfilling Fields, a three-year old. All these farmers veered off from a different career, and, if you know the statistics showing the declining number of small farms, they stand in opposition to that alarming fact. Perhaps more important, each provides us here in the Northstate with the fruits, vegetables, and meats of their labors.
All this bounty deserves a sauce, and one final feature article zooms in on some of Chico eaters’ favorites. The recipes in this issue are for sauces designed to add zip to summer’s bounty in bowls, wraps, tacos, salads, dips, and wherever a sauce might complement. There’s even a recipe for a Spanish salad designed for one of the sauces—or is it vice versa?
So eat local food and get saucy. After last year’s fires in Redding and Paradise—and the year before around Etna—we’re sure to be wary. But if we’ve learned anything, it’s—once again— that people and relationships matter. The table feeds both. Put food grown locally on yours.
ON THE COVER:
Eva Farley brings the insights of an artist, a gardener, and a cook to her painting of herbs and vegetables in the Spanish escalivada salad on the cover. “Please send me the recipe,” she asked before she began to paint.
Eva wanted to celebrate the bounty of our northstate summer produce in strong colors and patterns: strips of grilled pepper wind like a ribbon around and under the figs and eggplant; smiling onion slices punctuate complimentary reds and greens. Her biggest challenge was to distinguish between the basil, mint, and parsley in the salad. Since they had similar green colors she emphasized variations in the shapes and textures of their leaves.
This page features the watercolor partially completed, pencil lines of Eva’s original drawing visible, but smudged as she added watercolor. The illustration on page 56 is a cropped portion of another of Farley’s watercolors, titled “Bright Jewels”; in summer 2017, all of “Bright Jewels” served as Edible Shasta-Butte’s cover.
Eva will display paintings of fruits and vegetables from her garden, including tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, and paintings of local birds such Northern Flickers and Western Tanagers, in a one-day show and sale with artists Dolores Mitchell and Candy Matthews on Saturday, September 7th, from 10-5:00 at 665 Bryant Ave., Chico.
Contact Eva at: firstname.lastname@example.org.