Thursday, November 14, 2013

Planting Onions & Widening My Knowledge About Food

 I just can't stay inside with this wonderful warm weather.  That means, longer periods between blogs and postings on Facebook.  Sorry about that!!
Yesterday morning, early was absolutely gorgeous!!!  When you have lots of trees around you, some from our yard but mostly orchards, you see almost every fall color that nature is creating.  I was born in Rhode Island and grew up partly in Connecticut, and then lived in Nevada County for over 30 years so I know fall when I see it.  Nothing can beat the New England states when it comes to fall, those reds and golds are breathtaking, you just stop at a base of a tree and look up in wonder. 
Same thing is true in Nevada City.  They have so many liquid ambers and dog woods, that turn the same beautiful reds that are accentuated with the pines.  When I was working downtown Nevada City, I loved to walk up and down the streets just to feel and see the crispness of fall and all those leaves.  It wasn't until about 15 years ago that the Chamber started promoting Nevada City in the fall so more and more people would come downtown.  Then the people started coming on chartered buses to see the fall colors and pretty soon tourism almost stopped normal traffic and local shopping with the droves of tourists.  I would say most of them were decent, but so many felt like they owned the streets and us locals were just a burden to them.  Guess that isn't nice to say, but when the locals saw the buses come, we stayed away from town.
Well, back to our little farm here in Gridley and our fall weather.  We needed to get our onions in the ground and were waiting for a little rain.  Thought it was going to happen on Tuesday, it was predicted but no rain.  So we decided to just get in there and do it anyways and just water by hand until it finally did rain.
I love this picture, our girls (Annie & Bella) are watching the girls (the chickens) all waiting for our guy (Frank) disk the onion patch ready to plant onions.
I have been selling persimmons these last few weeks.  The Huchiya persimmons are really liked by Frank's side of the family to use in fall and winter baking and assumed that is what everyone else does with them, occasionally people eat them raw too.
But this last week, I received a telephone call from a very nice man wondering if I had at least 200-300 persimmons; and would I text pictures to him.  I said yes, and yes I did send him photos.  He and his lovely wife came out and purchased what they needed and shared what they were doing.  It is so interesting, I thought I would share it with you!
The dried persimmons are called Hoshigaki.  They are considered a Japanese delicacy made by, believe it or not, gently massaging persimmons while they air dry.  The nice people provided me a link to how it is prepared and I am sharing it with you:
The couple showed me how they prepare the persimmons; the tips about using heavy dental floss as the "string" that is tied to the stem of each persimmons.  In Japan, the persimmons are hung from the eaves of their houses in the fall.  I wondered about rodents or insects but I guess you can have screen over them but the idea is to sun dry them.  In this article, made me laugh because that person's persimmons were eaten by squirrels that came from the roof.  We dry the Fuyu variety of persimmons but never the Hachiyas so it really was interesting to see this technique.
Enjoy these last few weeks of the beautiful colors, take a walk or drive and see nature getting ready to go to sleep for a few months.

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