Abe Stevens, Humboldt Distillery

As expected the elephant in the Humboldt County living room has appeared in another Food for Thought episode.  Cannabis infused vodka, AKA Humboldt’s Finest — like we all didn’t know it was coming.  Certainly it is going to be on almost every gift list this next holiday season.

However, it does make us wonder if this is just a novelty item with a limited run, or if it will be a regular in a “traditional” Humboldt County gift box — cuddling up against a block of Loleta Cheese.  With all of the herbal essences that infuse various vodka brands these days, this could have some POTential — and get the idea that you will feel the psychoactive effects of Cannabis out of your head — there is only enough THC in the hemp (the very first legal batch grown in the U.S. following the 2014 Farm Bill) to barely register on the Cannabis Meter.  So what is next for cannabis infusion?  I guess the better question is — what isn’t?!

Listen here for an interview with Abe Stevens

Steve Palecki, College of the Redwoods Plant Propagation, Agriculture Program

College of the Redwoods students are making babies!

I knew that would get your attention — The Plant Propagation class has spent the entire semester learning about all the different ways you can turn one plant into many — and you get to reap their success.  Every year the students propagate plants from seeds, divisions, corms, bulbs, grafts and more — and lucky you! You can attend the College of the Redwoods Plant Sale, and not only buy great healthy plants for your vegetable garden or landscape, you can support a wonderful program that ensures that future generations will know how to turn one plant into many.  If you want food in your future…and don’t we all?…attend the CR Plant Sale Friday April 29 (noon to 6) and Saturday April 30th (10-6) — at the Greenhouse in the rear section of the campus (just take the road that winds around back).

Plant propagation!  if you were to come up to my house, you would find that 90% of my landscape consists of plants that I have propagated.  It all started when I watched my mom take a piece of ivy and put it into a little pitcher and the roots would grow.  It seems like these baby plants hardly ever made it into another pot, but they were little reminders of how plants really want to live.  Now — I know what you are thinking…should we really be propagating ivy anyway?

Sure enough, there are plenty of plants that are invasive species — and the more we learn about plants, the more we will know about which ones are good for our environment and which end up as “weeds” — wrong plants in the wrong placs.  If you are interested in learning more about plants I can’t think of a better place to start than the CR Plant Propagation class offered each spring semester.

Listen here for the interview with Steve Palecki

Donnelly Pickles, Sheila Donnelly

While interviewing Frank Onstine about his winery and obsession with abalone diving — he told us about Sheila Donnelly — ok, he did more than tell us, he brought a jar of her pickles.  Sour, crunchy, locally grown, loaded with garlic flavor (have I told you that in my former life I was known as The Garlic Queen? — another story for another day…) these pickles hit the spot.  They are quick pickles — so if you have been listening to the show you know the difference between a fermented pickle and a quick pickle (vinegar added) — both types of pickles need a little time for the flavors to meld and mellow.  Listen to the interview!

Email Sheila at bogagh1peat@yahoo.com

Alchemy Distillery, Amy and Steve Bohner

So what do you do when you already have the BIG JOB? — huge private and public construction projects that require full time management?  Why start a completely new business, that’s what!

Amy andflood map caltrans0005 Steve Bohner are the owners of Alchemy Distillery (oh, and also Alchemy Construction — which specialized in green building designs).  Using local grains that they have purchased from Rhonda Wiedenbeck of Beck’s Bakery (grown in the lovely fertile growing region of Honeydew, CA), they are making Boldt Whiskey.  Alchemy Distiller Alchemy bottles and boxes Alchemy Barrels Alchemy AmyIf you want to know about the head, heart and tails of the distillery process…learn about the whiskey trail…experience the majesty of the gigantic U.S. made distiller — Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of our interview.

Anna Lappe, Small Planet Institute

If you are like me…50-something or even more chronologically gifted, you remember Frances Moore-Lappe’s book Diet for a Small Planet.  Nothing short of revolutionary — for so many people it was life changing, many people converting to vegetarianism virtually overnight.  When I heard that Frances’ daughter Anna was coming to town to be the keynote speaker at the Food Summit, sponsored by the Food Policy Council, I knew this was my opportunity to have a conversation with her.  Anna is the author of many books and travels throughout the world speaking about food security and sovereignty.   Through the great work of May Patino at the California Center for Rural Policy, located at Humboldt State University, it happened!

But you know how it is — so many questions and only 10 minutes for an interview — so of course I asked what it was like at the dinner table growing up with Frances Moore-Lappe.  Listen here for the interview and check out the  Small Planet Institute

Slice of Humboldt Pie, Amber Saba, P-nut Thompson

Slice of Humboldt Pie  Much as I love Arcata, 60’s By the Sea as I affectionately refer to it — it is probably a good thing I don’t live there.  I would be a regular (over indulging) of Bittersweet — which is a co-operated business with Slice of Humboldt Pie and The Local.  Slice of Humboldt Pie offers, you guessed it, Pie!  But — what type of pie? you might ask — Savory pies and sweet pies — my very favorite (ok, I haven’t tried them all so that might change) is the Buffalo Wing empanada with the blue cheese dipping sauce.  I am salivating as I am typing –are you salivating?   They are so darned cute and satisfying — with really rich flavor and with the small plate choices you can try lots of different things and share with friends.  When I went there for lunch we all got something savory and then passed around a  generous sized piece of banana creme pie and all got to taste it — heavenly.

Now here is something else you might not know — they sell pie crusts too!  So if you want to bake a pie, don’t trust your crust-making skills, don’t want to subject your friends and family to Pillsbury — you can but a crust!  Don’t do gluten?  no problem, they have gluten-free crust as well.

Now I haven’t even started talking about the hard ciders The Local offers — which!  pair perfectly with the pies (how did they know that would happen?! )  I had a little Rhubarbarian with my last lunch — mmmmmm!  I came late to the world of fermented beverages and think that hard ciders are my favorite.

Listen here for the interview with Amber and P-nut!

John Short, College of the Redwoods Educational Farm

How lucky to have the opportunity to interview John Short, the relatively new Farm Manager for the College of the Redwoods Educational Farm in Shively.  If you haven’t heard me wax on about how I love the farm down in Shively, well…you haven’t spent near enough time with me.  As soon as I can convince the administration to put a couple of yurts on the property, that is where you will find me — at least in the spring, summer and fall.  As we know — rains in Humboldt can cause flooding and that is a location I would not want to be during a the winter.  But hey — 3 seasons gives me plenty of time to settle into my yurt.

The Shively property is 38 lovely acres — a nice orchard for your apples including some nice heirloom Etters varieties.  The greenhouse is a great place to escape on a cold spring day — heating up in spite of outdoor temps.  There are plenty of animals — sheep, goats, chickens…and maybe more — some of the best turkey I’ve eaten in my life came from the farm, and if they raised turkeys I would be first on the list.

If you want to get a taste of farm life without too large of a time or monetary commitment, sign up for the 1 unit class.  Load up on the CR van once a week and head to Shively to wrangle animals, plant or harvest crops, pick apples, put up fences — and generally anything a farm needs to do.  CR Farm Shively 

Listen here for the interview with John Short!