Fall updates: call for recipes, news on the Makah Ozette potato, and a wild salmon habitat volunteer opportunity

Do you have a recipe for fall?

apple basketAs the days get chillier, many of us naturally find ourselves warmed by the kitchen as a stew or sauce bubbles away on the stove top or a roast cooks in the oven. And if we are lucky, a friend, family member or neighbor will have shared their recipe for the perfect fall dish. We’re hoping to offer some inspirational dishes to our Slow Food Seattle community. For our upcoming newsletter, we would like to feature your recipe! We’re looking for savory and sweet harvest recipes to share with your fellow Slow Food Seattle members.

From the recipes submitted, we will choose two of them to feature on the next Slow Food Seattle newsletter. If you have a seasonal recipe or perhaps a Thanksgiving favorite you would like to share in our upcoming newsletter, please email it with your name, the neighborhood you live in, and how long you have been a member to us at info@slowfoodseattle.org.

Help the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group:
A volunteer opportunity to restore wild salmon habitat

Mid Sound Fisheries - Planting Project

Photo courtesy of Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group

Most of us have enjoyed a piece of grilled wild salmon a time or two. Some of us have even had the excitement of hooking one while fishing in the waters of Puget Sound. Maybe you have stood on the side of a stream and marveled at the sight of wild salmon making their way upstream to spawn in the very place they began their lives years before.

Have you ever wondered what you could do to help these amazing animals in their efforts to complete their life cycle? Wonder no more, pull on some rubber boots and meet the Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group on the river banks of one of the tributaries to Mill Creek in Auburn as we volunteer a few hour to restore its this vital salmon habitat.

It doesn’t look like much but this tributary supports juvenile salmon, providing important off-channel refuge during high stream flows. The Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group will be planting nearly 2,000 trees and shrubs over the course of a few days and need help to do so. A few hours from Slow Food Seattle members will greatly speed this effort and assure that wild salmon are welcomed home to clean, cool water in a free flowing stream.

Mid Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group’s mission is to increase salmon populations to healthy and sustainable levels while working cooperatively with private landowners and others in the community to improve salmon habitat. They rely on volunteers and members to make habitat restoration a reality. Let’s help them make the project a success while being good stewards to our wild salmon populations!

Here are the details:

  • When: Saturday November 6th from 10am to 2pm
  • Where: Please meet at the corner of West Valley Highway and 15th Street NW. Parking is limited so car pool if possible. You will receive detailed directions once you sign up.
  • What to wear: Dress appropriately to plant young trees and be prepared for the day’s weather be it rain gear or sunglasses. Work gloves and sturdy shoes a must.
  • What to Bring: Mid Sound team will have warm drinks, some shovels and lots of small trees. Please bring your own shovel or basic garden tools (all clearly labeled) if they are handy. Remember to bring your our own drinking water, lunch and anything else that you need to make your day comfortable while digging in the dirt!

Sign up: Please put “Volunteer on November 6th” in the subject line when you email the Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group with your name and a phone number: info@midsoundfisheries.org. All volunteers must be 18 years or older.

If you’re on Facebook, you can also find the Mid Sound Fisheries page here. A great opportunity to feel good and do your part to preserve wild salmon and essential fish habitat. Thank you!

Update on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium

Our Presidium has been in operation for almost four years (for background, see here as well as on the Makah Ozette Potato Presidium page). The objective of having  an abundant regional seed source was realized last year by our partner, Pure Potato.

We had finally reached the long awaited three years it takes to develop the available genetic material into a field of virus free seed potato. There was an abundance of seed available for the 2010 planting throughout the region and seed was even sold to a large potato grower in California.  Pure Potato sold all of its seed this spring and most of the 7 regional nurseries who stocked the seed sold out to home gardeners by mid spring.

A highlight of 2009 was Essential Baking Company‘s (EBC) adopting the potato, contracting with Full Circle Farm and making their seasonal potato bread using the Makah Ozette Potato (MOP). The management of EBC declared this to be the most flavorful potato bread they had ever produced. They are committed to continuing to use the MOP when it is available in the future.

2010 has been a disaster year for the MOP. Flooding destroyed the entire crop of seed at Pure Potato. This is a severe setback for the Presidium as it will take another three years to regenerate the seed stock to the 2009 levels. Pure Potato having experience the success with this potato is committed to carrying on with its development. Full Circle Farm has also experienced a significant loss of crop due to flooding and will not be able to supply EBC this fall for its potato bread. Unless MOP can be sourced from California this year, we may be eating plain potato bread this fall.

If you have grown MOP this year, you can try to save some seed from your harvest. Keep them in a mesh bag in your refrigerator till spring.