Liz Writes Life 3-4-14

March 4, 2014

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA

 

Sure do appreciate the good rains we have had. Just hope it is cold enough to actually put down several feet of snow in our mountains. We sure do need a “miserable” March to help us out of this drought.

My husband helped me dig potatoes last week and over 90 percent were still firm and hard. I cooked some up into mashed potatoes and he thought they tasted a bit funny. They have been in the ground a long time and maybe that makes them sweeter. I thought they tasted just fine!

I also dug carrots and found they are still nice and firm. But with these warm temps, I can tell they are about to start to grow. Then they will become pithy and will be sending out roots. So, I hope to get a bunch more dug this week. I just need to make room in my refrig for them. Been juicing the carrots and they are still quite sweet.

Did get some hardy bib-type of lettuce planted on Saturday. The garden needs a good roto-tilling, but the soil is finally soft from the rain. So the grubbing hoe loosened up the soil and I pulled the left-over and new-growing weeds easily. I only planted about three-feet square. I can’t find the clear plastic boxes I used last year as an easy make-shift greenhouse to cover the area. So, I will purchase some this week.

A friend sent me “Ed Hume’s 2014 Garden Almanac” for gardening by the moon signs. I looked at it after I planted the lettuce. March 1st is an ok day to plant, but the 5th and 6th  and then 9th, 10th and 11th are good days for  planting berries, lettuce, cabbage, lawns, trees and shrubs and peas. Apparently, this is good because it isn’t just the New Moon, but also the “light of the moon” that affects plant growth. Gotta say I have a basic understanding of why the moon would influence gardening, but the specifics evade me. Some folks swear by moon gardening. I think I’ll try to get in some peas next Monday, the 10th, and see how they do.

POW meeting

A major topic at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting was the wolf situation. Erin Ryan attended and told us about a “stakeholders” meeting she attended, last week, in Sacramento. I think it was with the California Fish and Wildlife Commission, which is the Governor-appointed board that makes decisions over hunting, fishing and listings to the California Endangered Species Act.

The Enviros are still pushing for protections for the Canadian gray wolf. The CA. Fish and Game Dept. is quietly developing a “Wolf Management Plan.” And the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife is considering de-listing the wolf under the federal Endangered Species Act. Yes, it is confusing.

Erin, who is Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s field representative, said the stakeholders discussed the issues of “wolf and livestock interaction” and explained that just looks like a lot of bleeding and death for livestock.

Livestock are certainly getting hammered in the Western states, because wolf packs have been allowed to grow and their numbers are not managed to an acceptable level.

Just two weeks ago, wolves killed a horse in Idaho. Todd Grimm, director of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Idaho said that he doesn’t often see horses being killed by wolves, but that dozens of cattle and hundreds of sheep are killed by Idaho wolf packs each year. Idaho wildlife specialists estimate the number of wolves in the state to be around 680. It is legal to hunt and kill wolves in Idaho during wolf hunting season. Looks like 680 wolves are too many for a healthy wildlife or livestock environment.

During LaMalfa’s first year in office, Erin has been working to help veterans as many have difficulties wading through the red tape of the Veterans Administration. If someone from the V.A. asks to see you original discharge documents or things like doctor statements, do not give them. Always keep originals and make copies to submit. If an employee of the V.A. makes life difficult for you, contact Erin at 530-515-7135530-515-7135. She is a bulldog on these cases and will meet with you personally.

Tim Grenvik, our Siskiyou Veteran Services Officer, works really hard to help our veterans. What Erin is talking about is at the higher bureaucratic levels. And lately, abuses towards veterans have been hitting the national news. One recent article exposed employees of the V.A. that were caught destroying medical records in order to cancel a backlog of medical requests. A whistleblower gave the Inspector General over 1,000 individuals, whose medical records and requests for medical exams were destroyed in the Los Angeles Medical Center. Yep, that is pretty darned bad.

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Call her at 530-467-3515530-467-3515.

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