Liz Writes Life 9-26-17

Sept. 26, 2017

Liz Writes Life

Published in Siskiyou Daily News, Yreka, CA


Last week, Siskiyou Sheriff Jon Lopey updated the Siskiyou Co. Supervisors on his efforts to stop the illicit cannabis grows and will speak more about the situation tonight at the Yreka Tea Party Patriots meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Covenant Chapel Church, 200 Greenhorn Rd. in Yreka. The meeting is open to the public.


Ray Haupt, Dist. 5 Siskiyou Co. Supervisor, will speak at the Scott Valley Protect Our Water meeting this Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 at the Fort Jones Community Center. Time is 7 p.m. Erin Ryan, staff from CA. Dist. 1 Congressman Doug LaMalfa, will also be on hand for updates.

I attended our congressman’s Town Hall meeting, in Yreka, on Sept. 18th along with 200 other folks. Like many other elected congressmen and women, some of his previous Town Hall meetings have been quite contentious. But, Siskiyou’s meeting was pretty well-mannered for the most part – there were some groans and also applause, but only a few people were rude.

Shasta Valley resident, Carol Crebbin, opened the meeting with a rousing prayer asking for blessings and peace. A few people turned their back to the prayer, but were silent. Our veterans were honored, by Fred Scott, after the Pledge of Allegiance.

LaMalfa had just returned from a tour of the Salmon-August Fire Complex that threatened the towns of Sawyers Bar, Etna and Scott Valley floor. Ray Haupt, organized the tour with Klamath National Forest Supervisor Patty Grantham, Ecotrust Forest Management Manager Steve Ziegler and other state and government agencies.

Four-wheelers were used to ride up to the head of Patterson Creek, where they saw much more damage and blackened trees than was expected. The inversion air layer had kept the smoke on the ground for weeks, making it difficult to know specifically how extensive the fires were.

So, once again at the beginning of the Town Hall, Congressman LaMalfa stressed the need to prevent the catastrophic fires by thinning our over-grown forests and doing a much better job of creating healthy forests. Attitudes at upper levels of government bureaucracies and policies must be changed to accomplish that feat!

He then took questions and comments from the audience. Much frustration centered on health care. A significant number of people were there with red and green 8×10 pieces of paper. When the congressman said something they agreed with, the green paper went up. When they were opposed, the red paper went up. This did seem to help reduce vocal outbursts of angst.

There was also discussion on marijuana, his business as a rice farmer and the U.N.


Morning frosts took its toll on some gardens in various areas of the valley. A friend from Quartz Valley said her garden is now black, but luckily she had picked it before the frost. Other friends reported a sneaky frost hit their garden in Greenview – when the forecast said it wouldn’t freeze.

Gotta tell ya that this time of year, I really don’t trust the forecasts. If the weather man says it will be 36 or below, I just expect a frost.

So, I got with it this year and picked all the red tomatoes and a lot of the green tomatoes for Green Tomato Sweet Relish. Got two boxes of each. Then picked a grocery paper bag full of bell peppers; and some cucumbers – but not nearly all of them.

My kitchen table and floor was full of those items, plus a red cabbage, zucchini, last of the onions, small batch of green beans, cantaloupe and even a decent batch of rhubarb. I wasn’t tall enough to get the three sunflowers down without losing seeds that were falling out. So, Jack offered to help (he is a foot taller than me). We decided to put a plastic garbage bag around each one and then he cut it off the stem. So, three bags of giant sunflowers are sitting on the floor in the kitchen too. I will admit that I was overwhelmed and didn’t do anything with any of it for a day.

I covered the big sprawling tomato plant that is in the cold frame with a double layer of heavy canvas and decided to try to protect the zinnias with a big blanket. But after two or three iffy mornings, there were only a few burned cucumber leaves and the taller red bee balms are crispy. Darn! I am actually ready for the garden to be done, but with this warm week we will continue to irrigate the pumpkins, some cucs, chives, the flathead cabbage and tomatoes.

I did make three batches of relish and will make one more batch this week. Then I will be done canning and will put all the pots and bowls away. Whew!

I like to add red bell peppers to the relish as it livens it up a bit and this year many of the our bell peppers turned red! This is unusual and a mystery as I don’t know what makes them decide to turn red. It isn’t the smoke, cuz we have had lots of smoke the last few summers and they stayed green until October.

Even though I am not canning tomatoes this year, I am cutting the firmer ones up, scattering them on a large metal pan lined with wax paper and freezing them. The next day, I take them out and break them up a bit and fill quart-sized plastic bags. I double-bag to try and prevent freezer burn.

I did this last year and we really enjoyed adding the frozen tomatoes to taco meat (just as it is done) and some other dishes. The frozen tomatoes do not hold their shape and get mushy, but their flavor is so much better than store bought tomatoes.

Have a happy week!

Liz Bowen is a native of Siskiyou County and lives near Callahan. Check out her websites: Pie N and Liz or call her at 530-467-3515.

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One Response to Liz Writes Life 9-26-17

  1. John Allen says:

    Hi Liz – I read your column in the Sisq. Daily regularly. Especially enjoy the garden news. We live in Seiad Valley in the banana belt and have too much produce every year! I am a retired US Forest Service worker who worked in timber and NEPA for many years at Happy Camp. I know Ray Haupt, George Harper, Patty Grantham, Wendy Coats, Dan Blessing, Marcia Armstrong, and many other good county residents. I just wanted to correct you on a quote: NEPA is National Environmental Policy Act (not Protection act). It can be cumbersome and a pain at times, but its main emphasis is public involvement and effects disclosure for government projects. It is not designed to err on the environmentalist side of things. I am fairly neutral and support most projects including forest management, community fuels reduction, agriculture, etc. and enjoy life in Sisq. county! Thanks for your weekly column – Sincerely, John Allen

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