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Agriculture

Peony
Fall 2018

Peonies from heaven

Come late summer, Alaska’s farmland blooms with romance and colorful ruffles. It’s the season for peonies in the north country—an unlikely floral industry that, thanks to bridal demand, has given rise to a surprising horticultural gold rush.

The lure is especially tempting for those with small parcels of land. Wayne ’76 and Patti ’75 Floyd, for example, joined the stampede in 2011 with only two acres, and have since created a successful business claiming both national and international markets.

 

“We’d had this farm bug in our hearts from the beginning but we were never in a place that we could do that,” says Patti. … » More …

Huckleberries
Fall 2018

The huckleberry

In the shadowy spaces and the sunny clearings of high Northwest forests, the huckleberry waits for an eager human or bear in the late summer. Imbued with an intense sweet-sour flavor, this coveted wild treat might peek out from its glossy leaves in a jealously-protected secret location, but it will be sought and often found.

Seekers of the huckleberry—whether they are Native Americans, more recent residents of the area, or the berry-loving grizzly and black bears—hunt incessantly for the deep purple to red fruit. Even if they aren’t pickers, any Northwesterner or visitor would still find it hard to miss the huckleberry jams, shakes, pies, … » More …

Gladys Cooper Jennings
Fall 2018

Being best

A 9-year-old slave girl fanned her young mistress to keep the flies off her while she learned her lessons. Because she picked up enough education to be able to read and write a little, she ended up teaching other slaves and ex-slaves.

Her daughter became a schoolteacher, married to a Presbyterian minister in segregated Columbus, Ohio. The couple passed on the family mantras to their children: “You must get an education to get ahead” and “you must be a credit to our race.”

Their children, the second generation born free, took the advice to heart, attending college and becoming teachers and professionals. One of them, … » More …

Modernist bread book covers
Fall 2018

Modernist Bread

Modernist bread book covers

By Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya

The Cooking Lab: 2017

 

For millennia, bread baking has been more craft than science. Even the current trend in artisan bread rejects much of what modern science has wrought: the advances of manufactured yeast, dough conditioners, added preservatives and the overall industrialization of wheat and bread production.

“The bread zeitgeist is about being ancient, primitive, natural, and pretty much anything but modern,” writes Nathan Myhrvold in his recent 2,642-page … » More …

Fall 2018

Recipes: Huckleberries

Huckleberries work in many ways that really showcase the Northwest iconic wild berry in dishes. Check out a couple of recipes below from the Wild Huckleberry website. You can find more recipes at the Marx Foods website.

 

Pan-Seared Salmon with Huckleberry Sauce

 

4 salmon fillets2 tablespoons olive oilSalt and pepper1/3 cup of water1 cup fresh huckleberries1 tablespoon of sugar1 lemon, juiced¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

 

Heat skillet over high heat.  Add olive oil.  Salt and pepper both sides of salmon fillets.  When pan is hot add fillets, skin side down.  Sear for approximately 4 minutes per side.  … » More …

Wine By Cougars label gallery
Fall 2018

Gallery: Wine labels from Wine-By-Cougars

We’ve compiled a gallery of wine labels for all the members of Wine-By-Cougars—wineries with a WSU connection and Cougar passion. Since most produce a remarkable variety of types (and therefore labels), make sure to check each winery website through links found here.

Wine-By-Cougars (the official wine club of Washington State University) celebrates the impact that Cougs have made on the wine industry. WBC also supports student scholarships for the viticulture and enology program, and the wine business management program.

You can learn more and become a member of Wine-By-Cougars by going to the WBC website. There … » More …

Wine glass splashing with smoke. Photo Dreamstime
Summer 2018

Smoke gets in your wine

Smoke truly gets under the skin of wine grapes.

As microscopic particles and liquid droplets ooze and eddy through the vineyard, grapes are coated with toxic chemicals. Worse, smoke from forest and range fires manages to get into the plant itself, wreaking havoc with the plant’s internal chemistry.

In self-defense, grape vines attempt to sequester toxic smoke particles that infiltrate berries and leaves by binding sugar molecules to the offending invaders. The plant can then metabolically shuffle the sugar-trapped particles into places where the smoke won’t be as harmful to the vines’ mission: produce grapes and reproduce.

Humans interfere with the vines’ mission when we … » More …

Woman on tractorL frame from Women’s Work: The Untold Story of America’s Female Farmers documentary
Summer 2018

Videos: Agriculture, women, and Washington food

A collection of documentary works from Kara Rowe and North x Northwest

 

Women’s Work: The untold story of America’s female farmers: Here is a trailer for documentary produced by Rowe, Audra Mulkern, and David Tanner/North by Northwest)

 

Washington Grown: A series featuring Washington agricultural products, produced by Rowe and sponsored by Washington Ranchers and Farmers

(This episode features WSU’s Cosmic Crisp apple)

 

The Gamble: A documentary produced by Rowe for North x Northwest and the Washington State Potato Commission

 

(You can read more … » More …