As of Tuesday, February 21, 2017
CLEARWATER VALLEY Bummer about the Lolo Pass snow sports demo day getting cancelled last weekend due to warming conditions. It sounded like it would have been a fun time. Hopefully all of the same partners will rally and make it happen next year.
I’m delighted to see the return of my neighboring columnist, Marie Smith. I have missed her stories and her humor the past few months. Hers is often one the first columns I look for when I open the paper.
Speaking of neighbors, I’m on a quest to buy more locally produced foods. In some circles that’s called a “locavore!” This means someone who eats food produced no more than 100 miles away. I did well with that this weekend. Friday night I stopped at McFeron’s Christmas tree farm, across the bridge at Stites, to buy some honey. I’m interested in local honey partly because of the reported health benefits of honey, especially local honey. Barbara’s bees were busy last summer. She let me try all four flavors of honey. They each taste different based on what plants the bees pollinated last year. I really enjoyed the wildflower honey and bought a quart of that. She sells it by the pint, quart and gallon. She also sells chunks of beeswax that can be used for making lotions and salves. Call 926-7301.
I bought some local grass-fed beef from Chase at C.H. Farm and Ranch Supply in Kamiah. We grilled a couple of New York steaks this weekend and enjoyed them with our homemade plum wine and winter squash from our cellar.
Summer trail volunteers sought
It’s not too early to think about summer. The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness Foundation is looking for some volunteers to do trailwork this summer in Kooskia’s “backyard wilderness” the Selway-Bitterroot. There are three trips on the Nez Perce-Clearwater NF portion of the wilderness- Cove Lakes trail, Walton Lakes and Stanley Hot Springs. Looks like each trip lasts five to six days. It’s a great way to see some new country and get a “working” vacation. Check out their website at selwaybitterroot.org/get involved for info about all of their volunteer opportunities.
We tried some local beers on Saturday at the “Febrewary” event in Kamiah. John and Polly from Wolf Track in Cottonwood had some tasty brews with some fun names- Kilted Kraut, Bushy Tail and Pirate X pale ale. Mike at Trestle Brewing served a nice IPA and a coconut porter. He’s only producing enough beer for special events right now but hopes to ramp up production. I also learned that Clearwater Brewing will be opening a microbrewery in Kamiah soon. Riverport Brewing in Clarkston was also there. Great these breweries could all share their products and help the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce raise some needed funds.
There’s a lot to be said for buying local products — you get to look the person in the eye when you’re buying from them. Direct sales of local products helps small businesses and circulates money in the local economy. With farmers’ market season coming, I’ll be watching for more local products in the Clearwater Valley area.
I’ve started seeing people fishing in the South Fork and the Main Clearwater Rivers last week now that the ice is gone. Quite a crowd by Saturday, lots of out-of-town visitors. I hope they are enjoying their trips to Idaho County and are supporting local businesses while they’re here.