What do the words “Umpqua Food & Harvest” mean to you?
We hope they get you thinking about the bounty of fresh foods that can be grown, harvested and placed upon your Umpqua Valley table for a tasty meal.
We’re fortunate to live in a fertile area where such a variety of fruits and vegetables ripen in abundance from spring through fall. And that fresh produce, as well as locally raised chicken, beef, lamb, eggs and more, can be purchased at one of the many local farmers markets, produce stands, grocers, or even directly from the farmer or rancher.
The availability of so much fresh, local food is worth celebrating. That’s why the next new section coming to your newspaper is Umpqua Food & Harvest. To remember when you can find this section, just think Tasty Tuesday. The inaugural edition debuts in two days.
In this new section, you will hear from people who are passionate about preparing locally grown food, whether they eat it at the peak of its growing season or preserve it for use in the wintertime. We hope their recipes will inspire you to spend more time in the kitchen.
You’ll also learn about the many local farmers and ranchers who are vendors at area farmers markets. Those who bake bread, make chocolates, candies, jams, jellies, honey and much more will also be featured.
We hope to pick up some tips and techniques from students and instructors at the various culinary programs across the county. And we plan to check in on the nutrition education classes taught to schoolchildren through a partnership between the Oregon State University Extension Service and the Mercy Foundation Healthy Kids Outreach Program.
We’ve got columnists lined up who will share great recipes and tips. Our monthly wine column, Canes & Casks, written by Chris Lake and Dwayne Bershaw of the Southern Oregon Wine Institute, will move into this section and we’d like to pick up a column of interest to home brewers or microbrew enthusiasts, as well.
Restaurants, caterers and food truck owners can expect to get mentioned in the new section as well as cooking contest winners.
We’ll need your help to make this section as valuable as possible. We’ve started a calendar of food-related events that primarily includes farmers markets, at this point. But we want to hear about cooking classes, winemaker and brewmaster dinners and other special events featuring local food and beverages. Announcements of such events as well as tips for stories or press releases about the accomplishments of local producers can be sent to email@example.com.
If you’ve got an outstanding recipe or a food column you’d like to have published, use the same email address to send it our way.
We’re big believers in eating fresh local food when it’s in season and we hope to spread that practice. We’d like to encourage our readers to eat more nutritiously and to sit down with their families to share a meal. It’s a wonderful way to come together and enjoy each other and good conversations at the end of the day.
News-Review Editor Vicki Menard spent 13 years as the food editor of this newspaper and looks forward to seeing stories, photos and recipes appear every Tuesday once again. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-957-4203.