Densie Spayd - Siskiyou Food Assistance - Run for Food

Denise Spayd - Chicken, Pear & Gorgonzola Pasta

Denise with a map of the Run for Food map including the Bear Trail at COS.

Denise with a map of the Run for Food map including the Bear Trail at COS.

Denise Spayd is the Executive Director for the Siskiyou Food Assistance program (SFA). She started her career out as a nurse and still is, but taking some time for her family and her community. She is one of about 40 volunteers who work to bring food to those in need in South Siskiyou County.

The Siskiyou Food Assistance Run for Food a 5K Run/Walk takes place on Thanksgiving morning, November 22, 2018 at the COS Weed campus. Check in opens at 7:45am. The Run/Walk begins at 8:45am at the Football/Track Field.

Siskiyou County is considered a food desert; often ranking first in the western states. A food desert refers to lack of access to supermarkets. This generally refers to the difficulty in making a trip to a grocery store more difficult because of low rates of vehicle ownership and limited public transportation.

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Lauri: How did the Siskiyou Food Assistance program (SFA) get started?
Denise: The Siskiyou Food Assistance program began in 1986 when Pastor Jerry and Denise Broomfield helped striking mill workers with food from their little church in Weed. As they got older community members began pitching in year-round. We got a 501(c)3 and now annually serve about 700 clients and have about 40 volunteers including our staff and Board of Directors.

The program operates out of the old Weed Elementary School’s Arts & Theater and Home EC rooms, where my children once attended school. The school district gives us the space rent free, but we pay the power bill that can run as high as $500 in the winter months.

Volunteers set out the weeks donation of produce from General Produce.

Volunteers set out the weeks donation of produce from General Produce.

Lauri: How are people able participate in the food assistance program?
Denise: Anyone needing food assistance can come to the SFA food pantry located at 780 S. Davis Ave. We distribute the food boxes Wednesdays from 11am to 3pm. We require photo ID, proof of residence in South Siskiyou County, proof of income, household members, etc. then we create a file for them. Clients can receive up to ten Emergency Food Boxes annually and we have to track that for our funders.

Clients agree to volunteer 2 hours a year to help us with the work needed to keep the operations going. Volunteers work in the field where they can serve with their skills. We have everything from general paper work, data entry and managing the volumes of food that go through our program.

Salad dressing above and bulk grains below.

Salad dressing above and bulk grains below.

Fresh produce is donated to SFA by General Produce.

Fresh produce is donated to SFA by General Produce.

Lauri: How do clients receive the Emergency Food Box?
Denise: Once registered, clients come to the pantry on Wednesday and we check them in. They receive a list of the foods we have available and they select what they want. It’s a grocery list of what we have available on that day. Volunteers gather their items while the client selects from available produce. There is a pound limit on produce that can vary from 5 to 15 pounds depending on the donations from General Produce.

The Emergency Food Box is meant to supply a household with a three-day supply of nutritionally balanced staples and fresh food. We respect people’s dietary choices and needs. We offer as many vegetarian, vegan and organic options as are possible.

Lauri: Where does the food and money come from?
Denise: Grants, donations, food drives and fundraisers.SFA has many partnerships and diverse relationships that keep us in food. General Produce donates their #2 produce every week. That’s the produce that has flaws or isn’t good enough for the markets but is still good to eat. Grocery Outlet in Weed donates food that might be close to the expiration date. They also have an “Independence from Hunger” campaign in July. Ray’s Food Place has a similar drive through November & December called “Stuff the Truck.” In both of these store campaigns, shoppers can purchase bags of food to be donated to the local emergency food pantry.

The Siskiyou Community Food Bank in Yreka helps to provide food for all the area pantries. We occasionally combine orders with them to purchase from Feeding America in Contra Costa (Bay Area). A local trucker volunteers to bring back the load for a fuel stipend.

Great Northern Services provides food as they can. SFA distributes two commodities programs for GNS. They also are transporting produce for us on Wednesday mornings.

Belcampo Farms has donated eggs when their markets can’t absorb the quantities their hens are producing.

Fundraising campaigns that SFA conducts are the Run for Food 5k run/walk on Thanksgiving Day, and North State Giving Tuesday (held on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving).

A client volunteering some of her time to do some data entry in SFA’s office at 780 S Davis Ave., Weed

A client volunteering some of her time to do some data entry in SFA’s office at 780 S Davis Ave., Weed

Siskiyou Food Assistance Pantry is stocking up for Thanksgiving Dinner Boxes.

Siskiyou Food Assistance Pantry is stocking up for Thanksgiving Dinner Boxes.

Lauri: One of your big programs are the Thanksgiving Boxes and what does it take to keep going?
Denise: It’s a real community effort where we honor the wishes of our founders. The Broomfield’s felt strongly that every family be blessed to celebrate the traditional holiday dinner in the comfort of their homes. We have been providing the box of fixings since 2001. This year we will make about 350 boxes. Each box costs us about $35. Partners include Grocery Outlet in Weed , Walmart in Yreka and local farms. We received a grant from the Ford Family Foundation and donations from Mercy Medical Center and Pilot Flying J Travel Centers.

Volunteers pack the boxes that are ready for pick up at the pantry. Anyone wanting a box should drive to our pantry well before 11am on November 19th. It is a first come, first served drive-up distribution. 

Zumba Instructor helping participants warm up so they can Run for Food. phot by Violet Carter

Zumba Instructor helping participants warm up so they can Run for Food. phot by Violet Carter

Lauri: How did the Run for Food come to be a fundraiser for SFA?
Denise: When I was still a board member, I saw the Run for Food in Chico. I found out the program could be duplicated by any community…so we did! We began the Weed Run for Food in 2011. It was fun and successful! We are now in our 8th year and it just gets better every year.

Lauri: Tell me more about what happens on Thanksgiving Day at the Run for Food?
Denise: We have a lot of different activities that make it fun for everyone. Every registered participant receives free raffle tickets. We try to get the very best of what this area has to offer for our raffle. Children aged 6-11 are free with participating adults. The first three finishers in each age group receive a medal. The top overall male and female finishers receive a special prize. A Zumba instructor gets the participants warmed-up before the run/walk begins. Refreshments are served at the finish line. There are stations throughout the race route to encourage runners and walkers. The route starts at the football field and circles around the COS campus on the Bear Trail returning to the football field.

The event logo is different each year. T-shirts are available with the current logo as a separate purchase at reasonable prices.

An amazing spirit of generosity and caring permeates the event. It’s something that can’t be manufactured. It’s from the hearts of all those volunteering there and attending. Join us!

For more information and to register link here:

https://www.raceplanner.com/register/index/weed-run-for-food-20

At the Run for Food finish line! photo by Violet Carter

At the Run for Food finish line! photo by Violet Carter

SFA reuses shopping bags

SFA reuses shopping bags

To make a donation for North State Giving Tuesday:

https://www.northstategives.org/nonprofits?keyword=Siskiyou+Food+Assistance

(donations can be scheduled beginning Nov. 13th, and processed on Nov. 27th)

 

Denise’s Favorite Recipe Chicken, Pear & Gorgonzola Pasta

Denise found her favorite recipe in the November 2011 issue of Enjoy magazine. It was submitted by Lana Granfors.

Serves 4

Prep & cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 - 12 oz. package of dried spaghetti
2-4 soft-ripe Bosc pears (1 lb total)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup (5oz) crumbled gorgonzola or other blue-veined cheese
½ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chicken broth
½ tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup roasted pecans
½ cup chopped green onions
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Preparation

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Rub chicken breasts with salt and white pepper. Place chicken breasts in the hot skillet, and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear. Set aside and slice breasts crosswise, ½ inch thick just before combining pasta.

Using a 5-6-quart pan, cook spaghetti according to package directions or until just barely tender to bite, 7-9 minutes. Drain and return to pan.

While pasta and chicken are cooking, cut each pear lengthwise into eighths; core pieces, and slice them crosswise ¼ inch thick. In a bowl, gently mix the pear slices, lemon juice, gorgonzola and parsley; set aside.

In a 1-2-quart pan over high heat, stir broth and cornstarch until boiling. Gently mix into drained spaghetti along with the pear mixture and sliced chicken. Transfer to a serving dish. Scatter pecans and green onions on top, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Kim Solga - Artist - Turkey Chili

Kim in Alaska

Kim in Alaska

Kim Solga is an artist, muralist, and author. Kim’s landscape and floral watercolors can be seen at The Gallery in Mount Shasta and her website. Kim’s paintings are on display at the Mount Shasta branch of Scott Valley Bank (now Mechanics Bank) and in the homes of many Siskiyou County residents. Kim painted the mural on the side of the Dunsmuir City Hall. With a grant from the Shasta Regional Community Foundations she is painting  mural  on the Stream Wise building on the corner of Ida at 600 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd.  Kim's watercolors paintings are created primarily on location in remote wilderness location. She well known as a watercolorist who captures rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, mountain scenes and plants.

June 23, 2018 Finished Mural, by Kim Solga

June 23, 2018 Finished Mural, by Kim Solga

Lauri: How long have you been an artist?
Kim: All my life! It all started when I was a child and I received some crayons. That is why I started KidsArt.com in 1986. I want kids to have access to art materials.  KidsArt is an online store selling a variety of art supplies including child-safe painting and drawing supplies to books on teaching art, and much more. KidsArt, also, prints and sells the popular KidsArt booklets, written by Kim

Kim Solga working on the Mount Shasta Mural with funding from the Shasta regional community foundation's arts in the community grant

Kim Solga working on the Mount Shasta Mural with funding from the Shasta regional community foundation's arts in the community grant

Lauri: Your paintings are primarily landscapes, but you create the sense of an intimate place where we can see the view you have selected to share with us. As the viewer I can imagine myself in the wilderness sitting on the rock where you are painting your artworks, is that where the inspiration comes from, your intimate relationship to nature?
Kim: Yes, Look at where we live! I spend a lot of time river rafting, hiking, camping and climbing. We are on the water 30 to 50 days of the year. My partner and I have a Westy (Volkswagen Westfalia) we’ll go out camping just to be outdoors or to watch a meteor shower.

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Paints and sketches...tools of the trade.

Lauri: So now here you are painting a mural on the side of the Stream Wise building on the corner of Ida at 600 S. Mt. Shasta Blvd.
Kim: I received an Arts in Community grant from the Shasta Regional Community Foundation to paint this mural. It’s going to have a waterfall, bears and a couple of deer in it when it’s finished. I designed the background from a couple of watercolors I painted. It’ll take about 3 weeks to finish painting.

While this is a stylized abstract image of the mountain I want it to be as realistic as possible. I’d like for mountain climbers to be able to come here and identify climbing pathways. My hope it that this mural will serve as an instructional tool for climbers and mountain enthusiasts.

The Farm Bureau of Siskiyou County is currently fundraising for me to paint a mural on their building on 4th St. in Yreka. I'm looking forward to doing one I designed featuring 4-H farm kids and animals. (To see pictures and  more information link to this article in the Siskiyou Daily.

Left to Right Turkish Girl, Horse Camp Cabin, Matterhorn Climber, Spring Tulips 3  - Kim Solga watercolors

Lauri: I know you spend a lot of time on the road and the river. Where have you traveled?
Kim: From far south of the equator to the Arctic Circle. Last year we went to Africa. We’ve traveled to New Zealand, Baja, Alaska and Northern Canada. We’ve kayaked in many places in the United States including the Salmon in Idaho. We kayaked the both the sea and rivers of Alaska.  

Nest in Berry Vines - Kim Solga watercolor

Nest in Berry Vines - Kim Solga watercolor

We were in  the Gates of the Arctic National Park in northern  Alaska waiting for the weather to clear so a bush plane could pick us up. I was passing the time by tossing rocks into a pond...skipping stones…I picked up a stone and when I inspected it I realized it was projectile point with a broken tip. Here I was in a very remote part of the world with no roads in or out and find that someone has been here before me. I placed the point back down where I found it, following the principles to Leave No Trace.

Lauri's Rabbit Trail: One of the fun parts things about writing this blog is the rabbit trails I get to follow. I found this quirky video if you would like to learn more about The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace...then I went to the NPS.org and followed a link to an On-line Awareness Course that I spent about an hour taking and passing the test to receive a certificate in Lead No Trace. Have Fun!!

Solga's mural in progress june 20, 2018

Solga's mural in progress june 20, 2018

Lauri: What is your essential camp tool?
Kim: A good sleeping mattress, warm sleeping bag and a rain canopy that can be put up quickly. Comfort is all about the gear. When we go over to kayak the Klamath with our families for 3-5 days we set up a gourmet kitchen, propane cook stove, lots of ice chests for food with plenty of Hors d'oeuvre and alcoholic beverages.

We’ve done the 3-4 week Grand Canyon Colorado River rafting trip many times. You just call up one of the outfitters who can plan your meals and load them into frozen ice chests that melt on appropriate days so you are eating fresh steaks on your 7th day in the canyon.They have it down. It is indeed painless travel. 

 These are a sampling of Solga's watercolors of the Grand Canyon visit her website to see more and read her story. Solga.com From left to right: Saddle Canyon, Deer Creek Falls, Havasu and 164 Mile Rapids

kim solga mural at S. mt. shasta blvd. & ida in progress june 6, 2018

kim solga mural at S. mt. shasta blvd. & ida in progress june 6, 2018

Lauri: Do you have a favorite eatery in the county?
Kim: We were coming off the Klamath River with 30 hungry river rafters. We stopped in a Natalee Thai Cuisine  1225 S. Main St. in Yreka at 6:30pm on a Saturday night. They found us seats, gave us our food very quickly, wrote separate checks and did it all with grace and a smile! I split the Tom Kha Soup that came out of the kitchen with a fire under it. It was filling and delicious!

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River Rafter's Turkey Chili for 16

This recipe can be cut in half or divided by 4 if you are not planning on feeding a hungry crowd of river rafters. It freezes well and makes a good first night meal when "on the river." You can also make this a day before serving, as it benefits from "resting."

 

Ingredients:

6 garlic cloves - chopped
2 onions – chopped
4 lbs. ground turkey
3- 16 oz. cans northern beans
2 - 16 oz. cans pinto beans
1 Chicken bouillon cube
2 - 30 oz. cans whole green chilies (dice or buy diced)
1 - 30 oz. can hominy
2 - 16 oz. cans corn
Chili powder to taste (2 tsp or more)
Cumin to taste (2 tsp or more)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 Limes – cut into wedges
1 lb. Jack cheese – grated
Sour cream
Hot sauce
Cilantro – fresh- chopped

Directions:

Sauté meat, onions, garlic, add cans, spices (chili powder, cumin, bouillon cube), water to desired soupiness.
Garnish w/sour cream, grated cheese, lime, hot sauce.

Kim's Tip: Make this a day before serving, as it benefits from "resting."
If you make this at home you can use fresh rather than the canned foods we have to pack for the river.

Turkey Chili served with a cornmeal muffin and garden salad.

Turkey Chili served with a cornmeal muffin and garden salad.

David Edmondson - Salt and Savour

Dave Edmondson is Making Traditionally Fermented Sauerkraut

Five flavors..something for everyone!

Five flavors..something for everyone!

Dave Edmondson is the entrepreneur owner of Salt and Savour. David began making traditionally fermented sauerkraut in his kitchen in Dunsmuir and has grown the business to over 20 retail accounts and multiple farmers markets. Salt and Savour offers four flavors of locally produced sauerkraut made from organic cabbage in addition to seasonal offerings.

David at the farmers market

David at the farmers market

Lauri: How did you get interested in sauerkraut and the fermentation process?
David: I implemented some diet changes at age 45, as I was getting embarrassed by my weight. I really had no interest in learning anything about nutrition – just wanted to lose weight. After settling on a method, I was so impressed with how good I felt overall, that I got interested in the “why”. Did lots of reading online and kept seeing info about how good for us fermented foods are. That’s when I tried good quality, raw sauerkraut for the first time. I liked it so much, I wanted to learn to make it and that little hobby kinda got out of hand.

Lauri: In addition to your retail outlets you sell at several farmers markets. What are your plans for the summer?
David: I sell at farmers markets in the Sacramento area year round. Most markets in the North State are seasonal, and they’re now starting up again for 2018. We’ll also be selling at the Redding Saturday Market, and the Mount Shasta Monday market.

We’ll try to work Dunsmuir into the schedule, too. I love Dunsmuir’s market, after all, that’s where I got started. But with most of our local stores selling it, and all of our other markets we’ll probably only make an occasional appearance at the Dunsmuir market.

Lauri: What is your favorite part about sharing a meal friends and family? 
David: I love gatherings centered around meals! My preference is for simple foods that everyone can take part in making, so everyone can participate in conversations.

Lauri: What’s your favorite meal at a local restaurant?
David: We’ve got some great restaurants here, don’t we? I hate to single any one meal out as a favorite as it implies I don’t like the others but that’s not the case at all. If there’s one meal I go out for consistently, it is the Laotian Hot Spiced Beef at Sengthong’s Blue Sky Room in Dunsmuir – I think it’s probably my all time favorite meal ever, anywhere.

Lauri: You travel to and from Sacramento delivering products and sell at the Farmers Market What’s your favorite destination restaurant or local restaurant or road trip eatery?
David: My travel time to Sacramento has been so work-focused that I haven’t really had a chance to establish a feeling of continuity there with favorite restaurants and outings. There’s a group of producers/farmers market vendors that I hang with, where we all have similarities in our growth struggles and strategies. Otherwise, that trip down I-5 can get a little monotonous. If I leave early Saturday morning, say at 3 a.m., I can usually hit Nancy’s Airport Café in Willows just as they open at 5 for an eye opener breakfast. Otherwise, it’s the regular stops at interstate Starbucks….


David’s Suggestions to Pair with
Salt and Savour Sauerkraut's

Pack your lunch with a rainbow of color and flavor!

Pack your lunch with a rainbow of color and flavor!

Lunch To Go... Contains two hard boiled eggs with our three flavors of sauerkraut on a bed of fresh pea shoots with crumbled Feta cheese and cracked pepper. 

Sometimes a baked potato is all you need for the perfect meal!

Sometimes a baked potato is all you need for the perfect meal!

David’s Baked Potato  

Top a baked potato with butter, sour cream, sauerkraut and cracked pepper.