Local Food: Get Savvy About What’s in Season Year Round
Locally-grown food is gaining ground as eaters recognize its many benefits. The phrase typically invites images of produce like juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes and apples fresh off the tree. Thankfully, this is just a taste of what’s in our backyards. If you look around, you’ll find lots more to savor—year round and outside the peak produce season.
To inspire your search, here are some of the delights you’ll see in our region, and on Standing Stone Brewing’s restaurant menu, if we can snag enough. Follow us on twitter to get updates on menu specials with local and regional ingredients.
Foraged feasts: Oregon is an ideal spot to forage wild mushrooms, and the hunting season has begun! Local foraged Morels with rapini and cream sauce over linguini, and a Yellowfoot, Hedgehog and Black Trumpet mushroom pizza just made their way to our specials board. Like all things seasonal, these are limited, so enjoy soon.
Early spring produce: Neighborhood growers are harvesting beets, carrots, greens like chard and collards, parsnips, and more. We just served up a delicious special soup made with sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) from Ashland’s Eagle Mill Farm.
Surprises in storage: Root vegetables, winter squash and nuts can be stored after harvest for year round nourishment. Dried fruits and herbs also keep well. Klamath, OR is the regional potato king and Oregon is rich in cranberry bogs.
Meat and poultry: Beef, pork, chicken and other meats are always in season. We use beef from Valley View Beef in Ashland, OR and Country Natural Beef, a northwest farmer cooperative with ranches up the road in Roseburg, OR. On our everyday menu, you’ll find buffalo burgers from Full Circle Bison Ranch, in nearby Jacksonville.
Seafood: If you live near the ocean or major waterways, chances are you can get fresh seafood most anytime. We’ve been using Penn Cove mussels, Samish oysters and Dabob Bay clams in several recent menu specials. They’re from Washington State, offering the closest regional options. You can also find rockfish from Port Orford in our fish tacos.
Grains and legumes: These are staples of the world’s diet, with the bulk produced at industrialized farms. Happily, more small-scale growers are dedicating acreage to these crops and they’re well suited for long-term storage. In the Rogue Valley, Hi-Hoe Produce/Bluebird Farms, Dunbar Farms and Full Circle Farm are pioneering the growth of amaranth, black beans, wheat and more. In Oregon’s Willamette Valley, farmers are also collaborating to scale up production.
Dig in and see what grows where you are – the rewards are worth it. Pair it with favorites that are produced in your community, even if they don’t grow there, like coffee, locally made bread, cheese and more. Come in and treat yourself to our local flavor, too. Check out our specials board or ask your server what’s homegrown to savor the goodness.