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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer in Prescott

One thing I love about Prescott College is the option to take classes in the summer. Not only do these classes—with names like Public Art: Mural Painting, River Guides Training, Surfing and Oceanographic Principles of Wave Dynamics, Sustainable Urban Food Production—sound awesome, there’s a huge variety! All the areas of study are represented in the list of summer courses, so everyone can find something relevant to their studies.
Sometimes, though, you want a summer off to do other things. This summer I’m staying busy outside of school: I’m working in the admissions office at Prescott College, and as a barista in a local coffee shop. I also scored an internship with a local artist, where I’m learning how to make paper out of all kinds of materials from denim to roses. This internship is right up my alley—I LOVE making things. Recently, with my lack of homework, I’ve had more time to spend on small projects—this Saturday, I hit the farmer’s market with my partner Jack, and we let the day take us from there. I’ll take you through our Saturday in a few blog posts—recipes and directions included. :)

Jack and I have a 4-mile round-trip hike to the farmer’s market, and recently the weather has really started to heat up the early morning. We try to leave the house before 9, so that our food doesn’t wilt on the walk home. Before we left, I set up a batch of sun tea so that it would be ready in the early afternoon. If you’ve never had it before, sun tea is pretty much the best summer drink, hands down.

To make it, you’ll need:
  • a big glass jug or jar (I use an old Carlo Rossi wine jug, but lots of grocery stores sell sun tea/lemonade jars) 
  • water 
  • A few tea bags. For my personal blend of sun tea, I use the following mix of tea
  • bags: 2 plain black, 1 lemon, 1 spiced orange (I like “Constant Comment” by Bigelow), and 1 ginger. Go with what sounds good to you! It’s pretty much impossible to go wrong. 

Dangle all of the tea bags into the jug, and fill it up. Screw on the cap/cover the top to keep ants out, agitate it a little, and find a spot where the jug will get a few hours of sun. Leave it out all day (4-8 hours, the longer the stronger), pour it over ice, and enjoy!

Now, on to the market! The farmer’s market is open from May to October, and there are a number of vendors who provide food for the CSA run through the Prescott College bookstore during the school year. The market is held every Saturday in the parking lot of Yavapai College, from 7:30 to 12. From the Prescott College end of town, take Sheldon toward P Mountain (actually Badger Mountain).

Whipstone Farm is one of the tents Jack and I visit every week. This time, we bought a dozen eggs, some lettuce, and sugar snap peas. They always have a huge blackboard with their offerings for the week. One thing I’d love to try is their edible flowers—maybe next week…

There’s always live music going on—this week it was Tim and Sarah Crews, PC faculty and alumna (respectively).

Tim is currently teaching the agroecology summer suite with Rebekah Doyle—next summer I’m hoping to get into the summer semester, for my minor in small-scale agriculture. Sustainable, local agriculture definitely has a strong hold in the hearts of Prescott residents, and the farmer’s market is proof! If you’re interested in studying agroecology/agriculture/food systems/food justice, Prescott is a great place to see sustainable, earth-conscious ideas put into practice every day. I love the fact that I'm working directly farmers, supporting local agriculture. Getting to meet the person who grew the corn, canned the pickles, or picked the berries makes a big difference in how you view your food. My corn is a little sweeter, the pickles a little more amazing and the mixed berry pie--well, you'll find out in the next blog.

~Claire Tuchel, 06.18.2012

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