Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the Boise Markets: Split Rail Winery

Split Rail Winery has no vineyards and no fax (business cards say, "Fax: those still exist?"). Located in the heart of Garden City, Idaho, Split Rail is an urban winery. The vintners buy grapes from vineyards in the nearby Snake River Valley American Viticulture Area, add yeast and water, and make wine. Breweries have been buying ingredients and making beer for ages.

Split Rail Winery is "the stampede for local agriculture, the epitome of pleasure and the turning wheels of evolution." Their goal is to "keep Idaho's lips red and our hair and minds in temporary disarray."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ranchers Helping Salmon in Idaho's Lemhi Valley

Salmon and ranchers both need water. Salmon swim up rivers and streams to spawn; ranchers irrigate hay fields to provide winter feed for their livestock. Eastern Idaho rancher Merrill Beyeler believes that these uses can coexist.

He is increasing salmon habitat in Idaho’s Lemhi Valley while improving his ranching operation.

Beyeler is working with other ranchers, The Nature Conservancy, Idaho Fish and Game, and other groups, to remove barriers to fish, reconnect tributaries to the main Lemhi River, return the river to its previous, winding channel, and increase flow at the mouth of the Lemhi. Often, these changes mean less work for him and other ranchers.

I wrote about Merrill Beyeler’s stewardship work in the current Intermountain Farm & Ranch, available on the Idaho Falls Post Register’s website through this weekend (page 4). http://www.postregister.com/farmandranch/fandr.pdf.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Solar Dairy

Cheese is protein-filled and delicious. Concentrating the goodness of milk into cheddars, Gouda, and Halloumi takes energy. Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese is using solar thermal energy, and other energy upgrades, to turn Jersey milk into irresistible, prize-winning cheeses. Learn more in my story, Sunnyside of Cheesemaking, in the Fall issue of Edible Idaho South.