Rolling hills of cactus clawed up from the ground surrounding Lupe Loza’s childhood home, which had no running water or electricity. Raised in the arid state of Aguascalientes, Mexico (named for the abundance of geothermal hot springs), Loza grew up on cheap and filling fare: homemade tortillas, potatoes, beans and cactus (nopal) collected from her backyard.
Loza is now a successful business owner in Buhl, Idaho—also known for its hot
In 1993, my Aunt Patsy introduced this former city girl to the sport of asparagus hunting. We left her house on a cloudy spring evening and started what was to be my “maiden search” through the farmlands near Twin Falls. Time seemed to stand still as we hunted with Patsy’s three dogs following along behind us. It started to rain, but the minute we talked about going back, we’d see
Long before the first bluebird sighting, the first local asparagus, or the first of the wild morels to quietly materialize along the Snake River, we have rhubarb.
Here at the base of the Tetons, rhubarb is the first sign of spring. It makes its appearance in late April when the winter storms are still rolling through. By mid-May, the sour, blushing stalks are tall enough to harvest even though the
“Check this out!” Bart Rayne, co-owner of Next Generation Organics in Homedale, motions me into another shedcrammed onto their small property across the street from the Owyhee County Fairgrounds. “It’s a cool-bot,” he says, opening the door to a Styrofoam-padded cell inside the shed. “It works like a walk-in cooler, but I built it with an old air-conditioner I got for free.”
A small-scale farmer myself, I appreciate his resourcefulness.