Club Happenings:

 The Mason Valley 4-H Community Club is hosting a food drive starting February 1st. All donations of non-perishable food will be given to the Yerington food pantry. Yerington drop off locations are: Dini’s, Pioneer Crossing, Scolaris, Boys & Girls Club, True Value, Glitter & Glamour Salon and the Yerington Public Library.

The Mason Valley 4-H Community Club works hard in the Yerington community to provide youth with the experience of volunteering and fundraising for a greater cause. They are involved in many community projects throughout the year, including: elderly visits, clean-up days, Thanksgiving baskets, and Angel Tree.

The tradition of all 4-H clubs, especially the Community Clubs is to give back to their communities. The goal of these clubs is to teach youth about leadership, responsibility, and community service as well as community pride. If you are interested in signing a youth up for 4-H please contact: The Lyon County, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Office at 775-463-6541

 

This week the kids will taste Jicama and Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit.

Jicama is a vegetable that I have only recently experienced myself. I remember seeing them at the grocery store, but the boring, light brown exterior deterred me from being curious enough to try it. Jicama are best when they are crisp, so look for firm, heavy roots. Smaller roots tend to be sweeter, but they loose moister faster than larger roots. Was the root with a vegetable brush before peeling to reduce any “dirt” flavor. Jicama is crunchy and light when sliced or cubed into a salad. It can be cut into sticks for dipping as part of a vegetable tray. Jicama can be parboiled for 1-2 minutes and then fried or baked as an alternative to more starch-heavy potato. Be sure to dry the jicama well after it comes out of the salted, boiling water.

Texas Ruby Red Grapefruits are one of my favorite varieties of grapefruit. They are large, red-fleshed with a delicious flavor that is the perfect balance of sweet, tangy and bitter. YUMMY!!!! They are available year round, but are best in the late fall to early spring. Like jicama, Texas Ruby Red Grapefruits are great in salads and their flavors and textures would compliment each other well. These large grapefruits are easily juiced or sliced in half and spooned out. They can be difficult to peel. I prefer mine cut in half with a small sprinkle of salt to round out its flavor profile.

This week the theme is orange, familiar and sweet with baby carrots and citrines.

Carrots have a fascinating history of cultivation. Like most things that humans like to eat, we have transformed it over the years into something larger, sweeter and more to our liking.  Carrots are very high in Carotene, a vitamin A compound, and are a good source of Vitamin K, fiber and natural sugar. Carrots several hundred years ago were more starchy and less sweet than today’s typical orange carrot. What most American’s think of as baby carrots are actually larger carrots that have been trimmed and peeled into the snack size portions we love. While processing does limit the shelf life, baby carrots are a solution to using “ugly” or broken carrots for the fresh vegetable market. The byproducts of the cutting and peeling of baby carrots are used to make carrot juices, carrot shreds for processed foods and animal foods.

Citrines are the other half of this orange, sweet duo and they are also great for snacks. They are easy to peel and travel well in a purse or lunch sack. Citrines are a great addition to a salad or can be squeezed into a glass of water for a citrus flavor without the calories or artificial flavorings of other beverages. Like most citrus, these are in season year round, but have peek production in the late fall months.

We are excited to announce that Gayle Turk is the Lyon County 4H Leader of the Month for December!

Gayle has been a volunteer 4-H leader for 17 years,this year begins number 18. “Many years ago when my grandson Chris Turk joined 4-H there was a rabbit/cavy leader here in Fernley. They ended up moving to Pleasant Valley and left Fernley with no leader for rabbit club. We continued to attend Community Club meetings waiting for a leader to take over. After over a year of waiting it was apparent nobody wanted to volunteer. I decided if Chris was going to continue with rabbits I needed to step up and take over the club.” 6 years later the Fernley Little Critters 4H Club is still growing.  Members learn the care, grooming, breeds and  how to show rabbits and/or cavy.  “I have made some wonderful friends from being a leader including leaders, parents and kids from several other county 4-H rabbit clubs.”

 

Gayle tells us that “the most rewarding part of being a 4-H leader is the relationships that have developed over the years.” Although many of her 4H kids have aged out of 4-H we are still very close and some of them as well as their parents continue to help and support club activities and fundraisers.  Families spend countless hours with Gayle and the club planning their annual yard sale,  and also help with hosting the club’s annual rabbit and cavy show. “I don’t know where I would be without their help and support.”

The Fernley Little Critters Club will be hosting their 14th annual in 2016.  “4-H is one of the best programs available for our youth”. Youth who participate in livestock projects are learning the responsibility and commitment associated with the ownership of an animal. Youth who show animals are also required to complete project record books, which are a great learning tool for budgeting, income, and expenses.  “Our youth are the future of our country and I can’t think of a better program than 4-H to help them on their path to success, I look forward to many more years as a 4-H leader”. 

Lyon County 4H Program is thankful for all of Gayle’s hard work and dedication to the 4H program. It is the dedicated leaders that make such a good program, Gayle’s 4H club is one of the strongest Rabbit and Cavy clubs in Northern Nevada.

 

 

 

 

This week, the kids will get to try 3 things: Stokes purple sweet potato,  purple cauliflower and a bonus of Fuyu variety persimmons.

The stokes variety is sweet potato is very unusual and is grown exclusively for freida’s. Their website has lots of interesting information, recipes and where you can purchase this unusual vegetable.

Persimmons are a delicious fruit that is best when it is almost over-ripe. There is a very narrow window of peak freshness for this fruit. Most often, stores have under-ripe fruits. Purchase firm fruits several weeks in advance, place them in a paper bag and place them somewhere in your house to ripen. They will be the sweetest once they are very soft to the touch. They will need to be cooked or eaten within a day or two, once they are ripe.

Purple cauliflower is like a lot of the other colored varieties of cauliflower that we have tried. It tastes like the white stuff, but it has slightly different vitamin profile due to the increase in pigmentation. Almost all the color will fade when cooked, especially if it is boiled or heavily steamed. If you want to preserve the color, gently cook it with a high roast for a short period of time, a short steam or a quick stir fry.