Re Rustica

  (Squaw Valley, California)
love your food!
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Almost Spring?

When we're looking for summer, we head down the mountain.  When we look for winter, we head up hill.  The increase in altitude leads to a decrease in temperature - there is less atmosphere to hold in heat!  In Squaw Valley, the difference is pronounced.  We own and rent land in the area, and our rental field - just down the street - is more than 1000 feet lower!  It's been spring there for about a month, and now it is just starting to be spring up on top of the hill.  Down in the valley, it is more than 2300 feet lower than it is at our camp on top of the mountain.  It's mid summer there!

Changes in altitude are one thing, but changes in latitude are another.  Going north means going colder, and going south means getting warmer (until you get to the equator, that is).

It is important to stagger fields north and south, uphill and down hill if you want to supply similar foods all year long.  Spring has come and gone in the Valley, but is still coming up in the hills.  On the plate, it's spring, spring, spring!  Summer is also easily found.  So is winter!

The nomadic farmer is not a new thing under the sun.  The Egyptians invented the technique, boating up and down the Nile, hiking up and down the hills.  The Egyptians even went so far as to bring their bees from pasture to pasture, increasing their honey production: some farms today still do this today, trucking bees from Colorado's Western Slope to California's Central Valley with the change in seasons.

Back in ancient days, bee spills would happen as much as in modern days.  But then, there's an argument for sedentary farming.
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