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Now that the worst of Covid is behind us, the HPCC Board has been busy sponsoring, organizing, and participating in several activities:
• Roadside Clean-Up on May 12, 13 and 1
Left: Megan McCamy doing roadside cleanup
Right: Gwen, Megan- and Gus the dog
• Our first monthly BINGO Night was held on the second Thursday of May (May 12), followed by the second Thursdays of June, July, and August. It has been a slow beginning. The average attendance has been approximately 15 people; but as it becomes more widely known, we are hoping for better attendance. A large BINGO banner was installed at the firehall on Centerville Highway.
• A Firefighter Appreciation Pancake Breakfast was held on May 21. We presented Fire District #14 with a check from the proceeds to purchase logo jackets for each firefighter.
• Dumpster Days on June 3, 4 and 5. Three dumpsters were provided, one for yard waste and two for trash. It was very popular. The dumpsters went back stuffed to the top.
• Helped with clean-up at the firehall on Centerville Highway in preparation for the first Mini-Firehouse Sale.
• Mini-Firehouse Sale, held on June 3 and 4 as part of the Community Yard Sales Event – The first MFH sale at the old red firehall on Centerville Highway was a success. It brought in around $2,200. There will be another Mini Firehouse Sale on September 23 and 24. We will be asking for donations, so if you are getting rid of “stuff” we will take it off your hands. Dates and times will be sent out asking for items in good condition.
– Don’t forget, the Community Center is always available to rent for meetings or special occasions – contact Ken Hansen, Building Activity Director, at 907-942-2847.
– A new Community Directory is in the works. (See notice on page 5.)
– The Board will continue to pursue a grant that will allow important changes to be made to the Community Center.
– All Board Meetings are open to the public – meetings are at 6:00 pm on the second Tuesday of each month, at the Community Center.
– The current Board Members are:
• President, Position Open
• Vice President, Sharon Aleckson
• Secretary, Barbara Parrish
• Treasurer, Henry Gerhard
• Director, Chris Sattem
• Director, Suzi Tennison
• Director, Todd Meislahn
• Director, Zifra Weber
On July 22 and 23, High Prairie held another successful Community Yard Sales event. This year it also included the first Mini Firehouse Sale at the old firehouse on Centerville Highway, as well as a Bazaar and food sales at the Community Center. Baked goods and lots of hot dogs were sold to raise money for the Community Center. Surprisingly, all locations we spoke to did better Friday than Saturday. Most yard sales almost sold out of inventory. The Mini Firehouse Sale did really well. It brought in more than expected – around $2,200. I heard Barbara Parrish say that the money would go toward buying suits for the HPCC firefighters. Thank you to everyone for your support and help in making this event such a blast and fruitful time!
A few years ago my husband, Fred was passing the Lone Pine Cemetery when he noticed a couple looking at the grave marker for James Hinnell. Fred stopped to talk to them and learned that they were originally from England but had since moved to British Columbia. Robin and Sally Hinnell were researching his family history. His research led him to High Prairie where he hoped to learn more about this place that attracted his ancestor, Jame Hinnell, in the 1800s.
It happens that the original homestead belonging to James Hinnell was located on properties now owned by Doug Taylor and Lorna Dove. After meeting Doug and Lorna and exploring the site of his ancestors’ homes and the surrounding area, James felt he could publish his family history.
Several months went by when we were notified by Robin that he wanted to send Doug, Lorna and us a copy of the finished publication. It is a very well-written, very readable history that traces the life of James HInnell and his family and neighbors on the Prairie.
We recognized it as a wonderful resource for anyone interested in the history of the settlement of High Prairie and asked if we could make it available as a downloadable PDF to the community. Robin generously agreed to this.
It is now posted on the High Prairie website at www.highprairie.us/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/JAMES-HINNELL-STORY-pdf-final-version-2022-Jun.pdf. Just be aware that it is a large file so it may take some time to completely download, but it’s worth the wait.
Published originally in the December 2002 issue of The High Prairian
We have lived here on the prairie for five years now and it seems that the beauty just keeps growing on us. No matter what season it may be, there is always the beauty of nature for us to enjoy.
About mid-July the deer start arriving in the high areas such as ours. They come to our yard to graze on the green clover that we have planted for our yard since grass doesn’t do too well during the dry summer months. This year we have not had to mow since the first week in August – we have the “deer mowers” who do it for us. After eating the clover and anything else they can reach that is not fenced off from them, they head for the birdbath for a fresh drink of water. We have seen doe and their fawns drinking from the birdbath at the same time. What a beautiful sight to see. We have seen as many as eleven deer in a herd roaming through our yard. We stand at our dining room window watching them, amazed at how close they come to the house. We can almost reach out and touch them.
Then in the mornings we are awakened to the songs of the meadowlark. The birdbath needs to be refilled since the deer drink it dry during the night. The birds flock to the birdbath, many species at the same time. We have seen a flicker, bluebirds, purple finches, and goldfinches all drinking and bathing together. Then they fly to the nearest perch, be it on the fence, a branch, shrub, or a dried stem from the daylilies, and preen. We put a sprinkler out where they love to play in the water where the cats cannot get to them. Sometimes in the evenings we can hear the call of the killdeer when they are in the area.
One day we heard a different type of chirping and it sounded really close. We went to the dining room window and there on the fence close to the house were two baby goldfinches with their short stubby tails and their feathers all fluffed up trying to feed one another. We watched them for several minutes before they flew away. How privileged we felt to be able to witness something like this that few people have probably ever been able to see.
All this to enjoy here on the prairie – but wait there is even more. Early mornings the sunrises are spectacular and in the evenings the sunsets are beautiful. Sometimes the whole sky is in shades of pink, blue, and lavender with Mt Adams in pink tones. The other times the colors have more of an orange and golden hue.
Then there is the peace and quiet that comes with living here away from the crowds, traffic, sirens, etc. And the neighbors we have met from all over the area are a special kind of people. Everyone seems to be willing to help each other when the need arises.
So we thank God for leading us to this very special place in this world.
Though you may still be in summer-harvest mode, picking zucchini, tomatoes, and basil every night, the fact is, we’re at the end of August. Autumn is just around the corner. But don’t pack away your gardening gloves yet. Plant a fall garden to extend the harvesting season.
Fall crops typically need extra time to mature because they receive less daylight as the season winds down. That means, by the time many people start thinking about fall crops, it’s already too late. Many desirable fall crops like broccoli and carrots need several months of prime-growing conditions to mature before frost and low light levels set in. They need to be planted in July or early August.
But some fast growing fall crops like lettuce, spinach, and radishes can be planted into late September. Cool weather brings out the best flavor in many vegetables. In spring, temperatures often heat up rapidly, causing crops like lettuce and spinach to bolt and become bitter. Fall is a great time to plant these tender greens.
Plus, cool weather allows crops to hold longer in the garden once mature. Crops like broccoli, cabbage, and kale can live for months in the garden after they reach maturity. Even fast-growing crops like spinach, cilantro, and lettuce will hold their quality for much longer when planted for fall harvest.
The fall harvest can be extended further by planting in cold frames or hotbeds, or providing other frost protection: cover the beds with burlap or floating row covers, or protect individual plants using milk jugs, paper caps or water walls. If a hard freeze is imminent, mulch heavily around root crops such as carrots and radishes.
When choosing seeds, look for fast-maturing varieties and cold-tolerant varieties. As a general rule, plan your planting so that the crops have time to reach maturity before the first frost.
Here are some fall planting ideas:
• You can plant beet seeds about 8 to 10 weeks before the first expected frost. Beets harvested in fall have stronger colors than spring-planted beets. Use the beet greens in salads, or harvest beets in time for the holidays.
• Kale and radishes can be sown from August 15 to September 1.
• Most kinds of salad greens can thrive during fall growing conditions. Greens need a relatively short amount of time to mature, so you can plant them through August and into September.
• Onions that mature between 60-80 days can be planted from September 1 to September 15.
• In some parts of Zone 7, October is essentially frost free, so some crops can be started even later for a really late fall harvest. Crops such as beets, Swiss chard, kale, and kohlrabi can all be sown at the beginning of September. Collards and cabbages can be transplanted at this time.
• Chinese cabbage, parsley, peas, and turnips can all be sown in the second week of September. Leaf lettuce can be planted until October 1, and mustard greens and radishes will still have time to grow if in the ground by October 15.
• BONUS: In mid-fall, plant garlic cloves for spring harvest. Plant four to six inches apart. Push each clove at least one inch into the ground before covering with soil and six inches of mulch for winter protection.
Sources for this article:
Enjoy these recipes, among the many contributed by High Prairian readers over the years. They’re a great way to use the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, and peaches so available this time of year.
(From June 2016 High Prairian)
From Garden Way’s Joy of Gardening Cookbook
by Janet Ballantyne
Use those excess cucumbers at the height of the harvest for this mild curry. If you like your curries hot, add extra curry powder and hot sauce—and serve plenty of rice! This dish looks best with unpeeled cucumbers.≠≠
2 tablespoon butter
1 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1–3 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups diced, seeded cucumbers
1 tablespoon all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1/2 cup yogurt
Salt and pepper
Dash hot sauce
In a large saute pan, heat the butter and saute the onion, turmeric, and curry powder until the onion is limp, 3–5 minutes. Add the cucumbers, and saute for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and stir well. Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and tamari. Cook until the cucumbers are just tender, 2–5 minutes. Stir in the yogurt and season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10–15 minutes
(From September 2014 High Prairian)
Enjoy the season’s fresh peaches with this delicious recipe.
About 2 lbs of peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp instant tapioca (or 2 tsp cornstarch)
3/4 C quick cooking oats, or rolled oats ground finer in food processor
1/2 C whole wheat flour
1 C almond flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or up to 1/2 tsp, to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or up to 1/2 tsp, to taste)
1/4 C butter or margarine
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the filling: In a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, toss the peaches and lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and toss to coat.
Make the topping: Mix the dry ingredients. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter or margarine.
Assemble: Spread the fruit filling into the pan. Cover the peaches evenly with topping.
Bake: Bake the crisp at 350 degrees for 40–50 minutes, or until the top is a lovely golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
(From June 2014 High Prairian)
This Chocolate Zucchini Cake beats any other chocolate cake, especially if served warm from the oven!
Set oven at 350 F., oil a 9 x 13 pan.
Sift together: 2 1/2 c. flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1 1/2 t. soda 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 t. cinnamon and 2 c. sugar.
Put in blender together: 1/2 c. milk, 3 eggs, 3/4 c. oil, 1 Tbsp vanilla and 2 c. zucchini (peeled and chunked)
Mix all together, bake one hour.
Dust with powdered sugar and savor!
(From June 2010 High Prairian)
Martha M. Hamil
“Tomato Junk” may be your answer. Peel and chunk your tomatoes. Add peppers, onions, garlic, hot chili peppers, and celery (optional). Also, you can add any herbs or spices that appeal to you. Cook 30 to 45 minutes until tender. Let cool, then freeze. It’s great in stews, meatloaf, Swiss steak, as a base for spaghetti sauce, etc. Plus you don’t have to worry about how acid the tomatoes are. The proportions are for each quart of chunked tomatoes, add 1 small onion, coarsely chopped 1 medium green pepper, coarsely chopped 1- loves garlic, chopped ot chili, sliced talk celery, chopped (optional). Combine and cook. Let cool then freeze. Vary the proportions to suit your taste. Add any other herbs you desire. Each quart of chunked tomatoes will produce about 1-pints of Tomato Junk. Enjoy.
The updated Community Directory is now availalbe for download. to those who have submitted a listing. However, we’ve noticed several listings that are out-of-date: email addresses are incorrect, phone numbers are no longer in service, listings are incorrect for people who have moved out ot the area. If you have previously submitted a listing and think you may have incorrect information, please take a minute and submit a revision at: http://www.highprairie.us/ general-information/community-directory/.
We’ll aim for another revised verson to be available at the same time as the Autumn 2022 High Prairian.
Did you know? The High Prairian has been in publication for nearly 23 years. Twenty-one years of back issues are available online and offer a fascinating window into our community, the personalities of people who lived here, things the community’s gone through, and how it has grown and developed over those years.
We often reprint items that had been published previously in The High Prairian. This issue contains a lovely paean to the beauty of High Prairie and several summer-harvest recipes, all submitted by High Prairie residents over the years.
It’s easy to get into the back issues. Go to www.highprairie.us. Hover the cursor over the tab for The High Prairian. You can click on one of the latest four issues, or hover over Archived News to choose from a dropdown list of older issues. Each issue is labeled with the volume and number of the issue (e.g. Vol. 16, No. 2). The Volume corresponds to the year (Vol. 16 = 2016) and the Number identifies one of four quarterly issues (No. 2 = second issue of that year).
For issues before 2013, you can read (or print and read) a pdf file of each issue. From 2013 on, you have a choice of reading the issue on the website or downloading a pdf version to read or print. A link to the pdf file follows the web version table of contents, next to an image like the one on the left
We’re at the crispy, sizzling end of the summer. Fire danger is extremely high. If you haven’t completed outside fire protection projects or still have last minute details to contend with, there are some simple things you can do to create defensible space around your house and other structures or sensitive areas. You can initiate or continue incorporating the Firewise 5’/30’/100’ protection zones concept to proactively prepare for a fire emergency.
How? Start with inspecting all roof areas of any structures. Clean any debris resting on the roof, in its valleys or other nooks or crannies. Coming down from the roof, clear gutters, put screening on vents and generally tidy up down to the ground at the foundation and 5’ outward from the foundation. This will make it difficult for fire running on the ground or embers drifting up with smoke or carried by the wind to get a toe-hold and kindle a new fire in immediate contact with your property.
The next phase involves stepping back to survey areas that are within 30’ of property that needs protection. Taking care of this area will give first responders a fighting chance to put their skills and experience to work protecting your property safely and effectively. Avoid using power tools that could spark a fire in dry fuels.
Here’s a reminder link that speaks to preparing your property for wild/forest fire events:
https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/forestFire/preparing.html. This has excellent information and at the bottom, under the ‘Home Ignition Zones’ tab, is an illustration of the protection zones concept.
What if that knock on your door comes at 2 AM? What will you do? What can you do? Thinking through those ‘what ifs’ and preparing for the possibility will transform the trauma of that moment into effective action and give you some peace of mind in the midst of the swirling chaos of an evacuation order.
This link offers “How to Prioritize an Evacuation List” – one approach to listing time and priority tasks for evacuation action. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4EjTfXhwMcwelFqUFUydEQzR3M/view
This link has a good, printable list of things to do before a wildfire event, when wildfire threatens, and if advised to evacuate. https://mil.wa.gov/asset/5ba42010c6f26.
Contact Tom McMackin – For more information on the ‘Firewise’ and ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ programs; if you have comments, questions, or suggestions; to get more involved with the High Prairie FireWise effort; or to get connected with available resources, contact Tom by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone message at 509-365-2786.
Preparing for Wildfire: https://tinyurl.com/5y3zkn43
WA Evacuation levels: https://tinyurl.com/3rj3dbc5
Ready, Set, Go! http://www.wildlandfirersg.org
Experts estimate that up to 90% of non-lightning-caused wildfires are caused by human activity As the number of people living, working, and playing in high fire-risk areas has grown, so has the number of human-caused fires.
Common causes include outdoor burning, gas-powered equipment use, campfires, fireworks, off-road vehicle use, and smoking. It’s crucial to practice fire safety to avoid starting wildfires. In the late summer and fall, fire fuels are at their most mature and in their driest condition.
According to the Keep Oregon Green Association, “The careless use of power equipment in and around forests is the second leading human cause of Oregon wildfires. Power equipment brings sources of heat, like sparks and friction, fuels like gasoline, and electrical arcing in close proximity to forest fuels.”
Here are examples of things to watch out for:
• Hot exhaust (sparks) or exhaust pipes, even from hand power equipment such as chain saws.
• Trail bikes, cars, ATVs, motorcycles, trucks, and farm vehicles all have the potential to ignite dry fuel.
• Mowing or cutting weeds that have dried out. If a gas-powered mower or weed whacker hits a rock and causes a spark, the dry grass or weeds will ignite, causing a wildfire.
• Fuels such as gasoline or oil for these kinds of equipment, if not properly stored and handled, can also increase the risk of wildfires.
• Electric wiring, such as an electric fence, can short out, start a fire in grasses, and brush as we ll.
When you’re planning outdoor recreation, find out ahead of time about restrictions on fires and equipment operation in the area you’ll be in, and then abide by those restrictions.
• Put out cigarettes properly in your ashtray or with water, or by grinding them in the dirt where there’s nothing flammable in a 3’ circle.
• Don’t bring fireworks.
• Attend your campfire (if allowed) and make sure it’s completely out before going anywhere.
• Be careful with charcoal or propane grills.
• Use spark arrestors on any gas powered equipment or vehicles.
• Don’t operate vehicles in closed areas.
What it comes down to is using common sense and being extra careful in all your outdoor activities. Be aware when you are working with or handling a source of ignition, especially around dry grass or fuels.
Grandpa Allan’s buckwagon has a home now with us in High Prairie, along with his 1939 International Harvester Farmall F-20 tractor, remembered by my sister and me from when we’d visit our grandparents in their south Idaho farm.
When our grandparents died in the late 1950’s/early 1960’s and the family farm was sold, the tractor and the wagon went to my Uncle Bob’s farm in Moses Lake, Washington. For over 50 years they resided in his barnyard alongside a lineup of old, faded pickup trucks – some without wheels and seats missing; a 1952 John Deere tractor; a sun-baked combine; a 1950’s Plymouth truck; and his ATV.
When Uncle Bob passed 8 years ago, my husband, Scott, and I had decided to retire here and now had the perfect place for these two very large pieces of history. It did take some heavy lifting to trailer the nearly 5,000 pound tractor from Moses Lake to our home in High Prairie, and arrange to have the wagon soon to follow.
We’re grateful we were able to rescue Grandpa’s tractor and wagon from an uncertain fate on the auction block or, worse yet, serving as a planter for geraniums outside Don’s Steakhouse. Every day I look down from our living room window at the tractor resting under the sprawling oak or walk up the driveway to the pole barn to glimpse the doe and her fawn snuggled under the wagon.
As we made one last walk around that hot and dusty farmyard soil past the rusty oil cans and broken farm equipment, I saw what I had almost missed – the horseshoes hanging on the outside of the barn. One, based on it’s size, surely belonged to one of my Grandpa’s magnificent Percheron draft horses, Shotgun. I have it hanging above the door to our pole barn.
I’m reminded by these markers of time, and holders of family stories, that we are always part of who we once were. And they inspired the following poems:
Grandpa Allan’s Buckboard Wagon
Time suspends the clatter of steel wheels
over frozen ground. Harness up the Gray team,
Percherons’ steamy breaths cloud the Idaho morning air.
Towser’s tail wagging, ready to bound at command
over the sideboards next to you.
Slack the lines.
Time for Grandma Blanche to open the gates.
So the story goes-Grandpa Allan’s buckwagon
so much more exciting then- now resting
in our Washington pole barn- next to the Kubota tractor
in need of a recharge..
My Grandpa Allan’s Tractor
Grandpa Allan’s 1939 International Harvester Farmall F-20 tractor
rests under the sprawling oak I see from my office window.
Grandpa’s left- to check the barn for the missing part.
While he’s gone, winter snow drifts, grooving
hard rubber wheels rooted into the ground.
Summer sun scuffs, peels and polishes
redness to a bronze patina. Where sparks flew
squirrels nest and wasps congregate in the dented grill.
Maybe he’s left for the pasture to check on the gray team;
Sneezer and Shotgun, his Percheron draft horses,
no longer needed since he tied the lines to the front of the wagon.
The Harvester Farmall, so efficient.
Life is easy now- it would seem.
Its combustion engine obscuring distractions.
Hard to daydream or hear the song of the meadowlark.
The heat got us eating stuff that is quick & easy. Appetites just disappear once the temps hit 100F!
Here are a few:
Yogurt & cucumber- grated cucumber mixed into yogurt with a biggish pinch of salt. A delicious side dish. Add some grated garlic for more zing.
Grilled cheese with sauerkraut- mustard, Jarlsberg cheese, plus a really delicious condiment called With A-ttitude from Creole Me Up (a Haitian food co out of Portland). Butter outside of sandwich and cook on medium heat frypan until melted/golden brown.
Hotdogs!!! Yes, when it is hot the hotdogs get cleared out of the freezer! Cook dogs in gently simmering water. Buns or folded bread. Mustard, warm sauerkraut, maybe some pickle. If extra hungry from a hike or swim, replace sauerkraut with beans, add grated cheese, salsa, and voila! Chili Dogs!!
We did a few clean-out-the-fridge pasta dishes- cook up whatever pasta or egg noodles you have kicking around, add olive oil, grated zucchini, s&p, then any or all of the following: capers, olives, sardines, hard cheese, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
And I guess, like hotdogs, mayonnaise is not always the healthiest choice, but for me summer and mayonnaise-ie sandwiches just go together. So, we did a fair share of canned fish sandwiches with LOTS of red onion, celery, maybe some olives and capers, a squeeze of lemon, s&p.
Have as a sandwich, or a dollop over a big leafy salad.
Speaking of salads: YES. The garden lettuce grew beautifully this year and we are still plucking off leaves as it stretches upwards to bloom. Lots of mustardy-lemon vinaigrettes, or balsamic vinegar dressings. Add blue cheese or Romano cheese for a richer one meal salad.
There. That is pretty much what we have eaten the last few weeks!