Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 7 Number 36    September 8th, 2015

FIELD NOTES:  Paloma Pollinators

A Beautiful Summer

Summer has given us a bounty unsurpassed in the last nine years I have been here.  An amazing crew of work traders got 2015 off to an excellent start and ever since we have been reaping the benefits of the book-worthy period known as the “Mulch Testaments.”
The tomatoes and peppers are producing exceptionally although splitting has been a problem we have not been able to avoid.  The splitting may be due to less then perfect watering schedules as well as to unusual fluctuations in temperature that are unusual at Manzanita Ridge.   At any rate we are enjoying the most productive year ever.  
Pal is the latest addition to the farm, born under a smarm of bees just one month ago.  He shares some of his mother Gypsy’s milk with us and we have been enjoying all the flavor and health benefits of this delicious raw food.  We have also been doing a sizeable amount of canning, which sadly to say we will also have to enjoy ourselves. The regulations prevent us from selling these healthy, delicious, un-sugared, pressure canned jars of summer sweetness and flavor.
The bees have been gathering exquisite honey all summer due to a very long season for the scale insects in the oak trees.  These scales produce a honeydew that the bees gather and process into dark delicious honey.  The proliferation of these insects also means that the forest is under enormous stress.  
The educational workshops at Manzanita Ridge have been a fun success and there will be another beekeeping workshop on the morning of Saturday, September 19.  Sign up by visiting or calling (209) 402-7801.  We will also be enjoying a Honeyfest, on Saturday, September 26.  Games, honey tasting and excellent food will begin at 10 a.m., email for details.
    Thank you customer members for your support of our local economy, open space, eco-system health and mindfulness through your support of MotherLode Harvest.

Paloma Pollinators
Quality food production, research and education, idea and goodwill
pollination in the Americas. - farm page - blog

Eggplant Parmesan

2 1/4 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), tomatoes diced, reserve juices
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten (more if needed)
1/4 cup olive oil (plus more to oil the sheet pans)
1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick rounds. Lay the eggplant slices out on a rack over a rimmed sheet pan (or on several layers of paper towels). Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant rounds lightly with salt. Let the eggplant rounds sit and release moisture for 2 hours.
2 Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and gently cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Increase heat to bring to a simmer, lower heat to maintain a very low simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the minced basil and remove from heat.
3 Combine 1 1/2 cups of breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and place in a shallow bowl or rimmed dish. Set up your station so that you have flour in one shallow bowl, beaten eggs in another bowl, and the breadcrumb cheese mixture in another, in that order.
4 Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread a tablespoon of olive oil each over the bottom of two rimmed baking sheet pans. Pat dry the eggplant slices with paper towels. Working one at a time dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs, and then dredge in the breadcrumb parmesan cheese mixture.
Place on oiled sheet pan. Drizzle a little oil over the top of each breaded eggplant round.
5 Place breaded prepared eggplant slices in the oven. Cook for 18 to 20 minutes, turning the slices over at the half-way point, until they are nicely browned. Remove from oven, and let cool to touch.
6 Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Place a third of the eggplant rounds in a single layer covering the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Layer half of the sliced mozzarella on top of the eggplant rounds. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.
Place another third of the eggplant rounds over the cheese. Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the eggplant rounds. Layer the rest of the sliced mozzarella over the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of grated Parm.
Add the remaining eggplant in a single layer on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining sauce and the remaining Parmesan.
7 Bake uncovered at 350°F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into to serve.

Read more:

Apple Pie

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 apples - peeled, cored and sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.


Single Boxes

Beans – Abbondanza
Summer squash – Paloma Pollinators
Tomatoes – Humbug Creek Farm
Bartlett pears – Mirabelle Vineyard & Orchard
Apples – Humbug Creek Farm
Head lettuce – Casa de la Pradera
Basil – Paloma Pollinators
Parsley – Abbondanza

Family Boxes

Eggplant – Paloma Pollinators
Beans (2 orders) – Abbondanza
Salad mix – Casa de la Pradera
Tomatoes (2 orders) – Humbug Creek Farm
Duchesse pears – Mirabelle Vineyard & Orchard
Apples (2 orders) – Humbug Creek Farm


The pickup hours will still be 10:30 am to noon, and 4:30 to 6 pm in Jackson. Delivery to Plymouth at Amador 360, with pickup hours of 12 to 6 pm, will be available for an additional $3 per box and prepayment of orders.

Contact Customer coordinator Michelle Grondin for more information at, or 209-419-2503.

Customers Dick and Josie


Mother Lode Harvest has local food and farm products available to order at


Orders received during that time can be picked up on Tuesdays between 10:30 am and noon, or 4:30 to 6:00 pm, at 1235 Jackson Gate Road in Jackson, behind Teresa's Restaurant. Prepaid orders may also be picked up in Volcano or Plymouth. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to Mother Lode Harvest, or before pickup by PayPal.

New customers will need to register by using the "join" button on the website before they can shop. A signed customer agreement and membership dues may be mailed to MLH, or brought to the distribution center with your first pickup.

If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our customer coordinator, Michelle, at, or 419-2503.


MLH Calendar of Events

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Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601
Mother Lode Harvest is a non-profit membership association.