Local Food and Farm Products 
Tomatoes from Harmony Hill
Volume 4 Number 40    October 2, 2012

FIELD NOTES: Butte Mountain Farm, Jackson


Happy Fall! It's amazing that summer is over! We have lots of produce, eggs, meat, flowers, candles and fleeces available at this time of year! Please take a look at the list of Current Products on the website to see the complete list. It does change often, so if you have a question, please ask!

Chickens are laying well, both the Soy-free group and the Regulars. There are a few Soy-Free birds in the freezer along with lots of regular stewing birds. Get your crockpot out and make some delicious stock and chicken salad!

The new ram, Tux, has settled in and seems to have made fast friends with the ewes. There are a few lambs left available for sale. They grow slower than the suffolk breed so tend to be smaller, but very tasty! Tux is doing his job, in charge of the breeding program. New lambs will be born in January or February of next year. The fleeces are very soft and wonderful for handspinning or felting.

The greenhouse is full once again, this time with fall and winter crops. In the growing area we see changes from summer crops like cucumbers and zucchini to more greens, broccoli, cabbage and root crops. A cover crop will be going in soon to feed the soil for planting next spring. Some seedlings are available for sale if you are planting a winter garden. They are not listed, but please just ask if you are looking for a particular plant.

This year we've been selling from the farm, at Gold Trail, Mother Lode Harvest, and two year-round markets in the Sacramento area. Our local farmers' markets will soon close, so remember to check our website to see what we have available. Please keep supporting local farmers!




As you may know, Carolyn recently switched some of her chickens to a soy-free diet. Some people are very allergic to soy, which is botanically related to peanuts, and other people have other health concerns regarding soy. Soy phytoestrogens have been linked to thyroid problems, autoimmune disease, and disrupted endocrine function.

For more information, go to The following Q & A is from that website under: .


Q. Will the phytoestrogens get into the eggs of chickens fed soy?


A. Yes, the phytoestrogens can end up in the yolks--not as high as in commercial eggs, but they will be there. However, eggs are such a good food that we still recommend them.

One of our goals is to get farmers away from using soy for their chickens. But this is going to be difficult as the practice is almost universal--even for pastured poultry. We'd like to see chickens given whey, skim milk and bugs as their protein source. But without soy (which contains growth-stimulating estrogens), chickens grow much slower. Consumers must be prepared to pay more for soy-less chicken and eggs.

--Response by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of The Whole Soy Story


Butte Mountain New Layers

Grilled Green Bean Salad with Lentil Vinaigrette

Contributed by Alex Seidel for Food and Wine

2 tomatoes (about 8 ounces each), halved

1 basil sprig

1 bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, halved

2 shallots—1 halved, 1 minced

2 cups pure olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons black beluga lentils

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped oregano

1/2 pound thin green beans

4 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch dice

8 baby pattypan squash, quartered

Pinch of crushed red pepper

2 packed cups baby arugula or other salad greens

Preheat the oven to 300°. Put the tomatoes in a small baking dish, cut side up. Add the basil, bay leaf, garlic and halved shallot. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake the tomatoes for about 2 hours, until very tender. Let cool slightly. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a plate and break them up slightly. Reserve the tomato oil. Discard the basil, bay leaf, garlic and shallot.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the tomato oil with half of the minced shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add the lentils and 3 cups of water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer over high heat until the lentils are tender, 15 minutes; drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the vinegar, oregano, 1/4 cup of the tomato oil and the remaining minced shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a cast-iron grill pan. In a medium bowl, toss the green beans with 1 tablespoon of the tomato oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, 2 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the tomato oil. Add the diced pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the pattypans and the crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the roasted tomatoes and green beans and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Spoon the vegetable mixture onto 4 plates and drizzle half of the lentil vinaigrette on top.

Add the arugula to the remaining lentil vinaigrette and toss. Mound the arugula on the green bean salad and serve.

Make Ahead: The tomatoes in their oil and the lentil vinaigrette can be refrigerated separately for up to 3 days.


Green Bean-Tomato Salad with Herbs

Contributed by Melissa Rubel Jacobson for Food and Wine

2 pounds green beans

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, or 2 tablespoons chopped basil

1 tablespoon snipped chives

1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until they are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse the green beans under cold water until they are chilled; pat the green beans dry.

In a large bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the green beans, tarragon, chives and thyme and toss to coat. Add the tomatoes, toss gently and serve.

Make Ahead: The salad can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours. Notes A Niçoise salad isn't complete without the traditional accompaniments: mixed olives, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs and steamed potatoes tossed with olive oil and fresh herbs.

Butte Mountain New Pullets

With the heat this week, I thought I should give you a couple cool ideas for your basil.

Basil Syrup

Contributed by Cocktails 2007 for Food and Wine

6 ounces Simple Syrup

8 large basil leaves

In a small saucepan, bring the Simple Syrup to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the basil. Let cool, then refrigerate overnight. Strain the syrup into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Simple Syrup:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Make Ahead: The syrup can be refrigerated in a glass jar for up to 1 month.

Basil Gimlet

Contributed by Cocktails 2007


2 ounces gin

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce Basil Syrup

1 basil leaf

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the basil leaf. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with the basil leaf.


Peaches with Basil-Lime Ice

Contributed by Jerry Traunfeld for Food and Wine

1 cup loosely packed basil leaves

1/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

1 cup water

2 large freestone peaches, cut into wedges

Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and fill a small bowl with ice water. Add the basil to the saucepan and blanch for 10 seconds. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain, gently squeezing out the excess water.

Transfer the basil to a blender. Add the sugar, lime juice, lime zest and water and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and transfer to an ice cream maker. Process according to the manufacturer's instructions, about 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the ice to a shallow dish and freeze until just firm enough to scoop, about 10 minutes.

Scoop the basil-lime ice into 4 bowls. Top with the peach wedges and serve immediately.


Single Box

Basil - Abbondonza

Cherry Tomatoes - Butte Mountain Farm or Randall's Corner

Snap Beans - Casa de la Pradera

Potatoes - Randall's Corner

Pears - Mirabelle Orchard

Mixed Fruit - Tyson Hill Farm


Family Box

Butternut Squash - Tyson Hill Farm

Basil - Abbondonza

Snap Beans - Butte Mountain Farm

Braising Mix Greens - Casa de la Pradera

Apples - Randall's Corner

Pears -Harmony Hill Farm

Mixed Fruit - Tyson Hill Farm

Tomatoes - Randall's Corner

Butte Mountain Egg sorting
Shopping at
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. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to MotherLode Harvest.
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Tomatoes from Damas


  • The Boggs family of Boggs' Market Farm is unable to host MLH's canning party due to family commitments, so we will instead hold it at Alice Kaiser's Casa de la Pradera in Fiddletown. The canning party will be Sunday, October 14 from 11 am to 2 pm. MLH will provide instruction and equipment, and class attendees should bring their own jars, lids, and produce to can. This is a class for MLH members only, and space is limited, so RSVP to Alice at, or 245-6042 as soon as possible.

  • Saturday, November 3-- Movie Night, movie and location to be announced

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