Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Number 19    May 10, 2016

FIELD NOTES: Chapultepec Garden

This year’s report about my garden, Chapultepec Garden, is different from previous years.
The garden is about 30 years old, it was started as a long distance care orchard on drip irrigation with caretakers maintaining it.   Today it is a mature orchard, with the crowns of the fruit and nut trees touching each other and forming an alley.
 There was always an abuncance of fruit, too much for this small family. Therefore, the Farmer’s Market was always the outlet for the extra crop. This year will bring a good crop of Persimmons, as always, and the apple trees are set with newly set applets.
Besides the eadible fruit, this year I will also produce some readable words.  I am in the process of cataloging my flowers.  As a Rose Society member from Austin, Texas, I made the decision of planting special roses, not just any Hybrid Tea rose. Therefore, I now try to remember at least the names, and then look up the categories. After so many years, the original labels are gone.
My other flowers of interest are the Iris. I have collected special varieties, some given to me by friends and neighbors.  Since they multiply so generously, I have to divide them and replant them. 

Renate Voelcker


Article of Interest: 
Sustainable Meat Production Goes Hand in Hand with Renewable Land Management

By Dr. Mercola
Whether you eat beef or not, how it's raised has a significant impact on human health and the environment. Nicolette Hahn Niman, an environmental lawyer turned sustainable rancher, has an interesting skill set that has allowed her to see the issue of how we raise livestock from many different perspectives.
Her story began 15 years ago, when she was an attorney living in Manhattan and got the chance to work for Robert Kennedy Jr. in projects that empowered citizens to use the environmental laws to actively protect the environment. Later she embarked on a project with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and in 2000 she was giving the opportunity to work directly for Bobby Kennedy on the issue of livestock pollution.

The new job began Nicolette's journey into meat production—how it's produced and what the implications are for human health and the environment. During her travels around the country, she toured all types of livestock, dairy, poultry, egg production facilities, and more. She became a strong advocate and leader in helping people understand the importance of properly raised meat, both for human health and the environment. Niman is a vegetarian.
As time went on, Nicolette became increasingly frustrated by the oversimplification she kept hearing with regards to meat production. “I've been to dozens and dozens of farms and ranches around the country, and I've seen the tremendous benefits to the whole natural cycle in having the animals there. I felt like someone who had genuine environmental credentials, but also really understood the agricultural side, needed to make the case that well-raised cattle belong in an ecologically optimal food system,” she says.

In Nicolette's view, there are many troubling practices in mainstream beef production, where the animals are raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). For starters, feed additives have a number of problematic aspects, and can contaminate both the food and the environment. Antibiotics are routinely given to factory farmed animals to prevent disease and promote rapid growth, and this is a major driving factor behind antibiotic-resistant disease. In contrast, pastured animals are rarely given antibiotics.

With regards to the ecological, it's important to realize that most cows and calves in the US are actually raised on grass. However, most yearling cattle are then shipped off to a feedlot where they are confined in a factory-style setting and fed a genetically engineered grain-based diet, plus an assortment of veterinary drugs and feed additives up until the time of slaughter. So a significant percentage of cattle are actually properly raised to start, but sadly end up in the factory style model, which ruins the good start they were given. In fact, lack of access to slaughter houses is one hurdle that keeps many small farmers from succeeding. All farmers must use USDA-approved slaughterhouses, and laws place special restrictions on grass-fed slaughtering, so if a grass-fed rancher doesn't have access to a slaughterhouse, it's nearly impossible to stay in business.

This shrewd strategy effectively maintains the status quo of CAFOs, because grass-fed ranchers are often forced to ship their cattle hundreds of miles for “processing”--a move that's both costly and stressful. Large slaughterhouses can also refuse smaller jobs, as they, just like CAFOs, operate on economy of scale.
So Niman is encouraging consumers to catalyze change in the food system, where they wield the greatest amount of power. “Voting with your dollar is a powerful way to create shifts in the marketplace. Each time you buy food, you are putting money into one system or another, so give your money to the system you'd like to see grow” she says. And adds “I certainly urge people to seek out well-raised food. It's often more expensive and more difficult to find, but it's really worth our money and the effort. Go to the farmer's market and seek local farmers who have community supported agriculture (CSA), it's one of the most important things we can do for our health and the environment.”
Summarized by Yashenka Nesmith


Fava Bean Pesto (Salsa Maro)

Chef Jessica Largey gave us the recipe for this verdant pesto, a combination of blanched fresh fava beans, Marcona almonds, anchovies, garlic, and mint. It makes a great spring appetizer served atop crostini.
makes 2 cups
35 minutes

2 lb. fresh fava beans in their pods
Kosher salt
2 tbsp. Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
2 anchovy fillets in oil, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
6 tbsp. Agrumato lemon oil
14 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
14 cup loosely packed mint leaves, thinly sliced
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 Tbsp. juice

Shuck the fava beans from their pods and then peel off and discard their shells. You should have about 2 cups cleaned fava beans.
In a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the fava beans until bright green, 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water and let sit until chilled, 1 minute. Drain and roughly chop the fava beans.
In a mortar, pound the almonds, anchovies, and garlic until evenly combined, then add 2 tablespoons of the lemon oil to loosen the mixture. Add the reserved fava beans and mash into a coarse purée. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons lemon oil, the parmesan, mint, and lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and serve.


Strozzapreti (Swiss Chard and Cheese Dumplings)

In Corsica, these herb-packed cheese dumplings showcase the wild greens of the island and make a great starter course to a summer meal.
serves 4

2 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 lbs.), stemmed
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
1 lb. ricotta, drained overnight, 1 ¼ cups reserved
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
13 cup finely chopped mint
14 cup flour, plus more
2 tsp. dried oregano
4 egg yolks
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add chard leaves; cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a kitchen towel; twist into a ball, squeezing tightly, to drain excess water. Finely chop, and transfer to a bowl along with 1 tsp. salt, 1 ¼ cups ricotta (save remaining for another use), 8 tbsp. butter, mint, flour, oregano, yolks, garlic, and pepper. Using 2 spoons, divide and shape mixture into about twelve 2-oz. oval dumplings; dust with flour. Transfer dumplings to a baking sheet, and freeze 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add dumplings; cook until tender, 4-6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to bowls. Heat remaining butter in a 10″ skillet over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes; whisk in juice and salt and pepper. Drizzle over dumplings before serving.




Single Box

1 head Lettuce – Somerset Gourmet

1 head Tatsoi  -  Paloma Pollinators

1/2 lb Chard – Somerset Gourmet

1 lb Fava Beans - Abbondanza

1/4 lb Shallot Flowers – Butte Mtn Farm

1 Orange - Abbondanza

1/2 lb Broccoli Raab/Bok Choi -  Harmony Hill Farm

Family Box
1/2 lb Fava Beans – Casa de la Pradera

1/2 lb Kale – Butte Mtn Farm

1/4 lb Fava Greens  - Casa de la Pradera

1 head Lettuce -  Somerset Gourmet

1/2 lb Thai Stir Fry Mix – Humbug Creek Farm

1/2 lb Baby Bok Choi  - Harmony Hill Farm

1/4 lb Shallot Flowers -  Butte Mtn Farm

2 Oranges – Abbondanza

1 bunch Spearmint -  Butte Mtn Farm



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

MAY 22  FARM TOUR  ALICE KAISER'S CASA DE LA PRADERA  12:00-3:00. Spring  is such a beautiful time to be out and about. Drop by as you go about  your Sunday at 20161 American Flat Rd. Fiddletown.
 FARM TO FORK SOLSTICE DINNER JUNE 18. There are only a few tickets left.
 We've been reminding you to buy early and we're afraid that some people will be left out of this festive event. Pick them up Tuesday at the DC , or go on line
We need your help putting together our Silent Auction baskets and gift  cards, etc. for our Solstice Dinner June 18.  If you know a local merchant who might be willing to work with you on putting together a basket, NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. Think about the kinds of  items, gifts you would be willing to bid on and GO FOR THAT. Let's make  this as bountiful a Silent Auction as we possibly can. As always, it takes our village.

PRODUCE OF THE MONTH IS FAVA BEANS. Look for info about this interesting legume in the newsletter and tastings during May at the DC.
Supposedly Jackson Gate Road will be closed on Tuesday this week. You should be able to tell the road guard that you need to pick-up a MLH box order at Teresa's and they will
let you through. We'll post a watch-person at China Graveyard Rd. and
Jackson Gate Rd. (corner of Teresa's) just in case you can't get through. You should plan on coming in from Martel rather than from Jackson. If we have to, we'll do a box delivery from the DC to your car as you sit by the side of the road while we retrieve your order. Don't think it will come to that but we'll have that plan B just in case.


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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.