Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Number 15    April 12, 2016

FIELD NOTES: Sun Earth Energy Farm

Spring is here!
SunEarth Energy garden this year will be focused at Humbug Creek organic farm in Glencoe.
Steve and Pat have offered me the opportunity to do plantings at their place. They have spent years developing their orchard and gardens,  building deer fences ,improving the soil and developing solar powered irrigation systems.
It is such a pleasure to be planting in the midst of their apple orchard, where the garden beds are now ready to go. 
 Last week we planted seedlings that were started in their greenhouse which included many varieties of greens, melons, squash, tomatoes, eggplants, herbs and more.
So here we go, into another planting season and the commitment that comes with tending to the plants, as well as harvesting and delivering them to all who love local organic food.

I will also continue my work with Solar power.  We just finished up a large system at Bray Winery and have installed systems at other local farms and homes.
As I always say we are "Harvesting Photons". Whether it be  from plants and photosynthesis, or from Solar panels to electricity!

Also of interest, last weekend we had a hoop house workshop at Ron and Deborah's lavender farm in River Pines.  Sean gave a great class and with all the help of the master gardeners we had the hoop house up in record time.

In closing, we  are all so thankful for a more normal rain this year.  The hills are a profusion of wildflowers.

Enjoy the Spring!
Peace and Love
James and Mary


GARDENING TO THE RHYTHM: the Biodynamic Calendar for April 12-19, by Daniel D'Agostini, Abbondanza

From Tuesday the 12th through Wednesday the 27th the moon is in descending period thus an ideal time for transplanting. Tuesday and Wednesday are great for flowers, Thursday & Friday are good for leaf, and the weekend is favored for fruiting crops. But remember these subtle influences one can take advantage on a daily basis but the overall conditions we have now during this descending moon and the recent rain along with increasing warmth is an ideal time to tuck in new plants.
Some thoughts. In practice, Biodynamic farming meets the organic standard including the prohibition of synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, but then it goes much further. Emphasis is on the generation of farm inputs out of the living dynamics of the farm itself, rather than being imported from the outside.  Dependence on imported materials for fertility and pest control is reduced.  Water conservation is considered.  Farms are required to maintain at least 10% of total acreage as a biodiversity set-aside.  Riparian zones, wetlands, grasslands, and forests: all are considered an integral part of the life of the farm.  Specially prepared
 medicinal plants, minerals, and composted animal manures help increase the vitality of the plants grown and further anchor each individual farm in time and place. In 1928 the Demeter symbol and first Standard was introduced to ensure that the farming methods were uniformly followed and monitored.
In 1985 Demeter was formed in the US as a non-profit, seventeen years before the USDA established the National Organic Program (NOP).   Demeter International is the first, and remains, the only ecological association consisting of a network of individual certification organizations in 45 countries around the world.

MLH April Events: 

April 23  Showing of the award-winning DVD  "WITH RESPECT TO FARMING"  Two of our members, Joyce Campbell and Bernie Biglow have lived and farmed  in the Methow Valley in Washington where this video was filmed. They actually appear in the film. Its a perceptive look at how small farms are faring today in our country and merits our attention. We look forward to sharing thoughts after viewing the film.  Joyce and Bernie are preparing light refreshments and would appreciate your rsvp. We want to find ways to encourage and support small farms in Amador Co. This is a good opportunity to begin that discussion.  7:00 16625 Sonshine Lane, off Stone Jug Rd which is off Shake Ridge Rd. about 9 miles from Sutter Creek. There'll be signs on the road directing you.  Hope to see you there.

OUR SPLENDID TABLE: A MOTHERLODE SUMMER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION is 9 weeks away. You should have received a flyer and information about how you can help make this happen. We need our village to step forward.  Tickets are available at the DC on Tuesdays or through the website. We're getting a good response. We expect to sell out so buy yours early and don't get left out. 
JUNE 18, 5:30 - sundown. Daniel D'Agostini's Farm  13392 Shenandoah Rd, Plymouth.
On Wednesday the 20th we will be making a Biodynamic product called CPP here at my farm Abbondanza and I’d like to invite anyone who may be interested in coming to call  209-245-3846,  or e-mail me at  CPP stands for Cow Pat Pit and is a specialized type of compost. It refers to cow manure mixed with crushed egg shell and basalt dust, then put into a 12 inch deep pit lined with bricks. The dung is fermented, together with the preps 502-507, for a period of 3 to 4 months. It is applied in the evenings during the cooler months.
CPP is also used as a general fertilizer for leaf or soil application, and also seed and root dip. It is a concentrated source of all beneficial soil organisms. It promotes plant growth and strengthens plants against pathogenic fungi. click



Sorrel, Chickpea, Red Pepper
& Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

I almost did not call this version ‘tabbouleh’ because it is not the traditional dish. But the spirit of it warranted the namesake. For best results make this dish one or two days ahead and store it in the fridge. I find letting the mixture sit, allows it to soak in the lemon juice, garlic, pepper and salt resulting in – as the taster says – ‘more yum’. Use fresh ingredients. I used firm organic greenhouse tomatoes, and fresh sorrel from the garden of the father of the taster. Finely dice the vegetables for this dish. Adjust the lemon juice, salt and the amount of quinoa to suit your taste. For a more traditional feel use 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa rather than 2/3.

2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup sorrel shredded into thin ribbons
1.5 cup cooked chickpeas (cut each in half)
1.5 cups tomatoes (finely diced)
2 cups Italian parsley finely shredded
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves finely shredded
1/2 cup fresh cilantro finely shredded
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 -2/3 cup organic quinoa
5 green onions sliced
1 cup red pepper diced
freshly ground black pepper to taste
About 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup – 1 1/3 cup boiling water (the water should be in a ratio of 2 to 1 to the amount of quinoa you are using).

Put water on the stove to boil.
Once at a boil, add quinoa. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mince, shred, dice or add the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Let it sit covered in the fridge.
If you want to eat this dish right away, once the quinoa is cooked, cool the pot of quinoa by submerging it in a bowl of ice water. Then, put the pot in the freezer for two minutes.
Add the cooled quinoa to the salad and mix well. Taste. Make sure to taste some with a piece of sorrel so that you can properly judge the correct amount of lemon juice to add. If appropriate add more lemon juice and salt. Alternatively, you can refrigerate for between 30 minutes – 48 hours to let the lemon juice and spices permeate the dish. Serve.


Creamy Beet and Tahini Dip
Makes about 1 1/4 cups 
3 medium beets (3/4 pound), washed and trimmed
2 small garlic cloves, quartered
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup sour cream (see Recipe Note)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly-ground pepper
olive oil, to serve (optional)
pita or crackers, to serve 
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place the beets on top of a large sheet of aluminum foil and fold the edges over to create a pouch (the beets should be completely enclosed in foil). Lay pouch on top of a baking sheet to avoid any dripping onto the bottom of the oven and roast until tender, about 1 hour.  Let cool.
Once cool, slough away the beet skins with your fingers (or a paper towel) and discard. Cut beets into wedges and transfer to a food processor. Add the garlic, tahini, sour cream, lemon juice, salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and process until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Scoop into a small serving bowl. Drizzle a spoonful or two of olive oil over the top of the dip if desired. Serve with pita, crackers or wedges of crusty bread. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe Notes
I've tried making this dip with both sour cream and yogurt, and it's great either way. So if you're looking to make it lower in fat, try your favorite low or non-fat plain yogurt instead of the sour cream. 



Single Box

1 lb. Rhubarb  - Harmony Hill

1 bunch Sorrel  -   Humbug Creek

1/2 lb. Mustard Greens   -   Paloma Pollinators

1/2 lb. Beets -   Abbondanza

2 Oranges  -   Abbondanza

1 head Lettuce   - Humbug Creek

1/2 lb. Chard/Braising Mix   -  Paloma/Butte/Fiddlehick
Family Box

1 bunch Sorrel   -  Humbug Creek

1 bunch Green Garlic -   Casa de la Pradera

1 lb. Beets  -   Abbondanza

1/2 lb. Salad Mix  -   Casa de la Pradera

3 Oranges  -  Abbondanza

1 head Lettuce  -   Abbondanza

1 bunch Parsley  -  Abbondanza/Casa de la Pradera


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

April 20, Making CPP, call 209-245-3846

April 23, 7 pm: DVD With Respect to Farming

June 18, 5:30pm to sundown, Our Splendid Table, a Motherlode Summer Solstice Celebration.

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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.