Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 6 Number 11    March 18th, 2014



Tyson Hill Farms


Out my window I see a cherry tree covered in white flowers, the pom-pom blossoms of the Elephant Heart plum, and fig trees leafing out, but only patches of snow on the Sierra.  Birds are calling and bees are hard at work.  And strawberries!  My daughter picked a handful for my birthday, February 20th! Not as sweet and tasty as April harvest, but they did cheer up the punch bowl -   What a winter!
The frigid storm right after Thanksgiving really knocked back most of our citrus trees and many of the vegetables in our garden. We had freezing nights right  into the last week of February. Hurrah for some of the Asian vegetables which produced remarkable well. But the poor garlic.  Instead of lovely large bulbs, most of the Spanish Roja plants only have developed small nubs and the leaves are already falling over, two month earlier than normal.  Good flavor, but none to sell.
Josh planted potatoes on February 3rd.  And they’re growing very nicely.  Potatoes are controversial food because of how they are most commonly grown and eaten in our society.  Most of the nutrients are in the skin, and so is most of the chemical residue if the potatoes are treated with fungicides, insecticides, and sprout inhibitors.  Year after year, potatoes make it to the “Dirty Dozen,” the Environmental Working Group’s annual list of the most contaminated foods in the US food supply.  Buy organic!  Nutritionists tell us that brightly colored foods are among the most healthy food choices for enhancing the body’s resistance to a whole range of conditions and challenges.  We choose extra nutritional varieties like Purple Majesty which is very high in anthocyanin pigments.  Another, the Norkotah Russet is higher in phyonutrients than the traditional Burbank Russet, which itself is a great source of potassium, vitamin C, and is unusually high in vitamins B2, B3, and folic acid. Red Lasoda, Yukon Gold, Yellow Finn, Purple Viking, yum! The trick with potatoes to lower the impact on your blood sugar is to bake or steam them, then cool at least three hours or refrigerate overnight.  Eat cold in a potato salad, etc or reheat.
I started the first tomato plants on January 6th, and Josh set out the first round of March 1st. Yes, I have lots of back-up plants; who knows what the weather will be.
We’re watching as bloom ends to see what the fruit set will be for apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines. Grapes, caneberries, pomegranates will bloom next month.  Also planting more summer flowers for the bees -
Indira Clark
Tyson Hill Farm
Thursday, March 13th



Jerusalem Artichoke Pickles

  • 1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)*
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion


  •     Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 cup coarse salt to simmer in medium saucepan, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat and add 2 cups water. Cool brine.
  • Working with 1 Jerusalem artichoke at a time, peel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in brine. Cover; chill overnight.
  • Whisk mustard, flour, and 1 tablespoon water in small bowl to paste. Bring vinegar and next 5 ingredients to boil in large saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Whisk in mustard paste. Simmer until thickened, whisking often, about 2 minutes. Add drained Jerusalem artichokes, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook until artichokes are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Cool. 
  • *Tubers of a variety of sunflower; available in the produce section of some supermarkets and at farmers' markets. 

Sorrel Soup, French Style

Serves 4-6.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, ramps or other wild onion
  • 4-6 cups (packed) of chopped sorrel
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup cream


  1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the green onions or ramps and turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook gently for 10 minutes.
  2. While the onions are cooking, pour the stock into another pot and bring to a simmer.
  3. Turn the heat up, add the sorrel leaves and a healthy pinch of salt and stir well. When the sorrel is mostly wilted, turn the heat back to medium-low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Mix in the flour and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Whisk in the hot stock, stirring constantly. Bring this to a simmer.
  5. To finish the soup, whisk together the egg yolks and cream. Temper the mixture by ladling a little soup into it with one hand, while you whisk the egg-cream mix with the other. Repeat this three times. (You are doing this to prevent the eggs from scrambling) Now start whisking the soup. Pour the hot egg-cream-soup mixture into the pot with the soup, whisking all the way. Let this cook — below a simmer — for 5 minutes. Do not let it boil or the soup will break. Serve at once.

CSA boxes will resume on April 7th!  
Members need to renew their box subscriptions to get a single or family box. We'll have a lot of greens the first few weeks, including possibly more than one kind of lettuce, e. g. red romaine and frilly green open head. Below you'll find samples of what you may find in the CSA boxes on April 7th.

In order to keep the doors open at Mother Lode Harvest in the face of increased expenses, the price of the single csa box will be $20 per week ($80 for 4 weeks, $260 per quarter), and the family boxes will be $25 per week ($100 for 4 weeks, $325 per quarter), beginning April 7th.
For those of you who enjoyed the convenience of picking up at our satellite distribution centers in Plymouth and Volcano, please note that there is now a small charge to cover our delivery costs.
So the delivered box costs will be:
Single monthly-- $92  Single quarterly-- $299
Family monthly-- $112  Family quarterly-- $364

Please contact Michelle at 419-2503, or
to sign up for a box subscription.

Sample Single Boxes
Green Garlic
Jerusalem artichokes
Braising Mix
Chard, Kale or other green
1/2 dozen eggs

Sample Family Boxes
Leeks or green onions
Chard, kale or other greens

Customers Dick and Josie
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.
New customers will need to register by using the "join" button on the website before they can shop. If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our tech leader, Jo Ann, at, or 304-7654.
MLH has enacted our new membership policies. Customers will need to sign a customer agreement and pay membership dues before they are able to order subscriptions or order from the website. Customer members will be able to increase their participation in MLH. Sign up today!

Local Agriculture Job Opportunity

Hi Everyone,

We wanted to pass on the following opportunity.  Please forward on to anyone you think might be interested. Applications are due March 30th!!!!   


GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR A RECENT HIGH SCHOOL or COLLEGE GRAD and/or community member who likes working with kids and has gardening or farming experience.  If you are looking for a valuable way to spend a year, get paid, get trained, get health benefits and make a difference in our schools and community, this is an excellent way to earn some money for school and help make connections to launch a career.  Be part of the solution...JOIN FOODCORPS!


We are in the process of recruiting a FoodCorps service member for next year (September ‘14 – August ‘15)  to work with UC Cooperative Extension and Calaveras Unified School District.  This is one of 12 FoodCorps positions in the whole state of California, and is a unique opportunity for someone to get a wonderful experience, while making a difference.  See the FoodCorps website for more info.   (Check out the news article on San Andreas Elementary featured on their home page!)


Summary of the Position - A one-year, full time commitment beginning September 1st, 2014

  • Support Nutrition and Gardening programs at Valley Springs Elementary, Toyon Middle School, West Point Elementary, Rail Road Flat Elementary, San Andreas Elementary and Calaveras High School
  • Learn from Calaveras UC Master Gardeners, UC Cooperative Extension Nutrition Educators, CUSD Garden Educators, LifeLab trainings and more!
  • Teach Kids about healthy food and where it comes from.
  • Build and Tend School Gardens
  • Bring High Quality Food into school cafeterias.
  • $17,500 living allowance  
  • $5,650 educational award for the year of service
  • Health Benefits

See links and attachments for more details on this service member position and FoodCorps in general.


If you have any questions, feel free to contact Autumn or Kevin Hesser at

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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.