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Local Food and Farm Products 
GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 7 Number 10    March 10, 2015

FIELD NOTES: DAMAS, Fiddletown

We usually have to wait until late February or early March to start harvesting asparagus, but this year has been different. Every year, we cut the ferns down around Christmas, once they have turned brown and are no longer gathering nutrients for the next season. Sometimes green spears start pushing up by late January--but if so, they usually shrivel up from a blast of overnight frost. This year, we have been enjoying cheesy asparagus soufflés since mid-January. Just another sign of how weird the climate has become. We worry once again about the drought, and whether the well will hold out through the summer and fall, while friends and relatives in Canada and on the east coast are jealous about our weather reports. (We try not to tell them about daffodils or blossoming fruit trees, it would be too mean).

We are a bit tired of eating cabbage, kale and collards, so the arrival of asparagus is particularly welcome. We are still enjoying last year’s bumper crop of apricots, peaches, and boysenberries (preserved in the freezer) for breakfasts. Our lettuces were hit and miss this winter, but we had lots of arugula and an amazing Italian parsley plant that grew shrub-sized and was impervious to every sort of weather event, so we devised some interesting salads, from classic Tabouli to simple parsley leaves with lemon juice and olive oil—very refreshing!

I have begun sprouting seeds for new plantings: Polar Bear Spinach (a type that is delicious and does well in cool weather), Napa Cabbage (for stir-fry and Kimchi making), and some winter squashes (for future csa boxes). Despite the weather, I am holding off on prime summer crops like tomatoes or eggplants for now. I saw tomato plants in a nursery last week—they should be ashamed of themselves for encouraging false hope in gardeners. It is way too early to think of planting those yet.

Mara Feeney

MLH March Events: Farm Tour, Cooking Class

MLH News: Successful Open House

We had a gorgeous spring day for our winter quarter open house at Butte Mountain Farm on Saturday, and lots of people made the most of the day by coming out to the farm. Old and new friends alike enjoyed the views, the tour of Carolyn Boyd's extensive farm, and meeting Carolyn and her baby lambs. A couple kids even had the opportunity to bottle-feed one lamb towards the end of the day. 
The unique appeal of what Carolyn is doing on her farm drew people from as far away as Nevada, with one couple who had met her at a Folsom farmers' market coming to put down a deposit on a lamb, which will be harvested later this year. Many people couldn't resist purchasing some of Carolyn's wonderful produce and other great products, like eggs, stewing chickens, dried herbs, and plants. Families that attended were happy to have the chance to learn about the process of raising plants and animals in a healthy, sustainable way.

On Thursday, March 26, Mother Lode Harvest will hold a seasonal cooking class at Amador 360, 18590 Hwy 49 in Plymouth, at 5:30 pm. Eating food that is local and seasonal this time of year means eating lots of wonderful greens. Chef and MLH member Shelly Hills will demonstrate several mouth-watering ways to cook the tasty greens that are available locally now. Brian Miller of Amador 360 will give wine pairing tips for the dishes featured, and attendees can enjoy tastes of the food and wine. The class is open to the public, with limited seating, and is $10 per person. Please call Michelle Grondin at 209-419-2503 to reserve your seat.


 

Miner’s Lettuce (Claytonia) Pasta

Ingredients

1 cup loosely packed chopped miner’s lettuce
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 small eggs or 1 large egg
1 teaspoon olive oil

Steps

Place the miner’s lettuce, flour and salt in a four-cup food processor. Blend for about ten seconds.
Add the egg and oil. Blend for several more seconds. The dough may well ball up in the processor.
Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and satin-like. If the dough is sticky, knead in more flour just a bit at a time until the dough is easy to handle. If it is too dry, add a few drops of water.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set it aside to rest for at least one hour.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut into the shapes you want. I did small rectangles that I thought would look good with the cauliflower and broccoli dish I was making.
Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water. They only take a minute or two. At first they sink to the bottom of the pot. Stir gently to keep them from sticking to each other. As they reach the cooked stage, they rise to the surface. This happens fast. Don’t walk away from the stove. To check for doneness, fish out one of the noodles, cut it in half and taste. They are firm, but chewy, when done.

From 
http://www.traditional-foods.com/recipes/miners-lettuce-pasta/

Open-Face Omelets with Spicy Feta and Escarole

Contributed by Ana Sortun for Food and Wine

Published January 2015

 

TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN

Servings: 2

 

1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar (see Note)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 ounces sheep-milk feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped

1/2 jalapeño, minced

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups shredded escarole

Pepper

 

In a small bowl, mix the za’atar with 2 tablespoons of the oil. In another bowl, mash the feta, scallion and jalapeño with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth.

In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of water (it’s OK if a few lumps remain). Pour half the mixture into the skillet and swirl the pan to form a thin omelet. Sprinkle half the escarole and half the feta mixture evenly over the eggs; cook over moderately low heat until the escarole starts to wilt, the feta melts and the omelet is just cooked through, 3 minutes. Slide onto a plate and season with pepper. Repeat with the remaining oil, eggs, escarole and feta mixture.

Drizzle the za’atar oil over the omelets and serve.

Notes: If za’atar, the Middle Eastern spice blend, is unavailable, stir 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 teaspoon each of sesame seeds and dried oregano.

 

WHAT'S IN YOUR BOX
 

Single Boxes
 
Kale - Abbondanza
Lettuce - Abbondanza
Escarole - Casa de La Pradera
Walnuts - Abbondanza
Meyer lemons - Abbondanza
Oranges - Abbondanza
Bunch parsley - Abbondanza
 
 
Family Boxes

Salad mix - Casa de La Pradera
Claytonia - Paloma Pollinators
Chard -  Humbug Creek
Walnuts - Abbondanza
Meyer lemons - Abbondanza 
Oranges - Abbondanza
Bunch parsley - Abbondanza or Harmony Hil
l

The box subscriptions will start up again on Tuesday, March 10. We will be starting with just the established customers, then opening up to new customers as we expand our supply of produce.

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 motherlodeharvest@gmail.com, or 209-419-2503.

Customers Dick and Josie

SHOPPING AT www.mlharvest.com

Mother Lode Harvest has local food and farm products available to order at www.mlharvest.com.

THE ORDERING WINDOW IS FRIDAY AT 9 AM THROUGH SUNDAY AT NOON.

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 motherlodeharvest@gmail.com, or 419-2503.

 

MLH Calendar of Events

March 26, 5:30 pm: Seasonal Cooking Class-- Amador 360, Plymouth

April 16, 6-9 pm: Farm-to-fork Dinner at Rosebud's Cafe, Jackson

April 25: The Great Sutter Creek Duck Race, Sutter Creek

May 2: Amador Four Fires, Plymouth

May 17: Spring Quarter Farm Tour-- Winterport Farm, Ione

May 31: Farm-to-fork Dinner with music by Over the Edge-- Friis Family Home, Sutter Creek

Copyright © 2012 Mother Lode Harvest, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601
Mother Lode Harvest is a non-profit membership association.