Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Issue 8    February 23, 2016

FIELD NOTES: Humbug Creek Farm, Glencoe

Spring has come early to Humbug Creek Farm. False or not, our trees are fast coming into bloom. Pluots, Apricots,

Plums, and Asian Pears are out already, Apple buds are swelling. This is all taking place about 20 days earlier than normal and has us in a scramble to finish pruning, grafting, and dormant spraying before it's too late. Our big concern is that we will experience a cold snap in March or April which would destroy the bulk of our crop. On the other hand we need a lot more bad weather to mitigate the draught. Typical farm conundrum.

During the Butte Fire, as it approached our farm, we had to let the goats out into a large pasture which was scraped clean of brush and grass for their safety. Our buck apparently had a field day and we are in the midst of a series of closely timed births, some with complications. We've named the first kid BUTTE. In addition, the fire moved the mountain lion population which had dwelt in the Moke River canyon into the nearest unburned area: Glencoe. The fire was stopped just to the West and North of our farm on the adjoining parcels. We are having to be very vigilant after the first loss of a goat here in the last 5 years.

Otherwise things here are proceeding in the usual manner. The bees are flying, veggie planting is underway, the greenhouse is full of seed starts, the mangoes, avocados, citrus, and lychee fruit trees are all in bloom, and the early spring optimism is alive and well. (Only to be partially tempered by impending challenges and adversities.) We are planning for a big year and looking forward to sharing our harvest with all you MLH members.

Steve Wilensky and Pat Noll


GARDENING TO THE RHYTHM:the Biodynamic Calendar for Feb. 23-March 1, by Daniel D'Agostini, Abbondanza

Again some thoughts from the collected wisdom of Biodynamic farmers suggest this week is particularly good for pruning. Monday and Tuesday are perfect times for pruning fruit trees and vines to encourage fruit bud formation. Next Sunday, 28th and Monday are especially good for flowering shrubs such as roses if you have not done that yet. All week through March 2nd is good for pruning though as it is the descending moon period but those days I mentioned are particularly good for fruit and flowers if you can take advantage. This period is good for transplanting too. Wednesday the 24 the moon passes in front of Virgo an Earth sign and this is a large constellation and the moon will be in front of this sign through Friday so a good time to deal with root crops and also if you have leaf crops to transplant can be a good time as well. I will be transplanting lettuce Thursday or Friday as I have a lot in the greenhouse with their first leaves. Lettuce loves to be transplanted and the little leaves tell you when. Those first two little leaves that unfold when the lettuce sprouts are the dicotyledons- they are essentially feeding the little plant until the root hairs begin growing and functioning. When the first "true leaves" appear one knows that the roots are now working and this is the time one can begin to transplant. This dry spell is nice for pruning but personally I would like rain every few days.

Happy gardening.



MLH NEWS: Winter Quarter Open House!

We are just squeaking in a winter quarter open house before winter ends, on Saturday, March 19 from 1 to 4 pm at Butte Mountain Farm in Jackson. This will be a great time to visit the farm of Carolyn Boyd, as she has been welcoming a bunch of new lambs into the world. Visitors to her farm always enjoy seeing the baby lambs and the rest of the flock, her extensive chicken coops, and her garden-with-a-view, and learning how she manages it all sustainably.

Take advantage of this opportunity to meet Carolyn, who is also MLH's Distribution Coordinator, as well as other MLH producers who will be on hand, and feel free to ask them your gardening/farming questions. As with our other open houses, there will be light refreshments served. This event is free, but donations are welcome (suggested donation $5.00 per adult).


Pulled Parsley Salad with Black Olives

recipe by Paula Wolfert


1 large bunch very fresh parsley

12 pitted Kalamata olives

1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons mild vinegar or lemon juice

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Wash and spin dry the parsley. Remove all stems. Tear parsley leaves into small pieces, or use scissors, to get about 1 1/2 cups of parsley pieces. Pit and sliver the olives. At serving time, gently toss all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pile into a mound on a serving plate.

Serves 3-4.


Citrus Glazed Banana Squash



1 1/2 pounds banana squash, peeled and cubed

1/4 cup butter

2 tablespoons water, or as needed

1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice

3 tablespoons apricot preserves

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground black pepper


Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add squash cubes and water. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until squash is tender. Stir occasionally, and add more water if necessary to prevent squash from sticking to the pan.

Reduce heat to low, and stir in the orange or lemon juice, apricot preserves, cloves, salt and pepper. Cook and stir uncovered until squash is evenly glazed.


Carmelized Banana Squash

Posted by Shandra on Friday, August 23, 2013 at


8 cups cubed banana squash, 1 inch pieces

4 Tbls. butter, melted

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. ginger powder (or fresh)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Dash nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the banana squash into large pieces, remove the seeds, peel off the hard skin with a potato peeler and then dice into one inch pieces. Place the pieces onto a large cookie sheet. Melt the butter in a bowl and pour over the squash. Toss to coat. In the same bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over the squash, toss again and the place in the oven. Bake on the top rack for 30-35 minutes, or until the squash is tender but not mushy. If the tops of the squash are not browned enough, turn the oven to broil and cook for 3 minutes, or until the tops of the squash is golden brown.


Single Box

1 lb. winter squash Sun Earth Energy

1/2 lb. walnuts Blue Mountain Orchards

2 Meyer lemons Abbondanza

1/2 gal. apple cider Humbug Creek Farm

2 bunches parsley Abbondanza


Family Box

2 lb. winter squash Sun Earth Energy

1/2 lb. salad mix Casa de la Pradera

1/2 lb. walnuts Blue Mountain Orchards

3 Meyer lemons Abbondanza

1/2 gal. apple cider Humbug Creek Farm

1 bunch parsley Abbondanza



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

Thursday February 25  (2nd of 2 meetings)  New time: 3:45  801 Court St. 
Upstairs Elections Dept Conf Room 
Guest speaker Emily Lyman  Environmental Health Amador Co.  Please be Prompt! 
Agenda will include: value-added products,  fundraiser food planting  and more.

Saturday March 12, General Meeting: 12:00 - 2:00     Soup & Salad Lunch and Meeting.  Agenda:    Election of Board members, (Ballots will be in the mail shortly)
 Introduction of New Business Plan, New Officers, Revised By-Laws,  Filling in the blanks:  How to get where we want to go.
                                                                                                                    FOR ALL MEMBERS: Winter Farm Tour  Butte Mountain Farm March 19, 1:00 - 4:00. Free to members and the public  but donation of $5.00 / adult appreciated.  It will officially still be winter but looking more like spring with lambs, greenness and spring flowers abounding.
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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.