Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 7 Number 23    June 9th, 2015

FIELD NOTES: Amador Creek Gardens, Amador City

Be careful what you ask for!


In our last write-up about what was going on at Amador Creek Gardens we mentioned that not having a greenhouse was stifling our efforts to be successful year round growers.

Since then, we were offered, first, space in a friend’s greenhouse, and, second, a greenhouse for a great price, as long as we dismantled it and removed it from where it was currently standing! Thank you Alice, from Casa de la Pradera and Greg, from Tin Bird Garden. 


This all reminds us of what is so wonderful about the people in the community of Mother Lode Harvest and what really keeps all of us going. MLH is such a good group of both talented and not so talented growers. Those who know are always there to help the ones who are learning! 


For instance, we had an excellent crop of artichokes this year for the first time because Carolyn, from Butte Mountain Farm, suggested rubbing tanglefoot, an OMRI approved product, on the bottom of the plants to control the ants. The presence of ants will next result in aphids, which I learned about from James, from Sun, Earth, Energy. He is very good at determining what your pest problem is just by hearing a description the symptoms.  


We have just acquired two apple trees from Humbug Creek Farm and Emily, from Harmony Hill Farm, has kindly offered to come and help us plant them. She has a good-sized orchard and knows what she is doing.


To our amazement, almost all of our seeds have germinated as a result of the perfect sprouting conditions at the greenhouse where they went for a four-week vacation. We have more seedlings than we have space to plant! 


Seedlings anyone? We have Cucumbers, Melons, Squash, and eventually Peppers and Eggplant. 


We now have a greenhouse! As soon as it is re-constructed and put back together, we can put it to good use. Our biggest obstacle now is making time in our busy work schedules to do the farming we so enjoy. 


So far this summer, we have planted Armenian and Sumter Cucumbers, a few varieties of Tomatoes, Chanterais and Cantaloupe Melons and Yellow, Zucchini and Winter Squash. Our Eggplant and Peppers are coming along. That pretty much takes up our space, because our goal is to have enough of a couple of crops to add to what Mother Lode Harvest has to offer our Customer Members.  Thank you to Customer Members Marcus and Ann Marie for working on the website and for helping Michelle, from Fiddlehick Farm, with the weekly MLH Newsletter. Thank you to Cheri and Steve for your dedication in helping with delivering the Customer orders each week at the Mother Lode Harvest site.  

Thanks to all of the Mother Lode Harvest Producer and Customer Members!!

Deborah Budrick

Lemon Balm Lemonade



4 lemons
1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup boiling water
2 1/2 cups water
ice (optional)
2 -3 fresh sprigs lemon balm, to decorate


Scrub the lemons well. Peel the rind thinly, avoiding the white pithe, and set aside the lemons.
Place the lemon rind, lemon balm leaves, and the sugar into a small heat-proof pitcher. Pour the boiling water into the pitcher and stir well, crushing the lemon balm leaves to release their flavor. Leave mixture to infuse for about 15 minutes.
Now, cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice. Strain juice into a large glass pitcher, add a few fresh sprigs of lemon balm, and add the cooled, strained syrup. Top up with water or half-water half-ice, and chill until needed.


Grilled Artichokes


2 to 4 large globe artichokes
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary, oregano, and thyme


1 Place chopped herbs in a small bowl, cover with olive oil. Microwave on high heat for 30 seconds (or heat oil and herbs on the stove top until warm). Let the herbs seep in the warm olive oil while you prepare the artichokes.
2 Prepare a large pot with an inch of water at the bottom and a steamer rack. Prepare the artichokes. Have lemon wedges ready. If you want a nice presentation, use scissors to snip away the pointy tips of the artichoke leaves. As you trim the artichokes, rub the cut areas with juice from the lemon wedges to prevent the artichokes from turning brown from oxidation. Use a vegetable peeler to cut away the thick outer layer of the artichoke stems. Trim the stems to 2 inches from the base of the artichoke. Cut off and discard the top 1/2 inch of the artichokes. Cut the artichokes in half. Use a strong metal spoon to scoop out the fuzzy chokes and the small inner artichoke leaves. Rub lemon juice all over the inside and exposed cut areas of the artichokes.
3 Heat the water in the large pot with a steamer rack on high. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium high and place the artichoke halves, cut side down on the steam rack. Cover. Steam for 20 minutes (less of more, depending on the size of the artichokes), until you can easily pull off the outer leaves, and you can pierce the heart easily with a knife. The artichokes can be just a tiny bit less cooked than would be typically perfect for steamed artichokes, as you will be cooking them further on the grill.
4 Prepare your grill for direct, high heat. Use a pastry brush to brush the artichoke all over with the herb infused oil. Sprinkle all over with salt. Place the artichoke halves cut-side-down on the grill grates. Cover, and grill for 5 to 10 minutes, until you have nice grill mark on the cut sides of the artichokes.
To serve, sprinkle the cut sides with more lemon juice. Serve alone or with mayonnaise, remoulade, or aioli.

Read more:


Single Boxes

    Garlic – Harmony Hill Farm
    Broccoli – Harmony Hill Farm
    Leeks – Humbug Creek Farm
    Artichokes – Humbug Creek Farm
    Radishes – Harmony Hill Farm
    Kale – Harmony Hill Farm
    Lettuce – Casa de la Pradera
    Mint – Amador Creek Gardens

Family Boxes

    Spring shallots – Abbondanza
    Broccoli – Harmony Hill Farm
    Artichokes – Humbug Creek Farm
    Kale – Harmony Hill Farm
    Lettuce – Abbondanza
    Summer squash – Paloma Pollinators
    Raspberries – Paloma Pollinators
    Lemon balm – Amador Creek Gardens


The pickup hours are 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, 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.




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.