Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Number 41   October 11, 2016

FIELD NOTES: Blue Mountain Orchards, West Point

Ron Brickman of Blue Mountain Orchards has released his Holiday Product List for this season. As always, it includes a vast array of delightful preserves and confections created from the produce of his garden and orchards. The product list offers many items that may not be familiar to everyone, as they hearken back to an earlier time when preserving was more common, or they are treats from European traditions. Some of his most delectable treats feature the wonderful chestnuts for which his orchard is famous.

Ron will offer a few of his products through Mother Lode Harvest, but to receive an email copy of the entire list, contact Ron at


Food for Thought

One word to describe the last water year? Dry
The drought officially continues, as California’s water year ended on September 30th with  lower-than-expected rainfall and well below average snowpack. 
Last winter’s El Nino brought storms to Northern California, but the weather fell far short of expectations, according to the L.A. Times. Warm temperatures melted a below-average snow pack earlier than usual, resulting in a “snow drought.” 
State water officials say “water year 2015 was among the driest on record, so to some, 2016 may have left the impression of being a drought-buster.” Drought conditions exist in a patchwork pattern, with about 62% of the state in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Read more at:
California forecasters in ’crapshoot’ predicting winter weather
Conditions are neutral this year in the Pacific Ocean where El Nino and La Nina are created, and meteorologists are uncertain what to predict for this rainy season. It’s neither cool nor warm at the ocean surface where weather patterns originate. 
“There’s nearly as much chance of California experiencing average precipitation or even flooding as there is of it having another dry winter akin to 2015,” according to the Sacramento Bee. 
Irrigation-water shortages, plummeting groundwater basins, increased risk of wildfire and millions of dying Sierra trees are problems plaguing the state after the hottest summer on record. Read more here:
20 Native North American foods with stories to tell.
“To help raise awareness of the rich biodiversity of foods native to North America, Food Tank has compiled a list of 20 foods in the region important to the cultures and food security of North Americans,” according to a FoodTank article. The list includes acorns, American persimmon, blue camas and pawpaw fruit, the largest edible fruit indigenous to North America. 
The world’s plant diversity has diminished by 75% since the early 1900s, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. 
The nutritional quality of Native American diets also declined along with traditional food ways, culinary skills and ecological farming practices. 
Acorns from various species of oak trees were a daily staple in the diet California Native Americans. The nutrient-dense nuts are high in calories, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous and vitamin C. The plentiful nuts were easy to store and central to their diet and daily lives.

News article summaries by Joyce Campbell.

Guacamole with Corn, Pasilla chiles,
 and Tomatillos


3 ripe avocadoes
a handful of fresh cilantro - I like extra cilantro
2 or 3 fresh limes
1 fresh ear of corn
2 pasilla chiles
2 tomatillos
2 scallions
Fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

First, seed and roast the pasilla chiles under a broiler. While waiting for that, slice off the fresh corn ears and place in a mixing bowl. Chop up the cilantro, the tomatillos, slice the scallions, and add to the bowl along with salt and pepper to taste, and the cumin. When the pasillas are nicely charred on the outside and soft inside, chop them up and add to the bowl. Squeeze the juice of two limes and add to the bowl. Slice the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits and scoop the flesh out from the skins with a spoon. Always add the avocados last and don't over mix if you want a chunky texture. Mash lightly until the desired texture and consistency is achieved. Add more spices and lemon juice as needed.

the remaining tablespoon of oil and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Eggplant Bacon

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup olive oil
Chef’s knife
Vegetable peeler
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Small bowl
Cast iron skillet
Baking sheet
Paper towels

Slice the eggplant: Trim the stem from the eggplant. Use a vegetable peeler to make long, thin strips of eggplant by peeling vertically down the length of the eggplant, turning the eggplant a quarter turn every 4 to 5 strips. Discard any strips that are primarily peel. Discard the very seedy innards of the eggplant. Lay the strips out in a single layer on a baking sheet or large cutting board.
Season the eggplant: Combine the tamari or soy sauce, smoked paprika, and liquid smoke in a small bowl. Brush the eggplant slices on one side with the mixture.
Fry the eggplant: Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 5 minutes. Add 6 strips of the eggplant, seasoned-side up, and fry until crispy, 2 minutes per side. Some pieces will brown quickly, and others will have soft spots.
Drain the eggplant bacon: Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat frying the remaining strips. Eat immediately. Eggplant bacon is best eaten the day it is made.




1 lb. Eggplant  -  Abbondanza
1/2 lb. Lettuce -   Abbondanza
1/2 lb. Sweet Peppers -    Butte Mtn Farm & Abbondanza
1/2 lb. Tomatillos  -  Butte Mtn Farm
1 lb. Tomatoes -  Somerset Gourmet
1 lb. Asian Pears  - Humbug Creek Farm
1 bunch Basil  -  Somerset Gourmet


1/2-1 lb. Eggplant  -  Butte Mtn Farm & Fiddlehick
1/2 lb. Salad Mix  -  Casa de la Pradera
1/2 lb. Shallots -  Butte Mtn Farm
1/2 lb. Sweet Peppers -   Abbondanza
1 lb. Tomatoes -  Somerset Gourmet
1 lb. Asian Pears -  Humbug Creek Farm
1 lb. Comice Pears – Mirabelle Orchard & Vineyard
1 bunch Basil  - Somerset Gourmet
1 lb. Duchesse Pears  -  Mirabelle Orchard & Vineyard

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


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.

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