Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 5 Number 34   August 27, 2013


Two of MLH's producer members will be having an Open House as part of the Farms of Amador/Amador Farmers' Market Farm Tour on Sunday, September 29. Abbondanza, in Shenandoah Valley, and Casa de la Pradera, in Fiddletown, will be open for tours for ticketholders and MLH members from 12 to 4 pm that day. This is a unique opportunity to see the farms and pick the brains of two of our most seasoned farmers on the same day.


What: Amador Farm Tour

Where: Small Family Farms in Amador: 12 pm - 4 pm

Dinner at Helwig Winery: Starts at 5 pm

When: September 29, 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Description: A day in the country touring Amador County's small family farms and local vineyards, followed by a dinner and wine as the sun sets over the Shenandoah Valley. Tickets available at all Amador Farmers Market's. More info: 209-267-5506


Another MLH member, Lucy Spangler-Gore will be catering the dinner for the Farm Tour event, and to tempt you to get your tickets, the menu is listed below:

The farm dinner menu is in:

Upon Arrival . . .Meze tasting . . .

~ Smoked Eggplant Relish

~ Marinated Feta Cheese w/ Amador Olive Oil and fresh herbs

~ Hummus with sauteed Sweet Onion & Garlic

~ Local Grilled Pepper "Salad" with Fresh Herbs

~ Mixed Olives

~ Baskets of Flatbread Crackers


Dinner . . . Buffet-style

~ Sutter Creek Ranch Grass-fed Beef Brochettes, marinated with red wine & herbs, served with a Salsa Verde & Tomato Pickle Sauce (two sauces on each table).

~ Local Pacific Yellowtail Brochettes . . . Lemon-Garlic-Herb Rub

~ Summer Harvest Paella with grilled vegetables, saffron & tomato broth

~ Vegetable Rag-out with a bounty of slow roasted Potatoes, Eggplant, Green Tomatoes, early Winter Squash marinated in Amador Olive Oil & fresh Herbs

~ Greek-style Salad w/ local heirloom Tomatoes, assorted Sweet Onions, Pole Beans, Olives and Feta Cheese . . .

~ Bowls of Greens w/ light Herb Vinaigrette

~ Andrae's breads


Dessert . . . by Ingrid Frasier

~ Fresh Apple-Cardamom Cake w/ Caramelized Apples and Creme Fraiche'




Valley Springs Elementary students learn about the economics of farming by selling their produce at a Friday "Garden Market".

Students are learning about the value of their efforts at Valley Springs Elementary. Each Friday at noon, students are putting on a "garden market" to sell some of the produce that they have helped grow in the school's garden.

Tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, cut flowers, beans, eggplant, squash and other fresh, organic produce is being sold as part of the student led market. "We have had an incredibly abundant harvest this summer and fall thanks to the efforts of our students and many parent and community volunteers", said Autumn Hesser, teacher and garden coordinator at Valley Springs Elementary. "The students have been able to learn about the full cycle of producing, preparing and selling food. This market is teaching them about the monetary value of the food and helping them apply language and math skills in a real world setting."

Students are advertising for the market, harvesting the produce, pricing, weighing, selling, giving change and counting the money. “They are learning about many of the things involved in running a small farm or business as part of the garden market program. It is exciting to see the students empowered and taking pride in all of their hard work.” said Valley Springs Elementary School Principal Dan Klement.

All of the money raised at the market will go directly back into the school's garden program for materials and supplies to maintain and expand the current program. Some of the proceeds will be used to help pay for an outdoor kitchen and shade structure being planned for this fall.

In addition to the market, the garden's produce is being used for classroom snacks, cooking and nutrition lessons, taken home by students and garden volunteers to prepare at home, and donated to the food bank. So far this summer the garden has produced well over 1000 pounds of fruits and vegetables, with much more to come.

The Valley Springs School and Community Garden Project was started in the spring of 2012 to help promote and support healthy and sustainable lifestyles at Valley Springs Elementary and the surrounding community by teaching students, staff and families how to grow and prepare healthy food. It serves as an outdoor learning lab for the school and community members.

The “garden market” will take place in the Valley Springs Elementary Multi-Purpose Room every Friday at noon through September. The Valley Springs School and Community Garden is always looking for volunteers, contributions and materials to help enhance the program to serve as many children and community members as possible. If you are interested in helping on this, and/or other garden projects in the area, please contact Kevin or Autumn at



This recipe calls for dried figs, but I would try it with fresh ones, chopping them and adding them to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Fresh figs are available on the MLH website from Tyson Hill Farm and Paloma Pollinators. For vegetarians, you could make this with some sturdy vegetables like eggplant or butternut squash, but reduce the cooking time.

Chicken with Fig-and-Cipollini Sauce

Contributed by Grace Parisi for Food and Wine


8 chicken thighs, about 6 ounces each

Salt and freshly ground pepper

All-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 ounces peeled cipollini onions

1 1/2 cups off-dry Riesling

1 bay leaf

4 thyme sprigs

1 teaspoon juniper berries (optional)

4 ounces mission figs

1 1/2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade


Preheat the oven to 350°. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with the flour, tapping off the excess. In a large deep skillet or shallow flameproof casserole, melt the butter in the oil. Add the chicken and cook over high heat, turning once, until deeply browned and crusty 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat.

Add the onions and cook over low heat until softened, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook over high heat until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Add the bay, thyme, juniper berries, figs and stock and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan. Transfer to the oven and braise until the meat is tender, 45 minutes longer.

Return the pan to high heat and boil until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. If desired, remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs before serving.

Serve With Noodles, polenta or mashed potatoes.


Purslane is a highly nutritious plant that is commonly eaten in Europe. It is available from Butte Mountain Farm on the MLH website. Garlic can also be found there from multiple farms.

Cucumber, Onion And Purslane Salad

Contributed by Deborah Madison for Food and Wine


3 cucumbers

2 very small fresh onions

1 1/2 cups purslane

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 small garlic clove


2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


If the skin of the cucumber is sweet and tender, leave it on. Otherwise, peel it. Halve the cucumber lengthwise and scoop out the seeds; chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces. Quarter the onions, slice them crosswise very thin, then combine them with the cucumbers in a bowl.

Wash the purslane in a few changes of water—it's often sandy since it grows along the ground—dry it, then break it into small clumps. The whole plant is tender so stems can go in too. Add it to the cucumbers, along with the parsley.

Pound the garlic with a few pinches salt until it's smooth, then add the vinegar and whisk in oil. Check the balance and adjust, if needed. Pour over the vegetables and toss well. Refrigerate for up to one hour before serving.

Potatoes are available through Randall's Corner on the MLH website.

Creamy Cucumber and Grilled Potato Salad

Contributed by Jamie Bissonnette for Food and Wine


2 pounds small to medium potatoes (about 12)

Kosher salt

1/3 cup crème fraîche or mayonnaise

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon celery seeds

1 small garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for brushing

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

1/2 cup chopped parsley plus 1 teaspoon minced parsley

Freshly ground pepper

1 large cucumber, thinly sliced

1/3 cup thinly sliced red or sweet yellow onion


In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer over moderately low heat until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool completely, then cut them in half lengthwise.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the crème fraîche, vinegar, sugar, mustard, celery seeds and garlic. Gradually whisk in the 1/4 cup of oil. Stir in the crushed red pepper, oregano and 1 teaspoon of minced parsley and season the dressing with salt and pepper.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Generously brush the potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the potatoes, cut side down, over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and hot, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.

Toss the potatoes with the dressing and season them with salt and pepper. Fold in the cucumber, onion and the 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and serve.


Summer Squash with Braised Sweet Pepper and Basil

Contributed by Marcia Kiesel for Food and Wine


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 pound sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces


freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup water

1 1/4 pounds summer squash, sliced on the diagonal 1/4 inch thick

1/3 cup chopped basil


In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until sizzling. Add 1/4 cup of the water, cover and cook over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of water, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the pepper is tender and the water has reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the summer squash and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the squash is just tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead: The braised peppers can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.


Single Box

Basil – Amador Creek Gardens, JD & Co, Paloma Pollinators

Armenian Cucumbers or Lemon Cucumbers - JD & Co or Cucumbers – Harmony Hill Farm

Patty Pan Summer Squash - JD & Co or Summer Squash – Casa de la Pradera

Lettuce, Salad mixed greens, – Harmony Hill Farm

Onions, Cipollini – Butte Mountain Farm

Tomatoes, Cherry – Harmony Hill Farm or Tomatoes – Casa de la Pradera

Bartlett Pears - Paloma Pollinators

1# Mixed Fresh Fruit – Tyson Hill Farm


Family Box

Basil – Amador Creek Gardens, JD & Co, Paloma Pollinators

Armenian Cucumbers or Lemon Cucumbers - JD & Co or Cucumbers – Harmony Hill Farm

Squash, Mixed Summer - Butte Mountain Farm

Oakleaf Lettuce Mix - Paloma Pollinators

Parsley – Randall’s Corner

Peppers, Sweet Italian – Randall’s Corner

Apple Cider – Humbug Creek Farm

1# Mixed Fresh Fruit – Tyson Hill Farm

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!

Other Local Events News:


Saturday, September 7: Tomatoes 4 Ways

Got tomatoes? Want ideas on how to enjoy eating them all year?

The Amador/Calaveras Master Food Preservers present their newest class, Tomatoes 4 Ways, where you can learn four basic techniques to safely preserve tomatoes at home: in a water bath canner, in a pressure canner, as a jam, and dried.

Saturday, September 7 at the Amador County GSA Building, 12200-B Airport Road, Jackson

The classes are free and no registration is required. For information, call us at 209-223-6857, email us at or visit us online at


Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM 5th Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale


You’ll find all kinds of plants grown by the Master Gardeners

Rare and unusual perennials, Fall and cool season veggie starts, Wide variety of herbs

Premium Sales Tent with hard-to-grow plants and houseplants

We’ll have special displays on native plants, beekeeping, and worm composting.

Be there for the bonsai demonstration and giveaway at 11:00.

Got gardening questions? Check out our Master Gardener Information Booth.

It’s a benefit for our new demonstration garden and our community outreach efforts!

Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Veterans Memorial Building Parking Lot

130 Placerville Drive, Placerville

Want more info? Call Master Gardeners from 9-12, Tues. to Fri. (530-621-5512).

Go to our website at

Check us out on Facebook...

Sponsored by the


Master Gardeners

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.