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Local Food and Farm Products 
Abbondanza Broccoli
GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 5 Number 14    April 9, 2013


MLH EVENTS:

SAVE THE DATE: The MLH Spring Quarter Open House will be at Harmony Hill Farm, between Fiddletown and Mt. Aukum, on Saturday, May 18. The day will start with a work party for interested members, from 9 am to noon, followed by the Open House from noon to 3 pm, which is open to the public. There will be tours, demonstrations, information on sustainable gardening, and snacks made of local foods. The focus will be on discussions and exchanging ideas about gardening. For more information, contact Emily Beals at ejbn@aol.com or at 530-620-4548 .

 

Alice Kaiser of Casa de la Pradera in Fiddletown is leaving her full-time job this month, and is celebrating by flinging herself into her work on the farm. She would like to host a work party at her place on Sunday, April 21 from 10 am to 2 pm for anyone interested in pitching in to help her get caught up in the garden. Casa de la Pradera is at 20161 American Flat Road in Fiddletown. Parking for the event is at the old Schoolhouse across the road from the cemetery and the farm; attendees should park at the Schoolhouse and walk the short distance to the farm. For more information, call Alice Kaiser at 209-245-6042, or email her at alicekaiser@hotmail.com.

 

FIELD-- OR HIVE—NOTES:

Alice Kaiser of Casa de la Pradera sent an email question to MLH producers regarding bees. Here is her question, and the answer she received from Sean Kriletich of Paloma Pollinators.

Casa de la Pradera:

Five people locally have told me that they lost their bees this winter, presumably because of the unusually cold nights we had during the two months without cloud cover. What have you experienced, or people that you know, and do you think it is because of the cold, or other factors? The cold could have been the last straw, for colonies already stressed by disease, insect infestation etc.

What are your bee plans now? I have been observing bee activity on my place, and seeing a few on full-bloom forsythia and rosemary, but almost no honey bees or bumblebees.

Paloma Pollinators:

I also lost a number of hives this winter, however the vast majority survived and are doing well now. From my perspective, this is not an issue of cold. Bees can handle extreme cold if given an adequate home. Beekeepers who do not cover their screen bottoms in winter or leave the door wide open as if it were summer are the reason for death by cold.

The larger issue is the same faced worldwide, varroa destructora, not only a parasitic mite, but also a transmitter of disease. Moving to more natural beekeeping methods, such as Perone hives, top-bar colonies, or even small steps such as reducing the size of the brood cells, breeding hygienic queens and removing infected drone brood are all ways of reversing the extinction process apis melifera currently faces (as a result of human destruction and negligence).

Thank you all for being part of a world-wide move towards sustainable agricultural practices. My trip to South America reaffirmed just how necessary what we are doing is in terms of health, organization, education and practice. There are several million young people in the world who are helping out farms like ours and spreading information worldwide. If you are interested in infusing this energy into your farm check out wwoofusa.org, helpx.net and workaway.info. This movement is now growing exponentially. Let's keep up the good work and not let the next generation down.

Venceremos (we will prevail),

Sean


 


 



Alice's winter garden

This was sent in by Kathy Randall of Randall's Corner, Fiddletown. It is a great example of how to create a seasonal, local foods meal from MLH offerings, or from your own garden and preserved foods. The terrific thing about a meal like this-- besides being a one-pan dish-- is that you can substitute whatever you have on hand. For example, if you don't have spring onions, use green garlic; if you don't have kale or collards, use chard. The fun is in experimenting.

 

I love reading blogs about food lifestyles. A couple of favorites that I routinely visit are Mary Frances at Gluten Free Cooking School, Jenny at Nourished Kitchen, and Shanti at Clean Eats in the Zoo. I'm sure that each of us has a fave and I think it would be cool to share them. Maybe in addition to a favorite food blog, we would share a meal recipe that we prepared the week before with the ingredients from the MLH box. What I like about the blog sites are the food travels you can take through their links that open up a whole new world. Anyway, I was inspired just thinking of eating good food so here I go....:)

Tonight I made a sensational Foothill Scrapple for dinner. This is the name that my family has given to this type of one dish meal. Now if you google scrapple you'll find that it is Pennsylvania Dutch dish

prepared from pork parts that aren't good for anything else. Hmmm....kind of a spam thing. But my Foothill Scrapple is anything but. It's made from wholesome, fresh, delicious, real food ingredients.

It begins with a 10 inch cast iron skillet with a couple of tablespoons of lard I rendered from organic pork that I purchased from a neighbor farmer. I added hamburger from Winterport Farms to the sizzling lard, along with the heel of an onion that was wasting away in the fridge from a long forgotten meal, chopped. Then I chopped fresh tops of spring onions from Tyson Farms. I set a few chopped tops aside to go into the salad I was going to build using the last of lettuce from Butte Mountain that I got 2 WEEKS AGO! (I'll tell you later how I ensure my greens are healthy for at least 2 weeks).

While the hamburger and onions are browning nicely, I take some cleaned kale from Tyson, and some cleaned collards from Tyson, 3 garlic cloves from Randall's Corner, chop each up and set aside. I grab almost 2 cups of left over cooked brown rice from the fridge, and I scoop a handful of GMO free frozen corn from Randall's Corner (last years crop)

Now with the hamburger and onions fully cooked I throw in the corn and let it sizzle and cook in hopes it'll get a little char on it. After about a minute I spread the hamburger/onion/corn mixture around the sides of the skillet. With the heat still at medium high (at least), I toss in half of the cooked rice and top it with a tablespoon of fresh churned butter (from my neighborhood cow share). I top that with the chopped onion tops and shake at least a tablespoon of my *Costco Organic Mrs Dash-type seasoning on top of the rice. I usually sea salt it lightly because I like salt. But you don't have to.

*I don't know much about seasonings (thus the Mrs Dash type seasoning), but it is something on my food bucket list to figure out. Along with essential oils...


 

Harmony Hill in Spring
Foothill Scrapple continued....

Now back to the Scrapple.....So I have this hamburger-ringed rice with butter, onion tops, and seasonings sitting there browning a bit in the middle. I throw the other half of the rice on top, finish with more butter, and all of the chopped greens and the garlic that were set aside. Now I take some delicious jelled bone broth from Winterport Farms' grass fed beef and just splash a few tablespoons around and over the hamburger ring. Cover and let it cook for a few (maybe 3) minutes. The broth has kept the rice from sticking in the middle while it browns nicely on the bottom. So, 3 minutes are up and I take a spatula and gently fold it all together.

Somewhere in the midst of assembling this goodness, I have chopped up the cleaned lettuce greens from Butte Mountain, added some sunflower sprouts from Butte, and made a simple dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Dinner is served in less than 30 minutes!

While we eat I am baking cookies from Randall's Corner pre-made oatmeal raisin cookie dough for dessert..

My tip for getting the most out my MLH box, and keeping those wholesome greens ready to use, is that within 24 hours of picking up the box from MLH, I clean, dry in a salad spinner, and re-package (usually in the plastic it came in) all of the greens. I find I get ALOT of life out of them. And it is much easier to think about getting a meal prepared if I don't have to think about cleaning the greens.

I vowed to myself a few months back that I would only consume eggs, vegetables, milk, and livestock from local sources because I find it so rewarding and wholesome to feed my body and soul with the labors of myself, friends, and neighbors.

I used to love to sneak away to grab a fast food when I ran my errands. But as I get away from doing that I find it less and less appealing, pretty revolting really to eat food that has not been prepared from the bounty available to me through my local sources. Thank you all!

Bon Appetit!

Kathy Randall

Randall's Corner

WHAT'S IN YOUR BOX
 

Single Box

Swiss chard - Abbondanza or Butte Mountain Farm

Sunflower greens - Butte Mountain Farm

Braising mix –Casa de la Pradera or Tyson Hill Farm

Green garlic - Paloma Pollinators

Strawberries - Tyson Hill Farm

Ground beef - Winterport Farm

or Walnuts - Humbug Creek Farm

 

Family Box

Meyer lemon - Abbondanza

Native Spinach Greens - Paloma Pollinators

Sunflower greens - Butte Mountain Farm

Braising mix –Casa de la Pradera or Tyson Hill Farm

Green garlic - Paloma Pollinators

Strawberries - Tyson Hill Farm

Ground beef - Winterport Farm

or Walnuts - Humbug Creek

Spring onions – Butte Mountain Farm or Tyson Hill Farm




Paloma Pollinators' Pollinator
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Harvest has local food and farm products available to order at www.mlharvest.com.
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Duck Race

Other Local Events News:

Sent in by MLH customer member Taunya Struhs

The Mothers’ Club of Amador County is a beneficiary of the Great Sutter Creek Duck Race coming up next month on Saturday April 27th. Currently we are selling Merchant Ducks ($50 for a new duck, $40 if you use one from a previous year) for local businesses to decorate and enter in the race.

 

Beginning March 15th we will have individual Duck Race tickets available too. One duck for $5, or 5 ducks for $20. One million $$$$ dollars in cash-o-la is a possible prize, so be sure to buy tickets for a chance to win that and other wonderful prizes! And buy your tickets from the Mommies!

 

As Treasurer for the Mothers’ Club, I am super excited that we are beneficiaries of the race this year. All of our fund-raising efforts go to support our diverse and inclusive activities for moms, children, and families in Amador County. We host a staggering array of free events, play dates, play groups, monthly Mommy Mingles, field trips, classes and guest speakers, holiday family parties, and offer free meals for our member families with new babies. We also have a walking/jogging group, and we offer a public and a private online forum for members to connect and discuss common interests, share resources and provide emotional support to one another.

We host drives for the Interfaith Food Bank, and we are affiliated with community outreach programs where we donate to groups such as Environmental Alternatives and Operation Care. We adopt families in our community who are in need, and every year provide donations and holiday gift giving to them. We are a 100% volunteer organization with a 100% volunteer board. Thanks to our partners, First 5 and Amador Community Foundation, and our incredible membership (140 members and counting), we continue to grow and offer more to the mothers and families of Amador County, which in turn continues to strengthen and build our amazing community.

 

We sincerely appreciate your consideration in helping make this fund-raising effort a success! Please let me know if you are interested in purchasing a merchant duck, ad space, or individual tickets. We would love to have your support, so please buy from the Mothers’ Club of Amador County for all your Duck Race needs!

 

Feel free to email or call me with any questions.

*Taunya Struhs, taunyad@msn.com or call 296-1797.

Thanks so much!

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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.