Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 7 Number 28    July 14, 2015

FIELD NOTES: Casa de la Pradera, Fiddletown

I finally have all my summer crops planted. Now my focus will be to keep on top of the weeding and watering and harvesting, and to continue to plant lettuces and other greens, so that I have a regular rotation of flats of seeds planted, seedlings planted in the growing beds, and maturing plants that I can harvest. Although I love to grow tomatoes and other warm weather crops during the summer, my pride and joy are the greens, which I have learned how to grow year-round. In addition to the many kinds of lettuces, the escaroles and the Asian greens and the kales do well for me. Oddly, my chard has been slow this year.

Soon it will be time to plan the fall and winter crops. It's challenging for several reasons. It is very counterintuitive to plant the seeds of salad and cooking greens, root crops, cabbages and broccoli, onions and peas during the heat of early to mid-August! Also, it's a busy time when taking care of and harvesting the summer crops, and drying, canning and jamming is at its height. And sometimes it is hard to figure out where to plant the new crops, even with an acre to fill! I go through this every year, and I know from experience that in our climate if one waits until it 'feels right', it's too late. Crops to be harvested in the late fall and into the winter must have time to mature before the days begin to be short enough to slow down growth, in October. Since most crops take two months to mature, that means starting in August.

So I take a deep breath, and prepare to plunge in to the next round. The preparation is the planning. If I need to harvest 30 heads of lettuce/week, how many square feet do I need to plant, and how many flats of seedlings do I need to have ready to plant out by what date? How often do I need to have more seedlings ready to replace them as I harvest them? Since the plants stop growing at all for about 6 weeks before and after the winter solstice, how many do I need to have ready to carry me over?

But of course, in mid-July we know that summer will never end.



Mother Lode Harvest will again have a booth at the Amador County Fair on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26, highlighting local agriculture and sustainably raised farm products. In the past couple years that we have had this booth, people attending the fair have been very interested and enthusiastic about learing more and sharing their experiences with eating locally and seasonally.

We are looking for volunteers to staff the booth for 3-hour shifts from 9 am to 6 pm both days. Volunteers receive a discounted admission to the fair of $4. Do a 3-hour shift, then enjoy the rest of the day at the fair! If you would like to talk to people about why you love Mother Lode Harvest, please contact Michelle at 209-419-2503, or to sign up for a shift!

Chicken with Lemon and Lavender

Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple but Classic French Recipes by Rachel Khoo




2 tablespoons lavender

1 lemon, zest and juice

2 sprigs of thyme, leaves pulled off stem

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken, either breast or leg

Pinch of salt


Crush lavender using either a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin. In a large bowl, combine crushed lavender, oil, honey, thyme, and lemon zest and juice. Mix well. Add chicken pieces and spoon marinade over chicken until well coated. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes (or up to 4 hours).

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put chicken and marinade into roasting pan. Sprinkle tops of chicken with salt. Roast chicken for 45 minutes, turning pieces over halfway. Cook chicken until it has an internal temperature of 165°F or when thickest part is pierced with a skewer, the juices run clear (not red or pink). Serve chicken with cooking juices poured over and around.

Serves 2.


Lavender-Scented Summer Fruit Salad




2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

1 1/2 teaspoons lavender flowers

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 peach, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1 nectarine, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1 large plum, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

3/4 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon small whole mint leaves



1. Combine honey, 1/3 cup water, lavender, pepper, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until honey has dissolved. Remove from heat, and cover; let steep 10–15 minutes or until room temperature. Strain into a serving bowl; discard lavender and stir in lime juice.

2. Add peach, nectarine, and plum slices to honey mixture, and toss well. Add berries and mint, and toss gently to combine. Refrigerate 1 hour or until chilled. Serve.

Peach and Feta Salad with Lavender Dressing

By Sawsan Abu Farha


Lavender is a wonderfully versatile herb, that can be used for everything from flavoring drinks to salad dressings.



3 cups lettuce, torn, or salad mix

1 onion cut into rings

2-3 tablespoons of feta crumbled

2 peaches cut into segments

For the lavender dressing

Juice of half a lemon (4 tablespoons)

5 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers

1 clove garlic minced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar



To make the dressing

In a bowl add the lemon juice, salt, mustard ,lavender, garlic and balsamic vinegar and whisk

Slowly drizzle the olive oil while you continue whisking until you have added the entire amount

I usually add the onion rings to the dressing while I prepare the salad, this takes the sharp edge off the onions

To make the salad

On the grill or in a pan on the stove top, lightly grill the peach segment

In your serving plate, arrange the torn lettuce, topped with the grilled peach segments

Take the onions out of the dressing and arrange on top of the lettuce

Crumble the feta cheese on top

Decorate with a few lavender twigs

Drizzle the dressing on the salad right before serving


Peach Lavender Jam

Recipe from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving.


Yield: 6 cups



4 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers

1/2 cup boiling water

4 cups finely chopped peaches (from about 5 to 6 medium peaches, peeled)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

6 cups granulated sugar

1 pouch liquid fruit pectin


Place lavender flowers in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over flowers and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and discard flowers.

Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 6 half-pint mason (or equivalent) jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use. Warm lids in hot (not boiling) water to sterilize and soften seal.

Combine lavender liquid, peaches, lemon juice, and sugar in a very large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in pectin.

Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe jar rims and threads. Screw on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 3 weeks.




MLH NEWS: Box Subscriptions Starting!

The box subscriptions will start up again on Tuesday, March 10. We will be starting with just the established customers, then opening up to new customers as we expand our supply of produce.

The pickup hours will still be 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.