Local Food and Farm Products 
Abbondanza Broccoli
Volume 5 Number 6    February 12, 2013

FIELD NOTES: Tin Bird Garden, Sutter Creek

Greg Motch of Tin Bird Garden has been poring over seed catalogs, getting his seed order ready for the upcoming growing season. The only crops he overwintered were onions and garlic, along with his cover crops of mustard and favas. Soon he will be planting his early spring crops of lettuce, radishes, arugula, kale, and mustards, followed by potatoes and summer onions (his wonderful cipollinis!).

Greg is always working on his compost, or letting it work on itself, with a little help from him. He is making steps toward a more biodynamic approach to gardening, by planting according to moon phases, and by collecting cow patties for special applications in the garden.

He is currently working on ridding his garden of perennial weeds-- especially the dreaded bermuda grass-- by digging them out. If anyone knows of another sustainable method that is successful, he would welcome the information!



Tin Bird Garden French Breakfast Radishes

Winter Squash-Parsnip Soup with Thyme

Bon Appétit | October 1997

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 1-pound winter squash, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, cut into 8 pieces

1/2 pound parsnips, peeled, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces, thick end pieces cut lengthwise in half

1/8 cup water

1/2 an onion, halved, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1/2 cup half and half

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter large roasting pan with 1/2 tablespoon butter. Arrange squash pieces, skin side up, in prepared roasting pan. Add parsnips and water to pan. Cover pan with foil; bake until vegetables are very tender, about 50 minutes. Cool vegetables.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and thyme; sauté until onion is tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Scrape squash pulp into processor (discard peels); add parsnips and onion mixture. Puree until smooth. Mix in broth. Transfer mixture to heavy large saucepan. Whisk in half and half. Bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)


White Bean, Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

Bon Appétit | January 2000

3 medium carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise

1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges

1 small winter squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

2 cups canned tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for pan

6 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth

4 cups finely chopped kale or other cooking greens

3 large fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Arrange carrots, onion, squash and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Transfer carrots and squash to work surface. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside. Peel garlic cloves; place in processor. Add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth. Pour 1/2 cup broth onto baking sheet; scrape up any browned bits. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5 1/2 cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.

Add beans and reserved carrots and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Tin Bird Garden Geometry

Pizza Bianca with Goat Cheese and Greens

Bon Appétit | January 2002

Seasoned oil

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper


1 bunch cooking greens, stems removed

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

Yellow cornmeal

8 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated

4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)

Prepare seasoned oil:

Mix oil, garlic, and red pepper in small bowl. Let stand 1 hour.

For topping:

Cook greens in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Squeeze dry, then coarsely chop. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add greens and stir 1 minute. Season to taste with salt.

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Sprinkle rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Roll out pizza dough on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle mozzarella over dough, leaving 1-inch border. Scatter greens over mozzarella. Top with goat cheese. Brush crust edge with some of seasoned oil. Set aside 2 teaspoons seasoned oil; drizzle remaining oil over pizza.

Bake pizza until crust is brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven; brush edge with seasoned oil and serve.


Pan-Roasted Sea Bass with Citrus

Bon Appétit | February 2012

Adapted from a recipe by Amelia Saltsman

2 oranges

2 grapefruits

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

4 6-ounce skinless fillets white or Mexican sea bass or grouper (about 1" thick)

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, cut into wedges

2-4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°F. Using a small sharp knife, cut off all peel and white pith from fruit. Working over a medium bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze in juices from membranes; discard membranes. Drain fruit, reserving 1/2 cup juices. Return segments and juices to bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Pat fish dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add grapeseed oil. Add fish; cook without moving, occasionally pressing fish gently with a spatula to keep all of surface in contact with pan, until fish is golden brown and releases easily from pan, 4–5 minutes.

Turn fish, transfer to oven, and roast until just opaque in the center, 3–5 minutes.

Place fruit and avocado on plates. Top with fillets. Spoon 2 tablespoons citrus juices over fruit on each plate. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, or more to taste, over fish and fruit.


Single Box

Braising greens - Cada de la Pradera or Tyson Hill Farm

Walnuts - Humbug Creek Farm

Pizza crust - Randall's Corner

Heirloom Marsh Grapefruit - Tyson Hill Farm

Mixed Citrus - Tyson Hill Farm


Family Box

Kale or collards - Butte Mountain Farm

English thyme - Butte Mountain Farm

Asian stir-fry greens - Tyson Hill Farm

Winter squash - Randall's Corner

Meyer Lemon Marmalade - Tin Bird Garden

Mixed Citrus - Tyson Hill Farm

Greg and Compost
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