Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Number 53    January 3, 2017

FIELD NOTES: Mother Lode Harvest

Mother Lode Harvest is on a mission to reinvent ourselves. We have been moving toward this new vision for awhile and 2017 is the year to bring it to fruition.  Seven years ago producers and customers had a vision of a CSA that would bring fresh, sustainably grown produce, meat, body products, olive oil, honey and more to the residents of Amador and Calaveras Counties. In the beginning, enthusiasm, producer and customer involvement was high and carried the CSA for many years but as with any volunteer organization, nothing stays the same indefinitely. We have had challenges these past few years that have made us recognize the need to make some changes for the health and sustainability of our organization. We have a strong New Business Plan that reaches out to recruit new producers and new customers. We recognize the seasonal challenges of farming in the foothills so we have a new buying plan that goes beyond the borders of Amador and Calaveras counties to the fertile Capay Valley in order to bring the quality and variety of produce we believe our customers deserve when it is not available from our local farmers.
In our effort to find new farmers in Amador Co. we have come to recognize that they are few in number because of the tremendous challenges facing small farms across America. It is almost impossible to make a living as a small farmer due to the cost of land, infrastructure, labor, regulations and more. Young farmers, some with training, some with just a love of farming who learn as they go, give it their all for as many years as they can sustain themselves, living at the poverty level and calling a good year one in which they break even.  Farming is backbreaking work. It takes strength, determination and tenacity to overcome the countless challenges Mother Nature and the economics of farming put in your way. With the exception of one new young farm couple, the farmers of MLH are all over 60 and doing this for the love of the endeavor and/or because of the need to make a living.
So it’s easy to see that we’re up against, tall odds and the fact that MLH has been successful for seven years is more than remarkable. I for one will work as hard as I can to bring reality to our vision.  “The best way to predict the future is to help create it.” Come along, it’s bound to be an interesting ride.



Braised Leeks
Makes:  6 servings

12 fresh leeks (about 1 ½ inches in diameter)
3 to 4 cups water
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, plus more for baking dish
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Trim leeks at the root end, being careful to keep leaves intact and attached. Remove any withered or spotted leaves. Cut tops until leeks are each about 6 ½ to 7 inches long. Slice leeks lengthwise to within about 1 inch of the root end. Turn leeks a quarter turn and slice lengthwise again. Rinse leeks under running tap, separating layers carefully to get out all dirt deposits.
Lay trimmed and rinsed leeks in a wide saucepan, making 2 or 3 layers. Pour in enough water to come 2/3 of the way up side of the pan. Dot leeks with butter and sprinkle with salt.
Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-high and partially cover pan, leaving only enough room to allow steam to escape. Cook 30 to 40 minutes, basting leeks occasionally with cooking liquid, until whites of leeks are fork-tender. Liquid should be almost evaporated.
As leeks cook on stove top, preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a rectangular baking dish or oval casserole and transfer leeks, covering with any remaining cooking juices. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until leeks turn a light golden color. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Warm Mandarin Pudding

5 small mandarins
300 ml mandarin juice
100 ml Montenegro (see Note)
60 g butter
300 g raw caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
50 g self–raising flour
200 ml full cream milk
175 ml pouring cream, to serve

Cook's notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Cooling time 20 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Finely zest four mandarins. Use a knife to skin all of the mandarins and then, holding each in your hand one by one over a large mixing bowl and using a paring knife, cut out all the segments, squeezing any remaining juice from the mandarin frame. Strain, setting aside the segments and reserving the juice to use as part of the measured amount.
Combine half the zest, the juice and the Montenegro in a small saucepan and slowly reduce until  about 100 ml remains. Add the mandarin segments and cook for an extra minute or so before pouring the mix into a bowl and allowing it cool to room temperature.
Place the butter, sugar and remaining zest into a food processor and process until well combined, then add in the yolks one by one, mixing as you go. Place this mixture in a bowl and add the flour, then the milk and the reduced juice. Stir until everything is completely combined and you have an almost batter–like mix.
Whisk the egg whites until they become soft and creamy and the peaks start to hold. Fold this through the batter.
Pour the batter into a buttered baking dish approximately 20 cm x 30 cm. Cook in a water bath in the pre-heated oven for 1 hour.
Remove from the oven. Allow the pudding to cool in the water for 10 minutes and then remove and allow to cool for a further 10 minutes.
Serve while it’s still warm, with the cream.
 Note• A firm tart mandarin is best for this dish, such as daisy, clementine or afourer.
• Montenegro is an Italian liqueur.




1 Winter Squash -  Inzerillo

1 lb Mandarins - Produce Express Capay

1 Leek – Produce Express

1/2 lb Walnuts – Humbug Creek Farm

1 piece Quince Membrillo (paste) – Casa de la Pradera

2 Meyer Lemons -  Abbondanza

1 Cabbage – Produce Express

2 bunches Carrots – Produce Express

2 Winter Squash -  Inzerillo

1 Leek –Produce Express

1/2 g Cider -  Humbug Creek Farm

2 lbs Mandarins – Produce Express

1/2 lb Salad Mix – Casa de la Pradera

1/2 lb Walnuts – Humbug Creek Farm

4 oz Meyer Lemon Marmalade – Casa de la Pradera

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

January 23, 6-8 pm: Producer's Planning Meeting, Teresa's Banquet Room


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.

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Mother Lode Exchange · P.O. Box 1836 · Jackson, CA 95642 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp