Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 6 Number 44   November 4, 2014

FIELD NOTES: Harmony Hill Farm, Mt. Aukum

Fall is in full color this week and we are exulting in its beauty, cooler temperatures and new energy to get things done. I watch the squirrels and woodpeckers busily gathering and storing the plentiful acorns and feel a great sense of satisfaction at this year's harvest. The gardens have had their best production ever and our contribution to the CSA as well as direct from the farm sales are almost double what they were last year. All of this with less help and a broken arm. Somehow, this year it seemed easier. Go figure.

We are looking forward to doing different projects November - February. The irrigation lines that run to many plantings other than vegetables need to be repaired and updated. The perennial beds and fruit trees need nourishment, and the list goes on.

Next spring we will expand our seedling sales to the Placerville Co-Op and hope to offer then to our local community as well. A new hoop house is in the hopper as is an expanded pumpkin patch complete with the rising of the Great Pumpkin October 30. Despite all the hard work, we are loving being part of the Farm to Fork movement and hope to have our own farm dinner next summer, after we host the Foothill Garden Club as part of their Garden Tour in May.

For now, the quiet season of little sun is approaching, holidays loom and I am ready for a rest.



Celebrate Fall, support Mother Lode Harvest, and enjoy a great evening out! The Volcano Union Inn is sponsoring a benefit night for MLH on Monday, November 17. Diners at the Union that evening will be supporting MLH just by eating a scrumptious dinner, as a portion of the proceeds from the evening will go to Mother Lode Harvest!

For more information, call Michelle at 419-2503, or just go ahead and make reservations for dinner at the Union on the 17th (phone 209- 296-7711), and we'll see you there! Bring friends, and you can tell them all about MLH while you dine!


Also in Volcano,

Join us for the 3rd Annual Chowda Chomp on Sunday, November 9 for a fun afternoon! From 11 to 2 you can enjoy tasting a variety of Chowders at the historic Armory Hall. Entry is $5 per person and all funds raised go to the Volcano Community Association.

Mother Lode Harvest will be there with a “Local Chowda,” featuring local ingredients. We hope to dazzle tastebuds with our chowder, and win the People's Choice award in the Amateur category. Come out and see us!


Quince Applesauce

Epicurious | October 1997

by Deborah Madison

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone


yield: Makes about 1 quart

Applesauce can begin as a soothing breakfast fruit and end as a dessert, tucked inside a buckwheat crêpe or made into the glorious dessert.

The pressure cooker in tandem with the food mill eliminates the need to peel and core the apples. You can have applesauce in 15 minutes.

Quinces give applesauce an elusive perfume and turn it rosy pink.



2 quinces, cut in sixths for a pressure cooker or thinly sliced for for a food mill

3 pounds apples, quartered

honey or sugar

fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, cardamom, or allspice or a pinch of ground cloves, optional



If you're using a food mill, put the apples and quince in a pot, add 1/3 cup water, cover securely, and cook until the apples are completely tender, about 20 minutes. Or put them in a pressure cooker with 3 tablespoons water, bring the pressure to high, and cook for 10 minutes. Release the pressure or let it fall by itself. Pass the cooked fruit through the food mill into a clean pot. Taste and sweeten with honey if the sauce is tart or add the lemon juice if the apples are too sweet. Add the spices. Simmer for 5 minutes, then cool. If you're not using a food mill, peel and core the apples and quince first, then cook until they're broken down into a sauce.


Maple-Roasted Quince and Sweet Potatoes

Bon Appétit | December 2006


yield: Makes 6 servings

With different hues of orange and gold, this dish makes a great holiday side.



Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 pound quinces (about 2 large), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2–inch cubes

1 (12–ounce) red–skinned sweet potato (yam), peeled, cut into 1/2–inch cubes

1 (12–ounce) tan–skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2–inch cubes

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1/2 cup maple syrup, divided

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage



Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 425°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Combine next 4 ingredients and 1/4 cup maple syrup in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread mixture in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast quince and potatoes until tender and beginning to brown around edges, stirring occasionally and turning sheet around in oven halfway through roasting, about 40 minutes. Transfer quince and potatoes to bowl. Mix in sage and remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup. Season with pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Warm Pumpkin Salad with Polenta and Candied Pumpkin Seeds

Gourmet | October 2001


yield: Makes 6 servings

Active time: 1 3/4 hr Start to finish: 5 hr



1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal (not coarse)

7 1/2 cups water

2 3/4 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 tablespoon fresh pomegranate juice (see cooks' note, below) or cranberry juice cocktail

2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallot

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small pumpkin or winter squash (2 lb), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and seeded

1 (6-oz) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano

8 oz arugula, mizuna, or sorrel, trimmed



Prepare polenta:

Bring cornmeal, water, and 2 1/4 teaspoons salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until polenta is creamy and tender, about 50 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in 11/2 tablespoons butter and cool slightly.

Spoon polenta onto center of a lightly buttered large baking sheet, then spread evenly into a 10- by 7-inch rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick). Cover with plastic wrap, then poke several holes in wrap with a small sharp knife and chill 2 hours.

Candy pumpkin seeds:

Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in sugar, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then cook, without stirring, until caramelized. Add pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds are puffed and golden. Transfer to a plate to cool. When seeds have hardened, break up any clumps with your fingers.

Make vinaigrette:

Whisk together pomegranate juice, vinegar, and shallot and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste.

Roast pumpkin:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Cut pumpkin quarters crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow baking pan and arrange slices in 1 layer. Roast in middle of oven until just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, then cover with foil to keep warm.

Fry polenta while pumpkin roasts:

Trim polenta into a 9- by 6-inch rectangle. Cut polenta into 6 (3-inch) squares, then halve each square diagonally. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet until hot but not smoking, then cook polenta in 2 batches, turning once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes (if necessary, use remaining tablespoon oil for second batch). Transfer as cooked to a plate and keep warm, covered.

Assemble salad:

Shave 12 strips from cheese with a vegetable peeler.

Whisk vinaigrette, then toss greens in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Place several pieces of pumpkin and 1 piece of polenta on each of 6 plates. Top with greens, more pumpkin, and remaining polenta. Sprinkle with candied pumpkin seeds and top with parmesan shavings, then drizzle with remaining vinaigrette.


Cooks' notes: • Polenta, spread on baking sheet and not yet fried, can be chilled up to 1 day. • Candied pumpkin seeds can be prepared 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature. • To juice a pomegranate, firmly roll it on a work surface until it feels softer, then cut a small hole in skin and squeeze.


Single Boxes

1 lb. Apples-- Harmony Hill Farm

Quince-- Chapultepec Gardens

Flat leaf parsley-- Harmony Hill Farm

Braising mix /Escarole /Sorrel-- Casa de la Pradera

1/2 gal. Pear-apple Cider-- Humbug Creek Farm

Radishes – Casa de la Pradera or Harmony Hill Farm



Family Boxes

Salad mix-- Casa de la Pradera

1 Winter squash or Pumpkin-- Butte Mountain Farm or Harmony Hill Farm

Curly parsley-- Harmony Hill Farm

Sorrel-- Butte Mountain Farm or Arugula or Mizuna-- Casa de la Pradera

3 lb. Apples-- Humbug Creek Farm

1/2 gal. Apple Cider-- Humbug Creek Farm

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 Customer coordinator Michelle Grondin at 419-2503, or
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!
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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.