Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 6 Number 23    June 10, 2014

Please excuse the delay in getting the newsletter to you, due to technical difficulties.


Skipping Reminder

Summer is upon us, and that means many of you will be traveling at some point this season. This is just a reminder that the procedure for skipping your produce box for a week (or more) is to contact customer coordinator Michelle ( or 419-2503) or center coordinator Carolyn ( or 223-4814) by 9 am on Thursday at the latest (the more notice the better) the week before you need to skip. We order the produce for the boxes on Thursdays, and while we try to be flexible to accommodate our customers, late cancellations can mean unsold produce for us. Please feel free to contact Michelle if you have any questions about our policies.


Open House

Mother Lode Harvest is having an Open House at the ranch of one of its producer members, Dark Horse Ranch in Fiddletown, on Saturday, July12 from 10 am to 1 pm. This is a great opportunity to meet Dark Horse's Dan and Sherry Fields, learn about their animal-raising practices, and see what else they have going on on the ranch. There will be other producer members on hand to answer any questions you may have about growing sustainably, and you can enjoy the company of your fellow association members. Savor the day and the local food-based snacks at our first open house this year! Dark Horse Ranch is located at 17470 Tyler Road in Fiddletown, approximately 5 miles up the hill, on the right. For more information, call Michelle at 419-2503, or email


FIELD NOTES: Fiddlehick Farm, Fiddletown

This is a time of growth and transition at our little farm. We are expanding the number of our raised beds for growing, but had a long wait for the lumber for the project, so we are scrambling to get the boxes made and filled to plant our summer crops. In the meantime, we had to pull out a lot of our spring crops to make room for some of our summer plants which were languishing in pots. So we were not even able to list any items for sale on the website this week! We hope our plants aren't too stressed out by the delay, and now this week's heat, to catch up to where they should be. We used up all our own compost pretty quickly, but found a new source that we are very happy with, and think our plants will be happy getting their roots into it.

Like many places around the county, leafhoppers seem to be a bit of a problem at the farm this year. As soon as we finish our current massive box project, we will return our attention to weed control to discourage the bugs. We are not worried yet, as there seem to be plenty of birds and beneficial insects around to keep things in balance.

Since we have been pushing to get our garden ready for summer, we have been delayed in our goal to get some guinea fowl for the property, but plan to get some by the end of the month. While we do enjoy our beneficial insects, the birds' prowess in controlling bug populations is something we are really looking forward to.

Joe was given a birthday gift last month of a handmade sign with our farm name on it, which hangs proudly on our garden fence. We feel official now!


Shallot-and-Lime-Marinated Fish Tacos with Cabbage

Contributed by Phoebe Lapine for Food and Wine


1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound skinless snapper, catfish, tilapia, sole, or other thin white fish fillets

Eight 6-inch corn tortillas

2 cups finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

1 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 400°. In a 9x13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, mix the shallot with the garlic, lime juice, honey, hot sauce, salt and olive oil. Add the fish and turn several times to coat. Let the fish stand in the marinade for 10 minutes.

Roast the fish for about 10 minutes, until cooked through. Flake the fish with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm in the oven for 1 minute, until soft and pliable. Serve the fish, passing the tortillas, cabbage, cilantro, lime wedges and sour cream at the table.


Twice-Cooked Latkes with Shallot Cream

Contributed by Marc Forgione for Food and Wine, Published February 2014


1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoon minced shallot

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 ¼ pounds potatoes, cut into wedges

1 small onion, quartered

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Vegetable oil, for frying

1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

Snipped chives, for garnish


In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with the shallot and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate the shallot cream until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325º. In a food processor, shred the potatoes and the small onion. Transfer to a strainer set over a bowl and season with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes, then squeeze dry in a kitchen towel. Pour off the liquid in the bowl and add the potatoes and onion. Stir in the egg, egg yolk, butter and cornstarch.

Scoop 1/3-cup mounds of the potatoes onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and flatten them to 1/4 inch thick. Bake for about 15 minutes, until just set. Let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 200º.

In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 350º. Working in batches, fry the sweet onion slices until golden, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain; keep warm in the oven.

Reheat the oil to 350º. Working in batches, fry the latkes, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a platter and garnish with snipped chives. Serve with the fried onions and shallot cream.

Make Ahead: The baked latkes can be refrigerated overnight. Let return to room temperature before frying.

Tangy Sorrel and Potato Soup with Bacon

Contributed by Eberhard Müller for Food and Wine, from Cooking Seasonal | Spring Dishes from Eberhard Müller, Published April 2001

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 pound French baguette, crusts removed, bread cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 ounces smoky bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream

1/2 pound sorrel, stems discarded, leaves coarsely chopped


Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet. Add the diced baguette and cook over moderately low heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Stir the croutons and cook until crisp all over, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Add the bacon and cook over moderately low heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the stock and garlic and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest and the crème fraîche and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sorrel. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve; pass the croutons at the table.

Make Ahead: The croutons can be made a day ahead. Store in an airtight container. The soup can be made without the sorrel and refrigerated overnight. Bring to a simmer and add the coarsely chopped sorrel just before serving.



Single Box:

Loose leaf lettuce --Harmony Hill Farm or Casa de la Pradera

Asparagus - Butte Mountain Farm

Summer squash - Paloma Pollinators

Shallots - Butte Mountain Farm

Cabbage - Tyson Hill Farm

Potatoes - Tyson Hill Farm

Mixed fresh fruit - Tyson Hill Farm


Family Box:

Sorrel-- Butte Mountain Farm or Casa de la Pradera

Salad mix-- Casa de la Pradera or Paloma Pollinators

Shallots - Butte Mountain Farm

Summer squash - Paloma Pollinators

Cabbage - Tyson Hill Farm

Potatoes - Tyson Hill Farm

Mixed fresh fruit - Tyson Hill Farm

Customers Dick and Josie
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 our tech leader, Jo Ann, at, or 304-7654.
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!

Other Local Agriculture News:

This is from the FoCuS newsletter.

Potato Hilling Time!

Yes, we have a FoCuS/Sonora High School potato patch this year, and those potatoes are looking quite healthy. With last-minute changes in planting times due to weather and high school field trip schedules, my apologies to all for not getting word out so all could participate. However, a large crew of high schoolers arrived for a mid-week field trip at the Wildcat Ranch site and literally dug in to the tasks at hand. They planted potatoes, a beautiful purple corn from Mexico, and a raised-bed veggie garden before noon! This crew of students really has what it takes to make things happen!

Now we have an opportunity to show our support for the high school project and its objective to put a local food system on the map. Please come June 14th, 8 am-10 am, to help hill this beautiful potato patch with an enthusiastic group of students. Hilling potatoes means we will cover the stems of the potato plants with loose soil so the plants can produce more potatoes from the stems we cover (all potatoes grow between the seed potato planted and the leafy top of the plant—the more the stems are buried, the more potatoes can form). Many hands make hilling light work, so come see for yourself what the high school has accomplished in just a few short months. Wildcat Ranch is located on the corner of Tuolumne Road and Wards Ferry Road, about ½ mile west of the Standard baseball fields.


WHEN: June 14, 8 am – 10 am

WHERE: Wildcat Ranch, the corner or Tuolumne and Wards Ferry Roads


Mother Lode Farm to School Network

The local food supply is always of interest to FoCuS members. We have a newly-formed collaboration in our foothill counties called The Mother Lode Farm to School Network (MLFSN). Kevin and Autumn Hesser have done a amazing job of pulling together excited participants from several counties who are interested in providing our children with knowledge about healthy eating habits and hands-on training in growing food in their schools and at home. FoCuS is “…dedicated to the principles of sustainable living and improving community self-reliance and well-being through education and collaboration...” according to our mission statement. MLFSN is a great example of furthering the FoCuS mission. Anyone interested in updates or volunteer opportunities with the network, please email Katryn Weston ( or Val Dambacher (


Val Dambacher

Secretary of FoCuS

FoCuS: Creating new educational opportunities for greater self reliance in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.

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.