Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 5 Number 52    December 31, 2013

DAMAS Vineyards Winter News

Submitted by Mara Feeney


We have observed dustings of snow in Fiddletown a few times over the years, but have never seen several inches of the white stuff fall and stay around for a week.  We had a WWOOFer from Paris visit for a few days during that time. It was so cold we could do little other than de-stem raisins and shell walnuts indoors, though we also managed to take out the frozen tomato plants.


The weather antics kept us dashing—installing frost covers, shutting down irrigation systems, wrapping pipes, insulating the barn cats’ bed, and fixing broken water lines that were overlooked.  We did all we could to protect the crops, but repeated freezing took its toll even on the cold-hardy cabbages. We thought we had lost virtually everything growing in the garden, but some herbs and lettuces miraculously revived themselves with the return of warmth, we were able to harvest some potatoes even after the plants had turned to mush, and the newly sprouted fava bean plants look as if they enjoyed their dip in the freeze. 


With the olive harvest behind us, the vineyard now dormant, and not much to do in the garden, we have been able to catch up on tasks like wood splitting,  firewood stacking, and pruning fruit and nut trees.  The dry weather has also allowed us to do some discing and tilling, leaf raking, and compost making. We try to keep working when we can to prepare for the 2014 season, but frankly we’d rather be seeing some big rain storms that would drive us indoors to sit by the fire and look at the seed catalogues arriving in the mail weekly. The valleys look oddly brown and dry, the cows working overtime to find a green morsel to eat. Here’s hoping for a really wet first quarter of the new year to replenish our wells and reservoirs.

YOU KNOW YOU ARE A FARMER WHEN all you want from Santa is a double load of organic turkey manure.


A message from Daniel D'Agostini of Abbondanza Farm:

Greetings, happy holidays and happy new year.
In the new year I will be announcing my intent to run for the position of County Supervisor District 5 in the June 5th Primary Election. You may be scratching your head wondering why I would want to do that or be thinking, how could I fit that in with Abbondanza and the photography. (look here to see what's going on: )
Well,  I do have abundant energy but I am also feeling these days a growing sense of civic responsibility and an internal feeling of "if not us, who? If not now, when?" 
I will be running as an independent creative thinking person seeking ways to enhance the lives of all members of our community and be wise in our stewardship of these precious rural foothills we call Amador County. I will be running on a campaign of "fresh positive leadership".  
I have scheduled a meeting at Kamere Winery on the evening of Wednesday January 8, beginning at 6:30 pm where I will present and discuss my views and plans and most importantly, seek helpers in the election.  I would sure appreciate you coming to the meeting and bring others with you too.
Again, all the best to you over the holidays,
{  Signature-In-Lieu filing papers can be picked up on Dec. 27 and I will need help getting signatures. If you would like to help get signatures before the January meeting or have special election skills you would like to share with me, please call (209-245-3846) or send me a personal e-mail at any time. Thanks :-) }


Manchego Cheese with Quince Paste for a New Year's Eve appetizer:

Manchego, made from rich sheep's milk, is perhaps the best known of the Spanish cheeses. Its flavor, similar to that of Parmigiano-Reggiano, provides an ideal foil for fruit or quince paste, a traditional accompaniment.


Manchego cheese (available at some cheese shops, some specialty foods shops, and some supermarkets)
quince paste (membrillo)


Cut cheese into 1/4-inch-thick wedges, discarding rind, and cut quince paste into 1/8-inch-thick rectangles. Top cheese wedges with quince paste wedges and arrange on a platter.



December Announcement
    Due to the surprise winter snow and freezing weather, MotherLode Harvest
has determined that we will need to take a break from providing our weekly CSA boxes to
our subscribers.  Our producers are reporting much snow and ice, so crops are growing
more slowly than expected.
    We anticipate being able to begin again by the end of January or early February.
We will alert you when producers determine that they have quantity and quality produce 
ready for your CSA boxes.
    Here are further details:
*1.  Your last subscriber box of the year will be on Tuesday, December 17 and it will 
be a DOUBLE BOX (count for two weeks of your subscription) and will be full of items
that will last for several weeks.
**2.  You can still order add-on items for next week as they are available but they must be
picked up at the distribution center.
***3. You may go on line to check your current credit balance at any time.  Look at the
"invoice" tab to find your current information.
Wednesday, December 18 until January 7.  There will be NO ORDERING during this
two-week period.  We thank and appreciate our staff members and wish them a refreshing
two-week break!
We wish you a healthy and happy holiday with friends and family.
Karen Friis for MotherLode Harvest

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!

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.