Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 6 Number 35   September 2, 2014


On Saturday, September 13, Mother Lode Harvest invites our members to our Summer Open House at Humbug Creek Farm, at 17425 Hwy 26 in Glencoe. Spend a quintessential fall day picking apples and pressing them into cider with farmers Steve Wilensky and Pat Noll! This was a very popular event last year, and this year promises to be a full and lovely day:

7-9 am-- Apple picking

10 am-1 or 2 pm-- Cider pressing

2 pm-- Farm-made Chevre tasting, cider tasting, and Farm tour-- tour the garden and their orchard of over 100 varieties of heirloom and rare apples, pears, and Asian pears, and see their new industrial-size greenhouse!

3 pm-- 4-course Mediterranean-inspired meal, made with MLH produce and meat, of course, and served with local wine and Humbug cider.

The Open House is free to all MLH members. The 4-course meal is $35, including wine on the table (additional wine available for purchase). Seating for the meal is limited, so make your reservation as soon as possible!

To make reservations for the Open House and/or the dinner, please contact Michelle by Saturday, September 6 at 419-2503 or


FIELD NOTES: Abbondanza, Plymouth

The activities at Abbondanza currently center on picking figs and grapes. The fig trees produced a very good crop that is almost over. At first it felt like the birds were getting most but soon they began ripening so fast that the birds either could not keep up or were getting tired of eating them. Now grapes are ripening fast too. We managed to net some of the seedless flame variety and have been rewarded with a large clean crop. All our grapes are mildew free due to diligent inspection and spraying with organic whole milk and whey before veraison. (Veraison is the term for when a red or blue-black grapes turns from green to their final color and mildew does not bother them then as it occurs on green grapes and the little green stems and leaves) An interesting effect of the drought perhaps is last year these crops were ripe about a week earlier than usual, this year it is three weeks earlier.

Due to the drought I planted much less but still have wonderful sweet and hot pepper plants, tomatoes, and some squash. At the moment winter crops such as kale, chard, and onion seeds are being planted and the basil crop is being harvested almost daily!

Much of the attention this summer has been organizing and making more compost heaps. One never has enough compost.

This summer saw a new aspect of Abbondanza with the production of our first essential oils. With the purchase of a steam distiller that can handle 20 pounds of dry material we began turning all our dried lavender buds into essential oil and hydrosol. Aside from lavender oils we have also created essential oils from rosemary and eucalyptus. Over the course of time we will try local plants like incense cedar, fir, and pine. It is quite exciting and a great learning experience. The farm is in the process of becoming certified with Stellar (organic) and Demeter (Biodynamic) that will give our label a very special meaning.

Lavender and rosemary are both so beneficial not only with their oils but to the bees with their blossoming flowers. A grand plus is these plants are disliked by deer and gophers and have the added benefit of being drought tolerant. Our beautiful lavender plants here received no irrigation for the past two years aside from what fell from the sky.

As always we welcome visitors (please call or e-mail ahead) and enjoy participating at the Plymouth Farmer’s Market on Thursday’s 4-7 this time of year.


Crunchy Pear Salsa

Bon Appétit | March 2003

yield: Makes about 3 cups


3 8-ounce firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 large serrano or jalapeño chili with seeds, minced

1 teaspoon sugar


Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)


Cucumber, Tomato and Feta Salad

Bon Appétit | June 2011

by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

yield: Makes 8 servings


6 cups coarsely chopped cucumbers

1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 cup assorted pitted olives (such as Kalamata or Gaeta), halved

1 7-ounce package feta, crumbled, divided

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, olives, half of feta, and mint in a large bowl. Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; season dressing with salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle remaining half of feta over and serve.

Summer Squash Ribbons with Onion and Parmesan

Judy Lockhart, Cooking Light

JUNE 2005


4 medium summer squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup thinly vertically sliced onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved fresh Parmesan cheese


Using a vegetable peeler, shave squash into ribbons to measure 5 cups. Discard seeds and core of squash.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add squash, onion, and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until onion is tender, gently stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add salt, red pepper, and black pepper, and toss gently to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.



Single Box

Cucumber-- Damas

Onions-- Randall's Corner

Summer Squash-- Casa de la Pradera

Cherry Tomatoes-- Harmony Hill Farm

Raspberries-- Berry Creative Cowgirl

Pears-- Mirabelle Vineyard and Orchard

Mint-- Humbug Creek Farm


Family Box

Cucumbers-- Harmony Hill Farm or Butte Mountain Farm

Salad Mix or Lettuce-- Casa de la Pradera or Harmony Hill Farm

Onions-- Randall's Corner

Summer Squash-- Butte Mountain Farm

Tomatoes-- Sun Earth Energy

Raspberries-- Berry Creative Cowgirl

Peaches-- Humbug Creek Farm

Customers Dick and Josie
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Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601
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