|GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 8 Number 11 March 15, 2016
FIELD NOTES: Mother Lode Harvest Notes:
Article of Interest: Why we should Worry About Big Ag's Privatization of Seeds
Mother Lode Harvest held its General Membership Meeting in the banquet room at Teresa's Restaurant on Saturday, March 12. The meeting was well-attended, though populated more by producers than customer members. Following a soup-and-salad lunch, the meeting commenced, with the agenda covering the election of the board of directors, and the introduction of new president Emily Beals.
Producer Coordinator Steve Wilensky of Humbug Creek Farm then took a turn at the microphone to describe MLH's new business model, which calls for an expansion of both customer and producer members that would create an economy of scale to ensure financial security. This ideally would allow for some of the most important tasks in the operation of MLH to be paid, since running on volunteer power alone can lead to burnout and lower productivity. Committees are currently working on customer and producer recruitment, as well as fundraising and marketing through community events and other avenues.
The topic of the meeting then turned to the first annual MLH Farm-to-Fork dinner, the Summer Solstice Celebration to be held Saturday, June 18, at Abbondanza in Shenandoah Valley. Director and dinner committee member Valerie Fontenot broke down the event tasks that need more hands to make them happen, and volunteers stepped forward for these, as well as other committee positions.
Those who attended the meeting left feeling energized and infused with a spirit of community, which is largely what Mother Lode Harvest is all about. If you were not able to attend the meeting but would like to help with the dinner or another committee, please contact Emily at email@example.com.
MARCH 19 Butte Mountain Farm Tour 1:00-4:00 17336 Butte Mountain Rd. Jackson
We are just squeaking in a winter quarter open house before winter ends, on Saturday, March 19 from 1 to 4 pm at Butte Mountain Farm in Jackson. This will be a great time to visit the farm of Carolyn Boyd, as she has been welcoming a bunch of new lambs into the world. Visitors to her farm always enjoy seeing the baby lambs and the rest of the flock, her extensive chicken coops, and her garden-with-a-view, and learning how she manages it all sustainably.
Take advantage of this opportunity to meet Carolyn, who is also MLH's Distribution Coordinator, as well as other MLH producers who will be on hand, and feel free to ask them your gardening/farming questions. As with our other open houses, there will be light refreshments served. This event is free, but donations are welcome (suggested donation $5.00 per adult).
By Elizabeth Fraser, Anuradha Mittal
For most of history, farmers have had control over their seeds: saving, sharing and replanting them with freedom. However, legal changes have greatly eroded this autonomy, starting by the Plant Variety Protection Act (1970) which systematically corroded farmers rights to save seeds for future use. With this law as the legal background Monsanto had sued 410 famers and 56 small farms businesses for patent infringement by 2012.
In 2011, only four transnational agri-businesses—Monsanto, Dupont Pioneer, Syngenta and Vilmorin—controlled 58% of the commercial seed market. The top six companies controlled 75% of all private plant breeding research, 60% of commercial seed sales and 76% of the global agrochemical market. The World Bank also played a role, making efforts to open African markets to private seeds companies, which means allowing corporations like Monsanto to take away farmers rights to save seeds and implement intellectual property over seeds.
Two arguments are often put forward in favor of GM seeds are the need to feed the world's burgeoning population and the potential for these new seeds to reduce overall pesticide use. Neither of these claims promulgated by industry have proved true. Globally, we are currently producing more than enough food to adequately feed our population; however, that food isn't being distributed fairly. And herbicide resistant weeds actually require more chemical cocktails to stay productive.
The Good News
In April 2014 the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) was launched as a group dedicated to maintaining fair and open access to plant genetic resources worldwide. OSSI advocates a new type of plant licensing called Open Source, that makes plant materials a) widely available, b) modifiable by any actor, and c) distributable provided the same terms of the original license carry forward. These licenses would prevent the patenting of plants materials in the future.
The mobilization against the use of GM crops has gained momentum. In 2013, the global “March Against Monsanto” brought about two million citizens to the streets across the globe. Days later Mexico imposed a ban on genetically modified corn, and in 2014 a judge revoked Monsanto's planting permit. Also, in 2014 the Chilean government withdrew a bill that would allow Monsanto to patent seeds in the country. Another example is China's strong stance against GM products. The next ten years have to build on these successes, advocating for the health of our planet and our food.
Candied Lemon Slices
Author: ©Amy Johnson | She Wears Many Hats
4 Meyer lemons (or two regular lemons)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
Thinly sliced lemons and remove any seeds. You should have about 24 thin slices, give or take.
Prepare a medium-size bowl with ice and water.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add lemon slices and boil for one minute. remove slices from boiling water and plunge into ice water for a couple of minutes until cool, then drain.
In a medium-size skillet bring sugar and water to a simmer, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved.
Add lemon slices in a single layer and simmer for about an hour, until rinds are translucent.
Remove lemon slices and cool on wire rack.
Use candied lemon slices to garnish cakes and other baked goods.
Candied lemon slices may be kept refrigerated up to one month in a sealed, airtight container.
Adapted slightly from Martha Stewart.
Coconut Flour Carrot Cake (Dairy-free)
Serves: 1 cake
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup melted coconut oil
8 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups shredded carrots (about 4 carrots)
⅓ cup diced pineapple (optional)
¼ cup raisins (optional)
1 batch Maple Pecan Glaze
Shredded coconut, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350F and generously grease your pan with coconut oil. (If you're using 9-inch cake pans, use parchment paper instead for easier removal.)
To prepare the cake, combine the coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice and baking soda, and mix well to create a uniform batter. If any of your ingredients are cold the mixture will be thicker than traditional cake batter, but don't worry, it will still bake just fine! Once the batter is uniform, stir in the shredded carrots, pineapple, and raisins (if using).
Pour the batter into your prepared pan(s) and bake at 350 until the center is firm, about 35-40 minutes for 9-inch pans, or about 45-50 minutes for the bundt pan. Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting with the Maple Pecan Glaze, or other topping of choice.
For best shelf-life, store the cake covered in the fridge for up to one week.
Maple Pecan Glaze (Dairy-free)
Serves: 1 cup
This rich, maple glaze is the perfect complement to your favorite baked goods this Fall.
¾ cup pecans
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
The glaze may be used immediately, but will thicken up when chilled. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.