Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 7 Number 9    March 3, 2015

FIELD NOTES: Casa de la Pradera, Fiddletown

Despite the worries about drought, I have been enjoying the early spring we are having--including the recent couple of rains, which have just saved me from having to water my crops. Because the soil is already dry enough to plant, I have been able to direct seed a block of snap peas, and last week I transplanted 8 rows of lettuce, bok choi, two varieties of kale, cabbage and escarole. My greenhouse is nearly full of seedlings of cool weather crops, and I will be planting another round this week. A block of sugar peas will go in this week too.

Soon it will be time to plant the warm weather crops in the greenhouse, but I have learned not to be impatient with those coveted tomatoes (the ONLY vegetable, in the opinion of some!) because they like settled warm weather and warm soil.

I will be experimenting with growing artichokes this year. I am also planning on rotating my summer crops in a new way, so that I am growing species of vegetables where I've never had them. In this way I hope to cut some pest cycles that have become somewhat entrenched. I think this summer mulching will be paramount, to keep moisture and cool the soil.

My project for the winter has been to have quite a few trees cut down at the edge of the woods facing my house, for increased defensible space in case of a fire. The Sand fire last summer scared the daylights out of me, and I decided that I needed to push the woods back and thin out crowded, spindly and unhealthy trees. Winter is nearly over, and because we've had so few safe burn days, I am still burning the brush from the trees and cutting up the firewood. The first day of spring is less than three weeks away!


MLH March Events: Farm Tour, Cooking Class

Mother Lode Harvest (MLH) is having its winter quarter Open House at one of its member farms, Butte Mountain Farm in Jackson, on Saturday, March 7, from 1 to 4 pm. Farmer Carolyn Boyd and her helpers will conduct tours of the farm, which will include the sheep barn, the deluxe chicken coop, the greenhouse, and the extensive garden, and will discuss farming using sustainable methods. Information about Mother Lode Harvest will be available, and there will be light refreshments featuring local foods. All are invited to attend the Open House. This event is free, though donations to Mother Lode Harvest are welcome (suggested donation $5.oo per adult). Butte Mountain Farm is located at 17336 Butte Mountain Road, 3 miles down Butte Mountain Road from the intersection with Clinton Road. Please call 209-223-4814 for more information.

On Thursday, March 26, Mother Lode Harvest will hold a seasonal cooking class at Amador 360, 18590 Hwy 49 in Plymouth, at 5:30 pm. Eating food that is local and seasonal this time of year means eating lots of wonderful greens. Chef and MLH member Shelly Hills will demonstrate several mouth-watering ways to cook the tasty greens that are available locally now. Brian Miller of Amador 360 will give wine pairing tips for the dishes featured, and attendees can enjoy tastes of the food and wine. The class is open to the public, with limited seating, and is $10 per person. Please call Michelle Grondin at 209-419-2503 to reserve your seat.


Swiss-Chard and Sun-Dried-Tomato Calzone

Contributed by Quick from Scratch Vegetable Main Dishes

From Recipe of the Day Archive: July 2010


Servings: 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

1 pound ricotta

1/2 pound mozzarella, grated (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1/4 cup drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

1 pound store-bought or homemade pizza dough


Heat the oven to 450°. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the Swiss chard and 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the chard is wilted and no liquid remains in the pan, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool. Squeeze out any remaining liquid, if necessary.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the chard and mix well.

Oil a large baking sheet. Cut the pizza dough into four pieces. On a floured surface, roll or stretch each of the pieces into an 8-inch round. Spoon a quarter of the cheese mixture onto one half of each round, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Brush the border with water and then fold the dough up over the filling. Seal the edges by folding the edge of the dough over and pinching it. Transfer the calzone to the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the remaining tablespoon of oil and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Open-Face Omelets with Spicy Feta and Escarole

Contributed by Ana Sortun for Food and Wine

Published January 2015



Servings: 2


1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar (see Note)

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 ounces sheep-milk feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

1 scallion, white part only, finely chopped

1/2 jalapeño, minced

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups shredded escarole



In a small bowl, mix the za’atar with 2 tablespoons of the oil. In another bowl, mash the feta, scallion and jalapeño with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth.

In a small nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of water (it’s OK if a few lumps remain). Pour half the mixture into the skillet and swirl the pan to form a thin omelet. Sprinkle half the escarole and half the feta mixture evenly over the eggs; cook over moderately low heat until the escarole starts to wilt, the feta melts and the omelet is just cooked through, 3 minutes. Slide onto a plate and season with pepper. Repeat with the remaining oil, eggs, escarole and feta mixture.

Drizzle the za’atar oil over the omelets and serve.

Notes: If za’atar, the Middle Eastern spice blend, is unavailable, stir 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 teaspoon each of sesame seeds and dried oregano.



MLH NEWS: Box Subscriptions Starting!

The box subscriptions will start up again on Tuesday, March 10. We will be starting with just the established customers, then opening up to new customers as we expand our supply of produce.

The pickup hours will still be 10:30 am to noon, and 4:30 to 6 pm in Jackson. Delivery to Plymouth at Amador 360, with pickup hours of 12 to 6 pm, will be available for an additional $3 per box and prepayment of orders.

Contact Customer coordinator Michelle Grondin for more information at, or 209-419-2503.

Customers Dick and Josie


Mother Lode 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. Prepaid orders may also be picked up in Volcano or Plymouth. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to Mother Lode Harvest, or before pickup by PayPal.

New customers will need to register by using the "join" button on the website before they can shop. A signed customer agreement and membership dues may be mailed to MLH, or brought to the distribution center with your first pickup.

If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our customer coordinator, Michelle, at, or 419-2503.


MLH Calendar of Events

March 7, 1-4 pm: Winter Quarter Farm Tour-- Butte Mountain Farm, Jackson

March 26, 5:30 pm: Seasonal Cooking Class-- Amador 360, Plymouth

April 16, 6-9 pm: Farm-to-fork Dinner at Rosebud's Cafe, Jackson

April 25: The Great Sutter Creek Duck Race, Sutter Creek

May 2: Amador Four Fires, Plymouth

May 17: Spring Quarter Farm Tour-- Winterport Farm, Ione

May 31: Farm-to-fork Dinner with music by Over the Edge-- Friis Family Home, Sutter Creek

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.