Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 9 Number 2  January 10, 2017

FIELD NOTES: Blue Mountain Orchards, West Point

Blue Mountain Orchards is located on 35 acres situated at the southern edge of the township of West Point in Calaveras County. The property has been in continuous habitation since the gold rush era and its history has been distinguished by the residence of several prominent agriculturists. Dr. Reed, a horticulturist with a state-wide reputation, lived on the premises in the late 19th century and planted many of the fruit and nut trees that still bear. Dr. Charles Hollingshead, an international educator, bought the property in 1933 and planted the apple orchard and introduced terraced vineyards and fruit and nut groves inspired by his years in Albania. In 1984, after the death of his daughter Elma, Ron Brickman came into the property and started an extensive renovation by replanting much of the apple orchard in heirloom varieties, expanding the range of fruit and nut varieties, and making various improvements in fencing and irrigation.

At 2850 feet elevation, Blue Mountain Orchards is located at a higher elevation than most producer members of Mother Lode Harvest. The unique topography and microclimate of West Point, including an above average annual rainfall, gives the area an even more mountainous character than its elevation would indicate. While crops are unpredictable from one year to the next, the guaranteed low-chill numbers and abundant ground water lend a superior quality to harvested fruits and nuts.

The year 2016 was not a great year for the summer vegetable garden, but the old reliables of walnuts, chestnuts, Concord grapes and blackberries—ideally suited to West Point’s climate—produced in abundance. The year also saw the replacing of several old apple trees with modern varieties, the planting of new cherry and plum varieities, and with the aid of fellow MLH producer and neighbor Kurt Voll the replanting of the raspberry patch in the berry garden.

Much of the production of Blue Mountain Orchards does not go for direct sale to the consumer but instead is used to sustain a flourishing activity to revive the traditions, techniques and rewards of home food preservation. Through the years, Blue Mountain Orchards has developed and perfected an extensive line of traditionally prepared specialty food products—jams, jellies, pickles, relishes, condiments, and preserved fruits-- that are superior to what is found in standard commerce.

For further information, those interested are invited to consult the website of Blue Mountain Orchards’ companion activity, the Blue Mountain Chamber Music Retreat, There you can find additional background information on the property and its current owner and operator, and complete information about products made under the Blue Mountain Orchard label.


Here I sit watching the rain and waiting for the "downpour" ! Hopefully everyone is ready! We need the rain but maybe not all at the same time! Most of us can remember that time the road washed out- let's hope we don't have those type memories this time!

MLH has some new and exciting things happening. Don't miss the upcoming meetings for more info. We will serve you lunch at the February meeting! Come by and say hi at the DC on Tuesday! See ya....


Sauteed Cabbage and Carrots

By Jehancancook at

Servings 4

Total Time: 25mins Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins

Cabbage and Carrots are sauteed with fragrant ginger and garlic. This is usually served as a side dish to stews in Guyana and the Caribbean.”



1⁄2 head cabbage, finely shredded

1 carrot, shredded

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1⁄2 medium onion, finely chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon canola oil



Heat canola oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Add ginger and garlic, cook for about 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add carrots, cabbage, salt and black pepper; Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the vinegar and stir to combine. Remove from heat. Serve warm.

Notes: I prefer the cabbage to be crisp but if you prefer it to be softer you can add about 1/4 vegetable or chicken stock, and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until it is the texture that you desire. If using stock, be sure to adjust the amount of salt in the dish since stocks do tend to have sodium.


Scrambled Eggs With Caramelized Shallots

Prep Time 0:10 Cook Time 0:25

Recipe Serves 2-3


You can make this recipe more interesting by adding chopped dried mushrooms or dried tomatoes that have been rehydrated in warm water for 15 minutes.


1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced thinly

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1/8 cup half-and-half

3 tbsp cream cheese

salt and pepper to taste

fresh herbs, chopped (I like basil or parsley)



Heat butter and extra virgin olive oil in a medium frying pan over low heat. When butter has melted, add shallots and allow to caramelize, stirring only occasionally. This should take about 20 minutes.

While shallots cook, whisk eggs with half-and-half.

Once shallots have caramelized, increase heat to medium and add egg mixture. Stir occasionally. Once eggs are nearly done, drop the cream cheese in small globs over the eggs. Stir gently to incorporate.

Once eggs have finished cooking, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve eggs garnished with fresh herbs.

Roasted Beet or Turnip Salad



4 or 5 beets or turnips, greens removed and saved for another use

Olive Oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill or mint

1/2 cup walnuts, roasted

Feta or gorgonzola cheese (optional)



Preheat oven to 400° F.

Scrub roots and remove greens. Drizzle the roots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the roots in aluminum foil and crimp the sides closed, put them on a baking tray and put it in the oven. The foil isn’t absolutely necessary, but it will help to keep the roots moist. Cook the beets until they are tender – 45 minutes or more, depending on the size of the roots. Note that if you are using the oven for another purpose and the temperature isn’t 400°, the roots will still roast well, but the time in the oven will vary.

While the roots are in the oven, prepare a vinaigrette with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar. Add the dill and shake it up. This salad will be great without the dill. Another surprisingly good option is mint.

When the roots are cool enough to handle, you can slip their skins off by rubbing them with a paper towel. This is step that isn’t absolutely necessary, but the skin can sometimes be a bit off flavor or bitter. If the peel doesn’t come off easily after roasting, it may not really be necessary to take it off. Slice up the rooots while they are still warm (they absorb the vinaigrette better when warm), and pour the vinaigrette over them. Top with the walnuts and season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the cheese, if you have it, over the salad right before serving.


Single Box

1 bunch carrots Produce Express/Capay

1 cabbage Produce Express/Capay

1/2 lb. shallots Butte Mountain Farm

1/2 doz. small eggs Butte Mountain Farm

1/2 lb. walnuts Humbug Creek Farm

2 Meyer lemons Abbondanza

1 oz. dried persimmons Casa de la Pradera


Family Box

1 bunch carrots Produce Express/Capay

1 cabbage Produce Express/Capay

1 oz. dried boletus mushrooms Casa de la Pradera

1/4 lb. arugula Butte Mountain Farm

1 bunch turnips Butte Mountain Farm

1 oz. dried tomatoes Butte Mountain Farm

1/2 doz. eggs Butte Mountain Farm

1/2 lb. walnuts Humbug Creek Farm



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


January 23 Monday Producers Annual Planning Meeting Teresa's Banquet Room 6:00-8:00 This is a must-attend opportunity to plan the produce MLH will be offering this coming year.


February 25 Saturday ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 12:00-2:00 This is an opportunity to enjoy the company of fellow members of MLH and brainstorm ways to take MLH to where we need to go this coming year. If you have been or are currently a member of MLH and enjoy the bounty of local, sustainably raised produce and other products, we need your input. Soup and salad on us.

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.

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