Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Issue 20         May 17, 2016

MLH NEWS: Spring Open House – This week!

Mother Lode Harvest is having its spring quarter open house at the farm of one of its producer members on Sunday, May 22, from 12 pm to 3 pm. The event will take place at Casa de la Pradera, the farm of Alice Kaiser, 20161 American Flat Road in Fiddletown. Mother Lode Harvest members, as well as local residents who would like to learn about sustainable agriculture and accessing local food, are invited to tour the farm and enjoy demonstrations, information, and light refreshments. Other participating growers will also be on hand to answer questions about sustainable farming.

Parking for the event is at the old Schoolhouse across the road from the cemetery and the farm; attendees should park at the Schoolhouse and walk the short distance to the farm. A $5 suggested donation per adult is requested to support the work of Mother Lode Harvest, which is a nonprofit association. For more information, call Alice Kaiser at 209-245-6042, or email her at

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The"THIS-n-THAT" board. A place to list those things we want to Buy -Sell- Trade !

May Produce of the Month: Fava Beans

Fava beans—also known by a variety of other names, including broad bean, field bean, horse bean, English bean, pigeon bean and bell bean—is a member of the vetch and pea family Fabaceae. It is thought they originated in the Near East or Mediterranean, as evidence of them has been found in the oldest known human settlements. They were cultivated by ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and were used in funeral rites because they are one of the few plants that has true black as a prominent component of its flower.

It is amazing to see fava beans grow. The beans develop from upright leafy stalks, sticking straight out, perpendicular to the stalk. No other bean grows like that, then again the fava is not a true bean, it is actually a legume. However, when shelled it resembles a lima bean, which makes it very exciting considering it can be harvested before the summer beans have even sprouted! That is because, unlike the beans you might be most familiar with, it is very cold tolerant. If planted in late fall, it will sprout, then wait for late winter/early spring to flower, for late spring harvest.

Fava beans can be prepared in a myriad of ways. Young tender pods can be harvested, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grilled whole for a delicious appetizer or side dish. Many cultures let the fava beans fully mature and then dry the seeds inside the pod for use in soups, stews, or spreads later.

For best use when just mature, the beans must be shelled from the long, green pods. If the beans are young and tender enough, the inner seeds can be cooked as is, but if the whitish skin around the inner bean has become firm, this too should be removed (easiest way is to blanch the beans for a minute, cool, then slit the outer casing and squeeze the vivid green inner bean out—or do like Dan D’Agostini and simply put them in a ziplock bag in the freezer, and deal with them some other time—the freezer has a similar effect to blanching). Sautee these in a little olive oil and/or butter and you will feel as if you have just had a mega-dose of something extremely healthy and tasty too. Or, you can whir up the cooked beans with a hand blender, along with some parmesan, a splash of olive oil, salt & pepper for a heavenly concoction to smear on toasted slices of baguette. Or, Google recipes ranging from Martha Stewart to Saveur. Bon Appetit!


Obtaining the Most Nutrients From Your Food

By Franziska Spritzler for Authority Nutrition

Eating nutritious foods improves your health and energy levels, but the way you cook it greatly affects the amount of nutrients left in it. This article explores the different cooking methods and how they affect the nutrient content of your food.

Boiling, simmering and poaching. These are similar methods of water-based cooking that differ by water temperature. Boiling reduces vitamin C more than any other cooking method, so your broccoli and spinach lose up to 50% of nutrients. Simmering also affects B vitamins in the food; however, if you consume the juices of the vegetables you will retain 100% of their minerals and B vitamins. On the other hand, these techniques are the best to preserve the omega 3 fatty acids in fish.

Grilling and broiling. When grilling the heat source comes from below, and when broiling it comes from above. When the juices drip from the food, you lose up to 40% of B vitamins. There is also the concern of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are potentially cancer-causing substances that form when meat is grilled and fat drips onto a hot surface. Luckily, researches found that PAH decrease by up to 89% if you remove the drippings and minimize smoke.

Microwaving. The short cooking times and reduced exposure to heat can preserve nutrients in food. When you microwave broccoli and spinach, they preserve more vitamin C than with any other cooking method. Garlic and mushrooms also retain most of their antioxidants.

Roasting and Baking. Vitamin loses are minimal with this cooking method, including vitamin C; however, B vitamins may decline up to 40% due to long roasting/ baking time.

Sautéing and Stir-Frying. These techniques are similar, but with stir-frying the food is stirred often, the temperature is higher and the cooking time is shorter. Cooking for a short time without water prevents loss of B vitamins; furthermore, the oil added improves the absorption of plant compounds and antioxidants. For example, the beta-carotene in stir-fried carrots is 6.5 times greater than in raw carrots.

Frying. Not all foods are suitable for frying. Fish like tuna can lose 85% of its omega 3 content when fried. In contrast, frying preserves vitamins B and C, and it may also increase the amount of fiber in potatoes by converting the starch into resistant starch. When you heat up oil for a long time, toxic substances called aldehydes are formed. Aldehydes are linked to increase risk of cancer and more.

Steaming. This is one of the best methods for preserving nutrients, including water soluble vitamins that are sensitive to heat and water. Steaming your broccoli, spinach and other vitamin C rich foods only decreases their vitamin C content by 15%. Do steam!

It is important to select the right cooking method to maximize the nutritional quality of your meal. In general, cooking for shorter periods, at lower temperatures, with minimal water produces the best results. Keep the nutrients in your food!

Summarized by Yash Nesmith


Garden Linguine with Ricotta

2 tablespoons coarse salt, plus more to taste

1 pound fresh fava beans, shelled

1 pound fresh or frozen peas, shelled

1 pound linguine

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves, plus more leaves for garnish

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Fill a large stockpot with water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil; meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Place fava beans in a sieve, and lower into water. Let water return to a boil, about 1 minute; blanch beans, 1 minute more. Remove sieve from water, and place beans in ice-water bath. Transfer to a colander; drain. Peel and discard tough skins; set beans aside.

Using same blanching water and sieve, blanch peas until just tender and bright green, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove sieve from water; place peas in ice-water bath. Transfer to a colander, drain, and set aside.

Discard blanching water; fill stockpot with fresh water. Bring to a boil, and add 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta, and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, chopped mint, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Just before pasta has finished cooking, add 1 cup cooking water to cheese mixture; stir to combine.

Drain pasta, and transfer to a serving bowl. Add olive oil, and toss. Add cheese mixture, reserved fava beans, and reserved peas; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with mint leaves; serve.


Fava bean Fritters

2 1/2 cups fava beans

70 g/ 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

3 tbsp sesame oil

2-3 tbsp water

Frying oil (for deep-frying)

Remove skins from fava beans, rinse and drain. In a food processor, mix the beans, spring onion, garlic, salt, pepper water and sesame oil.

Shape small patties, about one large tbsp of mixture at a time. In a medium-sized pan, heat oil (approx 1 inch high). You can test if the oil is ready by throwing in a small piece of bread – it should sizzle and turn golden within 45 seconds. Fry patties by batches (about 4 each time) for 3 minutes (or until they become golden brown). Drain on kitchen towel before serving. Drizzle with chopped scallions.

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs

Recipe by Alison Roman, Published: April 2013 Bon Appetit

Servings: 6


2 cups shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) fava beans or peas (from about 2 lb. pods)

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

6 large eggs

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1/4 pound chanterelles or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered if large

2 tablespoon olive oil

2 large leeks, whites and pale greens only, chopped

1 fennel bulb, chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, leaves torn

2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream

1 1/2 cups finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan (about 3 ounces) plus more for shaving

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives plus more for serving

Freshly ground black pepper


If using fresh fava beans, cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Peel favas and transfer to a small bowl.

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water. Repeat with 2 more eggs. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs.

Bring broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with favas.

Heat oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes.

Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed. Add remaining broth by cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.

Add spinach, crème fraîche, 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino, 1/4 cup chives, and reserved fava beans and mushrooms to risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Season risotto with salt.

A few minutes before risotto is done, reheat poached eggs in a large skillet of simmering water, about 1 minute.

Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved Pecorino, chives, and pepper.




1 lb fava beans Abbondanza

1 head lettuce Abbondanza

1/2 lb chard Somerset Gourmet

4 oranges Abbondanza

l lb peaches or l basket strawberries Paloma Pollinators/Butte Mountain Farm



1 lb fava beans Casa de la Pradera

1 head lettuce Abbondanza

1 head escarole Casa de la Pradera

1/2lb chard Somerset Gourmet

1/2lb sugar snap peas Casa de la Pradera

1 bunch baby turnips Blue Mountain Orchards

1 lb peaches Paloma Pollinators



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

Sunday, May 22, 12-3: Spring Quarter Open House
Casa de la Pradera, Fiddletown

Saturday, June 18: Our Splendid Table-- a Mother Lode Summer Solstice Celebration
Tickets are Sold Out!
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.