Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 5 Number 3   January 22, 2013

FIELD NOTES: Winterport Farm, Ione

While winter on the farm signifies a time to slow down, to relax more, and to spend time planning, we have no shortage of work to be done here at Winterport Farm. During the winter months before the grass begins to grow, we need to feed the cattle every day. Currently our cattle are divided into three herds--the yearlings, the cattle with baby calves, and the cattle whose calves were just weaned. Several hours a day are spent feeding which involves loading the truck with hay bales, driving to each herd, and using a pitchfork to throw chunks of hay off the back of a moving truck. We usually do it in the late afternoon when it's a little warmer, and during wet weeks it's tricky to manage it without getting stuck!

In between cattle feedings, farmers' markets, and sorting meat at the locker we rent in Roseville, we are focusing on maintaining fences, fixing up the old barn, and planting spring hay. In the late fall or winter cold-hardy hay crops like oats, vetch, and rye need to be planted. These crops mature in the spring and are baled to be fed out through the dry summer and fall months. In early spring we'll start preparing the fields to plant summer hay and pasture.

The short days of winter are appreciated and provide us with time to sit around the wood stove, talk, and plan for the future of our grassfed cattle ranch.


EVENTS: Holistic Health and Wellness Fair, January 26

Mother Lode Harvest will have a booth at the 9th annual Holistic Health and Wellness Fair, on Saturday, January 26, sponsored by Motherlode Holistic Wellness Center of Jackson. The event will be from 11 am to 4 pm at the Amador Senior Center in Jackson, on New York Ranch Road. It is a free event, open to the public, with a myriad of vendors representing complementary health resources and healthy lifestyle choices. There will be speakers and demonstrations throughout the day, vendors in the main room, and a soup-and-salad lunch for $8.00 prepared by Gathering Grounds of Pine Grove.

MLH will be there to educate people about the benefits of eating locally produced and sustainably raised foods, with products available for sale.

Hope to see you there!

For more information, go to, or call Michelle at 209-419-2503.

January 26, 2012

11:00 am to 4:00 pm


Amador Senior Center

229 New York Ranch Road, Jackson

The photos in this week's newsletter are courtesy of Carina Port Bassin.


Winterport Cattle

Lemon-Honey Tart with Salted Shortbread Crust

Bon Appétit | January 2013

by Alison Roman


Nonstick vegetable oil spray

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1" pieces

2/3 cup powdered sugar

Filling and assembly:

1 Meyer lemon

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice

For crust:

Coat 9” springform pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. Place butter and powdered sugar in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Add dry ingredients to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles medium-size pebbles (dough will not come together completely). Transfer dough to prepared pan. Using your fingers, press dough evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2" up sides of pan. DO AHEAD: Crust can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

For filling and assembly:

Using a mandoline, slice lemon into paper-thin rounds. Remove seeds. (If using a regular lemon, blanch slices in boiling water for 4 minutes, drain, and let cool before proceeding). Mix sugar, honey, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add lemon slices and toss to coat. Let sit until lemon is softened and sugar is dissolved, 30-45 minutes. DO AHEAD: Lemon slice mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Place rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Bake crust until center is firm to the touch and edges are beginning to turn golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

When crust is almost done baking, whisk eggs and egg yolks in a medium bowl to blend. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl; add to egg mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in lemon juice. Add lemon slice mixture; mix gently to combine.

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Pour filling into hot crust. Bake until filling is set and slightly puffed around edges, 25-30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool completely. Chill for at least 4 hours, then unmold. Serve cold. DO AHEAD: Tart can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.


Castle Cows

Lamb Stew with Lemon and Dried Fruit

Bon Appétit | February 2006


1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup warm water

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (optional)

1 2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil

2 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced

1 small Meyer lemon, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 rounded teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped(about 4 ounces)

2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth

Set strainer lined with double layer of cheesecloth over medium bowl. Place yogurt in strainer; cover and chill 3 to 5 hours to drain. Transfer yogurt to small bowl. Stir in mint; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.)

Place 1/2 cup warm water and saffron, if using, in small bowl; let stand at least 20 minutes to infuse.

Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or add 1 tablespoon oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture, if using; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes with juice, dried fruit, and lamb with any juices to pot. Stir to coat. Add 2 1/2 cups broth.

Bring stew to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill.)

Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide stew among 6 plates; top each serving with dollop of minted yogurt.


Dried Fruit, Walnut, and Lemon Scones

Bon Appétit | November 2005

by Jennifer Wickes, Pine Beach, NJ

2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice, divided

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon peel

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced

1 cup dried fruit, chopped

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup (or more) chilled half and half, divided

Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in bowl for glaze.

Whisk flour, baking powder, lemon peel, salt, and 1 cup sugar in large bowl. Add chilled butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Mix in dried fruit and walnuts. Add 1/2 cup half and half and1 tablespoon lemon juice. Toss with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more half and half if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Press out each half on floured surface to 6-inch-diameter (1-inch-high) round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Transfer to baking sheet; brush with glaze.

Bake scones until golden and tester comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Single Box

1# Meyer Lemons -Tin Bird Garden

1/2 dozen Eggs - Butte Mountain Farm or Randall's Corner

1/2# Walnuts- Humbug Creek Farm or Casa de la Pradera

2 Grapefruit - Tyson Hill Farm

1/2# Ambrosia dried fruit mix - Tyson Hill Farm


Family Box

2 Meyer Lemons - Abbondanza

1/2 dozen Eggs - Butte Mountain Farm or Randall's Corner

1 bunch Rosemary - Randall's Corner

1/2# Ambrosia dried fruit mix - Tyson Hill Farm

1/2# Honey - Paloma Pollinators

Winterport Barn
Shopping at
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. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to MotherLode Harvest.
New customers will need to register by using the "join" button on the website before they can shop. If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our tech leader, Jo Ann, at, or 304-7654.
MLH has enacted our new membership policies. Customers will need to sign a customer agreement and pay membership dues before they are able to order subscriptions or order from the website. Customer members will be able to increase their participation in MLH. Sign up today!

Winterport Farm

Other Local Agriculture News:

Backyard Fruit Trees: Winter Pruning Workshop

Timed pruning offers a simple and revolutionary approach to fruit tree care: winter prune for shape and summer prune to keep trees small and easy. For first-time planters and people in need of a pruning refresher, this hands-on class covers the benefits of using pruning to keep fruit trees small, the basic mechanics of pruning, seasonal routines, and general maintenance. Attendees leave the workshop confident in their new pruning skills and relieved to discover they don’t need a degree in agriculture to manage a fruit tree.

Instructor Ann Ralph managed the fruit tree department at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery for ten years. Her pruning book, The Little Fruit Tree, will be available from Storey Publishing in 2014.

January 26, 2013

10:30 am - 12:30 pm


Ridge Road Nursery

18815 Ridge Road

Pine Grove CA 95665

(209) 296-7210

For more info: or


Tips for protecting your plants from frost damage, from the Amador Flower Farm, Plymouth.

What do you do if like most of us you’ve selected some plants that are marginal for your zone at best? They’re part of your landscape and you want them to survive the next freeze.

The most important rule is to make sure that all plants have adequate moisture in their root ball. Plant tissue is more vulnerable to damage when stressed due to dryness.

If possible, move container plants under a covered porch or garage during a freeze event.

Physical protection using frost cloth, burlap, or even bed sheets can help raise the temperature by several degrees. A string of Christmas lights (incandescent not LED) placed underneath the cover will add several more degrees. One word of caution is to avoid using plastic sheeting since the cold will go right through and damage foliage that it touches. Plastic must also be removed during the day to prevent a greenhouse effect that might cook the covered plants.

Location can play a big role in your success level. For example, south-facing walls can help radiate heat back towards nearby plants. Also consider air drainage as an important factor. Cold air sinks so plants on a hill or grade will be less affected than those located at the bottom of a valley or swale where cold air becomes trapped. Locate the “Banana Belts” on your property and use them to your advantage.


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.