MLH newsletter

Hi, all–

MotherLode Harvest has local food and farm products available to order at
Orders received during that time can be picked up on Tuesday, January 31 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 joannd, or 304-7654.

MLH has started the produce box subscription program and enacted our new membership policies. Customers will need to sign a customer agreement (attached)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!

Thank you for supporting this program!

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Mother Lode Harvest
Supporting Local Agriculture and the Local Economy



We at MLH are sad to report that once Mendoza Red Angus’ inventory with us is gone, they are done supplying our beef for the year. We thank them profusely for their participation and commitment!

Many thanks also to Sean Kriletich for writing this article about local meat.

The first real rains of winter in central California have finally fallen but they may be to late to grow the feed needed for the region’s livestock. Autumn rains had the region’s ranchers hopeful about this year’s grass growth but a long dry spell all but killed the grass that germinated in October and now most foothill fields are looking barren. This is all happening within the context of the larger livestock market where droughts throughout North America and the world have driven livestock auction prices to all-time highs. This latest trend began with the 2008 drought in the Midwest, which continues through today in Texas and Oklahoma. In these states, ranchers are having to cull their herds because they are unable to pay to import food and water for the animals. Not only are cow-calf producers having to cull but costs of production are skyrocketing for feed lot operations as well. These operations buy young cattle from auctions and ‘finish’ them before slaughter. They rely on cheap corn to finish the animals quickly but corn prices have risen 66% in the last 2 years according the Wall Street Journal. These factors combined mean rising production costs for meat and subsequent price increases for the consumer. So what does this mean for producers in a region where it takes 10 acres of non-irrigated pasture to feed one cow for a year, and in a year like the Mother Lode is experiencing it might take 20 or 30 acres to feed one cow? Well it means that our producers are having to cull their herds as well or risk huge financial losses that arise from high hay prices. On top of high feed prices there is added incentive to take animals to the auction and receive the highest prices that have ever been paid while foregoing the hassle of finishing, harvesting, cutting and direct marketing the meat.

Regulations combined with the longstanding practice of raising animals exclusively for the auction make it difficult for our region’s livestock producers to finish and direct market their animals. Those who are willing to provide our community with quality meats are going far out of their way to do so and might not even be grossing the dollars that they would see if they took the far easier and more economical road of selling their animals at auction.

At Mother Lode Harvest our mission is to develop and sustain a local food system for the region. To achieve this mission we must continue to support our livestock producers through these difficult times and recognize that some of our producers will have to cut back to a bare minimum of animals to survive and therefore will not be able to provide for our tables as they have in the past.

Thank you to the Mendozas (Mendoza Red Angus) for providing meat since the inception of
Mother Lode Harvest and to Winterport Farm for providing a supply during this difficult time.

Let’s all take a second to do a dance for the rain to fall and the grass to grow!
Enjoy the week.

Submitted by Sean Kriletich
Paloma Pollinators
Producers of Tasty, Nutrient Rich Foods

For more local meat options, don’t forget that Butte Mountain Farm of Jackson offers stewing hens for sale, and has four live lambs available. Dark Horse Ranch of Fiddletown also has one lamb left for this season. Details are on each farm’s page on the MLH website,

Quinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew
Bon Appétit | January 2006
by Bruce Aidells and Nancy Oakes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron
1 cup water
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled winter squash (from 1 1/2-pound squash)
2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled carrots


1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cups water
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint, divided

For stew:

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 8 ingredients. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add squash and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

For quinoa:

Rinse quinoa; drain. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and carrot. Cover; cook until vegetables begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
Rewarm stew. Stir in half of cilantro and half of mint. Spoon quinoa onto platter, forming well in center. Spoon stew into well. Sprinkle remaining herbs over.

Warm Jerusalem Artichoke Salad
from the San Francisco Chronicle

4 or 5 Jerusalem artichokes (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots or onions
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup julienned arugula or spinach leaves
2 ounces prosciutto, torn into thin strips (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted walnut pieces

Peel and thinly slice the Jerusalem artichokes. You should have about 2 cups.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium- high heat. Add the shallots and saute just until translucent. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and saute 2 to 3 minutes, until they just begin to brown slightly on the edges. Add the pepper and lemon juice to the pan and remove from the heat.
Arrange the Jerusalem artichokes on warm salad plates. Evenly distribute the arugula or spinach and prosciutto (if using) among the plates and garnish with the walnuts.

Arugula and Orange Salad
from the San Francisco Chronicle

2 large navel oranges
3 cups arugula
2 1/2 tablespoons Provencal-style extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
12 oil-cured, Mediterranean-style olives (optional)

Slice oranges about 1/4-inch thick. Remove rind, white pith and any seeds.
If arugula is large, remove any coarse stems and tear leaves into several pieces. If baby arugula, use whole.
Put half of the olive oil in a medium-size bowl, add arugula, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn well to coat.
Make a bed of arugula on a platter. Arrange orange slices over it in rows or concentric circles. Drizzle oranges with remaining olive oil and the vinegar. Add olives if desired.

With apologies to the vegetarians of our group, I want to welcome Winterport Farm’s beef to our offerings with this recipe:

Antica Trattoria’s Tagliata With Arugula
from the San Francisco Chronicle

2 New York steaks, about 10 ounces each, at room temperature
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

The vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4-lb of arugula, any tough stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces

Suggested side dish: Roast Potatoes with Onions and Thyme

For the steak: Prepare a hot charcoal fire or preheat a gas grill. Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper and rub with olive oil.
Grill the steaks, turning once, until rare to medium rare, about 4 minutes total. (Cooking time will vary depending on the heat of your fire and its distance from the meat.) Set the steaks aside on a platter to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the olive oil. Adjust the seasoning.
Holding a chef’s knife at about a 45-degree angle to the meat, slice the steaks about 1/2-inch thick. Transfer the meat to serving plates, fanning it attractively. Drizzle with any juices on the platter.
Toss the arugula with just enough dressing to coat it lightly. Drizzle the meat with any remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with a little additional salt. Serve immediately.

P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601
Volume 4 Number 4
January 24, 2012


Salad or braising mix – Casa de la Pradera or Tyson Hill Farm Jerusalem artichokes – Paloma Pollinators

Arugula – Tyson Hill Farm

Butternut squash – Tyson Hill Farm

Grapefruit – Tyson Hill Farm

Oranges – Tyson Hill Farm

Snack-sized honey – Randall’s Corner

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Mother Lode Harvest P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601

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