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Volume 4 Number 19 May 8, 2012


Mother Lode Harvest was a big hit at the Great Sutter Creek Duck Race on Saturday, April 28! We had a booth in the park, which was set up, decorated, and staffed by some of our enthusiastic volunteers. We did not sell products, but distributed information about who we are and what we are doing, giving out free samples of some of our products, and food made with our products. Board member Karen Friis contributed her delicious basil pesto, pulled from the freezer for the occasion, and which was hands-down the crowd favorite. Children loved the display of bees provided by Paloma Pollinators. We met lots of nice folks who were excited to hear about our association because they want greater access to local foods.

MLH will receive a portion of the proceeds raised from the event, which is a fundraiser for not-for-profit organizations.

Producer member Greg Motch of Tin Bird Garden was a vendor at the Plymouth Flea Market on Saturday, May 5, as he has done for the last few years. He is always a popular vendor there, selling vegetable starts amongst the booths of antiques and tchotchkes. This year he focused just on tomato plants, selling most of the 240 he brought. Said Greg about the event: “It was a fine day!” Greg will be relisting his tomatoes and other starts on the MLH website this week, for your shopping pleasure.

Also on May 5, Butte Mountain Farm and Boggs Market Farm, producer members of MLH, were on the Farms of Amador/Amador Farmers’ Market Farm Tour, along with several historic farms in the Clinton Road area of Jackson. The annual tour and dinner received rave reviews this year, and the beautiful farms are the heart of the event. MLH customer member Lucy Spangler-Gore prepared the food for the dinner, using mostly MLH produce. Details to follow in the next newsletter.

I stopped by Daniel D’Agostini’s farm, Abbondanza, the other day, as he generously donated one of his books of photographs, Into the Earth, A Wine Cave Renaissance, to the Farm Tour Dinner raffle. His place is looking beautiful, and will be in fine form for the MLH Spring Open House on Saturday, June 9. He was buzzing from one project to the next, with weed-eating, making biodynamic preparations, and planting the flower and vegetable starts from his charming greenhouse. Daniel still has strong, healthy tomato plants for sale on the MLH website, and we are coming up fast to the best time to plant them.

Duck Race Booth
Braised Lamb Shank With Spring Vegetables & Beans

from the San Francisco Chronicle

Sunday Supper: Dinner in 2 hours and 40 minutes (50 minutes active time) This recipe has a moderate amount of meat, but plenty of meaty flavor; add an extra lamb shank if your crowd has a big appetite. You can substitute beef shank (the same amount by weight) or use about 1 1/2 pounds lamb or beef stew meat instead; the meat may need to cook another 30 to 60 minutes before you add the greens and beans. Serve this dish over mashed potatoes, polenta or rice, with bread and a salad.


Olive oil

1 bunch spring onions, sliced 1/2-inch thick, including most of greens

3 stalks celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried

3 1/2 pounds lamb shanks, about 3 to 4 shanks

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup dry white wine

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 pounds fava beans

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, or two heads green garlic, chopped

6 ounces pea shoots (cut in 2-inch lengths), cleaned spinach leaves or trimmed and chopped Swiss chard leaves, thick stems removed


Pour in just enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot. Place the pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, celery and rosemary, and saute until softened, stirring, 5 to 8 minutes.

Season the lamb shanks all over with salt and pepper, then place them in the pot; add the wine, broth and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook on very low until the meat is tender and falling off the bone, flipping occasionally, about 2 hours.

Remove the shanks from the pot and cool enough to touch. Remove the meat from the bone and chop into 1/4-inch pieces; discard gristle and bone. Skim any fat from the sauce and return meat to the pot. The recipe can be made ahead to this point.

When using fresh favas, shell and then cook until tender; about 3 minutes for favas. Let cool. (The thin skin on individual favas needs to be shelled after cooking.)

Return the meat and sauce to a simmer, then add the garlic. Add the pea shoots or alternate greens, a handful at a time, and cook until wilted, 3 minutes (the chard will take more like 5 minutes). Stir in the beans, heat through, and season with salt and pepper. If you would like more juices, add water or broth and reheat before serving immediately in shallow bowls.

Karen at Duck Race booth
Fava Bean Orzo

from the San Francisco Chronicle, adapted from a recipe by Lissa Kane, executive chef at the Piatti restaurants in Mill Valley and Carmel


About 1 3/4 pounds unpeeled fava beans

2 stalks green garlic, cleaned and chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup unsalted butter, sliced into tablespoons

1 pound orzo pasta (riso or pastina pastas may be substituted)

1/4 cup white wine

7 cups warm chicken or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste

Freshly ground white pepper to taste

2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or thyme

1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese, + more to taste


Heat a large pot of salted water to boil, and prepare a large bowl of ice water. Remove all of the fava beans from their pods, then blanch them in the boiling water until crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes, depending on how fresh they are and how large. Drain them and plunge them immediately into the ice water until cool. Slip the beans out of their skins. Set aside 1 cup of the beans, then puree the rest of the beans in a food processor. You should have around 1/4 cup of puree.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, saute the green garlic in the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter until softened. Add the orzo and stir to completely coat the pasta grains. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add 1 cup of warm stock and stir continually so that the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pan. When the liquid is absorbed, add another cup of stock and continue stirring. Repeat this process, adding stock 1 cup at a time until the orzo is al dente (about 10 to 12 minutes). Add the whole fava beans, salt and pepper and thyme.

Mix well and then remove from the heat and cover for three minutes.

Add the remainder of the butter, the 1/4 cup cheese and the fava bean puree. Serve the orzo with more cheese, if desired.

Asparagus Frittata With Creme Fraiche & Chives

from the San Francisco Chronicle


1 pound asparagus

6 eggs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons half-and-half

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 yellow onion, minced, or 2 spring onions, bulbs and tender green parts chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/3 cup minced fresh chives

1/3 cup creme fraiche or sour cream, for garnish


Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Steam the spears in a steamer rack over boiling water until they turn bright green and are tender, but not soft, and a fork easily penetrates the thickest part, about 5 to 8 minutes, depending upon thickness. Remove and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry then slice into 1/4-inch thick slices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper and beat until just blended. In a 10-inch skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the onion and saute until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the asparagus evenly over the bottom of the skillet, then pour the egg mixture over. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the eggs are just firm around their edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, lift the edges of the eggs and tilt the skillet so the uncooked eggs run beneath. Continue cooking until the egg mixture on top is nearly set, another 4 to 5 minutes or finish the top by placing under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Invert a flat plate on top of the skillet and holding the platter and the skillet together firmly with potholders, flip them to turn the frittata out onto the plate.

Sprinkle half the parsley and chives into the skillet then slide the frittata back into the skillet with the cooked-side up. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and invert a flat plate over the pan and flip them as before.

Cut the frittata into 1-inch squares, arrange them on a serving platter and garnish each square with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of the remaining chives and parsley.

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Head lettuce – Abbondanza or Casa de la Pradera

Meyer lemons – Abbondanza

Sunflower greens – Butte Mountain Farm

Chives – Butte Mountain Farm or Paloma Pollinators

Green Garlic – Butte Mountain Farm

Cilantro – Casa de la Pradera

Favas – Paloma Pollinators

Chard – Sun Earth Energy

Duck Race
Shopping at
MotherLode 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 joannd, 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!

Abbondanza's Greenhouse


MLH’s Spring quarter Open House is at Abbondanza, the farm of Daniel D’Agostini, at 13392 Shenandoah Road in Plymouth on Saturday, June 9, from 11 am to 2 pm. Mother Lode Harvest customers, as well as local residents who would like to learn about local foods, the association, and local sustainable farming, are invited to tour the farm and enjoy demonstrations, information, and hors d’oeuvres of local foods. Other participating growers will also be on hand to meet and talk to attendees. For more information, call customer coordinator Michelle Grondin at 419-2503, or Daniel D’Agostini at 245-3846.

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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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