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Abbondanza Broccoli
Volume 5 Number 20 May 21, 2013

FIELD NOTES: by Daniel D’Agostini, Abbondanza, Plymouth

In mid-April I was overwhelmed with the thought of the work ahead, planting out 80 tomato plants, preparing the beds for those plants (each plant gets its own gopher cage), cleaning all the lavender rows that were overgrown, preparing the ground for lots of squashes (hubbards, butternuts, red kuru, etc.), melons peppers, eggplants….oh so much to do. Plus pick flowers for the teas I use. Those are dandelion, yarrow, chamomile, and valerian. I felt like giving up and then came in the house and checked my e-mail. There was a note from a WWOOFer stating that my little farm sounded like a place they would like to help and learn. I read their description about themselves and they sounded like a perfect fit so I wrote right back “I need you right now!” Within three days Kristin and Albin arrived like two heaven sent angels.

They have just left but in the two weeks they were here the three of us worked and worked and laughed and had a joyous time. And all the tomatoes are in, all my beds are in clean beautiful order – all my summer crops planted and already coming up. The little farm looks like a manicured park. I am so grateful to this energetic young couple. The WWOOF program can be wonderful and this time it was amazing.

At my elevation and climate the winter garden is winding down, still a lot of mizuna, a little lettuce and kale, and lot of fava beans. The bees in my top bar hive seem to be thriving and happy. My activities over the next month or so will focus on spraying my plants with teas.

Visitors are always welcome, just give me a call or e-mail in advance.

All photos in this issue are courtesy of Daniel, and feature his WWOOFers and the work they did.
For more information about World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF), go to:


Sent in by Daniel D’Agostini, of Abbondanza

Europe just banned bee-killing pesticides! Mega-corporations like Bayer threw everything they had at this, but people-power, science and good governance came out on top!

Vanessa Amaral-Rogers from the specialist conservation organisation Buglife, says:

“It was a close vote, but thanks to a massive mobilisation by Avaaz members, beekeepers, and others, we won! I have no doubt that the floods of phonecalls and emails to ministers, the actions in London, Brussels and Cologne, and the giant petition with 2.6 million signers made this result possible. Thank you Avaaz, and everyone who worked so hard to save bees!”

Bees pollinate two thirds of all our food — so when scientists noticed that silently, they were dying at a terrifying rate, Avaaz swung in to action, and we kept on swinging until we won. This week’s victory is the result of two years of flooding ministers with messages, organizing media-grabbing protests with beekeepers, funding opinion polls and much, much more.

But the EU ban is only in place for 2 years pending further review. And around the world bees continue to die from the pesticides which weaken and confuse them, as well as from loss of habitat as we plough up and build over the countryside. In Europe and across the world there’s lots of work to do to ensure sound science guides our farming and environmental policies.

For more information, go to .


Turnips– “ Most cooks think of turnips only in winter, but I reach for them all year long. Whether braised in stews or simmered in soups, slivered into salads or simply sliced, buttered, salted and nibbled raw as a snack (a favorite with my 4-year-old), turnips are quietly making a bid for your attention. They deserve it. Sweet and juicy, crisp and taut, they have a mild mustardy undertone that is characteristic of their cruciferous lineage.”

– Melissa Clark, in the NY Times, February 1, 2013

See Melissa’s recipe in the recipe section.

WWOOFers planting tomatoes
Here is a vegan recipe, and a different way to use your beets, from Vegetarians in Paradise, at .


Undoubtedly a unique recipe, these burgundy-hued little beet patties are a gastronomic delight served as a side dish along with tofu sour cream to top them off. They’re deliciously sweet and can add a hearty touch to a light meal or a stand-out item on the dinner plate. For convenience, the beetcakes can be made a day ahead and simply reheated at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. When making them for Valentine’s Day, shape them into hearts just before baking.

Yield: 12 patties

3 medium beets about 2-inch (5 cm) diameter, peeled

1 pound (450g) soft tofu, well mashed

1/2 cup (120 ml) whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup (120 ml) minced onions

3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice (or sugar)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Coarsely chop the beets and thoroughly mince them in a food processor. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spoon out the beet batter onto the parchment paper forming patties about 3-inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.

Bake for 30 minutes. Turn the beetcakes over with a spatula and bake for another 30 minutes.

Cabbage is available on the MLH website from Tyson Hill Farm and Butte Mountain Farm.

Turnip and Cabbage Slaw With Yogurt Dressing

Recipe by Melissa Clark for the NY Times

1 fat garlic clove

1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt, more to taste

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Black pepper

1/2 head cabbage, cored and shredded (6 cups)

4 medium turnips (3/4 pound), peeled, and julienned or coarsely grated (2 cups)

1/4 cup chopped dill

Finely chop garlic. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt; using the flat side of a knife, mash garlic to a paste. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic paste, 1 teaspoon salt, yogurt and oil. Season with pepper.

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, turnips, dressing and dill. Toss well to combine. Let stand 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning; serve.

Tidy lavender beds
Caramelized Turnips

Adapted from a recipe by Lynn Pennec for

“A great side dish with grilled duck. An astonishing way to add some zip to a vegetable I’m used to putting in a soup pot.” — Lynn Pennec

3 cups diced peeled turnips

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon butter, or more as needed

2 tablespoons white or brown sugar

Place the turnips into a skillet with the water and chicken bouillon cube over medium heat, and simmer until the water has evaporated and the turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the butter, let melt, and sprinkle on the sugar. Gently cook and stir the turnips until the butter and sugar cook into a brown, sticky coating on the turnips, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Asparagus is just about done for the season, but peas are just coming around, currently from Casa de la Pradera on the MLH website.

Pea, Asparagus, and Fava Bean Salad

Bon Appétit | April 2013

Adapted from a recipe by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan

1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

2 cups fresh fava beans

2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, stalks peeled if thick

1 cup shelled fresh peas, or edible-pod peas cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, or 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Whisk olive oil, Pecorino, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a medium bowl to blend. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Set dressing aside.

If using fresh fava beans, cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water (do not cook frozen beans). Drain and peel; place in a large bowl.

Return water in saucepan to a boil; add asparagus and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to colander in ice water.

Return water in saucepan to a boil; add peas and cook until tender, about 3 minutes . Drain; transfer to colander in ice water. Drain vegetables. Add to bowl with fava beans.

Combine vegetable oil and shallot in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallot is golden brown and crisp, 10-12 minutes. Transfer shallot to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add dressing to bowl with vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Transfer salad to a serving platter and top with shallot and bacon or feta cheese, if using.

DO AHEAD: Dressing and vegetables can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill.

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Single Box

Beets – Butte Mountain Farm

Broccoli – Butte Mountain Farm or Tyson Hill Farm

Salad mix – Harmony Hill Farm

Rosemary – Randall’s Corner

Spring onions – Randall’s Corner

Mixed fruit – Tyson Hill Farm

Strawberries – Tyson Hill Farm

Family Box

Fava beans – Tin Bird Garden

Lacinato Kale – Abbondanza

Meyer Lemon – Abbondanza

Lettuce mix – Tin Bird Garden

Rosemary – Randall’s Corner

Spring onions – Randall’s Corner

Turnips – Butte Mountain Farm

Mixed fruit – Tyson Hill Farm

Strawberries – Tyson Hill Farm

WWOOFers making compost
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!

Making "Bee Crossing" signs at Abbondanza

Local Events News:

June 8: Paddling film festival to premiere in Jackson

Tickets are on sale now for the Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour showing in Jackson on Saturday, June 8. This special event will be held in the Main Events room of the Amador Senior Center, beginning at 7:30 pm.

The Reel Paddling Film Festival is an annual film contest that presents awards for the best films in 10 categories. The winners and other films are then toured to more than 100 cities around the world, screening for an audience of more than 30,000 outdoor adventure enthusiasts and their friends and families. The films inspire people to explore rivers, lakes and oceans, push physical and emotional extremes, embrace the paddling lifestyle and appreciate the heritage of special wild places.

The June 8 festival showing in Jackson will feature several of the best films. The evening will include a raffle and silent auction with special, outdoor-focused prizes, including raft trips on the American and Truckee rivers. Beer, wine and other beverages will be available for purchase.

Tickets to the film festival are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. They’re available online now at . The ticket purchase entitles the purchaser to a free one-year digital edition subscription to one of these four magazines: Rapid, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots or Kayak Angler. Special offer details will be available at the event.

Teva is the primary sponsor of the 8th Annual Reel Paddling Film Festival World Tour. Sponsors of the Jackson showing include O.A.R.S., Current Adventures, Raft IRIE, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Camp Lotus, Sierra Nevada Adventure Company, author Steven L. Evans and Mountain Mike’s Pizza.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Foothill Conservancy’s Mokelumne River conservation program.

For more information, see the Conservancy website at randy, or call Randy at 209-295-4900.

The Sixth Annual Farms of Tuolumne County Farm and Ranch Tour

Saturday, June 8, 2013.

Tour Hours: 10am-4pm

Cost: $8 pre-sale and $10 day of the event. Free to those under 18 years of age!

The Tour features five farms/ranches: Hurst Ranch/Table Mtn. Beef; Gianelli Vineyards; Red Earth Farm; Llamas of Circle Home; Cover’s Apple Ranch

This is a self-guided tour (you drive to each location). There is plenty of room for tour buses.

Brochure with map available at:

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Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601
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