Monday, December 30, 2013

Harvest Shot for Gardens and Groves Boxes, Dec. 30, 2013

The last of the crazy, 3-counties-in-one-day delivery schedule; we all started with flash lights this morning to get all the boxes done. We're shutting the farm down except for watering and livestock care until Thursday after we're all done deliveries today. I probably will spend some time in the greenhouse because it's just such an exciting time of year with seeds coming in now from my earlier December purchases. Morning Song Farm leans heavily toward heirloom seeds; so we order a lot from Seed Savers' Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Even if you're NOT gardening or farming, getting your hands on either of their catalogs is an inspiring, eye-candy experience. Below is today's just-harvested Gardens and Groves Large Box, we harvested Swiss Chard at the last minute for Large Boxes only.... after I took this image, so it's not included in the photo:

Salad Fixins' Box, December 30 2013


Monday, December 23, 2013

Harvest Ticket For Dec. 23 2013

Wow, trucks on the road this Monday at 7:45 a.m., as we aren't harvesting or delivering on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve....so all three county deliveries: Riverside, San Diego and OC are being done today. We were up really late finishing up the macadamia packs for all Gardens n' Groves boxes, and were back in the barn at 4:00 a.m. to get everything finished up. Here's an image of the Large Garden and Grove Box at right:

And here's an image of our Salad Fixins' boxes for the week. I took the shot while we were still harvesting green onions and arugula, so they're not in the photo.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peas, Please



Results of my latest veggie trial are in! Pea sprouts are awesome! My thoughts: the are best eaten raw with a little dash of garlic infused olive oil and a splash of lime juice...but I tried them today, stir fried with coconut oil and sea salt and they were tasty that way, too. Great for picky kids (and adults) who aren't huge veggie fans, as these crunchy gems are very mild flavored for the nutritional punch they provide.
Here's a British website link, devoted to the nutritional value of pea shoots: http://www.peashoots.com/peashoots-nutrition.htm
 
 Although not seen often in restaurants or farmers' markets in the United States, pea shoots have a lot to offer!They provide foliate, antioxidants and carotene..reported to be cancer preventatives. They have 7 times as much vitamin C as blueberries, and a lot more vitamin A, compared to tomatoes. The anti-inflammatory properties of certain foods are now in the media more and more, and pea shoots are among those foods cited. Because pea shoots offer such a satisfying crunch coupled with high nutrient/low calorie content...they're a good choice for an effective weight loss program.
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Harvest Tickets for Dec. 17/18 2013

We're excited to have our baby carrots back in Large Garden n' Grove Boxes this week, and are including our raw macadamia nuts in all Garden n' Grove Boxes as well. More than enough Satsuma mandarins for all, including our Salad Fixins' boxes, which don't usually receive fruit from the groves. Satsumas are our first mandarin to harvest, after which we start on the Sun Golds.

Click here to view our Harvest Ticket this week:

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Harvest Ticket Dec. 10-11, 2013

To view an image of our Garden n' Grove Harvest this week, click here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2pmw3jdu6z7gtp6/2nd%20week%20%282%29.jpg


To view an image of our Salad Fixins box this week, click here:https://www.dropbox.com/s/v7vw586iaioyv63/2nd%20week.jpg

Monday, November 25, 2013

Farm Volunteer Day December 7th

Come on out to Morning Song Farm and get your hands dirty! Projects abound, and we've got a laundry list of "to do's" that we'd like to tackle and sure could use some help. Let us know you're coming: csa@morningsongfarm.com so we can be prepared in every way....parking is always a bit of an issue, and of course we'll want to have all supplies needed for chosen projects! Hopefully we will have enough participants to divide into teams so that you can choose what you'd like to do. We'll have coffee/tea and macadamia muffins to get you started!

Date: Dec. 7th
Time: 9-1:00

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ancient Grains Sprouted

We continue to enjoy and trail sprout seeds for our CSA boxes. Many may not be aware that it is not safe to purchase generic seeds, whether organic or otherwise, at the grocery store, farmers' market or on-line and use them for sprouts. The seeds we use here are certified organic, grown in North America, and were grown specifically for commercial sprout applications. Each and every lot is labeled and tested for bacteria contamination. Seeds that are sold for gardeners to plant in the soil or for consumers to grind and use as flour or add to smoothies do not need to have the same level of safe handling practices.

We're excited about our newest trial: our Ancient Grain Mix: lentils, fenugreek, kamut, and adzuki beans. A few years' back I recall a concern in New York City of a mysterious maple syrup scent that would present itself from time to time. The source turned out to be an international importer of fenugreek seeds. True enough, the seeds do smell heavenly sweet; more like a spice for dessert than a source for a salad sprout.

Adzuki beans are ancient, and sweet, too. The little bean is recognized by its sweet, nutty flavor and is often used in Japanese cooking for desserts.

Kamut is an ancient member of the wheat family and contains  40% more protein than a typical wheat used today. While our modern breeding programs have left it behind; it continues to offer its ancient nutrition, flavor and goodness to all who will give it a try.

Pre Post of Thanksgiving Week Harvest


 

Yes, to anyone who was wondering or has emailed us.. asking if the crew here at MSF was going to bug out and leave everyone hanging for the Thanksgiving Week holiday... we are harvesting and delivering same as usual.
 
The Christmas Week deliveries, will be shifted slightly one day forward and back, but not Thanksgiving Week's.

 

Ok, with the caveat that sometimes our best laid plans don't pan out, which is why I don’t pre-post regularly.....but this is such an important week I think I will blog our harvest hopes and intentions for Thanksgiving Week:

1. Baby spinach

2. Spring Mix

3. Yams

4. Spaghetti Squash

5. Heirloom tomatoes, dead ripe

6. Collards: two bunches in large, one in small
 
7. Celery: two bunches in large, one in small
 
8. Frisee (a spicy chicory that can be used sparingly in raw salads, or braised)
 
9. Limes
 
10. Fuerte avos (first harvest of the 9 to 10 month harvest....these will not be ripe for Thanksgiving day as we're harvesting today and tomorrow mostly.)
 
11. Sprouts (radish and/or brassica mix and a trial of an aromatic Ancient Eastern Blend.)

 

Probably/Maybe:

1. Rosemary sprigs

2. Pineapple guavas...coming up on the end of guavas

3. Navel oranges

4. crunchy bean mix probably for large shares.

 

Trade in boxes (where there are six or more participants picking up..in addition to more of what we put in boxes, we have small quantities of:
 
2. Swiss Chard
3. Green Onions
4. Maybe rhubarb, first harvest ever
5. Jalapenos
6. Baby Arugula, clam shelled
7. Radishes
8. Clam Shells of cherry tomatoes
9. mandarins very first of harvest (maybe)

 
What's coming up soon:

We are moving into our macadamia harvest!!!, avocado season, and it looks like we will be harvesting mandarins in a couple weeks for all.

 

 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yam Pie

I wish we could rename the common yam, or at least my recipe below, to something with a better marketing zing. This pie is really rich and tasty, even for professed yam-haters...and doesn't take a lot of work. I actually made it last night without a crust, (which makes it not a pie, actually)... pouring it into a glass brownie pan and then serving in squares with freshly whipped cream. I had meant to cool overnight and serve for dinner tonight, but I see my teenager has eaten most of it for breakfast...rendering any planned photo op somewhat useless, except as proof of its tastiness. :)
(see empty dish....draw conclusion.)

Bake 4 or so yams in the microwave or oven until soft. Cool so you don't burn yourself scooping out.

You need:
2 cups of mashed yams
1 and a half cups of rich cream.(and extra if you want whipped topping)  I'm sorry to say that I've discovered for the first time that I can't buy cream, either organic or conventional, that isn't ultra-pasteurized. More on that later.
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons of black strap molasses
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I prefer to grind my own from cinnamon bark)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 eggs

I didn't bother to do a two step process. I just threw everything into my counter top mixer and mixed until smooth; and then poured into my glass brownie pan that I had buttered and floured to prevent sticking. (May not have been necessary)

Bake at 425 until a fork comes up clean when poked in the center.

I whipped a half cup of whipping cream with sugar and vanilla and had planned to use that as the topping. Since that's missing too, I will assume it was used as intended.





Harvest Ticket For November 19-20th, 2013

 Click HERE to view this week's complete Harvest Ticket

This week's Large Box shot. A few random boxes received spaghetti squash, and all Wednesday boxes received sprouts. (sprouts weren't quite ready for Tuesday's boxes as we are trying to adjust start times as the weather has cooled.) Wednesday Large Boxes received two clamshells of sprouts: one of our Daikon Radish Sprouts, and one of our Brassica Mix Sprouts. All Wednesday Small Shares received one or the other. I know I've said this before, but it's worth repeating: radish sprouts (and today's clamshells both have radish; either as a single seed or in the Brassica mix) will have tiny, white fibrous roots on the radishes. This is sometimes mistaken for mold, but is just our healthy, just -harvested radish sprouts--fibrous roots and all.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Harvest Ticket October 29-30 2013

Click here to view this week's harvest ticket!


Farm News for Week of October 29-30th 2013


This week's harvest is a bit fruit-heavy with less leafy greens. Despite Spring and Summer's being known as fruit season, really for us here in Southern Cal, Fall is probably as important. We're beginning to collect macadamia nuts as nut fall has arrived in earnest. We harvested the first decent dragon fruit yield ever this year, but still not enough to put in boxes. We do think we will be including them next year, this time, unless Operations hogs them all like they did this year. :/

The variety we grow is from Guatemala, and I think the best of all that we've trialed...at least for Southern California. Grown as a trellised cactus, the fruit is spineless and has a rich, floral taste that is hard to describe. I like them best when thoroughly chilled. The flowers are spectacular and open for a single day.

We're in the midst of our pineapple guava harvest. For the first few weeks I labeled the bags because so few have seen the fruit in the store. Now I'm saving the effort, and just relying on this blog for identification purposes. Even if you don't enjoy the fruit (although they are among my favorites) the scent as they ripen in your kitchen is enough reason not to give them away.

Limes are back at last, which to me are a kitchen staple. I use the juice in my salads, add to smoothies and juice mixtures, and have several recipes for sauces.

We're planning a Farm Day shortly, and will announce here.




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Harvest Ticket October 22-23 2013

Click here to view our harvest tickets

We have persimmons for everyone this week, although the harvest would be twice as bountiful if Couscous the Bad Llama hadn't discovered a taste for persimmons this year. He ate just about half the crop. We'll put a low fence around the trees for next year so it won't happen again. I don't know why he chose this year to discover the fruit, he's had access for many years.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cheese Making Class this Saturday at Morning Song Farm

Come on out to Morning Song Farm for our beginning cheese making class. We'll focus October's class on a few of the fun and easy cheeses that will easily turn you into a cheese maker! Impress your friends with cheesey offerings and try out a fun and different hobby that brings dividends of appreciation. You may find that you'll discover a passion for cheese as we have here at Morning Song Farm. It's easier than you'd ever think! Follow along with handouts and easy to follow recipes so that your success is insured when you repeat the steps at home. We'll talk about which milk to use, cultures, and why certified organic milk isn't always your best choice.  We'll make three different cheeses; Garlic Ricotta, Herbed Queso Fresca, Fromage Blanc, Paneer, Feta and Neufchatel cream cheese are among those we choose to make and sample during the class.  Class starts at 9:00. Arrive 15 minutes  early if you'd like, to sample herbed cheeses as well as our just churned butter and freshly milled-macadamia muffins.  Warm up with hot coffee or herbal tea or enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice while meeting your fellow cheese loving adventurers!  Get a chance to meet the farm’s beautiful Nigerian dairy goats, and pet our friendly herd. Bring a crunchy granola bar or two and you’ll be everyone’s best friend, especially Carl The Herd Leader who eats anything but really gets excited if it’s crunchy.

Tuition: $65
Come on out to Morning Song Farm for our beginning cheese making class. We'll focus October's class on a few of the fun and easy cheeses that will easily turn you into a cheese maker! Impress your friends with cheesey offerings and try out a fun and different hobby that brings dividends of appreciation. You may find that you'll discover a passion for cheese as we have here at Morning Song Farm. It's easier than you'd ever think! Follow along with handouts and easy to follow recipes so that your success is insured when you repeat the steps at home. We'll talk about which milk to use, cultures, and why certified organic milk isn't always your best choice.  We'll make three different cheeses; Garlic Ricotta, Herbed Queso Fresca, Fromage Blanc, Paneer, Feta and Neufchatel cream cheese are among those we choose to make and sample during the class.  Class starts at 9:00. Arrive 15 minutes  early if you'd like, to sample herbed cheeses as well as our just churned butter and freshly milled-macadamia muffins.  Warm up with hot coffee or herbal tea or enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice while meeting your fellow cheese loving adventurers!  Get a chance to meet the farm’s beautiful Nigerian dairy goats, and pet our friendly herd. Bring a crunchy granola bar or two and you’ll be everyone’s best friend, especially Carl The Herd Leader who eats anything but really gets excited if it’s crunchy.

Tuition: Even if you are a much appreciated farm member, payment and reservations for our cheese classes need to be made here so that we can use the Meetup software to keep an accurate headcount.  Please, no impromptu arrivals. The class size is limited for a reason, so we need to have firm reservations. Our barn is now heated, but do come with a sweater just in case. The pathway to the barn is rough and unpaved, so stash the stilettos or dress shoes; and opt for sneakers or boots for your cheese making day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Union Tribune Article 9/30/2013

What it takes to run an organic farm

Morning Song Farm, which is known for its rare fruits and vegetables, is a labor of organic love for San Diego County woman

 
Donna Buono turns on sprinklers that irrigate trees at Morning Song Farm in Rainbow. The farm, which is mostly family-run, has one part-time and one full-time employee. Charlie Neuman • U-T
Donna Buono turns on sprinklers that irrigate trees at Morning Song Farm in Rainbow. The farm, which is mostly family-run, has one part-time and one full-time employee. Charlie Neuman • U-T                              

Donna Buono, who learned many homesteading skills such as cheese making from her grandmother, an astrophysicist with NASA — has always had a desire for rural living. As a child, Buono and her family of five spent the summers camping on her uncle’s Maine farm in a 20-foot trailer, giving her the conviction that she’d rather live in a shack on acreage than a mansion in the suburbs.
Fast forward to now and you will find Buono on her 20-acre organic farm in the small town of Rainbow, in the northern part of San Diego County. What started out as a “hobby” in 2001 is now Morning Song Farm, which grows 70 different fruits, macadamias and heirloom vegetables.
The farm is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and has drop-off points throughout San Diego and Orange counties for its customers to pick up weekly baskets. CSA is sometimes referred to as a “subscription farm” because the consumer buys a subscription from a farmer for a set price to receive fresh produce on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Morning Song Farm is one of about a dozen CSAs in the county.
Morning Song Farm is known for its rare fruits and vegetables, such as mulberries, pineapple guavas, dragon fruit, and Purslane, a leafy green high in omega-3. More than half of the farm is covered with 700 macadamia trees.
photo
Donna Buono, owner of Morning Song Farm, with one of her sapote trees. Her original vision was to grow passion fruit and fioja guavas, two underappreciated fruits she loves. Charlie Neuman • U-T photos

A recent weekly Morning Song Farm basket was packed with kale, royal purple beans, cucumbers, beets, passion fruit, pomegranates, green onions, parsley, basil, tomatoes and Purslane. A small CSA box from Morning Song Farm costs $34.50, weekly or biweekly; and a large box runs $44.50, weekly or biweekly. A box of salad fixings goes for $19.75 a week. Morning Song Farm, which is mostly family-run, has one part-time and one full-time employee.
Buono, known as Farmer Donna, is a staunch food advocate, but will be the first to admit that passion aside, organic farming is a tough business. The Chula Vista native talked to U-T San Diego about the challenges and jubilations of owning and running a small organic farm.
Q: What was your motivation behind buying a farm?
A: My original vision was to grow passion fruit and fioja guavas, two underappreciated fruits that I really love. It was supposed to be a hobby. But I realized you can’t run something like this and make it just a hobby. As I started out at the Santa Monica farmers market, it became clear that two mostly out-of-season items on the table wouldn’t even pay the water bill. I wasn’t really thinking in terms of return on investment. I did follow my passion and have ended up doing something I love. In terms of ROI there are probably more lucrative industries to devote one’s life to, so for the young farmer just starting out, I would say that you need passion to get you through the rough times and the unprofitable years.
Q: Why did you choose to become a CSA?
A: I was doing farmers markets, and I love them, but economically it just didn’t pencil out for us. At the end of the day once you pay your employee and pay for gas, you don’t make anything. The CSA model turned out to be great for a mom like me. I didn’t have to work weekends at all anymore, which was life-changing.
With farmers markets, the farmer never knows how much to harvest; rain or a sporting event can change sales figures substantially. We gave or threw away a lot of food. With a CSA, you only harvest for the exact number of boxes you are preparing for your subscribers. We started the CSA with a single friend of mine who had admired the beautiful produce on my kitchen counter.
She and I shared in the cost to grow a vegetable garden, and we split the produce each week. Several other girlfriends joined in soon after, and we were off. Soon friends of friends asked to join.
photo
The chickens at Morning Song Farm like to hang out in the macadamia trees at night. Seventy fruits, vegetables and nuts are grown on the 20-acre organic farm in North County.

Q: What are the challenges of marketing a CSA to consumers?
A: We don’t do a lot of marketing. We use Susco Media’s Z Code Magazines to get the word out a little bit. We also advertise in the two local newspapers. For small farms like mine, getting the word out can be an issue.
Advertising is expensive. A majority of San Diegans who want non-GMO organic foods in their homes are still not aware of CSAs. Every single local organic farm should have a waiting list and should be maxed out. That’s not happening yet. There is no strategy for strong growth.
We haven’t had much growth in years, and have had about the same number of subscribers.
Q: What have been some of your biggest challenges?
A: As a small farmer I think talented labor is a huge issue. So much of our farming knowledge was coming from Mexico, and then there was a crackdown on labor laws and immigration issues. Immigration laws changed the face of farming in California. It’s been said that it takes at least 20 years to know what you are doing in farming. That knowledge base is precious. Current California law also states that farm internships are noncompliant. That’s a problem industry wide. The average age of a farmer in California is 60, which is scary. Where are the young people just starting out supposed to learn? We have a knowledge base that is not transferring as fast as it needs to. And many small family farmers aren’t expecting their children to continue the family farm, because the kids see firsthand the economic trade-offs that are involved and decide to do something else.
Q: How do you deal with profit pressure?
A: We’re profitable most months, but we would be much stronger by simply increasing our CSA subscriber base. We have a much larger capacity for production than we are utilizing.
photo
September 25, 2013, Rainbow, California, USA_| Chickens stand in the shade of a tree at Morning Song Farm. The chickens there produce many eggs.|_Mandatory Photo Credit: Photo by Charlie Neuman/UT San Diego/Copyright 2013 San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC

We’re considering adding macadamia tours, a farm experience bed-and-breakfast, a sprouting class, and more cheese classes to diversify our income base and increase exposure.
Q: What fuels you to get up before dawn every day to farm?
A: I really believe in myself and I think I can do it. Healthy food should not be considered a luxury. I have an infectious passion for amazing fruits and vegetables. Many of our subscribers say they feel like it’s Christmas when they open their boxes every week.

Donna Buono

Hobbies: Fixing up her old farmhouse, taking care of her llama and goats, hiking and jet skiing.
Favorite quote: “Is there anything sadder than the foods of the 1950s? Canned, frozen, packaged concoctions, served up by the plateful, three meals per day, in an era in which the supermarket was king, the farmers market was, well, for farmers, and the word ‘locavore’ sounded vaguely like a mythical beast.” — Jeffrey Kluger
Career path: Although she took as many horticultural classes as she could, Buono ended up with a business administration degree from Saddleback College. “I was afraid I might end up working at a neighborhood nursery chain selling ornamentals. If you can’t eat it, I’ve never been interested.”

Subscription farm

Morning Song Farm is one of about a dozen Community Supported Agriculture farms in the county. The consumer buys a subscription from a farmer for a set price to receive fresh produce on a weekly or biweekly basis.
Cost: A small box is $34.50, weekly or biweekly; and a large box runs $44.50, weekly or biweekly.
Sample contents: Kale, royal purple beans, cucumbers, beets, passion fruit, pomegranates, green onions, parsley, basil, tomatoes and Purslane.
I’m really excited about the new things that are successfully growing, such as our dragon fruit, olives, and sapote. We’re just starting a trial of carissa plums. It’s a lot of hard work and most of my customers are aware of that. I also have a blog, and love to tell our farm stories. We recently started a cheese-making class here, which is another way to get people interested in the farm and in great food.

Harvest Tickets for Week of October 1-2

We're now providing a link so that everyone can read our harvest ticket regardless of platform used. Please let us know if you encounter difficulties. I'm excited to use Dropbox, because when the need to revise a Harvest Ticket comes up, now it's feasible! The old way with going from Word to PDF to Gif and then downloading half a dozen gifs and then fighting the Blogger software to get them to download sequentially was so cumbersome, an omission on the ticket had to just be ignored. Now we can revise easily!
Click here to view this week's harvest ticket!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cauliflower Hummus Dip

The flavor fresh steamed cauliflower is so mild that you’re able to pretty much control the flavor of your hummus with the spices you add.  Have fun and make a spicy version by adding cayenne, or up the flavor ante with some extra garlic. Now, I did try it raw as well, and it was tasty, but not as creamy.

Drizzle your finished dip with some olive oil and a pretty sprinkle of sweet paprika.

Here’s what you need:

  • I used a half head of cauliflower, steamed
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic
  • juice from 1 lime
  • dash of sea salt and black pepper
  • pinch of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, and onion powder

  1. Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Taste and add more seasoning as you see fit.
  3. Serve with sliced veggies, olives and homemade almond flour crackers.


Cheesey Cauliflower Casserole

This is surprisingly easy to make, and brings out the complex flavors of the cauliflower. Even my kids enjoy cauliflower served this way:

Ingredients:
  • Half a medium sized cauliflower...no need to pare off the commonly seen little bit of brown on this vegetable...image below...that's not mold, it's oxidation and is rarely avoided when grown in the hotter months.
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • half a cup of Queso Fresca cheese, crumbled into large chunks
  • quarter cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • half cup of bread crumbs
  • dash of olive oil
  • one pound of hamburger
  • diced green onions or chives
  • sprinkle of Grizzly Joe's Natural Chipolte seasoning (www.grizzlyjoes.com)
Process:
  • Brown your hamburger, drain and set aside.
  • Dice up cauliflower
  • Combine cauliflower and hamburger, then mix in crush garlic and Queso Fresca.
  • Top with bread crumbs, parmesan cheese  a dash of olive oil, green onions/chives and Chipolte seasoning
  • Bake at 375 until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy
  • Serve at once




Winter Squash Soup

I've always loved all things Winter Squash and have trialed numerous celebrated squashes in pursuit of the perfect squash, and I believe we may have found it in Sibley. Listed on the Ark of Taste, the awkward, strangely shaped bluish fruit lacks the qualities sought after in factory farmed produce. It doesn't stack well. It offers nothing in the way of uniformity.  It ripens slowly over a few months, instead of all at once. It's not disease resistant, and the seeds are expensive. But the taste is sublime, complex, even somewhat nutty. The unusual thing about Sibley, offered by a few heirloom seed companies, is that although it is a winter squash, meaning it has a hard shell and can be harvested and stored for later use...it can also be used like a zucchini when very young.  We're growing Sibley and an heirloom zucchini, and are trying to put one or the other in all large boxes right now. I don't think we could FIT a Sibley in a small box with everything else, although like I said, some Sibleys are huge and don't fit in large boxes either...and occasionally we find one that is not much larger than a pummelo.


Ark of Taste Project is a special listing of unique foods established by Slow Food, the food advocacy organization. They've catalogued over a 1000 unique foods that are labeled extraordinarily delicious and endangered, including Sibley.

Here's how I enjoyed the fruit this week with a friend for lunch: I halved the squash with a serrated knife, scooped out the seed (and saved it of course...Sibley is open pollinated so the seeds will come up true to type next year) and baked until soft at 350 degrees. I let cool to handle, and then spooned out the flesh into a Cuisinart with some low fat unflavored yogurt and a quarter cup of walnuts. I tossed in a couple cloves of garlic, salt, pepper and a quarter of a jalapeno for heat, and pureed. I reheated just before serving and once in bowls I topped with bread crumbs and shredded parmesan cheese, and used a kitchen torch to toast and melt the cheese at the table.

 

 

 

Harvest Ticket September 24/25

Wow, I've had a bit of a problem getting this week's harvest ticket uploaded to our blog. I think I've found a solution, and hope to hear that it works on everyone's computer or smart phone. Click the link below:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7gtqbp2ou6lr12b/harvest%20ticket%204TH%20WEEK.pdf

Here's a Fruit Grown on MSF Listing Link



https://www.dropbox.com/s/6yc1wimf5mwob31/Fruit%20Listing.pdf

Click on the link above for a list of the fruit we grow here on Morning Song Farm. We're using dropbox for this link, it takes a second to download, but the resolution is better than gif files.

d

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thanks for the tip!

OK, although the google upload thing worked for some subscribers last week, others said they couldn't get the file opened to view our harvest tickets. A member of the public ( thanks, Ms. Leeds) provided another suggestion, which is vastly easier and I'm trialing this week. So I'm using her suggestion,  Dropbox,  this week, which provides a link you have to click, and then the PDF should open for everyone. Please do let me know if it doesn't open for you!

Don't Hate Me 'Cuz I'm Hairy ;)


Notice the tiny root hairs and how
 the roots are growing together
Tuesday's boxes have radish sprouts. Like all brassicas, radishes have tiny, web-like hairs that to the uninitiated can certainly look like something funky.... say, mold. Here's an image provided by a fellow subscriber last week (last week, Wednesday boxes received radish sprouts, this week they'll receive our French Garden mix sprouts (which is a sprightly blend of clover, arugula, cress, radish, fenugreek and dill.) It's quite a moving target to get a radish sprout that is both green but not over grown. Harvest too soon, and the sprout isn't green; and harvest too late and the sprout is hotter than most peoples' tastes. Facility temperatures can affect the growth rate so that as the weather changes, we are constantly adjusting the start day/hour to get a perfect finish. Even brassica (kale, radish, etc.) sprouts that are harvested a full day too soon will have tiny hairs and connecting webs of roots. It's most noticeable with radish seed because radish is the largest brassica seed we sprout, so their hairy roots are just more noticeable to the naked eye. Because radish sprouts are definitely spicy, I enjoy using them on sandwiches in lieu of boring....boring....boring alfalfa sprouts. Of course sprinkling your raw salad with a dash of crunchy, spicy, radishes is a tasty choice, too! My kids also enjoy rolling radish sprouts in rice paper and serving as an appetizer with a offsetting mild-flavored dip.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Farmer not an IT Professional

Well, after much knashing of teeth and tearing of hair out, I think I have managed to figure out how to get PDF files to download over to this blog, with the intent of making our Harvest Tickets easier to read and access from different platforms. Mind blowingly complicated considering the download mechanism (Google's "Drive") AND the blog software are both owned by Google. Really, there can't just be a "download PDF" button? It has to require studying 11 pages of instructions downloaded off the internet, viewing a U-Tube video from an Indian IT guru dozens of times to figure out and HTML code management (here....I'm not kidding...this is from page five: "after copying the code go to Blogger.com..create a new post...select HTML Tab, and paste the code where you would like to see the document to appear. Now within the code that you pasted few moments a go (sic) search for /preview and replace it with /edit?usp=sharing....)  Really?

Feedback of the results would be welcomed. Can you access the files as I think you should be able to?

Harvest Tickets September 17-18 2013


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Harvest Ticket September 3-4 2013

Well, it's absolutely sweltering out here and it's been a rough day. What is it about the heat that makes everything mechanical or computer-related not work out here? I so would love to heave this computer into the ravine. Just sharing. If someone knows of a way to get a single PDF file onto blogger here without having to convert to GIF which breaks the file up into pieces (6 today), that would be awesome. It takes a long time, revisions are out of the question because of how long it takes to post, and positioning seems to be random. I just have to play with it forever to get the pages to end up sequential. Surely there is a remedy?

We got a remark about our peaches being mushy, and sure enough, they're firm and great when we put them on the truck, but don't hold up through the day's deliveries in this heat...so we're taking them off the ticket for tomorrow. Carl will be thrilled because peaches are among his favorite, no matter what their condition, and the other goats haven't learned how to spit out the seed like he can, so he does enjoy showing his skills off.

Louie came back today with almost no returned boxes, so I need to ask everyone again...that our prices are based on the returned cartons for our reuse. Also, we are proud of keeping our landfill footprint to a minimum by recycling the boxes. So, if you are crazy busy and can't remember to bring the box back, I get it, but please bring grocery bags to transfer your produce into, and leave the box behind altogether. I know there are a very few that ARE returning boxes, and we thank you...but the majority aren't anymore. Please return our boxes!




Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Turns Out Naked Juice Isn't So Naked

PepsiCo,   a significant donor who helped defeat California's anti GMO proposition...has been found to have mislead their natural, healthy eating consumers in regards to their Naked Juice Product. Here's another reason why I think, although it's a big hassle, it's smarter to make your own juice products in your own kitchen from produce that is certified organic, or Certified Natural. As a result of the class action settlement, you can file up to a $45 dollar claim without receipts at this website: www.nakedJuiceClass.com. (And who keeps years of juice receipts?)

Here's what the Organic Consumers Association says about this:
"According to plaintiffs, Naked Juice used soy ingredients that are genetically engineered "by design or by contamination." (Naked Juice intentionally used misleading language to give consumers "the false impression that the beverage's vitamin content is due to the nutritious fruits and juices, rather than added synthetic compounds." And the PepsiCo subsidiary contained a laundry list of synthetic chemicals, including calcium pantothenate (synthetically produced from formaldehyde)."

Yikes.

I use the Vitamix for most of my juicing needs unless I want to strain out the pulp, in which case I use a cheap Walmart juicer I got for $40 bucks or so. Juicing is hassle. But here's the thing: being unhealthy is a hassle, too. I don't always have time to cook, but juicing is fast and fairly straight forward. The cleanup usually takes longer than actually juicing.

Tomato Jalapeno Marinade with Brown Rice

A quick and fun way to brighten up a brown rice dish. I tossed the whole clamshell of cherry tomatoes in the Cuisinart and pulsed the minimum seconds I could without ending up with big chunks. I added sea salt to taste and then crushed 3 cloves of garlic in a separate mixing bowl and stirred everything together. I then did the same pulsing thing with half a medium white onion and a single jalapeno, and added that to the mixing bowl contents, stirred and put in a jar to photograph.
I choose brown rice because white rice has it's nutritional value removed in the process of becoming white, and then by law vitamin additives are usually added back. Yuck. I use a basic table top rice cooker, and then I blended the tomato marinade into the hot rice just before serving. Enjoy!

Harvest Ticket August 27-28








Harvest Notes


Last week I goofed and posted the zucchini in the wrong column. Zucchini was included in SMALL shares only, not LARGE shares only. I understand it may seem random or well…even unfair… that a small box would receive something that a large box doesn’t, but sometimes our decisions are based on the fact that we can’t fit anything else in the large shares without smashing things in, or that the small boxes need a little bit more of something, and the harvest count comes out perfectly. Sometimes we can only offer something on one of our harvest days: either Tuesday or Wednesday. When that happens, we almost always follow up with switching it the following week. Know this: we work diligently, each week, to bring a solid value to each and every subscriber, and are always open to feedback, concerns and suggestions. When we find that we have only a TINY amount of something to share, we’ll include it in our Trade-In shares, which we offer to all drop points with 6 or more participants. If your drop isn’t being blessed with a trade-in box, we sure would appreciate it if you could tell a few friends about us! It helps us by keeping costs down by “ganging” deliveries, and it helps you by getting to trade in and customize your box so that less goes to waste. Our new website: www.morningsongfarm.com has an easy to use order form, and lots of FAQ’s about our CSA program.

 

New this week, and possibly disconcerting if you’ve never seen our Passion fruit before, we are just beginning to harvest our Passion fruit vines; truly a full month earlier than usual. If you’ve never enjoyed Passion fruit, you’re in for a treat. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off the tip of your fruit and then swirl a spoon around inside to break the gelatinous fibers loose from the interior walls. In a pinch, you can use your thumb. Scoop out and enjoy. Yes, you can include in smoothies and atop ice cream. But this treat is so over-the-top intensely delicious, I think straight up is a first choice. I remember the first one I ever tasted, 25 years ago where the enthusiastic grower tore off the tip with his teeth, and instructed me to smush the opening to my lips and drink the fruit right there. I was smitten! Few of our fruits are cosmetic bells of the ball. In fact, way back then, I’d been told that the finest flavored fruit is wrinkled and really ugly. So don’t heave ho the wrinkled ones.

 

Better late than never: we are finally harvesting tomatoes for all, every week. We’re growing way more cherry tomatoes than heirlooms, as the squirrels leave the small tomatoes alone for whatever reason we have yet to ascertain, and opt for small, ruinous bites out of the large tomatoes we grow. And this is the first week we have our pretty culinary sage in the boxes, large shares only. And a special note to all those that enjoy our Purslane: I noticed this week the tiny Purslane seeds are showing up on the leaves. Those aren’t bugs! They’re nutritious and tasty. Finally, a note about this week’s Large Share only sprouts. We trialed several seed mixes against our tried and true Italian Mix (clover, garlic and cress). We tried a mild radish, a 100% brassica mix (mostly kales) and an amazing crunchy bean mix we all loved. Your feedback is appreciated!