Showing posts from 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


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 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.

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: 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. Becaus…

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:

Harvest Ticket Dec. 10-11, 2013

To view an image of our Garden n' Grove Harvest this week, click here:

To view an image of our Salad Fixins box this week, click here:

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: 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

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 l…

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 (…

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-pasteuri…

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.

Harvest Ticket November 5-6 2013


Harvest Ticket October 29-30 2013


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 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 th…

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.

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 wel…

Harvest Tickets October 15-16 2013

Link To Harvest Tickets for October 8-9 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 By Andrea Siedsma Special to the U-T 10:33 p.m.Sept. 30, 2013 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 th…

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!

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, steamed2 Tablespoons tahini2 Tablespoon olive oil2 clove garlicjuice from 1 limedash of sea salt and black pepperpinch of cumin, paprika, garlic powder, turmeric, and onion powder
Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.Taste and add more seasoning as you see fit.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:

Half a medium sized 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 garlichalf a cup of Queso Fresca cheese, crumbled into large chunksquarter cup of shredded parmesan cheesehalf cup of bread crumbsdash of olive oilone pound of hamburgerdiced green onions or chivessprinkle of Grizzly Joe's Natural Chipolte seasoning (
Brown your hamburger, drain and set aside. Dice up cauliflowerCombine 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 seasoningBake at 375 until the cauliflower is tender but not mushyServe 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 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, altho…

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:

Here's a Fruit Grown on MSF Listing Link

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.


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 ;)

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…

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 a new 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 re…

Harvest Tickets September 17-18 2013

Harvest Ticket September 10-11 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 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 ot…

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: (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 …

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 d…

Harvest Tickets August 20-21 2013


Harvest Tickets August 13-14