Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CSA Box Harvest February 25th-26th 2014

I had a really hard time getting a decent shot of today's harvest. So below, here's the best of a series of not-so-great shots, and then I divided the harvest in to two piles, and took two separate shots of the same Large Garden N Grove Box so it was easier to view, offered below. Just a whole lot of harvesting today, and not everything photographed well. The last image is just a shot of our beautiful braising mix this week.

In large boxes only you'll find baby bok choi, the very first of our mulberries (meager portions...I admit..but a harbinger of things to come), and cilantro. Other than that, small Garden 'n Grove Boxes received everything large boxes got, but in some cases...smaller quantities.

This week's CSA Box sprout offering is very cool:  they have a very sweet, floral scent. Anyway, we've never combined these, so we've named it the brilliant marketing name of: Crunchie Bean Mix 2: lentils, spreckled peas, kamat, adzuki beans and fenugreek.







Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Harvest Tickets, Feb. 11-12 2014

Our beautiful, juice-bomb tangalolos are in boxes this week. They are usually harvested starting in March, but the weird weather has afforded us an early start. These beautiful globes are so juicy, they're better off eaten naked in the shower. Or at least with a bib. ;) Another week of our popular crunchy bean mix sprouts for all box sizes this week, as well. We're working on sourcing a reputable, organic provider of sprouting pea seeds. The source we use had a giant pea seed crop failure, so we're casting about. I've been meaning to blog about this: sprouts are easy to grow, but it's important that you purchase your sprouting seeds from a source that sells "sprouting" seeds, not generic seeds. The level of hygiene practices needed to keep your sprout seeds safe for consumption is quite different for seeds intended for the soil vs. seeds intended for sprouting. You can't wisely buzz over to a local health food store and scoop up seeds from the bins and use them for sprouting. Wow. Not safe. Our sprout seeds are intended for sprouts, grown in North America, lot tested for contamination and certified organic.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Thanks, Monsanto!

Not that GMO's are anything to laugh about, but appealing to reason hasn't affected much change, so here's a link to a cynical video spoofing Monsanto. Here's the thing;  each year the GMO issue becomes more oppressive to those that passionately choose to farm without GMO's as well as to those that would choose to dine without GMO's...if their food was labeled in such a way that they'd have a choice. Even so called healthy food sources like WholeFoods have recently acknowledged that many of their store products contain GMO's. But sometime, you know...in the future...they'll get right on that.

click here

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cheese Making Class This Coming Sunday: Feb. 9th

Come on out to Morning Song Farm for our beginning cheese making class. We'll focus February’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 your best choice.  We'll make three different cheeses; Garlic Ricotta, Herbed Queso Fresco, Fromage Blanc, Paneer, Feta and Neufchatel cream cheese are among those we choose to make and sample during the class.  Class starts at 10:00. 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. We can now heat our barn, 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. Once the morning class is full, we'll add an afternoon class if necessary.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

New, Fuel Efficient Van Poses Limitations

So after a year of pondering the dilemma of increasing fuel costs, we have decided at last to trade in our larger Econoline Van for a more fuel efficient Transit Van. The new van is easier to drive, and with only 4 cylinders; is more fuel efficient. The downside is that we have little margin for error during our CSA deliveries. The van went out for its first delivery this morning, and Louie; head farm guy here....remarked that we only have room for a week's worth of returning empty boxes. Here's the problem: Many of our subscribers save up their boxes and return them all at once, and there's no way we now have the latitude to accommodate that practice. So, please, if you are having a problem remembering to return your box, don't take it home to begin with. Bring bags to transfer your produce into, and leave the empty behind from the start. Let us know if you have an accumulation to deal with, and we'll have to do weekly figuring and allocate days for each accumulation to clean up past practices.

Also, while I'm on the boring topic of boxes and such...a strange thing is happening to some of our returned boxes...subscribers' kids(?) are drawing on the boxes and then leaving it for us to recycle for use. We don't want those ruined boxes back. Many years ago we had a program of checking off each named box and billing for missing boxes. At some point we didn't have any missing boxes anymore, and stopped the nuisance of keeping track. Now we have the problem of ruined boxes, and sometimes as much as a third of our subscribers not returning boxes on any given week. Not only is it a huge unaccounted for expense to build new boxes unnecessarily  for your CSA farm, wasting boxes is a significant, unfortunate addition to our landfills. So, please...return your box or don't take it to begin so that it can be wisely reused.

Harvest Ticket Feb. 4-5 2014

An interesting week unfolds as Tuesday boxes only receive a very small portion of our Baby Pea Shoots for the first time. Grown from a very small pea seed intended for shoots or sprouts, the entire plant is eaten. Wednesday boxes will be getting our popular Crunchie Bean Mix. The image above shows no where near the actual quantity of Spring Mix....I included a tiny bit to show we'd included Spring Mix this week; the actual quantity took too much of the image up. Pea Shoot eaters: please give us your feedback!