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Showing posts from 2015

That Moment When....

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That moment when you realize your sister got a bigger portion....

Our Farmstay Is Open!

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We've worked hard to have our family unit open by the holidays, and we're excited to finally announce it to the world. With two bedrooms, a hot tub tucked into the trees, a full kitchen a private picket-fenced back garden with a miniature chicken enclosure to interact with our friendly chickens, there's something for everyone to enjoy! Close to golf, hot air ballooning, wine country (Roadrunner Winery is almost walking distance.), Temecula's awesome Saturday Farmers' Market, Fallbrook's artful boutiques and street tacos. Book for a night or more, there's no minimum number of nights. To learn more, click here.
Here's the link to our reservation form with prices and availability: click here

Ruby Grapefruit Today!

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We're excited to finally get back into harvesting citrus! This week's CSA boxes all have the delicious Ruby Grapefruit. They make a great juice, a tangy marmalade, and a tasty sorbet, and their skins can be candied.

Grapefruit/Strawberry Sorbet This is a super simple deal. I did a book signing/cooking class at Sur La Table a few years ago, and this cooking store has an amazing little ice cream maker that is worth taking a look at.
What I thought was cool about it, besides the cheap price, is that is doesn't require salt and is so quiet you can have it going while you and your guests enjoy your main course. How many times have I had to haul my stupid Wal-Mart ice cream maker into the barn so I didn't have to listen to it while I enjoyed my meal? Here's the solution to that! This one is quite an improvement, for around $50.http://www.surlatable.com/product/PRO-724435/Cuisinart-Classic-Frozen-Yogurt-Ice-Cream-and-Sorbet-Maker-Lemon
Ingredients:
* 3 cups strained grapef…

Whipped Pumpkin Honey Butter

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Tell me that isn't a thing of beauty? With pumpkins everywhere, we all have to ask what to do with them in the kitchen besides carving jack-o-lanterns, always what seems to me to be a waste. Here's another super simple recipe with impressive results! To get the full affect, I admit you need the little squirt attachment so that you can have the swirled look in the photo. I found mine at Michael's.
Recipe and directions

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge

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An easy and well received fudge for the Thanksgiving Holidays!
 Here's the link:Recipe and directions




Pumpkin Smoothies from Amy's Healthy Baking

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I love this recipe because it's so easy! I'm not into soy milk, myself, but I didn't want to change Amy's recipe so here it is in it's original format. It's awesome! We'll have pumpkin/winter squash in our boxes for a while now, so here's a use for them if you're not planning on making pumpkin pie.
 Skinny Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Makes 1 smoothie Amy's Healthy Baking Produce
1/16 tsp Ginger, ground 1/4 cup Pumpkin puree Refrigerated5/8 cup Soy milk, nonfat or light Baking & Spices1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground 1/16 tsp�����������������������������������������…

Harvest Shot for September 15-16, 2015

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Greetings from Morning Song!
You'll notice we're harvesting our guavas this week at last! This is the first week of harvest as they're just coming in. Leave on counter until they are slightly soft when pressed, much like you would an avocado. Some people enjoy the skin as I do, others cut long-wise and scoop the delicious flesh out as you would a melon.

I like them right out of hand, but have also sliced, frozen and used in smoothies. I also leave the skin on, and slice thin and include in salads. The skin has a minty kind of flavor when perfectly ripe.


All Natural GMO's? Yikes!

This morning I received an urgent email from CCOF, (California Certified Organic Farmers), our certifying agency. Maybe I'm overreacting, but it seems like if this passed at the Federal level, it would pretty much be game over for those that oppose consuming GMO food. Here it is:

Dear CCOF Member,
We need your help to stop a dangerous pro-GMO bill that undermines organic agriculture and the organic label!
On Thursday, the House of Representatives will vote on HR 1599, otherwise known as Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act (HR 1599).
What Does the DARK Act do?  This bill:
Stops states and counties from regulating GMO crops to protect organic farmers from GMO contamination. Organic standards prohibit the use of GMOs.Undermines the organic label by allowing GMOs to be labeled as “natural,” which is a label with no regulatory meaning that causes unfair competition in the marketplace.Halts all efforts to require GMO labeling.Please call your U.S. Representat…

Harvest Shot, July 14-15 2015

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Everything in our boxes this week is identifiable except perhaps the sapotes, upper right in the photo image above. Like avocados, they need to soften after harvest; they will not soften on the tree. Like most subtropical fruit, they are best left unrefrigerated. Leave on your counter until they are slightly soft when pressed and then cut open as you would an avocado. The white, creamy flesh is delicious! Some people enjoy the skin, which is slightly bitter. Others scoop out the flesh and toss the very thin skin. You can also scoop out the flesh and freeze, and add to an ice cream recipe or smoothie. Enjoy!

Hawaii, Without The Ocean

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As the crew arrived this morning to finish our Wednesday harvest and pack our CSA boxes for deliveries, more than one remarked that it doesn't feel like ordinary weather today. As in, "Hawaii without the ocean."  Unbelievably humid, the air is so heavy and still, the farm's normal tree-branch wind chimes have been silenced. Farm cat leader, Samee, pictured above, has melted in the heat into his Not To Be Trespassed Spot. Such a friendly looking guy, surprisingly, he loses his stuff entirely if any other cat gets near the area in the farmhouse that he has carved out as His And Only His. Don't mistake that relaxed expression. He has no flexibility regarding his stated territorial rights. More than one guest here in our farmhouse has leaped out of bed, certain a cat was being eaten alive by a coyote, only to discover Samee expressing his displeasure at a fellow cat's unwelcome venture into his linened turf.

Cheese Making Class July 19!

Come on out to Morning Song Farm for our Mostly Mozzarella Class. We'll focus July's class on mozzarella and do a couple other very easy fresh cheeses to round out the class time . Limited class size so everyone can actually get their hands into their own cheese, rather than just watch us make it. Mozzarella is remarkably easy once you learn the pitfalls, and have made a few batches. The recipe we're using is the 30 minute version. The tough part is learning how to understand your cheese, how to knead it properly, drain it and what to look for to reach a beautiful stretch. We'll also make a  garlic ricotta spread, and an herbed queso fresco to round the day out. 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! Take notes, and 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…

Harvest Shot June 16-17 2015

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We're excited to see the blackberries come in so well this year despite reduced watering. They are being picked dead ripe, so won't stay fresh for very long. Some years we've tried picking a little unripe, however what's true is that picking dead ripe insures full flavor. The downside is they don't last long! As the heat has arrived consistently now, this is the last week that we'll be growing sprouts for our CSA boxes. Please do pick up your boxes as soon as possible after our truck delivers so that your produce remains fresh. Hydrocooling is helpful if you've arrived late to discover wilted greens: dunk in a sink full of chilled water, shake and refrigerate. This is what restaurants do to insure crisp greens and works just as well in a home kitchen. We're at the tail end of our avo season, still plenty of fruit out there, but some of the skins are now not sporting cosmetic perfection. The trade-off is that a summer Southern Cal Hass has wonderfully h…

The Price of Eggs

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I recently read a review slamming another CSA's egg prices being just gouging the public and winced. The poor dear had no idea at all about the nefariousness of the chicken industry or the horrifying conditions her $3.00 a dozen egg laying chickens were living in.   As many of you know, we ONLY serve our CSA membership with eggs. There can only be one reason for that, and it's because it's not profitable for us. At $8.00 a dozen, I knew we were in the neighborhood of breaking even and I viewed my little chicken hobby (let's call it what it is) as a cool add-on service to my subscribers and a source of clean food for my family. I love the sound of my roosters in the morning, and count their morning calls as one of the assets of living rurally. Which makes me shake my head when I hear that HOA's  and city counsels consider the rooster's song or tiny flock hygiene issues as the main reason to disallow backyard chickens. Expand on that logic...just saying....and I …

Harvest Shot for June 9-19 2015

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We had hoped that we'd get one more week out of the mulberry grove, but the sudden hot spell  vanquished all hope there. All the berries fell off on Sunday and the local bird/rabbit/squirrel population are having a berry fest field day. Best mulberries ever, this was a good season for us, as many years we've only gotten a week or two out of the grove. Next year, it will be even better as we learned a thing or two about mulberry management. We also discovered that rattlesnakes like to hang out in that part of the farm, and so next year us harvesters will be "chapped up" with rattlesnake protection, at least in the early weeks of picking when the snakes have gotten accustomed to having the grove to themselves.

Below is this week's large Garden N Grove box


The Spring Mix sprouts are these sprouted seeds:

BroccoliRadishRed CloverAlfalfa

Feedback Request

Help us!

I’d love to have some feedback on a few rough spots in how we run our CSA administratively.
1.For a few years now, we’ve relied on our Change Order link for add-on requests (like eggs, honey or juice oranges) as well as Credit Card updates, vacation skips, and subscription holds/cancellations.
We instituted the Change Order system a few years back so that I could spend days at a time working on the farm without having the rosters blow up in my face, as well as the ability to go on vacation. For many years I couldn’t do either, and eventually it caught up with me. Literally, I hadn’t gone on vacation for 10 years when Beth took over. I don’t handle rosters or roster changes at all now, adhering to the Change Order system is an important part of keeping communications current and rosters error-free. (And me sane.) Beth is a full time librarian and does a meticulous  job of keeping it all straight for us. She downloads the Change Orders every week and is totally on top of all th…

Spotted Goats and Head Butts

Quite a bit of ruckus going on in the goat barn this last week as Lulu, our gorgeous, spotted Nigerian goat was on the losing end of a tussle with a rattlesnake. We've had an unusual breed of rattlesnakes out here this year, many just don't rattle. It's like they're just too lazy to bother. Which is a bummer, because it's the distinctive sssshhhhhhh of the rattlesnake that alerts us of their presence. There was a couple years, about a decade ago...when the rattlesnakes on the farm were wildly aggressive; just exploding with rattles and hisses whenever someone came near. Those got thinned out pretty quickly because they alerted predators to their presence. Some locals are saying that the California rattlesnake has bred with other snakes and the current breed of rattlesnake is a hybrid. I'm hoping that's just folklore because a non-rattling, lazy but still venomous snake is pretty bad news.

Poor Lulu's face is swollen to the point she doesn't look lik…

Honey!

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Well, we have more honey than ever this year and think our mixed-pollination honey is the best sweetener out there. We still only offer our honey to our CSA members or Rare Fruit Farm Tour participants, as we don't ship yet. Here's the thing: it's not illegal to feed bees buckets of high fructose corn syrup, which unfortunately they love. They scoop that stuff right up, as if it's a competing hive's honey, which they view as a resourse. Like stumbling into a gold mine. So an unscrupulous beekeeper can "make" honey in a few days by feeding their hives garbage HFCS and then selling that nonsense as "honey."  I think that might be what's happening with honey coming from some third world countries. It's so cheap, and there's no oversight whatsoever. I think that might explain why honey doesn't taste like honey sometimes. Also, FYI...if your honey doesn't eventually crystallize, it can't be honey. Left on the shelf, pure honey…

Mulberry Season Has Arrived!

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We're excited to see the start of 2015's Mulberry Season. For those who haven't yet tasted the wonders of a Pakistani Mulberry, this fruit is really special! Never disappointingly sour like a blackberry can be some years, the Pakistani Mulberry can even be enjoyed when completely unripe and green. Not that we pick them green, but I have found myself impatient for the ripe versions over the years and was surprised to discover they are totally tasty even green.

Wood Fired Pizza and Mozzarella Making Class March 29th!

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You're Pre-Qualified for Slavery

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I've always been fascinated with the sordid and bloody history of money, banking and lending. The
subject is a lot more swashbuckling that you might think. Riding rough-shod over women, children and the desperate wasn't uncommon among money-lenders of yore. Which is perhaps why, historically, money lenders would from time to time find themselves becoming the subject of retaliatory death squads. Here in the United States, up until...I don't know....yesterday.....I was under the impression that there were limits...called "usury laws," that reined in the outer limits of mafia-like rates being offered in polite company. Actually, I think the mafia would blush at this offer....Apparently those usury laws have been set aside if the flyer landing in a friend's mail box is any indication. It's the fine print that just astounds. For immediate service the addressee is encouraged to call LoanMe, because the lucky recipient of the flyer is "pre-approved" (ye…

Harvest Shot, 2nd Week in February 2015

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Here's the image for yesterday and today's harvest. The blood oranges have colored up nicely with the help of January's frosts. This doesn't happen every year for us, so it's always gratifying to see how amazingly red our Moro's become when Mother Nature cooperates.

Stealing My Fruit

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So, it's just an ongoing issue out here on our farm. Really, the whole front 4 acres of the property is targeted regularly, by folks that genuinely do not think they are actually stealing when confronted. What is it about Morning Song Farm that otherwise normal looking people think it's "not stealing" when they park their vehicle, get out, swinging their harvest bucket at their side and help themselves to the farm's tree fruits? Someone maybe can help me out here, because it just confounds me. Truly, I remain incredulous.  I just confronted yet another thief...this one with his small child acting as accomplice. Really, you parental idiot? If I was a cat...here's  my face that this gentleman got confronted with...with pleasantries exchanged, to match the face. His response? He didn't "mean" to steal anything. Oh KAY then.........so I asked him, "You didn't MEAN to steal from us? So you ACCIDENTALLY fell out of your car, after parking you…