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A Plant Lovers’ GetAway in Fallbrook

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Best things to Do for Plant Lovers in Fallbrook/Temecula; North San Diego

Plant loving visitors from all over the world head to Fallbrook in San Diego’s North County, to enjoy both nature and nurture, as commercial horticultural excellence has found a home in the green hills here against the backdrop of soaring oaks, 365 frost-free growing grounds, and all that the stunning Santa Margarita River Reserve has to offer.

Spring 2018 has plenty in store for the plant loving visitor to North San Diego!

 

Finch Frolic Garden Tour

Sunday, March 18, 2018 ~ 10 am – 12 pm

390 Vista del Indio, Fallbrook

$15 per person

Offers a 2-hour class in how to plan your water-wise garden using innovative recycling tips and more. Come get inspired!

 RSVP to dianeckennedy@prodigy.com.

 

Field to Vase Gala Dinner And Protea Tour

April 7, 2018

$185-$205

Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers

Rainbow, CA

A once in a lifetime gala dinner celebrating the amazing exotic plant, the prehistoric-looking protea, hosted by local experts in the field, the Resendiz Brothers. Only a handful of growers in the nation can claim to be experts in this slow-to-mature plant that has captured the imagination of flower designers the world over. Meet Fallbrook’s growers and learn about this stunning, long lasting flower, while enjoying the breathtaking flower-covered hillsides surrounding the dining venue. Dinner includes a multi-course gourmet meal amongst tables designed with fresh protea flowers.

 

Carlsbad Flower Fields

2018 Season: March 1 through May 13
Prices: $16.00 for Adults, $14.00 for Seniors 60+, $8.00 for Children ages 3 – 10,
Children ages 2 and under are Free.
Season Passes: $35.00 for Adults, $30.00; Seniors 60+,
$18.00 for Children ages 3 – 10.
Wagon Rides: $5.00 for Adults,
$3.00 for Children ages 3 – 10.

 

Field To Vase Carlsbad Flower Fields Gala Dinner And Flower Fields Tour

April 28, 2018

$185-$205. The sister event to the Protea tour earlier in the month. Set in the world famous growing grounds of Carlsbad’s flower fields, the gala dinner event sells out every year.  Meet flower farmer Mike A. Mellano of Mellano & Company and learn about his family’s flower farming history while enjoying an artisan dinner in the middle of a sea of ranunculus.

 

 Temecula Valley Garden Club Flower Show

Saturday, April 14, 2018 9-4

Free

32nd annual flower show and Plant sale

30875
Ranch vista Road

Temecula, CA 92592

The show promises to feature hundreds of exhibits, as well as an opportunity to shop at the plant sale where historically bargain prices for rare and unusual plants are offered by plant loving community members. More information at: debraj@temeculavalleygardenclub.com

 

Fallbrook Avocado Festival

April 15, 2018

No charge for entry to the event.

One of Fallbrook’s biggest community events, the festival has so much to offer…music, food, plant sales and more! Fallbrook has billed itself as the Avocado Capitol of the World, not without reason. The subtropical hills are dotted with small avocado ranches despite NAFTA’s impact on growers in the area…some still persist. Parking can be an issue, consider UBER/LYFT and avoid the nonsense. Lots of booths of interesting things to explore, food to try, and plants to buy.

 

 

 

A Cheese Lovers’ GetAway in Fallbrook

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With all the folks heading to Temecula/Fallbrook Wine Country for wine tasting, the fact that the area is also a great cheese lovers’ destination is less known. As long-time advocates of all that is cheesy, we here at Morning Song Farm beacon you to consider a curd-focused trip to our hidden gem community.

Soros’ Mediterranean

28464 Old Town Front Street

Temecula, CA

951-587-8082

A trip to the area in search of the best cheese isn’t complete without a taste of Soro’s Mediterranean Grill’s saganaki. Served as an appetizer  (12.95) for lunch or dinner, it could easily be the main course with a nice glass of wine. Soro’s rendition of Saganaki is flamed and spiced feta cheese prepared table side with brandy and lemon. Curl up with your friends on the floor pillows or dine at a table, but enjoy the authentic offerings. If you’re enjoying the trip with a few friends, the Mezza Plattter ($49.95) is appetizer paradise. It includes their amazing hommus, baba ghanoush, tzatziki, tabouli, dolma, falafel, tahini, boorak, potato chop, feta cheese and Kalamata olives.

Temecula Valley Cheese Company

42072 5th Street, Temecula, CA

951-693-9500

This is the place to go in Old Town, not far from Soro’s. Hidden down a little street off the main drag. A candy store for cheese lovers, their selection is considered to be the best in the valley by many. Their menu lists a 2, 3 or 4 cheese plate combo that includes fruit, bread and olives. They offer a fun Cheese Lovers’ gift basket…perfect for scooping up and taking on a hike, or keep it simple and head over to the grassy slopes of Duck Pond (corner of Rancho California Road and Ynez Road, Temecula) and enjoy your cheese while watching the ducks. Duck pond is rarely crowded.

 

Temecula Creek’s Cork Fire Kitchen

44501 Rainbow Canyon Road

Temecula, CA

866-320-4152

Temecula Creek Inn’s Cork Fire Kitchen offers a stunning view through sheets of expansive glass, looking down on the manicured greens and water features below. Their cheese board is a favorite (small $13, large: $18) includes house-made jams and chutneys, as well as nuts, local fruits, and honey. In the colder months of the year, their beautiful bar offers a blazing fire, romantic  lighting  and comfortable seating. Great place to enjoy wine and curd; a lovely cheese platter, a glass of wine and good company.

 

Morning Song Farm

2120 Rainbow Glen Road

Rainbow, CA 92028

760-468-8583

www.morningsongfarm.com

Come with that special someone, or gather a group and book several homes on this 20 acre farmstay tucked in the hills between Fallbrook and Temecula. Accommodations from one to 15 guests, with a one night minimum stay.  Cheese making classes are offered to overnight guests ($135 for up to 4 attendees). Learn how to make a 30 minute mozzarella, garlic cream cheese, ricotta, and queso fresco in less than 3 hours. Walk the farm, meet a herd of friendly dairy goats, or soak in your private hot tub.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheese Making Class July 19!

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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 use, cultures, and why certified organic milk isn’t your best choice.    Don’t be afraid to bring your appetite, as we nibble throughout! Class starts at 9:00 with sampling freshly made cheeses as well as our just churned butter with bread,  muffins and coffee, while allowing you an opportunity to meet your fellow cheese loving adventurers! Get a chance to meet the farm’s beautiful Nigerian dairy goats at the end of the class, 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. Our Mozzarella Class size is limited for a reason, we need to have firm reservations so we don’t overbook. 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.

Harvest Shot June 16-17, 2015

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We’re exciteharvest shot 3rd week in Juned 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 high oil content and is fully flavored. Off-shore fruit is coming into the grocery isles and will look beautiful but not have the oil content that local avos have. Harvesting under ripe fruit maximizes production returns while shipping thousands of miles under refrigeration and then gassing on arrival to achieve an appearance of ripeness results in a beautiful looking fruit but often poor flavor and oil content.

CSA Box: Dandies For Dinner

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Blooming Amaranth Grain Heads

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Amaranth is among the grains written about years ago in, Save Three Lives, A Plan for Famine Prevention by Robert Rodale. Some of my readers may remember that the Rodales published the Organic Gardening Magazine and were champions of all things pure and clean long before organic certification and commercialization of the organic meme happened along. So…that must be 20 years ago now. I became really interested in amaranth because of Rodale’s writing and have grown some ever since, although never successfully enough to offer to CSA members as an edible. We thought we’d try something innovative and try sprouting the seeds, and although they do sprout, and they are a beautiful rose color, the sprouted seed isn’t all that tasty. Yes, high in protein, but somewhat bitter.

A few of the tiny seeds from that recent experiment landed in the avocado grove, and yesterday I found these plants. They’re gorgeous!

Harvest Ticket: August 19-20, 2014

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We’ve included Purslane in this week’s boxes, note the tHarvest Shot August 3rd Weekasty, tiny black seeds are NOT bugs. Two kinds of peppers, the long, bigger peppers are sweet, and the jalapanos are, of course, hot. If you’re new to the Reed Avocado, it ripens a little bit differently than your typical grocery store Hass avocado. It’s still taking around a week after harvest to be ready to eat, but because as the fruit ripens the flesh contracts slightly, you might squeeze the fruit and think it’s gone bad. That “squish” isn’t fruit, it’s airspace. I love the Reeds, I think they have the nuttiest, smoothest flavor of all the different varieties we grow. They’re not favored by grocery store chains because of their size and weird ripening characteristic.

 

 

 

 

 

jalapenos 3 up 8.20.14

Jalapanos

pepper sweet 8.20.14

Cheese Making Class: August 31st

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Come on out to Morning Song Farcheesemaking chevre imagem for our beginning cheese making class. We’ll focus August’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 with breads and muffins and coffee, 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. 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.

Here’s the link to sign up:

Morning Song Farm Cheese Making

Fallbrook, CA
373 Cheese Makers

Come on out to Morning Song Farm for our beginning cheese making classes.  Next class is being held Sunday, February 9th. Get a chance to meet the farm’s beautiful Nigerian da…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Harvest Shot July 29-30 2014

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harvest shot last week in JulyThe summer has been kind to us, as the genuine heat wave typical of inland San Diego has not arrived, and we’re almost in August! Where did the summer go?

We’re excited to share a new item we’ve been experimenting with, our Sunflower Shoots. We included them in all but two (:/) Large Garden N Grove boxes. (We made up for that unusual slight by substituting other items; something we rarely have to do.) We’re still working on getting the timing and yields down. The other clamshelled item is our Purslane, which is among my favorite warm weather veggies. It has a lemony flavor with a very low-cal, satisfying crunch. I add it to salads, sandwiches and offer it up all by itself with a dip. It’s a great green to add to a rice paper roll up. I enjoy the stems as well as the leaves. We actually harvested two bunches of Swiss chard for Large Boxes, and one bunch for Small boxes, but ended up with only one bunch in each box because we couldn’t get the Large Box lids closed with two bunches.

Lots of folks are on summer break from our CSA, including those that were ordering eggs. We have no wait list for eggs! If you would like to order eggs, please let us know. Here’s the Change Order Link:
https://ww04.elbowspace.com/secure/20140302150121865577

I know I’ve said this…ahem…a few times; but all changes to your CSA box must go through our link. Facebook, Linked In, Post It Notes, Snail Mail, texts, voice messages, comments left with our delivery driver, comments left with your host, notes left on the roster… all have their place; but we have one crew member managing our rosters, and one place for any change affecting our weekly deliveries, and that’s our Link. I made it myself and I’m proud of it. Please help us out and use it when you have a change or quarter-end cancellation. Quarters end in June, September, December and March.

 

Banana Muffins with Hemp Topping

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Morning Song Farm offers macadamia tours to the wholesale tour industry, and our signature “welcome to the farm” treat is a macadamia muffin that many have asked the recipe for. It’s been perfected over the years, and I share it here:
Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mashed banana
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 and 2/3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup crushed macadamias
1/3 cup pureed raisons
1/2 cup hemp hearts
Preheat oven to 350.

Procedure:

Cuisinart raisins and sugar and set aside. Don’t try to puree the raisins later, as it doesn’t work.
Combine eggs, sugar/raisin mix, and oil, beat together. Then blend in banana and vanilla. Set aside.

Combine all the rest of the dry ingredients.

Combine the raisin/sugar/eggs with dry ingredients, and then add cream and nuts.

Carefully spoon into the smallest muffin cups. Sprinkle hemp hearts like crumbs over the tops of each muffin,  and then bake until just done. Overcook and the muffin isn’t tasty at all. So check, rather than rely on any particular time frame I can offer here. My oven requires 7-10 minutes.

Just a note about hemp hearts: Hemp cannot be grown in this country because of the War on Drugs as hemp is related to the marijuana plant. However, other countries allow their farmers to grow hemp…Canada for one, and Americans can buy hemp from others, we just can’t grow it here. I find my hemp from Sprouts.

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