October 2007 - Page 2 of 2 - Morning Song Farm

What's in your basket week of 10/16/07

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I’m writing this before I actually know if anything’s gone wrong during harvest, but here’s our tenative list for baskets:

  • The last of our Russian Garlic
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Limes
  • Pakistani Sweet Lemon
  • Persimmons
  • Swiss Chard
  • Fioja Guava
  • Beets
  • Radish
  • Lettuce
  • Oranges
  • Pommegranates
  • Baby Cukes
  • French Melons

A couple new fruits this week

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This week we’re putting a little something in your basket that at first glance fails to impress. It’s the weird looking lemon thing with a little hat on top. That’s our Pakistani Sweet Lemon. Although the juice of the fruit is usable, it’s not very sour. Where the jewell of this fruit lies is in its skin. The peel will impart a scented-geranium scent to baked goods and more. Here’s how to use it easily: grate the entire fruit using a potato peeler, sharp knife or cheese grater. Throw in your Cuisinart or high-speed blender (I use a Vitamix) and add sugar. Blend. Let sit overnight in the fridge. Then use in baked goods, lemonade (limeade this week). It makes a killer sugar cookie.

Another easy use: grate and mix with lime juice, (you can use the juice of the Pakistani Sweet Lemon, too) good quality olive oil, salt little rosemary, a little bit of water (I actually use ice) and blend. It’s a salad dressing with ingredients that appreciative guests have a hard time putting their finger on.

The other fruit new on the scene is the Wonderful Pommegranite. Here’s how we were told, years ago, to avoid getting ourselves completely stained in the process of extracting the delicious, shiny juice pods: cut fruit in half. Place in sink or bowl of water and gently pry the fruit away from the skin, keeping the fruit completely emerged in water as you work. You can put the pretty juicy seeds directly on top of salads (swallowing the tiny seeds) or you can throw all your seeds (now separated from the rind) in your blender with just enough water or juice to make the blades work. Then sieve the gunk out, and enjoy pure pommegranite juice. This juice makes an incredible sorbet: freeze juice, add sugar, put in blender, serve. Top with a pretty sprig of mint.

October 9th and 10th Baskets

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It’s 9 a.m. Tuesday morning and we’re mid-harvest today for Tuesdays baskets, so this list is tenative. But here’s what we have on our harvest ticket for baskets this week:

  • Our fabulous melons
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Baby Cukes
  • Young Head of Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Swiss Chard
  • Baby Bok Choi -Looks like a very small head of Swiss Chard. Tastes a little stronger. Can be cooked like spinach, or Swiss Chard. Also good in a quiche.
  • Green Onion bunches
  • Rosemary
  • Basil, purple Thai
  • Basil, green Italian
  • Persimmon – looks like a flat tomato, can be eaten out of hand
  • Beans (maybe)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Fioja Guavas – has a dusty green color, will scent your kitchen if you leave it on the counter

Weird Orange Thing in Your Basket

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Sometimes I forget what isn’t really mainstream and assume everyone will be able to identify the basket’s fruit. That happened last week with our delicious Fuyu persimmons. The fattened, orange-colored, shiny orange fruit that looks something like a tomato, is a persimmon. You can eat it like an apple. I like the skin. This fruit also makes a premium dried-fruit product. Slice in thin layers and dry out of direct sun. We have to pick them when they still have a little green blush on them because of wiley coyote’s fondness for the tree-ripened ones. If there’s still a little green on yours, let it sit on your counter for a few days.

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Really Bad News from The Rainbow Water District

This just in: All farms in the Rainbow Water District that participate in the agricultural rate program have been ordered to reduce their water use by a whopping 30% or face staggering fines. (Morning Song Farm’s water bill for September was $2500. The fine, as discussed, would double the bill) Organic family farms that have already been practicing mulching, composting, and micro irrigation don’t have any way to reduce their water usage any more than they already have. So everyone’s talking about which trees they’re going to cut down. Ax the avos, or the macadamias? Everyone agrees: keep the cactus! Surprisingly, new building permits continue to be issued, and residential users aren’t affected by these mandates. Just farms. The pending loss of a third of the fruiting trees in an entire geographic region in a single year has got to be a new low for family farms in California’s drought-stressed frost-free growing areas.

Mandatory Pasteurization Concerns

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This just landed in my e-mail box:

Mandatory Pasteurization of Almonds as of September 1st, 2007 has taken effect.

From now on it’s impossible, in fact, illegal, to get raw Almonds in the United States. Nuts sold as “raw” are not actually raw any more, but processed. Here’s what Jason Sinclaire has to say on that subject:

“Truly raw almonds, with their enzymes intact, are a living, nutrition-packed food. Raw almonds that have been soaked and sprouted are nutritionally superior food to heated almonds, and are more easily assimilated in the digestive
process. Heating almonds over 112 degrees destroys their enzymes, and greatly
diminishes their nutritional value. Heating also leads to rancidity of nuts.”

Every almond sold commercially from here on out has to be pasteurized. Also, let’s keep an eye on almond pricing, because almond growers are now required by law to truck their almonds to one of five just-built USDA approved pasteurization facilities in California and then back to their packing facilities on-farm, at their own expense.

As a grower of macadamia nuts whose primary market has for years been to raw foodists, this law is a huge concern. What might be next? Macadamias? Maybe limes?


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Holly Teipe shares this super-simple recipe for baked Zucchini — Farmer Donna

“I made a great dinner tonight with items from my basket. Baked zuchinni with veggie sausage, bread crumbs, cooked onion, a little salt and pepper, and the argula mixed with a mustard vinegrette.


Pic included. Thank you!”

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