March 17, 2008 - Morning Song Farm

What's happening in March, 2008

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At left San Clemente resident Marina Carson acts as photographer’s assistant to Photographer/Writer David Karp with Ian Crown and Stephen Facciola.

We’ve planted all the new trees we purchased, and are now finishing up the new blackberries and the low-chill raspberries. Also we’re planting rhubarb and more asparagus. We haven’t had much luck with rhubarb and asparagus; it may not be cold enough in Rainbow, but I’m still trying. David Karp, well-known fruit writer came for a visit this week with his author friend, Stephen Facciola and Puerto Rican mangosteen grower Ian Crown. Some of you may have read Stephen’s Sourcebook, Cornucopia II, A Source Book for Edible Plants. It’s an incredible compilation of edible plants and their seed sources. He was kind enough to sign a copy for me! Many of the things that Ian grows in Puerto Rico I grow as well; although I have no chance of growing anything tropical, which Ian specializes in. We enjoyed comparing notes on the things we grow in common.
As we walked through the farm, David was able to help me identify a few fruit trees whose labels have eluded me. We have 3 or 4 citrus trees that are “rootstock”, which is a disappointment as rootstock fruit is useless. I also have a tropical apricot tree, (dovyalis) which has never fruited. I’ve tasted the dovyalis and it is truely amazing. I’d forgotten I’d purchased and planted it 7 or 8 years ago. Long time to wait for fruit….
They gave me a fig tree, which David knows I have a fondness for. David says this Violette is unusually delicious. I’ll let my subscribers decide! I have root grafted many of my own figs on the farm.
He also confirmed that the weird looking fruit that wasn’t picked soon enough is the Yuzu, better picked in the fall. David was most interested in the Ethrog trees that have just been removed from my farm. We had been growing Ethrogs, a sacred Jewish fruit, for a couple of rabbis. They have decided to move their trees elsewhere, but David, who is writing a book about Ethrogs, wanted to visit and discuss my experience and see what was left of the grove.

March 18/19 baskets

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This week’s baskets: Our juicy, juicy limes, pomellos, avocados, peas, tangalolos, blood oranges, navels, baby heirloom lettuce, heirloom new potatos, young heads of lettuce, Swiss chard, turnips (large baskets) beets, radishes. I know I’ve shared the lime merainge pie recipe before, but am including it here because there’s so many new members.

Juice Lime Meringue Pie
Prepare a baked pie shell. For simplicity’s sake, I use Trader Joe’s ready-made. It doesn’t have any preservatives or chemicals and tastes the same as the ones I make myself. The following recipe makes a pretty tart pie. If you like your dessert a little sweeter, add more sugar.

Put into a saucepan: ¾ cup of sugar, 5 tablespoons cornstarch, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 cup lime juice. Blend until smooth. Add 3 well-beaten egg yolks (save whites for the meringue), 2 tablespoons melted butter. ¾ cup warm water. Bring mixture to full boil, stirring gently. Mixture will thicken quickly. Remove from heat, pour into pie shell. Cool a little.

Whip egg whites until frothy, add 4 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of vanilla with ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar. Beat until peaks will stand up and lean over only slightly. Do not over beat.

Spatula meringue over pie top, bouncing spatula over surface of pie to create pretty peaks. Place in oven at 350 until golden brown.


Price Change for 2nd Quarter

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Sorry to have to announce a small price increase this coming quarter of $2 per basket. Although operating costs have gone up a little in most areas, (wage, feed, fertilizer) fuel and delivery costs have doubled in the last year. Today, 3/17/08, diesel is 4.25 a gallon, with media commentary that higher prices should be expected soon. Effective for baskets delivered after April, 2008, small baskets will be 34.50, and large 44.50. I understand some of our fabulous supporters have to really budget thier food bills to participate, and apologize for the increase.

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