Glamping in SoCal’s Wine Country

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December 6th, 2023

There’s nothing quite like sleeping under canvas, as many of us fondly remember from our scouting days. Fast forward a couple decades, and spending a half day gathering gear and filling ice chests while juggling kids, work commitments and charcoal isn’t as idyllic as we remember.

Years ago, when news of MaryJane Butler’s Idaho canvas wall tent farm burst onto the scene in the 1990’s, the concept of living a fancier, more fluffy version of her youthful account of sorting herself out in much needed isolation in a tent in the northern woods, resonated with many of us. Yes, we wanted to experience that, but with down comforters, WIFI and running water. Many of us are inspired by the pioneering spirit, but prefer our inspiration in small doses. MaryJane’s Farm was the first glamping destination to offer a gentler version of her survivalist adventures, and travelers flocked to Moscow, Idaho to experience her unusual offerings.

Since then, canvas wall tents are becoming a common vacation rental option and for good reason. While MaryJane had to market her idea against the headwinds of conventionality; yurts, bell tents, safari tents and igloos are now being offered in rural destinations world wide.

Morning Song Farm in Rainbow, California, offers an 8 person glamping version of MaryJane’s wall tent concept; but with comfortable beds, WIFI, smart tv, hot tub, full kitchen, and a private bathroom. Set in the middle of SoCal Wine Country, the 20 acre fruit farm is the perfect, centrally located base to explore all that Fallbrook vintners to the south, and Temecula vintners to the north have to offer. Gather eggs, take a cheesemaking or jam class, or interact with their friendly livestock and then enjoy all that the area has to offer as the sun sets. Although I-15 freeway close and only 10 miles (as the crow flies from the Pacific) the small family farm exudes country charm and is never crowded. Just one exit south of Temecula, and one exit north of Fallbrook, Rainbow is a tiny farming community tucked in between the two larger communities. (

Monserate Winery and The Vineyard 1994 are among everyone’s favorites in Fallbrook. Monserate is the newest in the area, along with their eatery, La Piazza, which overlooks the lake and vineyards. Celebrated chef, Luca de Marinis, International Napotelana Champion, offers some of the most amazing pizza around and he’ll happily suggest the perfect wine pairing. They’re family friendly during the week, and adults only Friday-Sunday. Hours: 11-6 every day, closed on Tuesdays.

                                                                     Monserate Menu

The Vineyard 1924 is well known to Fallbrook locals during the holidays to offer a seasonal, fun place for the whole family. In the early 1900’s, this farm was planted to olives, but international trade with Italy ended the profitability of that venture. Avocados were next, but drought and NAFTA ended that. Now, drought tolerant wine grapes grace this beautiful view property. Here’s hoping that wine grapes are the key to success! This year, Santa will be visiting the winery on weekend evenings. Enjoy the casual wine tasting and smores around the bon fire!

                                                                         Winery 1924

A trip isn’t complete without a visit to Old Town Temecula’s Saturday farmers’ Market and all the fun that Old Town has to offer. The Old Town farmers’ market is from 9-1.

Try line dancing at the Stampede (28721 Old Town Front Street, Temecula, The Old Town Blues Club (Thursday-Sunday), Eleven After DarkBaily’s, and M Lounge (Dancing and Comedy Club). Old Town has a lot to offer including speakeasies, live music, vintage candy, garden art, Temecula Olive Oil Company’s flagship store and more. For cheese and wine lovers, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Goat and Vine. Their charcuterie board is fantastic!

SoCal’s wine country is the perfect glamping destination!

A Plant Lovers’ GetAway in Fallbrook

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Bluesnap / Pixabay

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


Field to Vase Gala Dinner And Protea Tour

April 7, 2018


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


32nd annual flower show and Plant sale

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:


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


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


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


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


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.







Harvest Ticket 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!Harvest Ticket July 14-15

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.

Harvest Shot June 9-10 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

For whatever random reason, you now have to click on the image to view the entire thing.

harvest shot from blogger




Harvest Shot: Dec. 22/23, 2014

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Beautiful boxbox, 4th week in Decemberes this week. We’re in full Satsuma Mandarin harvest now, and hope everyone enjoys these little gems. So easy to peel, and intensely flavored. We lost our entire fioja guava harvest to agricultural theft this year, (along with pomegranates…earlier)  so the wonderful Satsuma harvest is really appreciated. We actually confronted a thief last week helping herself to our tangelolos, which aren’t ready to harvest yet….and her comment was that she thought that fruit trees near where she could park on our property were ok to pick. Wow. Just wow.  Anyway, fencing is in order for 2015 as the entire 5 acre parcel in the front of our farm seems to be open season for marauders. Just amazing. I really think 20 years ago….heck 3 years ago….thieves wouldn’t  justify their theft. “Ok, you caught me.” Or something of that order before. Now they actually have a moral-ground position.

CSA Box: Dandies For Dinner

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