Sunday, February 21, 2010

Looking back

Well "We Are Here" Year number 3 on the farm. Sorry it has taken me so long to update the blog... and I am going to try to be better about it this year. Farming kind of takes it out of you.

Spring was beautiful on the farm, and we are looking forward to it arriving again. It has been in the 60's this week and we are already eating broccoli and greens from the garden.

The peaches were amazing last year, and as the last of the cans are being eaten from last year we are getting excited for a new crop of fruit from the orchard.

We started the year with a trip down I5 visiting Zachs mom in Napa

Visiting his dad in Ventura, and going to Mary's art show. Hanis family had a wonderful week long visit... and I have no photos from it.. mom please send some photos and I will update blog.

The summer brought our first season at Farmers Market....

Lots of fun wild life... a California King snake.

Lots of hikes and mtn bike rides in the surrounding wilderness areas... so much to explore

Beautiful Bike rides...

A new full suspension Bike... loving it

A fun trip to Costa Rica... visiting friends...

Beach. surf. seashells. sunsets...


more Friends in paradise...

And finally, it's good to be home.... Wishing health and happiness to all.... xoxo Z and R from Morningside farm.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Summer Heat

The summer has turned on the heat and it is blazing out here.

The garden is looking beautiful. The heat has really benefited our heat loving crops, and the fruit on our trees continue to mature and grow. We are sadly having to say goodbye to our brassicas and greens, and the warm weather and mild spring has brought out our garden pests in full force.

It seems there is never a reward without a struggle. This year has been a tremendous learning experience and we are so excited to go forward with all that we have learned. When we think back on last year's garden... it's a completely different place.

Each day that we walk outside the garden is different. Even the garden visitors are different. I suppose we are different too. Armed with new ideas and knowledge. I don't think I will ever grow chard again with out a row cover... those pesky leaf miners.

We take each challenge as it comes. Enjoying the steps along the way.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Winter... Well we didn't spend many days at the ski park this year, but I (Rachel) learned skate skiing, and Zach became acquainted with the back country in this area, lots of it.. see pictures for details. We basically have mountains all the way to the coast. We love it here.

So if I didn't make it clear, we are very happy here in Shasta. I think it has taken a full year, but I finally feel at home, and can't imagine living somewhere else. Every morning the sun is shining and the birds singing. It's like a fairy tale, but real.... oh yeah except for the work. That never ends, but who knew how incredibly satisfying it would be to watch plants grow. Oops I am getting ahead of myself. It's Spring by the time I am writing this and it's hard to get my head back into winter... the task at hand.
It is our second winter here at Morningside. We planted trees this winter. Apples, Cherries, Plums, Pears, Peaches, Apricots, Figs, and vines, grapes, kiwis, and raspberries, bushes of blueberries. We have also expanded our garden to double the size we had last year.
I took a 200 hour yoga teacher training. It has, as yoga always does, changed my life for the better and definately enhanced my farm experience. Any one who makes it out for a visit... free yoga lessons.

We went to Nicaragua this winter to visit our piece of dirt. Pictures above and below... So beautiful... We keep hoping the global economic woes won't keep us from our dreams. Luckily we love where we are, just in case it doesn't work out down south...

On our trip we visited some amazing farms on the Island of Ometepe. We made new friends, and continued to learn about permaculture, thanks to Chris and others that made it another wonderful adventure. So much to learn. Despite all of the many books that we have been buying to learn how to be farmers. Zach will be taking a permaculture class in Oregon this weekend.

All is well here at the farm and it is defineatly time to move into Spring. It is our intention to keep you up to date this growing season... so I had better get out the camera. Thanks for your interest in our farm.... xoxo zach and rae

Saturday, October 4, 2008


It's hard to believe we are just coming up on our one year anniversary here at Morningside. All the fears and anxieties of moving away from familiar and comfortable, replaced by farm life. Today Zach and I sat outside in the warm sun watching our chickens chase crickets, dogs close behind. Sid and Nica love the chickens. They learned quickly what an egg was, and occasionally the hens lay outside of the coop to the dog's delight. The air in the house has suffered, but their coats are beautiful and shiny.

As time flies past, we catch rare moments to rest. Appreciating that even now in October, we still have hummingbirds. I counted 4 today, 2 grey, 1 green and 1 green bird with a shiny red head. They are so spirited. One of my favorite birds, so small, so quick, flying back and forth across the yard humming loudly. Today I heard a new song, one I had never heard before. It was rockin. I couldn't help but imagine recording it and mixing it up on my mac book. But that will have to wait for another day... I am still waiting for that 8th day of the week when I do only fun stuff for me, until then I will continue to add it to the list.

Sitting outside, filtering our well water, I caught site of a new nest. A beautiful hanging basket, that I now recognize as the home to the regal bright orange bird, called the Oriole. They grace us in the fall. Even though they fight us for food, I forgive them because it's what brings them here on their migration. They just decimated our fall planting of spinach and yet, I can't help but smile when I see them in the trees.

Fall has also brought the deer back.. They are everywhere, also competing for our food. Bedding down next to the barn and helping themselves to the chinese dates that grow there. A big 4 point buck has been hanging out in our lower field with 5 does. Such graceful animals, Zach said he saw them jump our 5 foot fence from a stand still coming across them in the yard yesterday.
This week the mountain came out with her winter coat of snow. She looks so much grander dressed in white, like an exclamation or a celebration. We have been finding more time to watch the sunsets as the growing season winds to a close. The weather has been perfect. Sunny and cool, what we have been missing all summer. But every silver lining is on a dark cloud. Just as everything in the garden is at peak production, the freezes are here. Yesterday, Zach and I trudged down to the garden, coats, and gloves, on a mission to protect our plants. Tomatoes, peppers, melons, all received a blanket of straw. We are just too stubborn to let nature take it's course. Selfishly intervening for a few more weeks of peacevine tomatoes and purple bell peppers. Frantically, we can, freeze, dry, our summer harvest. Thanks mom for coming down to help.
It has been a while since I have reflected on things here on the farm, and what better time than fall to think back. What a wonderful summer. Lots of work, friends, and family, here at Morningside. Thank you to everyone who made our first year a success. The Hanis family spent a week here.

Adrienne beautiful, strong, smart little girl. Thanks sis for bringing her into the world. Zach and I had so much fun getting to know her. 2 years of energy and spunk, waking up each day running to the garden to water or pick vegetables. Not fearful of our chickens, she let them eat out of her hand. She was so content here, she would just sit on the ground and play in the dirt. Running down the road each sunset to burn off steam. She was a beautiful reminder of how simple joy can be.
Zach turned 30 this year and we celebrated with a hoe down. Under the canopy of stars we danced the night away.

Just 2 weeks ago we had some friends from Bend to visit.

Let the good times roll..... Peace and love during these troubled times, and please please please vote for Obama!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

summer harvest

Finally all our hard work is rewarded. Tomatoes, tomatillos, sugar snap peas, bush beans, and basil.... yum

greens and carrotts, chard, collards, brussel sprouts, kale...

Can you believe how big our chicks got?

we have more summer squash than we know what to do with and zuchini, melons, cucumber...

delicious eggplant..

I don't know why I look so unhappy in this pic, I think it's more exhaustion.... maybe all the weeding, but regardless of the long face, look how tall our corn is....

Finally, the fruit trees are starting to bear fruit... these are plums, and we have pear, apple, cherry, apricots, peaches, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, figs, mulberries and bushes of currants, blueberries, gooseberries, it's starting to become more work keeping up with the harvesting, so that things don't die on the plant...

kayaking with the girls

Amy, Stacia, and I spent last Sunday on the Klamath River. It was a blast, and the river was probably around 70 degrees. So, warm.

I brought my waterproof camera thinking I'd get beautiful dramatic shots along the way, but once we got started, I forgot

We saw a lot of blue herons along the river and just generally had a blast.