Moonstruck Farms CSA[ Member listing ]
25 Nov · Sun 2012
Thanks to Dirt Creek starting up their breeding program again of Berkshire pork we are proud to announce that we will be able to offer this chef sought after pork here at Moonstruck Farms. I love any farm fresh pork, but I must admit I can see what the chefs are talking about. It is a richer deeper flavor. Unfortunately the piglets are a little more and they take a little longer to feed out so they are a premium item, but we personally have decided that it is worth it, and it enables us to do our part in supporting a heritage breed pig and a wonderful family farm...Dirt Creek owned by Brian and Stephanie Winn. In the meantime we completed our first poultry season and though not perfect we are very happy with our accomplishment of 200 chickens and 50 turkeys, and looking forward to doing more of both next year. We are starting a winter batch of chicken starting in December that will be available in February, but only 50 because I want to make sure they can all fit in the coop if the weather goes bad. Michael is going to finish off the other run with an enclosed area for more chicken protection, but that will have to wait until after all the ground and holes are prepped for the 250 trees to arrive the first week of February. They include figs, canning peaches, cider/baking apples including Winesap and Spitzenberg, and wonderful eating apples like Empire, Honeycrisp and Gala. We threw in a few plums and pluots but concentrated on the "canning" U pick division of peaches and apples. We are starting tomatoes and peppers inside this week for a January start in the larger greenhouse and keeping lettuces in the old. We are very far behind and appreciate everyone's patience as we go through these major growing pains, but thanks to you all the expansions will be complete with the trees and the new fence line though one day we will need to add a large garage/barn for Mike to work in, but that will come in due time. Moonstruck signing out.
Posted by Rowena @ 12:34 PM PST
22 Sep · Sat 2012
Peach preserves, apple butter, applesauce, spiced applesauce, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, green beans and now mincemeat are all canned and sitting on the shelves ready for eating, gifts or Thanksgiving pie!! Bring on the holidays I am ready to enjoy and be thankful for all the blessings we have received this year!! Unfortunately Thanksgiving may have to be rescheduled at home due to Michael being asked to fly to Kauai as his buddy Scott's trainer (he fights in the MMA rings)....I feel so sorry for my husband who has to fly to Kauai!! Not....it was our favorite island on our honeymoon, I am so jealous!! It is just as well as we will be busy putting on the dinner at the church, and I so love that day!! By far one of my favorite of the year, and a little rescheduling is not unusual for this farm/EMS family after all these years. Life always works out for the best as in the last few days I have been fighting a head cold so I have been poking around the kitchen cleaning and finishing up the canning chores looking forward to having more energy right when it cools down on Monday and enjoying every minute of planting dill, cilantro, lettuce, bok choy, radishes and more kale!! Tomorrow I am picking up a couple of straw bales and finishing off a larger compost pile, and I think I will just plant my Fall potatoes right into it and see what happens. I have some sliding glass doors to throw over it for the winter. My favorite part of gardening is waiting to see "what will happen next"....there is always something new to learn and look forward to!! Moonstruck signing out.
Posted by Rowena @ 08:15 PM PDT
12 Sep · Wed 2012
As I was filling orders I felt the sense of peace that I love so much about my farm life...not that it always feels that way, but I cherish it when it happens. I had just come in from feeding and collecting squash, which is now producing since the weather has been a little more even in temperature, but they are still very small. I had filled all the little Cornish chicks watererers and feeders and they are so cute at this stage to say the least, and while I was doing that the turkeys in the pen adjacent were walking up and eating all the bugs off of the waterers...turkeys are very social and love to peck at bugs that are invisible to the naked eye. I then filled the feeders for the larger Cornish (who are running like I have a blow torch in my hand from me...not social) who will be ready for harvest in four weeks and I marveled at their growth. Molly during all this is throwing her body against the pens reminding everyone who is boss!! (Yes, this is our morning routine). We then went down and gave the pigs the scrap bowl and checked on them. Two are about ready, but two are quite small so it will be a while yet. During this Molly is running around barking at the heels of all the cows to remind them who boss is once again! (Sorry, she loves the pigs, if she has time she just comes over and gives them kisses....and then I give her a bath!!). Then over to feed the cows who race me to the feeder and make it almost impossible to put the leaves in as they are trying to eat as I push it into the corrrals. I then make a second trip where "girl" comes over to eat by herself. She is the smallest and we have developed a routine where she saunters over (I might have told you already) to eat by herself, but the last week or so "Spot" has been joining her....romance in bloom maybe?? I think part of my sense of peace comes from the break from the heat yesterday and the feeling of Fall in the air and winter soon. I am a Fall and Winter person...they are my favorite seasons! I can't wait to have my first fire, put some chicken carcasses on the wood stove and make heartwarming chicken soup! My kids actually ate some canned soup this week and said it was horrible....hopefully they will appreciate Mom a little bit more, but I doubt it, they are teenagers after all!! See ya all soon!
Posted by Rowena @ 09:37 AM PDT
31 Jul · Tue 2012
As most of you know things have not been going smoothly around here, pool collapses pouring 50,000 gallons of water into greenhouse and across property (the pigs loved it!), the beds out front are now succumbing to the beginning of the critters building their stores for winter, and yields have been down due to my learning curves and the weather and taking on too much, but what do most farmers do…we bounce! So we are bouncing and not only are we about to dive into hydroponics to solve part of the issue, but we are getting some help around here in the yield category…yes the real workers are coming…two bee hives arrive on Saturday!! What a tremendous blessing they will be increasing yields hopefully beyond any tinkering with the soil that I could do would accomplish. We also are investing in more equipment to make the animal end of the farm run more efficiently with more automatic water fountains and more feeders. Even the cows are going to get a new automatic water fountain so that I don’t have to clean out their trough and they get nice fresh water with each sip. To bring my spirits up around here I walk the fields (that are doing well) like the corn, the green beans coming up and all the winter squash including sweet dumplings, butternut and carnival and the huge first two plants of rhubarb! I also tinker in the kitchen and tonight there is goats milk yogurt warming in the oven (i have a bread proofing setting of 100 degrees) and with some luck I will have luscious warm yogurt to add to my granola in the morning along with some fresh canned peaches (we did 30 quarts). Yes I know it sounds crazy after all that hard work, but it puts a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my belly!!
See ya all soon!
Posted by Rowena @ 09:00 PM PDT
15 Jul · Sun 2012
Approximately every two years we start over with our laying hens. In order to meet the customers needs we have to have them laying at about 90%. So at this time the 65 new layers are getting pretty big and starting to crowd my hard working ladies so it is time to thin the flock. The 2.5 years old laying hens are for sale for $10.00. They are still laying and will for years to come. Just so you know a new chick is $1.75 at our local hatchery, which is half the going rate, and then it totals out at about $15.00 for me to bring them to four months of age so yes this is a deal especially if you are not set up to take care of chicks. Let me know if you are interested. I am only letting a limited amount go at this time; the rest will go in another 6-8 weeks.
Posted by Rowena @ 12:17 PM PDT
14 Jul · Sat 2012
It was so nice this week to be able to leave the windows open and sit at my lap top listening to the turkeys whistle!! They are such neat animals. Michael built them a great new coop and after going into it they did not stop talking about it for hours. Our first batch of Cornish chickens will be ready soon and the summer turkeys soon after that so I guess we are in full swing. We did do 10 for ourselves a few weeks back to check the numbers again on using the organic feed and test flavor of course....our favorite duty around here, and it was fabulous!! No mushy chicken for us. Free of worries; I know exactly what is going in them, and it is so delicious!! The coop is so nice that Mike built I think we will be able to extend the season a little more than I thought providing more poultry for our freezer and yours! Remember this year we are only doing batches through the Fall and we only have a limited amount of Thanksgiving turkeys available this year...we needed to get our feet wet and start slow. Any questions just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Moonstruck signing out!!
Posted by Rowena @ 02:39 PM PDT
22 Jun · Fri 2012
A parishioner at church has the most beautiful cherries!! All organic fertilizer, no pesticides and only $3.00/pound!!! Best of all all proceeds go to St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry!! Come on everyone, let's make cherry jam!!! Just email at email@example.com!!
Posted by Rowena @ 08:06 AM PDT
14 Jun · Thu 2012
Planning 6 months to a year ahead has become our natural course around here. With the pork operation growing I am developing a waiting list for the batch to begin October 2012 and be harvested February 2013. The $50.00 deposit will not be collected until September 2012. I am developing the list so that I can reserve the proper amount of piglets and build more pens if necessary. So drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to reserve or side or just need full details. Moonstruck signing off!!
Posted by Rowena @ 09:21 AM PDT
13 Jun · Wed 2012
While my head is not spinning I thought I would take a moment to sit down and update you to some changes. Sales are climbing so we are only growing for the CSA at this time, and what a relief that is. It was hard growing for the larger basket requirements for the co-ops and keeping up with a wide variety of plantings for the CSA. It also allows us to make some changes that were needed. When we started root crops in August last year outside they did not succeed. It was not early enough so this year we are reserving a few rows outside to plant in the next couple of weeks of carrots and other root crops. This way we will have a supply outside and inside the greenhouses hopefully fixing a long awaited problem of enough carrots for the year. With sales up it looks like the large onion order I made is not going to be enough so we will have to rely on green onions through the winter though I am hoping the red onions will last until December. I am also going to try Crystal Wax onions from seed in the greenhouses that are a small bulb like onion. We will be taking the new greenhouse out of production in August clearing it for an September planting of greens, radishes, etc. thus allowing the old greenhouse to continue production of the summer crops until they die out in November/December. We will then clear and reamend planting as soon as the day length starts to return towards the end of January leaving January for onion/garlic planting again for the next year. In the meantime the poultry operation is well underway with Cornish growing like crazy and little tiny turkeys who are already spreading their wings and strutting their stuff saying "Yes, I am the man"....someone needs to tell them they are not even the size of a softball yet!! Moonstruck signing off!
Posted by Rowena @ 09:08 PM PDT
11 Jun · Mon 2012
We started harvesting summer vegetables on june 1st!! this is a huge goal met for us. As i look around at all the things that still need fixing and the weeding and the pens to be built it is nice to know that we have all the room (well we are putting in 250 trees and need more onion room) we need for this year's plantings and we met a huge goal of having summer vegetables early and from what i learned this year peppers and tomatoes are being started in november so they can be in the greenhouses by february 1st of next year.
Thank you everyone for your support and patience as we grow. We are planting as fast as we can to keep up with your needs, but it is kind of cool that I am selling out of summer vegetables on june 11th at the very beginning of “summer planting time”.
Posted by Rowena @ 04:08 PM PDT
02 Jun · Sat 2012
Some of my favorite things....roses, fresh green beans, the first tomato of the season and Molly!! She has truly been a blessing lately with babies everywhere and new pens going in and moving animals this way and that!! Yes, if you don't close the door all the way those laying hen babies will squeeze through and run out!!! They are fast too! Molly catches them, and waits for me to come and get them!! It is awesome! One she caught and it freaked her out by playing dead so she walked away, and I thought oh know she was too rough! I picked it up and put it in the coop and it ran away!! The piglets she corraled with a few nips on the heels and back in the pen they went! Now, when I go into the coop to feed the laying hen babies Molly stands guard at the door to make sure none get out. The cows are pretty docile, but if they show any agitation at all a few quick barks and they are back in line. She is by far one of the best additions to the farm in the last few years. Of course, she is my constant companion also, and whines terribly if I waste anytime going outside once the overalls are on....as she is right now. Have a good day everyone!!
We made fresh squeezed orange juice today and received 5 cups of juice from about 3 - 3.5 lb. oranges from Glen Cairn, and it was sooooooo good!!
Posted by Rowena @ 10:34 AM PDT
20 May · Sun 2012
As I sit in the kitchen hiding from the heat believe it or not I am thinking about Thanksgiving. I know I have to have my final order in by June 18th. Please let me know if you do need a Thanksgiving turkey I am only ordering 20% over the total preorder this year. This is a necessity with us taking on so much this year. We also have decided to use an old travel trailer or toy box (so if you know of one let me know), gut it except for the nice existing plumbing and electricity and add larger sinks and presto you have a poultry processing unit with heat!! I don't know what I will do not freezing my touche off at Thanksgiving!! Everything is still pretty "messy" around here in terms of needing a lot of weeding and hardscape still, but we are growing by no doubt. The new beds out front have added a tremendous amount of space and with the new misting system going in soon the greenhouses can stay planted throughout the year. Winter and summer squash and corn are going in this week....200 feet done yesterday. 720 leeks in the ground and 350 red torpedos going in the last constructed bed out front. Lettuce is being tucked in every shadowed corner I can find along with cilantro. Piglets are escaping and keeping Molly busy herding them back in, and she makes sure she has a word with the cows from time to time to make sure they don't get any crazy ideas like Filet did, but this bunch is a WHOLE lot calmer and they are filling out nice since they are not bunco bronching across the corral all day!! We have gained a lot of new customers from Apple Valley so we are adding a Wednesday delivery from 4:30-5:00 at the Target center near the garden center. The fruit tree order is finalized including apples of all kinds including cider and cooking Heirloom varieties, peaches throughout the season, figs, cherries and a few pluots for my daughters along with plums for pollinating and some Texas umbrella trees for the cows and pigs. Time to eat dinner and head out to work in the cool evening air. Remember we are closed this week, but we will see you next week and in Apple Valley too!
Posted by Rowena @ 06:11 PM PDT
25 Apr · Wed 2012
I found out today that even when you have a hate/love relationship with a beef cow they are just on the farm too long not to build some bond with. Eddie from Barstow Custom Butchering came by and dropped off pork so I was busy organizing it in the freezer and could not be down in "livestock central" as Eddie began his job. When I finally arrived there was nothing but a hanging piece of meat and that was fine. I took the liver up to cut, the ox tail and the heart and tongue. He showed me the marbling that I had attained that would be determined choice due to fat content...perfect. Our goal is grass fed with just a touch of marbling that we add with the six weeks of grain. Of course those of you who chose grass fed only will just be fed a little longer to attain some marbling with age versus grain. He also invited us to come out when the cutting was done after the two weeks of aging so that we can understand all the cut choices better and relay this information to our customers in aiding them in making their choices. A bittersweet day, but at the same time I thank the Lord for providing us with the beef with the awesome protein and amino acids that feeds my muscles that I so need to complete my daily chores. Amen!!
Posted by Rowena @ 09:35 PM PDT
11 Apr · Wed 2012
The girls took a nice long rest and boy did they come back strong!! They are laying at 98%!! We are making angel food cake, scrambles, omelettes, frittatas, cookies, Texas sheet cake and lots more!! Meyers lemons have been a terrific price from Glen Cairn so we made lemon curd, drizzled it on the angel food cake and added a dollop of whipped cream!! See why I have to work so hard in the fields...I like to eat good food!! We will have our first Moonstruck beef soon and I cannot wait!! Believe it or not it is the hamburger I am looking forward to the most. I could not believe how good hamburger could taste after I tried the Bashaws!! Tonight we are enjoying a Italian Sausage Soup with just harvested spinach...yes we have lots and lots of spinach!! The radishes are huge too!! Finally all the hard work is starting to show. We have been taking the time to monitor the greenhouse temperatures and humidity and soil testing every row and all the observations are starting to pay off! I was opening the greenhouses too early and losing precious humidity. The West field is planted with sugar snap, snow peas, fava beans and shelling peas....we lost one row to a rabbit break in, but I think I have locked them out again!! Plain Jane salad mix (speckled bibb, romaine, buttercrunch and spinach) has been a big hit right along with Moonstruck salad mix. The tomatoes are about 18 inches and I can't wait to see how early we can have this year, but I know now from my monitoring that I can push it one month earlier next year. Moonstruck signing out...see ya all soon!!
Posted by Rowena @ 07:19 PM PDT
07 Apr · Sat 2012
The steers arrived today and not without a little excitement. The trailer was backed up beautifully to the corral so I only had to stand in a very small space that they could go through, but then they came running all at once, and Filet did not know what to make of it so she took off and tried to jump the other end of the corral...luckily she did not make it, but the corral does not look the same anymore to say the least. She is about four weeks from harvest so she is about 800-1000 lbs. These little guys just left the Cherry Valley hills where their Momma's are and were weaned onto alfalfa before coming here. Tony kept them in a corral for about a month before coming here so they are somewhat used to it, and trust me they are much calmer than Filet was, but they are also younger. Filet got to work right away bossing them around and eating almost all the food I put out for them....she will be making weight sooner than I thought!! You could see who the leader was out of the little guys right away, one very curious steer walked all the way up to me and Filet when I was feeding her her grain (by hand in a bucket so they could not get to it) ...need a good name for that guy!! The routine we establish will be that these guys will take a year or so to come to weight...grass fed a little longer so the earliest we will restock will be late Spring 2013. We have two sides still available. Just email me if you are interested at email@example.com. Moonstruck signing out!!
Posted by Rowena @ 06:42 PM PDT