Moonstruck Farms

  (Phelan, California)
Moonstruck Farms CSA
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Dreamy Day...

What a dreamy day today was.  After working most of the day Sunday in the heat today was the perfect rest day.  The foothills behind us act as a barrier to the fog of the Cajon Pass until the winds and whatever forces of nature join to bring it over the foothills and it literally rolls over.  Usually the winds continue to pick up and within minutes I am literally standing in a cloud bank...with white marshmallow creme rolling by me.  It is impossible not to slip for a moment into a dream state dreaming of all your most sought after dreams and wishes.   I take a moment and just inhale it all and then force myself to continue on.  Today I pulled a row of Arugula that went to seed, and even with the cooler day found myself opening up the back of the greenhouse to bring down the temperature.  In went a combination of seed that make up Moonstruck Salad Mix, but I am always trying something new to jazz up the mix a bit, and this time it is pea shoots.  They are being used to make a variety of recipes by chefs, and I have put aside a few to share with you when the time comes to harvest these tasty treats. I also had to switch out the "half" sprinkler heads on the sides of the greenhouse to "fulls".  The halves were not doing the job right against the wall, and this seems to have fixed the problem.  I was so grateful for such a beautiful morning outside since the office was in need of great attention and I spent the rest of the day in there, but it does feel good to have it all cleaned and caught up.  Tomorrow, a new row in the greenhouse is to be built...yes I have lots more room to go!! Can't wait to see both greenhouses at 100% production by the middle of this summer.  Moonstruck signing off.
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Down an MP3 cord now..

I keep saying..."Molly is just a puppy...be consistent".  Down a printer cord and now a MP3 cord...things are starting to get ugly...and she can't make up her mind if she wants to eat the chickens or herd them...after she gets in trouble for trying to eat them she herds them very effectively...."see Mom I can do it!!!"  Boy is she kissing something....but then again that shows that the bond is there and it will work out.  She kept whining on several occasions today and has done it on others...does not have to go potty, has plenty of food and water...and finally it dawned on me. I had not slowed down...like sitting in a row planting or weeding.  It was harvest day and I was on the move constantly...she wanted me to sit still so she did not have to try and keep up...it was nap time!!  She can't nap peacefully unless I am sitting at the desk or sitting in a row where she can keep half an eye open on me....we are both learning.  I made a really simple dinner since it was harvest day and stuck it in the crockpot.  Sometimes I feel guilty that I can do a better job with dinner and I am shorting my family, but then as I looked at the meal on the table I realized that we had a farm fresh healthy meal on the table...what more could I ask for.  A Moonstruck Salad Mix plate and a bowl of navy beans and ham sweeten with a little molasses and brown sugar, homemade cornbread and a glass of milk.  What more could you ask for....now a good night's sleep.  Moonstruck signing out.
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Improving productivity

Well things are just a little busy around here to say the least, and since growth is continual the learning lessons on how do things better, smarter and faster are always having to be thought through. I bought a 5 gallon salad spinner, braising green spinner and future berry spinner!! In addition to this in the near future my husband is going to install quick connect connections along the center of the greenhouse so that I can wash the greens with cool water as I harvest...we stole this idea from the Bashaws. Their "processing" line has a similar set up so that each station has running cold water easy to reach. There is also a large hose with a tricky nozzle on it at the end of the line....don't be on the other side when Ann has it in her hands....my ear did not clear out for two days after receiving a direct hit one day!! The website of course will be the biggest time saver of all, and that I am anxiously awaiting....especially with new farms being added as we speak. Look for Glencairn Citrus, Valle View Apples this next week and Asian Pears the following, and of course the lamb orders are complete, but there is a waiting list and they are bringing in a few extra lambs to see if they make weight. Weeding was done today, but not completed, and is becoming a huge issue in the new greenhouse. Before the weeds were quickly pulled out of the way as I harvested if I missed some...unfortunately as great as things are growing...so are the weeds!!! Oh my Lord...do I have weeds!!! Part of the reason is because the field was let go while we were building, than we turned the soil of course bringing them to the surface so hopefully we are cleansing the soil by letting them all germinate....wish me luck. Major growing pains around here...but I see the light at the end of the tunnel...but not right now. Good night. Moonstruck Signing off.
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What a day!!!

This was one of those days that just leaves your head spinning.  Phelan Chamber of Commerce called and asked if the other farms I work with and I would come to Phelan Phun Days in September...well can we?  So I called Ca. Dept of Agriculture and asked how it would work...no problem.  They will certify Phelan Phun Days for a one day "certified farmers market".  Awesome...now I know the church can do it for our Fiesta too!  So I emailed all the farms I know to let them know to put it on their calendars.  Then NRCS called and I found out that there is a one high tunnel limit now on the initiative that I am completing the study for on Greenhouse/High Tunnel #2, but if it becomes a permanent practice I can apply again then.  In the meantime we talked about the livestock fencing practice that I applied for and adding pipeline for the livestock.  This is a tricky one since I am a small biodynamic farm she said that most of the practices are geared toward larger producers so she is going to do some reseach and let me know.  I am afraid being a "Market Gardener/CSA" has thrown them some curve balls...not quite sure what to do with me since I don't fit into a lot of the puzzle pieces.  We also have been busy bringing on new providers.  We have grass fed lamb coming in from the Temecula area if we can get a full truck load....six lambs so email moonstruckfarms@verizon.net if you are interested.  We would like to welcome Glencairn on board from Redlands who will be providing citrus.  Look for them on this weeks "Availability".  Remember the Friday Email goes out showing what is available from each of the farms, you order and I confirm with an invoice emailed back to you, but soon the website will be up for easier ordering!!  Off to bed for me...Moonstruck siging off!!
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Fog in the greenhouse!

I love working outside in the evening.  Everything begins to quiet, the temperature this evening was perfect after what had become quite a warm afternoon.  It is the perfect time for transplanting.  I am moving all the "cold weather" plants from the Greenhouse #1 outside since soon it will be too hot in there for them and that greenhouse needs a major remodel!! So out went tons of Winterbor kale, Beedys Camden Kale, Rainbow Swiss Chard and my favorite surprise crop this year ....celery!!  Never dawned on me to grow celery in the desert, but guess what it is doing beautifully and it does not freeze!!  Awesome crop.  I ended the day by going into the new greenhouse and doing a little weeding...have to finish the weeding tomorrow in order to find the plants to harvest on Thursday!! I had watered a little previous to weeding and so the greenhouse had turned into a foggy day dream with the mixture of the cold water and the warm soil temperatures from the day.  Tomorrow along with the weeding the new zippers are going on the back end of the greenhouse...wish me luck with this experiment, but the end needs to be opened up...going to get way too hot in there in the next few days.  Molly let me know it was day's end by curling into my lap as I pulled a few last weeds, and looked into my eyes with sleepy eyes begging me to go inside.  We went and closed the chickens up for the night and bade the beautiful evening good night.  Moonstruck signing off.
 
 

Life is always full of surprises

Well as we become busier and busier having my husband's karate classes right after drop off on Thursdays was starting to become a little complicated so we are considering a change and will let you know as soon a we finalize our plans to make things easier, but in the meantime we have run into our first big snafoo.  Michael has been assigned jury duty at 12:30 pm of course and that means that he may not make it to class by 4:00 pm and I need to get Meghan, our great brown belt, over to teach!!  Of course I am supposed to be at Phelan Community Church until 4:00 so if I don't hear from him the deal is that I have to run out at 3:30 to get Meghan to the community center by 3:45.  If I am not there and you have an order to pick up please come and see me up the street at the community center (next to the Senior Center across from Lube N Tune and Storage Center) and I will have your order waiting and there supervising karate class!!  Thank you for your understanding with our great growing pains!!
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New Pork Share

Today was chicken harvest day, and boy are we getting good. Efficiency is being gained since we have been working together as a partnership for a year now, and the chickens were absolutely gorgeous this time around...everything is so beautiful in the Spring!! I even delivered some of my daffodils to Ann to add to the beauty.  As usual we sat down and discussed business afterwards and discussed plans for the coming season.  Turkeys were on our minds since before we know it it will be T-Day and turkey chicks are getting harder to come by...which is a good thing...proof that the local movement is growing!! We are only buying a set amount...Summer 10 pounders are available August to the 1st of November and then the big guys...20-30 pounds for Thanksgiving!!  Pork was next on the agenda and we discussed how tight everyone's pocket books are getting and so Sam designed an 1/8 of a share...much easier on the pocket book at a time.   Email us at moonstruckfarms@verizon.net for more information.  Off to water the snow peas...200 feet...I need to finish that drip tape irrigation!!

Moonstruck Siging out!!

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New Tiller!!!

I love my new tiller!!! It does the work of a big tiller without swinging me around the world!!  It is a Honda 4 stroke and it starts easy and it digs!!! I worked all the compost piles with it, and then completed the new strawberry bed outside. We plan on constructing a cold frame cover for it to show how our customers can create small growing structures for their winter vegetables.  It will be a great addition to the tour here at the farm.  The goal eventually is to have the farm be a "learning farm" for the local community and visitors coming to our area.  I would love to add canning classes and "how to cut up a chicken" classes.  The possibilities are endless and we are looking forward to sharing it all with our customers.  The strawberry bed is also the beginning of the future CSA beds.  Since funds are always limited the strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb beds are being expanded the old fashion way each year....build a bigger bed and break apart the plants!!  Molly saw me shooing the chickens out of herb bed that I just added a bunch of seed to, and boy did she follow my suite...she was on that chicken so fast and it was back in the coop before it knew what happened!! Off to bed early...harvesting chickens at the Bashaws tomorrow...only whole this go around unless I can carve out a few hours to cut.  Moonstruck signing off!!

 
 
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