Moonstruck Farms

  (Phelan, California)
Moonstruck Farms CSA
[ Member listing ]

Market Day

The last few days are a total blur...started Wednesday with a little planting, some bok choy, tatsoi, more spinach and of course a sprinkling of radishes and green onions.  A market gardener plants in a completely different pattern than most conventional farmers.  With the use of high tunnels or greenhouses we maximize each square foot in order to provide a variety of produce to our markets.  We repeat plantings on a continuous basis especially of the "cut and come again" crops...some of which can only be cut three or four times before needing replanting.  Of course at the same time we are practicing crop rotation to keep our soil healthy and reamending with compost and other natural amendments on a regular basis.  Of course for a beginner like me it is a constant learning experience.  The new tunnel due to its larger amount of ground space is wonderfully humid, coupling this with the night time temps hitting 40 the spinach, lettuce and arugula are taking off like crazy!!  What a pleasure to see everything ready to cut at 30 days!! We would even have spinach if the critters had not enjoyed every bite, but the new plantings are taking off like wild fire!! I have so much more area to plant still too!!  The old greenhouse is being slowly taken out of production and reamended to give it a fresh new start.  Green beans are continuing to do well and I can't wait to plant more.  Snow peas are going in this weekend, but with some "armor" around them.  The last two batches are still getting eaten...email me at moonstruckfarms@verizon.net if you have any ideas on how to secure these delicate yummy plants until they are of reasonable size...then they are not so yummy!! Red torpedo onions arrived Thursday and are going in this weekend too....can't wait to couple these with my spinach...a little spinach, a sprinkle of my fresh bacon I just picked up from the butcher today, the Torpedo red onion and a homemade French dressing...my favorite salad!!  We bought a whole pig from the Bashaws and finish price was just around $3.50/pound...great considering bacon alone can run $3.99/pound, and I love having the ham hocks for soup, the fat for lard making, fresh lunchmeat without all the additives (we always have our hams sliced into lunchmeat).  Thursday was a big day...my husband who has been training for over seven years received his black belt in Shotokan Karate..I am shocked he did not wear his gi and belt to work...he was so thrilled and it was so well earned.  Friday started with the Wrightwood market and news that it will be going to every week on Fridays Outside, and maybe even a change to afternoons....traditionally a Farmers Market is held in the afternoon so that the farmers can harvest and go straight to market...so much better!! Bashaws are working on some numbers to try and provide a 12 week share of poultry, beef and pork to help those out with limited freezer room...email me if you would like to be included in the email trail.  Website should be up and running within a month if all goes well...automatic Sold Out information, ease of online ordering, inventory controlled by each farmer, and reports for me!!  How nice will that be!!! Finished the day by picking up our pork....oh yeah, I always OD the first couple days it comes in...sausage for breakfast, Italian sausage for spaghetti sauce tomorrow, and pork chops out for Sunday dinner.  I had to pull the last turkey (32 pounds) out of the freezer to make room for everything....good thing the rain is coming...perfect for the onions, shallots and garlic outside, and for a turkey cooking day!!  Moonstruck signing out!!
 
 

Testing...testing..snow!

Okay the winds were a real test on the overall structure, but now we get to find out what the snow load is on the single layer of polyethylene...came home from church and dinner and found 4 inches or so already built up and decided not to take any chances and went to work.  It would not have been that bad, but the manufacturers claimed to have built in an anticondesant meaning no drips from the roof on the inside...not true.  It does not drip in large drips, but it does spray especially as you are hitting the top with a flat broom to get the snow falling, and it was icy snow so it was not moving very easily.  Other growers are using the nylon rope method of pulling it across the top, and I think we will try that next time and maybe next time I won't be so exhausted, and won't have to be jumping up and down to reach the top and then be rained with the condensation each time!! I was soaked by the time I came inside and I was inside the greenhouse!  Well the exhausting days are part of farm life too...one part I willingly accept.  Thanks to all who came through with their pork orders so that everything is ready for next week's processing...a few more left...drop me a line at moonstruckfarms@verizon.net.  I need to know by the 22nd!!  Moonstruck signing off.
 
 

Loving this weather!!

There are some days you just feel like you have a new wind in your sails, and today one was one of them.  I finished putting the last couple hundred onions in....can't wait for those Spring onions!!  I squeezed in beets and radishes in between, and even put in a few rows of Tango, Oakleaf and Salad Bowl lettuce, and of course a few more rows of Arugula.  I am putting this all in outside, and of course the weather is beautiful, but we all know this will change.  With a blessing from the Lord the new greenhouse will be covered this weekend and give some of this shelter, but a lot of it is not under shelter.  The beets and radishes will fair through all but the deepest of freezes.  The onions, shallots and garlic are fine, and the lettuce will be damaged and replaced if necessary.   I am what is called a Market Gardener or simply a growing CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  My goal is to meet my customer's produce requirements year round within reason of course....no I will not have tomatoes this month, but I do plan on growing plenty for next year that you can freeze. My dream is to be a smaller version of a great farm called Essex Farms.  They provide meat, fruit and produce to their customers, and guess what if there are a ton of tomatoes left in the fields that they did not have time to get or were too ripe...you come and get them...same with corn and other vegetables...perfect for those that want to can or freeze...I think that is just so awesome!!  Look for new pictures on Facebook or on the blog at www.moonstruckfarms.blogspot.com.
 
 

What a beautiful day!

Wow, what a day.  This is my favorite time of year to work outside...yes I know that does not follow the norm, but I am a winter person and I love working hard and not pouring sweat.  45 degrees with no wind is perfect working weather!!  I don't get wiped by the heat and I can keep a steady pace up for 6-7 hours easily.  Today, more onions of course...I think I am down to 400-500 more, but the beds that needed to be amended were too wet to work...if you work the soil when it is too wet you will actually damage its structure.  The remainder of the red onions are in and in between the rows of onion I tucked in Arugula, Tango lettuce, Mizuna mustard, more celery and about 150 Lacinato Kale or otherwise known as Black or Dinosaur kale...one of the more mild kales and very sturdy for market delivery.  I also went and did a little something just for me...a new asparagus and rhubarb bed.  This will be offered to the customers eventually too, but I am starting this project off slowly and letting the plants spread on their own saving me an expense as I slowly increase production.  Michael finished the last tier of the retaining wall creating four raised beds.  He wants some evergreens on top (which I plan on using for Christmas floral arrangements...they were beautiful in this year's arrangements), and then the final tiers are going to be a cranberry experiment, and if you know anything about cranberries...the words desert and cranberry usually are not even found on the same planet, but nothing ventured, nothing gained a dear friend reminded me today.  Merry Christmas again to all.  Moonstruck signing out...
 
 
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