Moonstruck Farms

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

Farm is progressing!

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!
 
 

Wow are the days short!

Today started with the unfreezing of water lines and water bowls for the animals.  I went to pour a tea kettle of boiling water on the metal pipe for the pig's nipple and within 2 seconds one of them figured out what I was trying to do and started sucking as hard as he could on it....the teamwork succeeded and within 30 seconds water was flowing!!  I love pigs; they are such awesome animals.  Later on I was nervously harvesting as I always am at this time of year due to everything's slow growth pattern I realized that at about 2:30 pm the sun went behind the mountain enough to shadow the entire new greenhouse, and I asked myself why do I stress...there is nothing I can about the length of day at this time of year!!  I tell myself each year I should close the whole month of December, but then the weather was so beautiful right up to mid November that I just could not do it.  I even put zucchini on the shopping list this week.  Of course I am going to have to short some orders because the 28 degree clear night we had last night finally took the zucchini, peppers, tomatoes and nasturtiums out in the greenhouses!  Sorry no nasturtiums in this week's Moonstruck Salad Mix, but I did manage to throw in some pretty yellow broccoli flowers.  I am still spinning here from being so behind, and quitting the market as heart breaking as it was to do it was a wise decision and to be honest I should have done it four months before I did.  I just keep making note of the goals that we have reached and the fact that I have the "infrastructure" now to grow all that we need and more.  We may even have a chance to grow at an alternative site that will become a community garden, but all that produce will be dedicated to the St. Vincent De Paul's Food Pantry.  Another exciting project coming up for 2012.  In the meantime we will be taking a little vacation from December 16 to December 30th...a little rest and a little work.  In case I don't have a chance to write again....Merry Christmas everyone!!
 
 

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.
 
 

Lots of produce here at farm...market cancelled.

Well Murphy's Law prevailed...I did the largest harvest this winter and sold a fair amount in Phelan so I came home and harvested more...did not check my email and sure enough Wrightwood is cancelled.  I will be here in the morning with farm open 8-12 Friday for pick ups of preorders or just for your shopping pleasure...but call to check road conditions. Cell: (760) 412-9746 or Farm: (760) 868-4858. The farm will be open Saturday as usual from 8-12 and this time with lots of vegies for sale!!  Weather is supposed to clear Saturday so come and see us, buy some vegies, pick up some eggs and see what we are doing here at Moonstruck!!
 
 

CAMEL!!

Giddyup Ponies came to market today and brought a full petting zoo..there were baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats (I picked out a little buck...just what I was looking for!!), baby Pot Belly, baby sheep, duck, chicken cockatiel, rabbit and a CAMEL!!  It as so much fun!! Everyone come and support us next week and play with a tiny baby goat or pot belly pig!! If you are looking for event entertainment you can find them at giddyupponies.com.  Thank you to all the new faces who came to check us out today.  I am signing off...after starting more trays of kale, lettuce, first Rutger tomatoes of the season, peppers, mustards, Chinese cabbage and Lemon Grass for the bedroom (yes a little tropical look in my big decorator pots, perfect for a tropical plant), harvesting and market..good night!!  Find us at Tri Community Market tomorrow!!
 
 

Moving along..

Started the day picking up the last of the whole chickens...wow.. Whole chickens will probably sell out this month!  Spent an hour or so creating a new seed storing system including seeding supplies so all in one place...put aside tomatoes, squash, savory, chervil, broccoli raab, Michli chinese cabbage, Savoy cabbage and Fordhook Swiss to be started in trays...and another batch of a variety of lettuces to be planted outside along with more beets and radishes.  Completed the outside planting along with a tray of lettuce that was ready to go out..completed some foliar feeding and watering the new germinating rows.  i called a local supplier about new supplies for irrigation in the new greenhouse that will eliminate the need to hand water newly planted rows.  Wow...what a day...and many more to come...so sweet to see things coming together! 

 
 

Moonstruck Salad Mix pumping up!!

Today hit the low 40s, but inside the new greenhouse even with the end open it was in the 60s...it was so nice!! I started at the closed end since the soil temps should be the highest there...80 feet of Tango, Salad Bowl, Oakleaf, Red Romaine lettuces...Arugula, Yellow Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, Mizuna, Red Streak Mizuna, Beet greens and more to make a luscious baby mix equating to Moonstruck Salad Mix that is triple washed and ready to throw on the plate to eat!! I covered with Agribon to ensure germination and threw in some Snow Peas for fun!! Added some Parsley at one end of a row and transplanted the Sprouting Broccoli from outside to inside the tunnel.  The Sprouting Broccoli has been a wonderful find...I love the sweet little sprouts in salad and the leaves, sprouts and stalks all go into soup, sautees and stir frys.  It froze in the snow, but came right back with nice weather so imagine how beautiful it will do in the tunnel. I am also taking the old greenhouse out of commission about 20 sf at a time, digging deep, getting rid of noxious problems that developed during my "crazy" summer, amending and transplanting what was there out to the new greenhouse and replanting.  The old greenhouse has been in use consistently for two years now and needs a lot of amending to get it back to top production.  Tomorrow is delivery day at Phelan Community Church 2:30-4:00.  Moonstruck Signing Off!!  
 
 

What a great community!

Today was a long, but a very gratifying day.  I started the day with checking the emails...there were more orders...late, but I can never deny a customer if there is any way I can meet the order.  One of the orders was for Cornish Game Hens and I knew Tom had wanted to come and see the greenhouse frame so i asked him to bring me some Cornish Game Hens from the Bashaws to fill the order.  I had just finished processing the orders, and cleaning and sterilzing the kitchen when Tom arrived and I spent a little time showing him the new 20 x 100 frame and talking gardening and animals.  He has a lot of experience and I really enjoy his company.  I then proceeded to do the harvest, fill the orders and load up for delivery.  At our delivery point "News Plus" came by,took pictures, notes for an article and asked if I would write a feature article for him...I said YES...how could i pass up an opportunity to support our agricultural community...I can now let everyone know what is coming up in season...events...etc.  If you are from the Tri Community Area and know of anything agricultural-related, 4H events etc. please let us know so we can add it to the feature each month.  I then did the appropriate kid drop offs, checked in on karate class and ran off to a Kiwanis meeting.  They called last night and asked if I could be the "Speaker" of the night, and I was honored to be asked so off I went.  They are a wonderful group of people doing everything they can to make our little neck in the world a better place...thank you Kiwanis and thank you Don Fish from News Plus for making our little community such a great place to live.  Off to bed and hopefully will dream about a great feature article...definitely what is in season now...most are out of touch with the seasons...time we leant a hand...kale, collards, Swiss chard, spinach,lettuce, Bok Choy, Tatsoi, green onions and even radishes and beets if you have some cover.  Moonstruck signing off.  
 
 

Great day!!

Today's hit was baby bok choy and I don't blame the customers...it is the first thing I reach for when I stir fry and being busy as a I am we stir fry a lot!!  Nothing easier than grabbing a little chicken and whatever vegies are in the greenhouse and throwing it all together with some brown rice.  Moonstruck Salad Mix is a little more on the mesclun side nowadays with Mizuna and Broad Leaf Mustard and Arugula!!  Of course the mainstays for the mix are a variety of green and red baby lettuces, baby Swiss Chard, Baby Beet leaves, Bulls Blood is my favorite, a beautiful deep color and whatever else is doing well in the greenhouse that week.  One customers mixes two bags of the mix with two heads of Romaine (Experiment 1 in our hydroponics is Romaine) and makes a great salad bowl for lunches for the week...great idea.  Baby Kale Mix has been a nice new surprise along with celery...go figure celery in the desert :)  I underestimated my customers desire for spice in their life and did not plant enough Spinach Mustard Greens (sold out through preorders).  Eggs are coming in more and more everyday...yahoo!!  Quiche here we come!! Pork shares are put off by a few weeks...Sam is not happy with the weights...wants to make sure the customers get plenty of pounds for their share.  A few shares of beef left and lamb is on its way!! Chicken legs are going quickly now since wings are sold out...nice meaty alternative for Super Bowl Sunday...maybe we will start a new tradition.  Off to bed....early start to pick up the plastic before the Cajon gets shut down to one lane...so much to do this weekend but so exciting...lots and lots of Moonstruck Salad Mix coming up!!! Moonstruck Signing off!!

 
 

Boy are chickens funny looking!!

Okay, now I can breath, two markets in two days and I am always wound up and exhausted at the end so I pulled in the driveway to see all 100 chickens running to a bush where "One" had found something good to eat?  Then all of a sudden all 100 were running for the coop.... an Air Force jet flew over...they ran for the coop like a coyote was on their tail...have you ever seen a chicken run...need a really good laugh...watch a chicken run!!!  Nothing better than chicken TV!!  Market was another learning adventure...Cornish Game Hens sold out...baby Mustard/Kale Mix and Baby Mustard Mix sold out.  I put them in $1.00 bags and a few ate them before they left the market...go figure???  But then again the reason I bagged them up was because I was snacking on them in the greenhouse and decided they were so tender and tasty I should bag some up?  Lots of discussions at market about making proscuitto and chicken stock and how one customer made five meals out a 5 pound chicken for two people!!! I love our discussions!!!  Wow, you guys are changing our world for the better...better eating...better economy...less gas consumption..win.win.win!!!  You go guys!! Moonstruck signing out!

 
 

Wheat Grass

A new world I have discovered...sprouts and wheat grass...I thought I was amazed at what I already see grow around here, but nothing like growing in a simple drainage cup or tray and watching Mother Nature say "watch what I can do even without soil!".  Muslin cloth bag is full of sprouts too...does not get more amazing than that, but every time I think I have seen it all the farm brings something new my way.  Nursery beds are well on their way in the old greenhouse and needed some thinning so I spread out in what room I had left....kale, lettuce, spinach, mustards.  The snow melted outside finally and underneath were not great looking, but alive Lacinato, Tango Lettuce, Celery and Collard Greens!  New trays are started inside under lights for when the Conleys calls and says "polyethylene is here".  Costco has a great deal on roses....climbers...two for $17.99 so the new retaining will look great with a climbing rose on each tier against the wall of my basement foundation.  Hydroponics experiment 101A starts on Monday!!  Head lettuce is the goal.  Compost is turned and put to one side getting ready for a pick up from the Bashaws of more manure...they are so sweet they always have at least two trash cans full of stinky manure and shavings waiting for me after processing a batch of chickens.  My coops get cleaned out tomorrow so the composter will be full and after emptying the one bin for the new greenhouse it will be filled again ready for a new batch hopefully by tomato time!! Michael is grading the backyard tomorrow for the future "monster size" patio....yes of course I have an ulterior motive....classes for my customers and students from future tours...always thinking Farm, Farm, Farm...fun, fun, fun...Moonstruck Signing out!!

 
 

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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