Moonstruck Farms

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

Bring on the holidays!

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. 

 
 

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!
 
 

Huge goal met!!

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”. 

 
 

Thanksgiving Turkey deadline!

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!
 
 

Lamb and New Sweet Potato Bed

I went to Ash Wednesday mass, and I realized that easter is just around the corner (plus mike can’t stop talking about his big international las vegas karate tournament coming up, it is the day before easter…he loves it and has been training hard for it!!)  I called nancee siebert and we discussed the need for small lamb csa shares.  This is one live lamb to be split between customers. Just let me know if you are interested.  In the meantime mike has to listen to me all night about my exciting plans for the farm including sweet potatoes!!! (which includes begging for a new raised bed to be built by my “studly” husband…yes groveling and flattery is required!!).   First time in bulk…wish me luck.  This year’s focus….food for the masses…carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, green beans!! I can’t wait!! 

 
 

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!!
 
 

Wow, what a beginning of a holiday season!!

Wow, what a season.  We doubled turkey sales and still have a few turkeys left for Christmas, and Moonstruck Salad Mix is coming in and we have yellow  zucchini!!!  Yes, zucchini and I even gave away a few jalapenos to my loyal customers!!   Wow, just need to plant about 400 ft more of lettuce mix, some Asian greens to replace your slow growing American style cabbages, put in some quick growing medium sized onions and the palate is complete!!  I feel like things are spinning out of control, but at the same time they are exactly where I wanted them to be.  The new greenhouse is producing what I was hoping!!  My knowledge of what can be grown outdoors has grown, new allium (shallots, leeks, onions, garlic) are going in in a new field, 70 new fruit trees and a poultry operation.  I have been approached to start a new community garden and I am hoping to take advantage of it if all goes through and have a separate field for St. Vincent's De Paul Soceity, our church food pantry.  Wish me luck everyone!!  Moonstruck signing out!!
 
 

Christmas Turkeys!

Fortunately and unfortunately the Bashaws had quite a few last minute cancellations.   The good news is that there are Christmas turkeys available, but only for a limited time.  In about a week I am going to start making turkey sausage!!  If you want a Christmas turkey please let me know and we will get you taken care of.   The first batch of Moonstruck pork goes to butcher early tomorrow morning, and I know I can't wait to get my honey cured bacon back!  The next batch goes to butcher in March 2012, and we will have Pork CSA shares available at that time.
 
It has been so beautiful the green onions, radishes and even lettuce are doing beautifully outside.  Moonstruck Salad Mix is available this week, and Asian Greens are next on the list.  Savoy cabbages are doing beautifully in the new greenhouse, and the summer vegies are alive!!  It takes about 3 weeks to grow a single zucchini so extending the season does not work due to the late days, but it proves that starting early will not be a problem at all especially since I know I was germinating last year during freezing temps! 
 
Phelan may have an opportunity to have a community garden!! If you are interested please let me know so we can keep track of who in the community would like to take advantage of this.  Have a great week everyone!!  Moonstruck signing out. 
 
 

End of weightlifting season...guess not?

Well just when I think I have hit the end of weightlifting season....tomatoes, winter squash, cucumbers, zucchini....here come the turkeys.  My first big delivery is this week, and I am doing some extra sit ups to strengthen my back tonight!!!!  Well, the light season is not too far away...Moonstruck Salad Mix.  I must admit I made a mistake this year that I will have to change next year.  I designated the new greenhouse for the cut lettuce and the old for head lettuce, but since the new one is so much hotter it was a mistake and the lettuce is just now starting to do an okay germination.  It is amazing how seed knows when it is its time. I had some pots in the shade outside my kitchen filled with dill seed I was trying to trick into summer dill, and of course it did not do a thing until last week, and then every last seed germinated.  Still amazes me, and so do my Fall roses.  With no wind and just right temps they are beautiful, but soon to leave since the winds are already picking up today with the change in weather this week, but that just means fried green tomatoes and Moonstruck Salad Mix!!  I love the change in seasons...Moonstruck signing out!!
 
 

Celery in 100 degree temps!

We continue to learn as we grow here at Moonstruck.  The irrigation is still being tweaked to maximize, but with a little shade cloth we are growing lettuce and spinach in 100 degree temps in the greenhouse...and celery!!! Wow, I would have told you you were crazy if you had told me I could grow celery in a greenhouse in 100 degree temps any given time in the past, but my experience is growing.  Cilantro tucked into a corner with nice even watering can be kept too.  All these goals are one step closer to supplying our CSA customers with all their needs on a year around basis.  The welder is already coming in handy and new panels are being built to build a larger pen for the goats so we can add a buck and babies next Spring hopefully :).  I am dreaming of cream cheese, feta and sour cream!! Filet will be kept company too since they are being moved down towards her though Molly has been doing a fine job of keeping her company and Filet rewards her with a kiss.  Michael and I walked the property and when you have only 5 acres you have to work it pretty intensively to get a good yield.  It took some convincing, but beds will be built across the front of the house which should create somewhere around another 500-700 feet of row space for potatoes, garlic, shallots, onions, leeks and anything else the critters won't eat opening up space in the protected fields in the back.  We have a beautiful rolling section in the front and Merlot grapes will be added there.  The whole rim will be surrounded by lavender plants and a flag pole surrounded by a rim of three different lavenders is definitely in the future....can't wait to have a beautiful place to hang our nation's flag.  Thank you again everyone for your support....we truly would not be here without you.  Moonstruck signing off.
 
 

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!!
 
 

Tomorrow...just the beginning.

After a long awaited wait the new greenhouse is producing bountifully and I am still not done rebuilding rows and planting!!  Tomorrow we will be bringing French Breakfast Radishes, gorgeous long scallions, Moonstruck Salad Mix, Leaf Lettuce mix (for those who just want lettuce in for their salad or for their sandwiches), Mustard Mix, Braising Greens (combination of collards, Beeden Kale, Winterbor Kale, various mustards, beet greens), Mizuna Mustard (green and purple), cilantro, parsley, chives, dill, bok choy, sprouting broccoli and spicy mustard greens!!

As I was weeding the spinach I noticed I had left a little too much space between the lines of scallions and groupings of spinach....perfect...I had a tray of Savoy cabbage that needed to go in.  Today  was a challenge planting because I had a new intern on board...a very young intern...Molly joined us yesterday.  She is half Border Collie and Catahoula, both superior working dogs.  She has joined us to be by my side during the day herding goats and sheep eventually, learning to be by my side without walking through the lettuce and providing a variety of other joys hopefully...though right now she is adding a few challenges, but in truth she is fantastic already. She has it in her genes to be a great dog, and she was groomed for me by a very dear friend since she was just a few weeks old.  Look for her at market tomorrow...she will be the little 9 week old Merle colored puppy right at my feet :) as she has been for the last 36 hours.

 

 
 

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!!
 
 

A bite out of every radish!

Well after all the winds and the snow this weekend I am ready for a little rest...but nonetheless things are always hopping around here and there is more snow on the way...time to figure out a better way to pull the snow off.  Some market gardeners are using a smooth nylon rope with one person on each side and pull away the snow...have to try this one!  NRCS/USDA comes out on Tuesday to certify so it better be standing!!  In the meantime I went to check on things and almost every last radish had a bite out of it and a grouping of kale I had just transplanted had all the tops eaten off...critter!  I put my electric trap out and got him...criminal apprehended and sentenced to death!!  Sorry for those with a heart for all of God's creatures, but these guys are relentless and if I extinguish them I usually get a rest for a few months until another one finds a weak spot in my security.  This is the worse time of year because there is not a lot to eat out and everybody is coming out hungry from a winter's rest!!  Yes even with snow on the way everything is saying SPRING!  The chives are a few inches tall already.  The onions are filling out nicely.  The trees have buds.  The lilacs are ready to bloom and the lettuce planted OUTSIDE is even germinating...proof that ground temps are up!!  Boy, it sure did not feel like it today walking in 40 degree weather with windchill, but then I went in the greenhouse and watered and the back end turned into a fog bank from all the steam coming off the beds...yahoo!!  I love it....as soon as the night time temps creep up a bit everything will take off!!  Off to a good night's sleep...Moonstruck Signing out!!
 
 
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