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. 

 
 

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. 
 
 

Here goes...what a different year this is going to be !

Well we are buying seed by the ounce and by the pound...big difference from last year.  150 feet of snow peas went in today instead of 20 feet like last year....100s of feet of squash, melons and green beans are planned.  We have radishes with greens over a foot long!! We have French Breakfast radishes that are over 3 inches long.  What a difference the new single layer of polyethylene is making.  It is a new product for Conleys too and they said it had improved UV rating.  Between that and the increased volume we are seeing incredible differences in production.  The test green beans and squash are doing fantastic.  Trays are started to go outside as soon as those night temps stay at 40.  Meanwhile the onions are growing like crazy though you see a little damage on the initial greens from all the freezes.  Dahlia size Zinnias are on their way to go into the ground with sunflowers and lavender will be available again.  Basil inside is doing well...putting some outside to harden off to go in with the nice temps coming up.  Molly has been working hard herding chickens, and she dug with me in the garden again.  As I dug with the hand shovel she dug with her paws and then I started to smooth out the area for planting with my hands so she started using her nose!!  It was so cute!!  She is so smart!!  I can't wait to get the livestock fence up and see her work all the animals!!  First row being taken out of production in the old greenhouse this week.  We are going to cover crop with barley and Daikon radishes.  The Daikons are for a parishioner who is fighting cancer and is having a hard time finding them...our Daikons and prayers are for you Bob.  Moonstruck signing out.
 
 

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!!
 
 

Winds!!!!!!!!!!!!

I knew the storm was coming, but it was snow I was worried about...not wind!!  The new greenhouse received its first true test and the back end failed....pulled the anchors right out of the ground and with 80 mph gusts there was nothing I could do by myself so I had to call the husband home for an early lunch break and all he said was "are you sure you want to be a farmer?".  I just smiled and he proceeded to re-anchor the entire end of the greenhouse with him and me holding the end down with all we had.  At some points he had me lean against the plastic to get it out of the way of the sledge hammer, and it bounced me off quite successfully more than once!  So far so good...it is holding...of course I do say a prayer every time I head out to check it.  The good news is the new Wiggle wire that we were worried about is holding great!!  Very cool invention somebody thought of out there...thank you whoever you are!  After securing the greenhouse I went ahead and went back inside to finish Spring cleaning the office, garage and basement.  The basement is going to have a "Cool Room" added for storage so stuff had to go, and the office, well lets just say I needed to be able to see the top of my desk!  The garage has shelving installed for all that was in the greenhouse, and the greenhouses are maximized for growing.  Added almost 8 sf to #1 greenhouse at each row equally another 24 sf!! That is a lot of carrots!  The carrots are successfully germinating along with some beautiful cherry belle radishes and lots of purple radishes went in!  Off I go to finish the taxes and then I am free to play outside all I want....okay Spring and Summer I am ready!! Moonstruck signing off!!

Red Orach

Seed ordering commenced about a month ago and I had to review my business plan at the same time...what is my goal...meet my "Foodies" needs...yes that is what is actually written in my business plan. I know that most of my customers are true Foodies and love not only great tasting food, but different items and many have a desire to support the Heirloom varieties as I do also; so in went the order for Black From Tula Tomatoes (Russian Heirloom), Sorrell, Red Orach and a variety of Heirloom lettuces, which I have already been using. The Red Orach is a spinach substitute I want to try for its color and Summer survivability. Some hybrids are going in for fun too including Rutgers tomatoes (one of the original Campbells varieties) and Purple Radishes not to mention many more. The farm is new and developing its "identity" is still being created, but the Moonstruck Salad Mixes are on top of the list along with other salad additions of carrots, celery, radishes and beets!! The tricolor cherry tomato mix is definitely another one you will see this summer along with Lemon Cucumbers!! Don't forget while I am hard at work here the Bashaws are working hard to bring enough pork for everyone...coming up soon by the side with you specifying the cuts (or the whole like we are ordering...need my bacon!) or a side cut to your specifications and delivered in four deliveries...just let us know. For now back to the garden or fields I guess I have to say now!! 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.
 
 

Thank you for your support!

A family came to the farm today from the city....they were lost  parked on the corner of my property with me and the chickens waving at them trying to get their attention. I was so self-conscious because my place is more of a construction zone than a farm nowadays....but then I thought about all my experiences with other farmers I have had lately...many desperate to make ends meet that they are stretching the truth about their "organic" feed....and stretching the truth about their abilities. I was self-conscious about my construction zone and mess, but then again I thought....this is me...this is real...and it is such a peaceful feeling knowing that I can say "this is me...this is the real deal...please bear with our growing pains and thank you so much for your support...you are my dreams...only my customers can continue to keep my energy up, my dreams alive in order to help me make all this come true!!!"  This is from my heart...many will say I am a sappy dreamer....I say "I am the American Dream...I am a farmer at heart and always will be".  Thank you for your loyal support, and with that support you will continue to energize me to do the right thing as I do everyday now thanks to you....300 green onions, a compost pile turned, some tilling, a farm tour, beef box information/orders taken, 200 Daikon radishes, French Breakfast and Cherry Belle Radishes in, chicken feed bins mixed with flax seed and diacematous earth and my favorite end to a day....Mass on a Saturday evening to thank the Lord for all my blessings and of course a prayer for my many wonderful customers!! Moonstruck signing off!!
 
 
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