Moonstruck Farms

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

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.
 
 

Cricket...no frog!!

I picked up Paul again today and he tackled another overgrown row in the new greenhouse while I went and tilled all the compost beds.  #1 Compost is ready to go and two more are not far behind so my multiple pile system is working.  Before I knew it Paul was telling me he was ready for a new task.  I was sorry I could not let him plant the area he cleared the other day so he could enjoy the whole process but in redoing the irrigation and playing with the timing and the cool weather it was way too wet to plant.  If you work your soil when it is too wet you can damage its composition.  I asked Paul to clear another row while I went and tucked in some dill and cilantro seed in the herb garden...rabbits are not eating it this year so why not?? (Yes, it is unguarded).  Before I knew it a whole new area was ready to go, and tomorrow he can plant it.  I am hoping he can stay long enough to put the cantaloupe and watermelon out in the West field, but we will see.  When he was about half way done he said "I saw a frog".  Funny I had commented the other day on how loud that cricket was!!  I guess I should be more focused when listening to my animal friends!!  Just before closing up for the day I wanted to check the irrigation...there were a few dry spots still so in I went with it running.  I found two nonfunctional sprayers, one turned backwards and the main center line was tilting some of the sprayers when the pressure came on...time to secure them.  Once done I ran for the showers....it was a nice day but the afternoons winds were picking up and I was soaked to the bone...boy did that shower feel good.  Moonstruck signing off.
 
 

I am so close I can almost taste it!!

The website is up where I can see it.  I can see how the reports are set up, but I can't get in and set up the producers!  Ugh!!  Searching for answers.   Not sure if it is a script issue or a problem with the original shareware.  Funny, a provider of this same software called offering their services, but they want 8%!  I don't want to have to pass that on to my customers.  I am in this for the long haul, and I want to do it right from the start.  Of course that seems really funny since I have not been doing things right...the irrigation is wrong, the back end of the greenhouse tore open due to leaving it open, and the weeds are growing so quickly I can't keep up, but that just means back to the drawing board, and start over.  The employees are a tremendous help and now I just need to get this website up and running and it will take at least a few hours off a week from my load, and make your lives easier in ordering.  In the meantime I am planting some Giant Dahlia Zinnias, and more green beans, spinach, lettuce, radishes and the watermelon and cantaloupe are waiting in the wings along with tomatoes and peppers just waiting for this storm to pass.  Off to bed...big day tomorrow and a girl needs her beauty rest ya know. 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!!
 
 

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.
 
 

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!!
 
 

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.  
 
 
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