Moonstruck Farms

  (Phelan, California)
Moonstruck Farms CSA
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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 me at 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 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 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 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 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!!

60 pound turkeys!!

Today was a day I never did imagine, but it was a hoot!! A friend at church had an unfortunate accident just before Thanksgiving and was unable to process her turkeys.  She finally had a chance to get them to us today and we processed them.  She dropped them off and I looked at them and said "Ann those are not going to fit in the cones!!".  Sam was at work, and we had some help inside with Tony and Tom, but it was just her and me outside....hmmm...well we processed the hens and that was not bad...I have done 30 plus pounders before...but then the Toms....well without going into detail let's just say it was very interesting and from our perspective absolutely hilarious!!  We were laughing so hard that when it came to lifting the approx. 60 pound Toms up into the semi where the processing equipment is located we could barely do it...mainly because we were laughing so hard...Tony said "Stop laughing, you are losing all your strength".... so we laughed harder and 10 minutes later the 1st turkey was up there, and then #2.  After that Tom threw the first two in the plucker like normal and stopped it dead!!!  After switching the breaker we decided to do only ONE at a time.  After it was all done we ended up with four beautiful turkeys....two that will have to go to pits for cooking or be cut in HALF!  After such an eventful day I spent a little time with Quickbooks and found that I can send my invoices via Quickbooks email and do the accounting at the same time.  These are the dry and boring lessons, but these are important steps in building the farm too...I really need to streamline the "business" part so I can spend more time outside doing what I need to do!  Tomorrow is CSA Drop Point alias Phelan Farmers to bed I go.  Moonstruck Signing off.
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