Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring on the New Year!

The last year has been a whirlwind, and I am looking forward to the 2011 roller coaster ride. Today was just a little sign I am sure of what the New Year holds. I started the day off with a few sprout trials...yes sprouts are coming back from Moonstruck, but give us a little while to figure out the details. Then I dove into chicken thigh wrangling...deboning chicken thighs, grinding for ground chicken and the finale being Spicy Chicken Sausage Patties....if I had know how good it was I would have taken pictures of the sandwiches, but I didn't...we were too busy enjoying!! Sourdough, chicken sausage patty, Dijon mustard and lettuce!!! It was a winner!!
I then reminded the girls that all chores had to be complete before they take off for their appointed destinations...yes for the first time in 19 years Michael and I have no kids on New Years, well at least until 10 or so when Amber rolls in from work. In the meantime everyone kept asking what is that humming...so much for the low water bill...the chicken line had busted at the wall of the house and was flooding livestock central...ugh!! I ran to the water meter, and the nice local water agency had put on a new cover...and I could not get it off!!! I yelled for Mike to grab something to pry it off with and we got it turned off. The girls were delayed at their departure, but a few minutes later there was at least a temporary fix on the line so we have water! I then went and posted my Availability for the week, boy was that sad...everything froze outside again last night, and my polyethylene is on back order so no additional crop until outside is covered, but I am finding out what varieties do well and return!! Well I am off to a fine dinner being offered at church...somebody is cooking for me...can't think of a better way to start the New Year off...be safe...Moonstruck signing off.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Storm to gorgeous day!!


I love living on my land it is so beautiful when the storms blow in and the clouds roll down the foothills I always find myself just standing there for a short while just taking it in...it takes my breath away. Of course the next day when it is absolutely gorgeous at 45 degrees and no wind I am in heaven even more so. This is my time of year, perfect working conditions today...I can pace myself for 7-8 hours easily without the heat knocking the dickens out of me. And the ground....oh my gosh...it moves!!! I can dig and dig to my heart's content!! I built more onion beds, and an asparagus and rhubarb bed, and did some weeding!!! I planted 300 or more onions, transplanted Tango lettuce, Mizuna mustard, more celery and 150 Lacinato, Black or Dinosaur Kale...whichever name you like...it is a great sweet kale and it transports beautifully and it does not care about freezing temps!! Wow, what a great feeling to be outside all day...I am so blessed. Moonstruck signing out for now...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!




It was just too beautiful of day (at the beginning) to stay inside Christmas or not. The girls were busy with their new Christmas presents and I wanted to get some more onions in the ground before the next storm hit. I managed to get about 400 more into the ground and the remainder of a row built to put in a few hundred more. I transplanted some Arugula in between and some Tango lettuce, which are both pretty hardy. I have never grown Arugula before and I have noticed that it does not like the broadcast seeding that I can usually get away with the other lettuces so I transplanted and placed a few inches between plants...them seem to like that better. I also transplanted some celery plants from a nursery bed in the greenhouse. The celery outside is at a standstill but has not been freezing so this will enable me to get a head start on the Spring harvest and they will just take off when they deem it is time. Bok choy is another promising crop; doing just beautiful in the greenhouse and alive though stagnant in the outdoor field, but alive...good sign of a sturdy crop. As soon as the onions are done the rest of the shallots and garlic will go in. I have several crops started in the greenhouse as nursery beds also...just a broadcast of the seed in a single row area and then transplant...works great.
As you can see Michael was busy working on part of a new retaining wall system that is being put in in the side yard bordering the back yard. The side yard has all the fruit trees and the backyard has all the herbs. We had our weight room flood again for the second time so it was time to do something about the backyard to stop the standing water that keeps developing near the house and leaking into the basement. The retaining wall is on the East side of the yard and the patio (that will stop the water) will be poured next to it with a planter in between. The multiple tiers have provided another opportunity for planting! I am thinking Boxwood for cut flower arrangements along with another bush that has cut flowers....hmmm...more lavender, Sweet Broom maybe!!
The girls made dinner (with a little guidance) and a beautiful beef roast, twice baked potatoes, homemade rolls and green bean casserole along with a fine bottle of red wine are beckoning my name...Merry Christmas Everyone!! Moonstruck Signing out!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rain, rain, rain....


Wow, did the markets choose a good time to take a break...rain, rain, rain and because the sun has not shined in five days things are barely growing. Unfortunately a lot of things are delayed around here and that includes the greenhouse. By the time we had time off to go and get the polyethylene they were sold out and it is backordered for three weeks. Well, one thing as you know that I have learned is not only patience, but to look for the reason for the delay...in this case finding a better way to close off the ends. I am been just a little wishy-washy about how to finish the ends. The truth be told I have been going back and forth for weeks. Ask Tim at Conleys I have been driving him nuts! When I realized that we were going to have time to work on the ends I decided to research further and I realized I really needed a door on either end, but the Conleys professional roll ups are just out of our price range so I researched further and found a heavy duty clear vinyl curtain sold by Farm Tek . It is hemmed and ready to go, we just have to build a pulley mechanism...yes!!!! This will vent the greenhouse on both ends, be easy and inexpensive to install and roll completely up out of the way in the event of high winds. Hopefully this new model will work well and the future greenhouses can just duplicate this model and take a lot less time. The bok choy above was grown in the current small (20 x 40) greenhouse and boy is it doing beautifully!! A little bug-bitten, but not bad considering nothing was sprayed on it, not even my usual soap spray!! I am still having problems keeping track of the varieties I am growing and will have to resort to spreadsheets written out...something keeps taking my garden markers!!! There is a pack rat somewhere with the Taj Mahal of Popsicle stick houses out in my yard!! Just as well that I do a better job with my paperwork with the new greenhouse completed I will be required to complete a study for them for the next three years on how things are doing in regards to the greenhouse providing erosion control, wind protection etc. Hope you are all keeping dry and warm at home and not evacuated, and ready to enjoy a very Merry Christmas!! Moonstruck signing off!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Red Cipollini!!


Wow the weather has been fantastic! 600 onions are planted, new row is built for another 600 and it looks like I probably have a total of 3,000 thanks to the supplier being very generous in the bundles! Rain is coming too, yahoo!! I had to spend a little time on some ornamentals today...pruning my roses for the winter. They provide me with so much joy by adding beauty to my dinner table each year. They were huge and luckily I invested in a nice set of loppers...cut the time in half at least!! I am sure it would have taken me at least 5 hours and it only took two. Of course I decided to take them to the dump...the thorns are huge now that the roses are almost 7 years old...and they were just too dangerous to put in the compost pile!! Speaking of compost, wish me luck...Sam gave me a mulcher to borrow to see if it will pulverize the manure and speed up the compost time around here. With turkey, chicken, beef and pork orders going up there is bound to be plenty of manure...just need to get the "cooking time" down as much as possible. I am supplementing with an organic compost I am purchasing for now, but I really prefer the farm to be self-sustainable.... and looking forward to making this work again now that we have grown so much. My husband brought home one ton of the organic compost and it only covered about 150 sf at 2 maybe 3 inches at most...my goal is to amend with 4-6 inches every three years. Thank goodness the new field was amended in the Spring with compost materials from the Bashaw Farm....though I am sure it could have used a few more inches...I think we only hit 4 inches. Onions are going there for now since it is outside...and the plans are to grade it next year for the new 16 x 100 greenhouse. The pig pen is being move in the next few weeks to what is going to become the permanent location for our livestock...Northeast corner of the property, but the old pig pen area is going to make a great location for pumpkins this next year!! We are moving the livestock area because the Southeast corner of the property is the most flat, and so future greenhouses will be slated for that area. 72 Lacinato plants are going in the ground this week...I would have done it a few months ago if I had known how hardy they are. Most greens will overwinter through freezes, but the Lacinato developed a beautiful frost on them, and then defrosted like nothing happened. Wow!! Of course everything is practically at a standstill now, but once the solstice hits on the 22nd everything will being to take off... including me with longer hours of daylight available! Moonstruck signing out!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chicken Sausage


Thinking towards the future and how to make the meat end of the CSA grow (aka Bashaws Premium Meats) we have been thinking about what to do with some of the extra dark meat. Hmmmm....dark meat chicken makes great sausage!!! We are going to do some of our experimentation and see if we want to go into more of a processed product...would take some certification etc., but hmmmm farm fresh apple/cranberry chicken sausage or spicy chicken sausage in links or by the pound for patties for chicken sausage sandwiches...yum!! With Arugula on the sandwich!! What a pairing that would be!! Waiting for the plastic to come in for the greenhouse has given me time to search some recipes we will be trying and so in between hauling compost and starting new seed trays I think I will delve into my other passion...cooking!! In the meantime the seed trays include broccoli raab, brocollini (aka sprouting broccoli), Lacinato, Camden Kale, Winterbor Kale, Swiss Chard (Barese Swiss for the Moonstruck Salad Mix) and as soon as the greenhouse is covered radishes, carrots (full size this year) and turnips will go in. Don't forget Snow Peas after the first of the year! The onion order came in today consisting of 1,740 baby onion plants including Texas Supersweet, Candy and Yellow Granex for the Yellow, Southern Belle Red (slow bolting, wish me luck) and my chef daughter Meghan's special request of Red Marble Cippolini!! To say the least this weekend is onion planting along with the rest of the garlic! These will all go outside, and the kale, swiss, carrots etc will go under cover of the new greenhouse. The old greenhouse has been replanted with the Moonstruck Salad Mix lettuces and germinating beautifully even through the some of the coldest and shortest days of the year. Better get some rest those onions are going to give me a work out!! Moonstruck Signing Off!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Beef boxes are done!!


Market in Phelan on Thursday, market in Wrightwood on Friday, a little time at home to throw a load of laundry in, do a little check on watering and the animals, off to the grocery store and then off to the Bashaws to do beef boxes. I brought my loyal companion, my youngest Meghan with me, and she and Danny Bashaw made Turkey and Dumplings for everyone while the rest of went through well over 600 pounds of meat cuts and sorted them into boxes for delivery. Looking at the filet mignons I could swear I could smell a dinner liked pictured here along with one of my spinach salads with red onion, bacon and mushrooms drizzled with homemade French dressing....but maybe I was hallucinating...I was really tired after all!! Email me if you want the box descriptions..we weighed everything so that your farm share of beef will be calculated on the total weight of each package since they do differ a little even though they all contain the same cuts. I asked Eddie of Barstow Butchering (who is going to vacuum packaging soon!!!) to throw some different cuts in this time so we have London Broils, all beef chorizo and stew meat for the Winter Season. Even with my busy schedule I still manage to learn something new each week..this week it was about sour oranges!! Did you know that we can grow sour oranges here...in the greenhouse I believe at Brian Ranch...kind of like a lemon, but a tad sweeter!! Great for marmalade! Come and see Brian Ranch and ask Felice all about them!! Moonstruck signing out!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turkey Day....days I mean!



Okay, this was not my turkey, but it looked just as nice...I just forgot to take a picture!! After practically living at the Bashaws for three days and then Thanksgiving at church I was so happy just to sit down and eat my turkey taking a picture was the last thing on my mind!! Next year Ann I am just bringing a sleeping bag...it will be easier!! The week started on Sunday with the first processing and the plucker misfunctioning right away...boy were we sweating...one skinned turkey later and a few hand pluckings and things were running smoothly again...how I love that Featherman plucker! After eating a bowl of Chicken Corn Chowder...it was great (have to add the recipe to the website)... phone calls began...come and get your turkey! Then after running back and forth from the house to the processing unit at 7 pm we finished for the day. Back up the next day and processed the second batch...nice smooth morning and another round of phone calls and a ton more deliveries. Did I mention that the deliveries were the best part...some customers were dressed up for the holidays and a joy to see, lots of kids to show baby chicks and piglets to, some interested in "how we did it" and so a tour of the equipment and grounds was done...and so many thank yous!! Wednesday finished up a few final deliveries and off I went to start preparing for church and my family's Thanksgiving. I was so tired, but it was the best kind after such fulfilling fun-filled days. The Bashaws are so great to work with it felt just like a fun day on the farm and the customers were so fantastic I can't thank you enough for your support!! As you know there is no true rest on the farm so keep your eyes open for beef CSA boxes to be advertised soon....boxing is going to be done on Friday...one lamb left and pork is on its way at the Bashaws. Here things are not moving as fast...but patience is a virtue...right? The greenhouse frame is leveled and braced thanks to my husband working in 30 degree plus wind chill weather....I found it warmer closer to the ground digging out the holes of loose dirt :) We could not pour on Sunday...way too cold, but maybe this weekend and then the cover goes on ....on the first nonwindy morning. Old greenhouse (which I was planning to give a break, but not now) is planted. String lines are run for the next two greenhouses too and the livestock area here is cleared....okay can I just have 48 hours in a day now...I am having too much fun to go to sleep either...but my body has other ideas so talk to you all soon. Moonstruck Signing Off.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working?

While I helped Michael put the lumber on the greenhouse that is required to hold the rails that hold the plastic I asked the girls to work on repairing the hot wire that keeps our dogs home! Michael and I went in to get some lunch and he went downstairs but something caught my eye and I decided to sit in the dining room and watch my girls "work". In a 20 minute period Sierra managed to use the shovel for a microphone and a guitar and put on quite a dance show. Meghan in her frustration used the shovel to threaten to hit Sierra over the head and Amber while watching and laughing managed to lean on the shovel quite well! They were complaining that it is going to take them three weeks...more like three months or maybe end of Spring at this rate! Finally I noticed that the neighbor came to the fence to see what was happening....he thought one of his dogs were injured or dying...no worries... it was just Sierra doing her rendition of Opera Singing!!! Oh Lord give me strength!!!
In the meantime we are working hard around here to catch up. The new greenhouse is going up. A friend called and said he wants two sides of beef in exchange for a complete set of cattle fences and shelter!! Michael had just completed grading the new livestock area...talk about timing!! The old livestock area is being cleared for next year's greenhouse on that side of the property and the weather is absolutely beautiful. I just wish we were not mowing over most of my plants putting in the new greenhouse!! Farming is teaching me patience...something I was lacking!! I must admit every time I feel a little overwhelmed the Lord sends me a message that it will all get done in due time...like friends offering cattle panels, Danny coming over and doing a lot more work than my girls or my husband creating miracles and putting a greenhouse up over an existing field! Off to drop Sierra at the football game where I am sure she will put on another show! Moonstruck signing off.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Frame Done!


The picture really does not do it justice because everyone just keeps saying "it is huge!". 2,000 sf of protected growing space....what a difference it makes. I also found an organic source of compost to help me get ahead...my chickens and I just could not keep up and so with a new greenhouse and a semi truck load of compost I would say we should be able to get caught up over the next month. Irrigation lines are trenched to the future greenhouse sites along with the new livestock area and holes dug for another 30 lavender plants. 100 daffodil bulbs in just for "me" and holes dug for another 10 grape plants and this weekend holes for another 10-15 standard fruit trees for my husband who wants more trees! Lambs lettuce is in outdoors just to check and see just how hardy it is, though it has been a very mild season so far. Application complete for two more greenhouses/high tunnels for next year...wish me luck and a scholarship application to the Small Farm Conference in San Jose...can't wait...I learn so much and I get to meet other small farmers just like us...it really is a great conference!! Well off to complete smoked turkey invoices and get as much done around here as possible before "turkey week". Going over to Bashaws for a few days to handle turkey processing and deliveries and then off to church to help out with BJS annual thanksgiving dinner for anyone who needs a place to go....talk to you soon, but if not soon enough Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Other Things I Grow Around Here


Yes, this is my youngest Meghan who is the subject of my logo. I just thought I would put her on here after all her hard work and patience being part of this family. I will focus on the other two later...but being true teenagers there not quite as understanding. This one stands by my side through all my failures and says "Don't worry Mom; it will be okay, you always make it work". She harvests with me, weeds with me, takes care of the chickens faithfully each day and even helps stuff homemade sausage happily. She is just one fantastic kid, and just took 22nd out of 104 at Mt. Sac for Cross Country, has a brown belt in karate and now is playing volleyball for Heritage; yes as you can tell she is like her mother and has a hard time sitting still....and we love to see what we can try next. This week my dear husband unloaded a 20 x 100 greenhouse and is looking at digging 42 holes to set the hoops! Danny Bashaw helped me dig out reeds, yes tropical reeds out of the irrigation area where there has been a slow leak for a while and the roots were an inch in diameter and helped crack an irrigation line, which the Bashaw Family then came out and helped me repair since Mike was at work. Danny then helped me clear a few more rows and planted a few more rows. Meanwhile Meghan was inside starting the sausage. We used the Bashaws fresh pork roasts and created some of the greatest sausage including Bratwurst, Italian and Linguica!! The Bratwurst we had for dinner with fresh red potatoes from the garden!! Dropped Danny off after a long day and talked "turkey" with the Bashaws as I will soon learn how crazy Thanksgiving can get. They are processing the smoked turkeys this Friday and if you want a smaller turkey that you don't mind freezing you need to get it done Friday, otherwise they will be 25 pounds plus for Thanksgiving week most likely. I am going to get a good cup of tea and call it a night... a long day, but a good day knowing you are surrounded by such great family and friends.

Moonstruck Signing Off :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brandywines!


These beautiful pinkish tomatoes are Brandywine heirloom tomatoes. As a lot of you know they are not very productive and are hard to grow, but I always have some out there because they are delicious and have a wonderful texture, but almost always seem to crack. I shaded them and put them next to some snapdragons growing to shade them and they still cracked, but then I discovered a branch that had grown into the snapdragons and here were these perfect beauties. Not really large, but the picture does not do a good job of relaying their color and their flavor is even better. Hmmmm...more shade cloth next year!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

New field started!!!


Okay thanks to Joyce and Danny and my family the new field is started!! You have no idea what a boost it gives me when I see the beginnings of another phase of growth!! The fence is moved and it seems huge out there now!! The new rows are beginning to be built and the space for the new greenhouse is really apparent!! There is an even a space in the back for a storage shed my husband said!! What will I do when my tools are near at hand and how happy my husband will be to have my growing supplies out of his garage!! Working the soil showed the benefits of the last 4 plus months of amending! The end of the field needs to come up about 2 feet so guess where all the grass clippings and manure are going from the Bashaws!! It is still really rough-looking out there, but I can see things coming together. Even the Texas Umbrella trees I started from seed are 2 feet tall and ready to go in. I am going to tuck some blueberries in barrels under them and see if we can grow some real blueberries this year!! In this case beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder...but I really can see it and Joyce saw beauty that I did not even see. She collected dried wildflowers, Yarrow, sunflower heads and Holly Hock branches from the farm to make wreaths! So between the customers, the compost pile, the chickens and Joyce's wreaths literally everything is being used on the farm!! Nothing to waste...now we are talking sustainable agriculture at its best!! Moonstruck Signing off...I have to go plant!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spinach

Okay this is not my spinach, but a girl can dream you know!! Mine our baby little plants going in; about 150 and then rows of seed in the ground. Need lots and lots of succession plantings!! I can't wait for my favorite spinach salad with mushrooms, farm fresh bacon pieces, red onion and a splash of a homemade sweet french dressing - so ying and yang; I love it. I also am here to let anyone watching that the farm is closed tomorrow, 09/25. Meghan made Cross Country Finals and I cannot miss that!! Then I promise to rush home and put the 50 Lacinato (Dinosaur Kale) plants that are due to go in. I put a few in the greenhouse and they were eaten and then today I found a HUGEEEEEEE green/yellow grasshopper in there. The hose made him jump THANK GOD!! As I was trying to hold the hose with one hand and keep him somewhat slowed down I was trying to grab for something to kill him with (sorry nature lovers, he was HUGE he had to go) and then I realized that he had a suit of armor on and that the tomato stick was a joke to try and kill him with. The next closest thing was a block and so I dropped it on him, and then he still was moving so I had to jump up and down on it!! Oh my Lord no wonder those things do some much damage in the Midwest!! The good news is I am seeing more colorful bugs than ever (proof of my environment here), but on the other hand I don't want to see one of him again though I must admit the coloring was amazing!! Say a prayer...I am putting in greens and lettuces like crazy and it is supposed to hit 100 maybe even here!!! Ugh!! I will be armed with the hose for the next week!! Moonstruck signing off for now!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Evidence of a Healthy Environment


My favorite thing to watch is the signs of a healthy environment on the property here. As I watch the beautiful colored bugs flying through the air it is a nice reminder that thanks to not using pesticides that nature maintains a balance. Some of the most beautiful colors in nature are in the parasitic wasps and such that I see flying by. Then as I watch out my kitchen window in the morning the quail are busy digging around the herb garden that is freshly watered digging up some yummy bugs for their breakfast. As I wander around the kitchen in the afternoon getting my afternoon snack I notice through the kitchen window a Road Runner checking out the herb garden...I had to take the picture from online because as soon as I started to reach for the camera he was gone!! In the afternoon as I let the chickens out I notice another nice partnership with nature ... the chickens working the compost pile next to the coop. I keep one compost bin that rolls for what I thought was a quicker finished product of compost, but to be honest I think the chickens are faster now. As long as I remember to keep it moist and maybe turn the entire pile with a shovel once a week or so it finishes in just about the same amount of time as the expensive compost bin. I REALLY enjoy watching the chickens do the work for me!! Of course on the other hand we do have a very healthy level of squirrels and rabbits and the Squirrelanator needed to come out to cut down the numbers that were doing more than their fair share of damage on the property and the rabbits undermined the fence again as evidenced by the complete disappearance of every transplant I put out and the loss of all beet and radish seedlings...at least all I have to do with that is find the spot where they broke through and repair it. Well I am off to check the Squirrelanator...Moonstruck signing off!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Evidence of cooler nights


I went outside for a few hours this morning and the heat started to come on so I went and hid in the house and did some very much needed cleaning especially of the garage where I store most of my market supplies now. I prepped dinner .... farm fresh ham in the oven from the Bashaws, mashed potatoes, peas and homemade rolls well on their way and used the leftover berry sauce from breakfast to make a pound cake parfait for dessert. So nice when dinner is prepped ahead of time so when I drag myself in at the end of the day I can just sit down to a nice dinner and a relaxing Sunday evening. Days like today are my favorite where I work outside, come in and catch up on the house and get a good dinner on the table... a little of everything to make a perfect day. It was also very nice to be outside in the late afternoon and feel the cool breezes blowing by.... just a little hint of Fall in the air. The sprouting broccoli was proof though today of the changing temperatures... even with the high 80s during the day we are reaching into the 60s at night and the broccoli is growing large, producing more heads and just looking "greener". I put a bunch of swiss and spinach out with this sign in front of me and more to go out tomorrow. The tomatoes are slowing down, but the late summer bunch are coming on to provide us with tomatoes as long as the night time temps hold, but all the summer crops are showing signs of slowing and then the hard part...when to tear out and replace and give up on summer... for the most part that is now. Carrots and beets need to have a good start to continue through winter so more of those will go in tomorrow, but thanks to our Indian summers I am sure I will have great success with getting these started over the next four weeks. Time to call it a great day... Moonstruck signing off.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Time to Plant!!

Long list of things to do is slowly getting done this week... new location is found...Phelan Community Church for pick up until further notice located just North of Phelan Road and Sheep Creek Road. Look for the "The Park" the skate board park and the church sign on your left. We will be there every Thursday 2:30-3:30 for pick up of preorders or shopping on the spot by our CSA members. You are all CSA members creating the direct connection from Farm to Customer ... just like the new business card states ... Farm Fresh from Our Door to You!! Email us at www.moonstruckfarms@verizon.net for more information or go to the website at www.moonstruckfarmscsa.webs.com. Thanks again Janet and Carrie for lending me a hand with the beautiful business cards!! Business cards are done, banner to be completed for next Tri Community Open Air Market in two weeks on 09/24 at the Wrightwood Community Center. Thanks everyone for a great turnout today!! Facebook noted...blog done... Availability posted everywhere I am supposed to.... now I get to go tackle the fields and greenhouse and boy are they out of control with summer weather growth!! But night time temps say it is lettuce and spinach time. Trays in the wings waiting and going in by seed also to get ahead of things. With everyone who shows up on the 25th of September for the Planting Day will help put the shallots, green onions, garlic and more spinach in for the Fall Season. Off to bed and up early to begin the day... don't forget we are open on Saturdays from 8-12 for the working folk now too! Moonstruck Signing Off!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Whirlwind month and beef!

This last month was one of those whirlwind months that were full of good times and great accomplishments, but just plain exhausting!! Even the weather threw in its share of craziness going from 60 to 110!! The fields and greenhouse have been producing at their full capacity filling the customer's orders and my freezer!! Today ended the week with another batch of chicken on its way and the beef boxes completed!! Just drop me a line if you would like more information!! The next few days slow a little with the Labor Day weekend, but will still be full with the farm now being open on Saturdays from 8-12 for pick up of preorders, poultry and any purchase of any leftovers from the week's harvest!! Another batch of compost is smelling like sweet garden soil and anxiously awaits to be placed in a row full of spinach seed. Trays and trays of transplants are awaiting the cooling trend to begin hopefully Monday so that they may be set out for the Fall Season!! The date for the new field planting still is to be set, but awaiting hearing from suppliers! In the meantime I spotted a nice clear area near the chicken coop that will provide a great area for a new garlic bed so that we won't run out next year and we can have my 2 inch garlic heads back!! Of course it will need a little protection from the nearby free ranging chickens!! The asparagus bed is going in behind the current greenhouse at the end of the new field!! Now the plans are laid.... time to get back to work. See ya all soon. Moonstruck Signing Out!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Now this is more like it!!


Squash and green beans in full glory thanks to new foliar inline feeding system!! Thanks everyone for your support. So great to see the results of the changes. This means better yields per sf and more to offer and if yields surpass my numbers ... then prices will drop to you... I will always pass on the success to my great loyal customers! The new field will allow larger spacing for next summer's crops and that should increase yields too. Next years pet project are the bell peppers!! I want more. I have also scouted a spot for a new asparagus bed, needs a permanent deep bed and I think running parallel to the old greenhouse will be just perfect. It will be a quick and sweet crop as you know, but well worth the wait and of course you can always freeze it. Let me know your thoughts on okra and rhubarb. Rhubarb will require a permanent bed too....so need to think this one over, but then again if it doesn't sell we can always plant more asparagus!! Moonstruck signing out :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Farms!!

Today brought a nice peaceful feeling as I watched two new farmers join us. It is easy to get caught up in the "negative" or just the ugly business sometimes, especially on a very tiring day, but then something happens to bring that peace of mind and the reminder of what this is all about. Spiritt Orchard (Steve) joined us and had the most beautiful plums!!! The excitement in his voice or any farmer for that matter is always contagious and we all do a great job of supporting each other even in the lowest of times. McCormick Farms (Betty) was there and had beautiful sweet grapes straight from the farm!! Betty I don't think will mind me saying, but she is up there in years and is trying to create something for her family in finding crops that she can grow on her farm. Her energy is so inspiring; I hope I have half her energy when I am her age and I will be thrilled!! I also want to put a special thank you out to the Bashaws for doing such a great job in keeping up with demand and providing great new product each week. Everyone was thrilled with the smoked turkey and to say they love the chicken is an understatement.

Thank you for supporting us... especially through my invoicing blunders, order filling blunders, failed crops, long waits in line and all our growing pains as we become what you deserve...great farmers selling great, farm fresh produce and meat to you and you in turn enriching your family's lives!! Thanks again!! Moonstruck signing off for the night!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Thinking Fall?



Takes time to learn how to always be thinking 90 days ahead, but I am getting the hang of it; now I just need 48 hours in a day and no computer break downs! I have the repetitive plantings of squash going and I need to do one more of green beans. Another row of potatoes went in with hopes of squeezing them in before the cold (they store great in the ground over winter here). Probably have to break down and do pole beans next year; produce a lot better, but more work!! Beets, carrots and green onions need to go in weekly. Swiss chard has to be constantly planted since a lot is going to seed in the heat, but I am keeping ahead (just barely) and the good news is I am still not caught up; there is still plenty of room to plant and the new field! For my loyal customers I put in the lettuce under some Agribon, but I am still worried it will be on the bitter side, just not sweet when grown in the heat, but we will see!! I promise to do plenty of taste testing :) More collards tomorrow and more French Breakfast radishes; they are doing great!! The cherry tomatoes are coming in... Sweet 100s, large red cherries, Yellow and a few Black are appearing!! Winter squash is coming in too... look for Delicata and Acorn. Best of all... looks like I will be making my salsa batches for the freezer this week... orders are slow and lots of tomatoes to be seen!!! Back to the fields....Moonstruck signing off!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tomato Worm Therapy


Well the birds are not doing their job so I had to "Step In" and boy did I. No better stress reliever than picking off tomato worms trying to take out your tomato plants and stomping them!!! Of course than I look over at my beautiful sunflowers (sorry no real picture - Meghan has the camera in Oregon), and there they are in all their majesty...only one problem they grew at the end of a row covered with Agribon row cover and busted right through!! Nothing like nature proving to you that no matter how under control you believe you have things.... nature always has the upper hand!! Thanks to the cooler temps I went ahead and planted some more Moonstruck Salad Mix under the "intact' Agribon row cover and with night time temps in the 60s I should have success. I have been underusing the Agribon due to the fact that the greenhouse is supposed to go over this area, but I figured I better get some more lettuce going for my loyal customers!! I tend to not put a emphasis on the lettuce because no matter what the conditions it is not as sweet as Fall/Winter and Spring lettuce, but here goes.... this has been a strange summer we are going to hit the low 80s again today at best :) The pruning of the slicing tomatoes has done a wonderful job and they are loaded down with big lush green tomatoes and thanks to the greenhouse going right over this area the plan is to try and have tomatoes through November!! Bashaws have followed through with their promise and there are plenty of whole, boneless/skinless breasts and leg/thigh chicken and a few turkeys (we are sending a few more to the smoker too!!) for purchase now and the last of the lamb for a while is going fast. Beef CSA boxes coming up for September 1st and their are a few Pork CSA boxes still available. Preorders for Thanksgiving turkeys going out soon too! Only about 100 and some will go to the smoker per your request!! Back to planting on this beautiful day... Moonstruck signing off!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tomato worms...maybe not :)

Unfortunately most gardeners are well-acquainted with the tomato worm. I have been seeing signs of damage and inspecting for the worms and I can't find them?? All I can think of is that those pesky birds that have been poking holes in all the Swiss Chard and Collards are finally earning their keep; they are eating them!! What a relief it is to be going along and not find those ravenous worms!! What a strange season too, I still can feel a coolness in the air today on 07/26/2010 coming off the mountains. The tomatoes are slowly but surely ripening but with well over 100 plants I should be swimming in tomatoes!! The squash is adequate, but not bumper loads like would expect and the greens are doing beautiful still though I have had trouble germinating lettuce and spinach due to the heat spells we did have. The Fall seed order is going in and there will be plenty of greens, beets, carrots and radishes!! Speaking of radishes... I have French Breakfast available this week.. go figure... they are still hotter than the winter radishes, but not bolting. Nice even watering and a raised bed and some milder weather and presto you have radishes!! Anaheim Chiles are coming in too...yum chiles and jalapenos make great burgers!! Check out the website for recipes!! Moonstruck signing off!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Outlook Address Book


Outlook Address Book is corrupt. Back-up failed for the moment and I need to start recreating address book. Please reply to the most recent email that I sent you that was not bcc. I did forget to do it as a bcc fortunately in the last couple weeks. If you are a brand new client within the last month please definitely email because you may not be on the recent copy I receive. I will not rely on the back up I promise. I will start printing on a daily basis (this is how fast we are growing!!).

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Technical Issues

If you don't hear from me for a day or so stand by; technical issues with Outlook. Repairing the problem! Be back soon!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three days!!

Every two weeks is my marathon three days; harvesting with delivery to Natural Elements and the CSA delivery immediately after on Thursday followed by Tri Community Co-Op delivery and now the Open Air Market added and then finally Bountiful Harvest delivery on Saturday morning. (By the way I am always wilted when I arrive, but then everyone's great enthusiasm and wonderful support always perks me right back up! Thank you!). This week an added treat of chicken and turkey processing at the Bashaws Friday; yes, I thought I was going to get out of it due to the Tri Community Coop attendance on Friday morning, but lucky for me the scalder and plucker were acting up so by the time I arrived there was plenty to do still?? Believe it or it is a lot of fun! Working as a group and sharing the ups and downs of the farm life with a great set of people is a great day, and I always walk away with a big smile on face and lots of chicken and turkey to sell!! Half of the batch was cut so there will be boneless/skinless and leg/thighs available. The pricing may be confusing because we went by the pound, but trust me the numbers work well and the meat is as delicious as ever!! We have liver, kidney, neck and gizzard packages available too for those who love the extras or use it for raw dog food. I will post prices by email this week.

As for the garden; boy is it growing; I can barely tell I harvested Thursday/Friday. I am wilting in the heat, but the fields are growing inches in front of my eyes and the yummy summer veggies are ripening quickly including the summer squashes, tomatoes and green beans. The cherry tomatoes are slow in coming, but when they do the goal is a tri-colored bag. We have orange, white, black and Sweet 100s out there; now I am anxiously awaiting them to turn color to see what succeeded!! Do you think if I stare at them long enough it will speed things up!! Green beans are one of my favorites and so are the red potatoes so they were on the plate this week!! One of my biggest learning curves has been timing and I am quickly picking up on what needs to be done; basically always have plants in line ready to go and always be thinking 3 months ahead!! It is amazing how my train of thought has changed, but it is working and the results are showing in the fields and in the trays that are waiting in line to go in the next blank spot!! Fall plans are quickly being set in motion and the Moonstruck Salad Mix will be sweet and delicious once again (not as sweet during the heat) and the carrots planted in September will be the sweetest of the year when touched with a bit of Frost in December!! Talk to you soon, Moonstruck signing out for a good night's rest!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Boy did we surprise each other!


I wonder who screamed the loudest; him or me!! Of course then I am sure the neighbors were even more scared as once again I was talking to myself out in the field, but appeared to be really talking to someone this time instead of the plants! I must have been right on top of him digging away! I was so grateful I did not hurt him! He is living proof that my garden is organic; no way he could live with spraying being done!! There he was living happily with the Yukon Golds and I ruined it. Hopefully he will return to a happy home because I sure could use his help around here!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Need that new field!!


Thank you all in advance who volunteered for the "Planting Day/BBQ" I will be announcing. I am still working on the date; have to decide exactly what is going in and what would be a good time. Right now I wish I had another 50 of these Delicata Squash planted; they are beautiful and a wonderful sweet winter squash and I would love to fill the co-op baskets with them next year in addition to the CSA customers so the new field is badly needed!! Today the family came out and helped me on a few much needed projects and it was so nice to watch the work fly by!! I added more herbs to the herb garden, planted some more lettuce, green beans, radishes, green onions and put in more winter squash, mulched, cleared another row for more green beans and two more rows will be available this week!! Learning the timing is probably the greatest challenge. First lesson I have learned; always have plants in trays waiting to go in the ground!! The website even got a little extra attention too! The thunderstorms cooled the weather slightly and made it overall a wonderful day to be outside. Thank you again for all your support; I am gaining skills by the day and it is wonderful to see the results in the fields!! Almost forgot the new batch of 35 chickens are starting to lay and egg supplies are slowly growing!!! Yeah, they will be in full production by the first of September!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Squash!!


Okay I was freaking out just for a few days or so; squash was not moving; you could see the bright beginnings of the Sunburst patty squash and a little Romanescu zucchini (scalloped edge, cut and ready for display, no work!) but I never knew a zucchini could grow that slow!! The bees were buzzing everywhere, especially in my ear when I was weeding nearby. I kept telling myself you know it is because the nights are so cool. We were still dropping into the 50s at night. Moonstruck Farms is located in a microclimate within Phelan that is about 10 degrees cooler than downtown Phelan so our weather was beautiful during the day and a little nippy still at night, which is great for sleeping but not summer squash. This week the temps jumped into the 60s and guess what you could visibly see the growth of the summer squash overnight. Look for our Sunburst Patty, Green Bennings Patty, Romanescu (Scalloped) zucchini and Yellow Crook Neck in our Summer Squash Mix this week. Don't forget to check out our new website under construction at www.moonstruckfarmscsa.webs.com; recipe page is under construction too!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Well this was the girl's idea; first tomatoes on top of first lavender; a little goofy I know. They become this way when leaving for Grandma's. Yep, the husband and girls are all taking off for Grandma's in Santa Cruz and leaving me at home for a break on the farm until Thursday............ break? Then again, no cooking, no yelling, no asking to have chores done 10 times, no fighting, I get to go to bed at 8 pm if I want to wake up at 5:45 naturally with a good night's sleep, no "I was not supposed to do the dishes, Sierra was!!!". On second thought.......... yippeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yukon and Balsamic!!!!!


The day started off at 5:30 a.m. with further harvest for Wrightwood's first booth sales; I had a lot more than I thought. As I watched my kitchen counters pile up with greens I decided to call up Bountiful Harvest and Braising Greens along with today's leftovers are going to Apple Valley tomorrow. Harvest day is by far my favorite day; nothing better than watching all the bounty pile up though I must admit all the smiling faces as they take their produce and chicken home rivals it!! It is the best win-win situation I can think of; local residents getting the best the area can offer and those same residents rewarding our hard work with smiling faces and wonderful comments. Next in line of great things is finishing the day up with all that great harvest on my dinner table!! Bashaw's Rosemary pork chops are in the oven along with my first Yukon golds of the season with rosemary, bay leaf, shallots, spring onions and balsamic!! Now that is what I call a a great end to a day. Add some steamed greens and I am in heaven!! Moonstruck signing off!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Planting and BBQ?


Okay, yes, I am dreaming, but the new field is amended thanks to the Bashaws and I will be tilling it in this weekend. I have been approached by several people to come and help and so here goes ... I am swallowing my pride and asking for help in exchange for a little knowledge, though I would imagine you will teach me just as much back! I want the soil to cook for a few weeks, but then how about "Learn How to Build A Garden Bed Day and BBQ". Let me know if you are interested in say two or three weeks?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lavender is Here


Last spring I took a trip to tour a few lavender farms to find out more. I brought home about 14 varieties of lavender and set them up on the front drive and on the hillside next to the pool. My dreams are big but they will take time to fruit, and this year I saw one more step come to life. After a whole year 8 varieties of the lavender took off; in just a few short weeks of Spring they went from grapefruit size plants to full size 2 feet in span plants. What a pleasant surprise that was. I will be doing the first lavender harvest this week hopefully. Dreaming of what I will do; a few flower arrangements, some ribboned sachets for closets, a few bundles for everyone to try some yummy recipes. Keep your eyes and your imagination wide open for lavender ideas and I will most likely have it with me this week at my deliveries. All these additions are in the hopes of creating a "tourable" farm for my customers and for the children of our community one day. Wish me luck; so far so good!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I planted one sour cherry tree for just this occasion!! Cherry Pie!! I have enough for two; I would have six or more, but the birds do not share fairly even with sour cherries! No I am far from being a perfectly healthy eater as some would say, but I do believe in knowing exactly where my food comes from. In this case my cherry tree, butter from a cow and a few other ingredients that I can spell! Yes, easy rule if I cannot read or spell an ingredient most likely it did not come from Mother Nature and that means it was not intended for me to eat; I am far from perfect, but this is a motto I have always tried my best to follow and in this case boy is it good!!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I have a camera card reader!!


I have a camera card reader finally thanks to my husband and the kids are not allowed to use it (someone put the card in backwards and broke it). Unfortunately and fortunately this is a picture of my Daikon radishes gone to seed. The bad news is there are only a few Daikons in there for sale; the good news is it is acting as a great bee attraction! They are all over the place and that is good for the tomato plants that are out there. I knew it was a cold spring, but you don't really realize it until you look around and realize it is almost July and the Hollyhocks and butterfly bushes are just barely trying to bloom; wow the ground was cold here! See everyone later this week; summer starts Monday!!

Friday, June 18, 2010



Moonstruck Farms CSA is proud to announce a new farm member - Sprouting Joy of Wrightwood. They will be bringing their products on board in the next few weeks. Wrightwood Co-Op has also invited Moonstruck Farms CSA to bring all farm members products to a "booth sale" on July 2nd. Hope to see you all there. We are really growing thanks to everyone's support. Can't thank you enough especially with your patience with all my goof-ups!! I have to get planting!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Music and Mice

As I was lying in my nice hot bath after a long day, okay long month, on Thursday night I was suddenly awakened from my dreams by blaring music coming from outside. I went out to find the boom box I had put near the cherry tree blaring. A mouse must have done a race across the volume knob and turned it way up! At least it reminded me that I had left it on; not necessary at night to save my cherries. It reminded me of a gift my dear friend Judy gave me for my birthday, a statuette of an angel and the saying "One is nearer to God in the garden then anywhere else on earth". The mouse that night reminded me of all of that and the fact that my dear friend remembered one of things I have told her and that is "I feel closest to God in the garden and when I was pregnant with my three daughters". I thank him each time I am out there for all the blessings I have and I thank all of you out there once again for all your support.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010



Brian Ranch Orchard fruit is coming tomorrow too; cherries tomorrow at the CSA delivery point and maybe apricots and peaches too!! Lots of extras from all the fruit and vegie farms; come and join us and see how big the chickens were this time around!! I will have extra chicken too including wings for hot wings at your summer BBQs and leg/thigh combos that are perfect for barbecuing. Lettuce is doing great outside so I am hoping to have extra gourmet lettuce for the second time!! All growers are expanding; stand by for more great stuff!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010



Roaring L Ranch has cherries ready this week!! Come one, come all to delivery on Thursday. Not sure of prices or availability; I will know more on Monday. Drop me an e-mail at moonstruckfarms@verizon.net if you would like some with the approximate amount of pounds and I will do my best to meet the need on Thursday. Brian Ranch Airport should be ready soon too! So that means apricots are just around the corner! The fruit is coming, and hopefully tomatoes will not be far behind. Bear with us through our growing pains, next year is bound to only be better thanks to all the member's support!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SNAKE!!!!!! All clear, Good Guy!


Tis the season to dance around screaming in the greenhouse, tis the season to jump over snakes in the greenhouse; tis the season to go water in the outside garden while they decide to leave the greenhouse ………… ahhhhhhhh!! See why I like winter gardening better . . . no sweat and no SNAKES!!!!!!!!! The reality is that when we moved in here 6 1/2 years ago it was here a rattler, there a rattler, another RATTLER! But not anymore, we killed the rattlers and left all the good guys alone and they are territorial so guess what; they are dominating and last year I only saw 1 rattler and I am hoping for Zero this year! Last year we even had a King snake; great guy to have around!! They do eat the mice remember!!
Even though they are doing their duty here, I don't like the idea of walking around them so I usually leave them to their business and they are just as scared of me, well kind of, and I come back later!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pirocicabo Broccoli Lesson 101A


After harvesting a few different times and taste testing raw and steamed as I went along (yes, disappearing the same way the snow peas have, but I really have good intentions, you must keep harvesting these produce items in order to promote their production so all is in good intentions :)) I have found the secret to this broccoli crop and I absolutely love it. Patience is a virtue someone said a long time ago and that is the case here; the initial sprout could only be harvested a few inches down, but now all the new sprouts are producing tender stalks, beautiful sweet broccoli leaves and a very tasty wonderfully textured small loose head; I really do like this better than regular broccoli and after all this work very grateful!! Just steam it up for a wonderful punch of flavor. You will probably see it in smaller bags now since I am only harvesting the most tender of pieces!! See everyone soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh Safe Food


Nothing better than fresh meat from the farm; not only is there no antibiotics or hormones, but it just plain taste better; just like fresh bread compared to a week old loaf; there is no comparison. My favorite part is always having meat in the freezer not to mention I can choose what I want when it goes to butcher. Do I want chops or a roast? Do I want more breakfast sausage or Italian sausage. Do I want those shoulder roasts or do I want more sausage? In this family, ALWAYS MORE SAUSAGE. I love that the sausage comes in 1 pound packages ready to throw loosely in eggs or soups or spaghetti; I used to spend tons of time cutting casings to get my favorites for a "ground" texture. Order beef and you don't want so much hamburger; your choice of sausages can be made or you can go to www.sausagermaker. com and make your own minutes prior to cooking if you want. You want grass fed Lamb at a great price and fresh; order here in Phelan. Grass fed beef is in the experimental stage.

Bottom line . . . you tell the butcher what you want . . . does not get much better than that . . . not to mention the taste is superior . . . I am warning you, you will never go back to store bought.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jerricho Lettuce Experiment 101a has been a success; I don't have this many heads unfortunately, but the ones I have are this beautiful! (No I still have not gone to the store to buy a camera reader and still do not know where my cord is, but you can't do everything!) I have 72 more started to go into the ground this week that I can plant outside and more to come. This variety is the "hope" for summer lettuce; bolts slowly in the heat and maintains its quality too. Market growers in other hot summer areas are having great success and hopefully mine will continue. The good news is that it was started while temps were still cool so if this continues it could be a 9 month/12 season lettuce! The Rouge D'Hiver is a red romaine and is looking just as nice. I sold a few bags as "washed and cut" lettuce last week. Hopefully more in the future. The new field is piling up nicely thanks to the manure from Moonstruck Farm and Bashaws; tilling in this week and planting more squash in about 4 weeks. Leeks are coming up quick along with sugar snap peas; everything loving the humidity of the fog bank today. The new herb garden is planted with initial plants and without fence and they are still there!! Hoping this trend continues and I will move more out there this weekend! Tomatoes are getting a late start outside (in greenhouse they look great) due to our crazy weather, but the good news is that they will be covered by Fall extending the harvest until November and adding more "Winter Growing" space.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Snapdragons


A greenhouse cannot contain only vegetables, what fun would that be, and so flowers are a must not only for the attraction of the beneficials, but for the health of my spirit. There is nothing like a vase of flowers smiling back at you on a freezing day to make the fear of a near freeze go away even if only for a moment. There are snapdragons, yarrow and marigolds among others all doing their duty and I let the kales and lettuces flowering out stay a little while too to encourage more beneficials. With the bees already buzzing in and outside I know the warm weather is only a blink away. My greenhouse and fields are not the neatest looking, but if you look a little closer everything has a purpose. From the flowering collards attracting the bees to the weeds that go to the chickens and goats (they love the seed heads on the grasses) to the lambs quarter that is breaking the soil up before I give it to the chickens, which by the way is more nutritious than spinach and then they reward me back with beautiful eggs and one day goat's milk of my own (though their goat antics make me smile each day), which was fantastic from Valhalla and I am going to get more this week to make yogurt and ice cream!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Unexpected Operating Expense


Okay, not everything around here in operating expenses is purely seed and water; I do have another important expense; my MP3 Player. It carries me through the day with anything from classical to movie soundtracks to rock and lots of Country of course. It is the one time I can listen to anything I want to. Well, as I was running through cutting kale yesterday my cord to my MP3 player fell out of my pocket and the music went dead; yes I cut the cord. Oh well, a new set of headphones, but then in all the wind I was constantly using my jacket to protect the greens from flying and thus it went into the wash with the linens yesterday because of this; well I normally take off my ear phones/MP3 player as I come in because it is in my ears; this time it was still in my jacket. It is now drying out on my washer; hopefully to recover. :) Yes, I will be glad when the winds stop.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Celery is something new I tried this year, and not bad!! My stalks are about half this size now (yes, I have not replaced my dead camera card reader yet). I have been enjoying munching on them along with a few snow peas, sorry I just can't help it!! Of course with the temperatures rising it will have to be shaded and I will say a prayer over it that it continues to do well. Next year it will go out in the new greenhouse with the retractable sides so heat will not be an issue until mid summer, but then again this is a crop that will be available through Fall and then again in the Spring. I look at what I am managing to do now and then picture another 100 feet (I only have 40 feet of greenhouse now) and with more time to manage it the possibilities are so fantastic!! I can't wait!! NRCS called to confirm that everything is on track, and that she needs my Organic System Plan sometime soon since I am registered under the Organic EQIP Program; so here goes!!! Thanks again for your support!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010



Well I thought I would write a bit while I am sitting here waiting for the onions and radishes outside to defrost! Yes they were under an inch or so of snow this morning, but will be fine in a little while. I also fed the animals and discovered the alfalfa all over the place again even though I tried to protect it with a tarp. Not critter damage, dog damage. My husband built them a huge dog house costing about $300 to stay warm and being typical farm dogs they choose the alfalfa! Like buying kids Christmas toys and they play with the box. Beautiful day, enjoy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


VERONICA FROM NRCS JUST CALLED AND I GOT THE CONTRACT FOR THE NEW HIGH TUNNEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to go with a new design using a "wiggle wire" that will allow the sides to be raised for ventilation like the one pictured here!! One major study for Moonstruck Farms and the NRCS to begin very soon!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010


After days of trials and frustrations, mainly with Honey pictured, including the eating of Swiss chard, roses, plastic bags, coffee filters, standing on chicken coops including the one that is 12 feet high, chasing chickens out of the coop, following me into the coop and standing on the lower set of nests to try and help me collect eggs by standing on the roosts and breaking them, sniffing my ears as I collect eggs causing me to almost drop them, scaring the chickens once again to leave me in a cloud of chicken dust I have finally made peace with her after inspecting a lot of plantings and doing more plantings and using the goat manure/alfalfa/straw for the mulch. The goat mulch is the best. It has retained the most moisture, does not blow away and piles up beautifully around leeks hopefully for nice long white stems. The soil under the goat mulch is not only beautifully moist and dark, but as the mulch breaks down it is nourishing it. Okay, maybe she can stay :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Radishes


It took me a while but a few weeks ago I finally took the time to tuck in some radishes. The French radishes as you see here are my favorite; nice mild flavor, but I hear that some like the Daikon so they are in the carrot field. Why the carrot field? I know you are dying to know :) Daikon radishes are considered a cover crop not to mention edible and they do an incredible job of breaking up the soil in record time and with the temps going up I am sure they will be ready to eat and have the soil ready for some more carrot seed in no time (some carrots are overwintering). See everybody tomorrow who ordered!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Basil


Well due to technical problems

this photo is from online, but I do have 72 Genovese basil that were the inspiration for this blog entry. They smell so good in my living room!! I am waiting for this storm to pass, though I did place two out in the greenhouse for a test "pattern". I smell them and all I can think of is farm fresh tomatoes, there is nothing like it in the world! A little basil, tomato slices and balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper; the simplest of foods, yet amazing powers of nutrition!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chicken/Sustainable agriculture

This is the Pirociciabo Broccoli that was in an earlier blog. It was mulched with the last of my chicken manure compost and it went crazy!! This is why I do what I do. Nothing like seeing the "Circle of Life"; yes I stole that from Lion King. Whether I am cleaning out a chicken coop like I was yesterday and filling up my composter or processing chickens at the Bashaws it represents the circle of life and sustainable agriculture. There is no waste. At delivery today Phil was teasing me calling me "sadist" because I love being involved in the processing of the chicken, but for me it just completes the process and I get so jazzed to be living what I have always dreamed of. When I am involved in the entire process and I see no waste I feel that I am respecting what the Lord has provided to us. He has provided everything we need whether it be the vitamins and beta carotenes in the vegetables to the protein and vitamins in the chicken. Thank you for supporting me and allowing me to be part of your lives in providing these gifts to you.