Saturday, January 29, 2011

Initiative study to begin...greenhouse covered!

The greenhouse is more end needs to be completed, and after that we will be requesting inspection and the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative we were accepted into will begin.

The 3-year, 38-state study will verify if high tunnels are effective in reducing pesticide use (we only use OMRI approved as a last resort), keeping vital nutrients in the soil, extending the growing season, increasing yields, and providing other benefits to growers.

But all I could think as I walked through today was "WOW!". I have a lot of work to do since it has been ignored and tromped on for the last few months, but now seeing it complete and seeing where I need to build the rows...WOWWWWWW!!! I can't wait to get out there and just start digging and planting!! I have nursery beds in the old greenhouse waiting to be transplanted and some starts that should be ready in a week or so in the house! Everything else will go in by seed including snow peas and an Endive experiment!! Moonstruck signing off!

Friday, January 28, 2011

King of the Hill, whoops mean Queen!!

Little Dipper and Honey were busy playing King, whoops, I mean Queen of the Hill as I went by with the camera. We bought them with the intentions of breeding and having goats milk around to make great cheese and ice cream!! Unfortunately due to the farm taking up so much time I have not been able to get them bred so they are just home entertainment now, but smiles are easy to come by with them around. Though I must admit they do add some headaches when they are running the property and eating all my rose bushes or nibbling on my husband's ear while he is working underneath the car...Honey really likes my husband :). We chose Nigerians because their milk is naturally homogenized thus it has higher butterfat hopefully creating great ice cream!! Nigerians produce approximately 2 quarts of milk a day versus a Nubian who produces approximately 3 quarts a day (popular milking goat), but they are smaller and more manageable. My daughter and I are not big people so Nigerians were a good choice for us not to mention they are just plain cute!! Little Dipper was named by my husband because he said she looks like an Oreo dipped in milk!! Long day today...great day at Tri Community Certified Market in Wrightwood, and then home to work on the greenhouse, and my sixth sense said "Cover it!!". It was not windy and I had a feeling with the weather forecasted for Sunday we were really going to start we went for it...just Michael, me and my daughter Sierra to begin with. I picked up Meghan at school and called Ann and her and Tom headed over just in time to help pull it over the hump. The Wiggle Wire is new to us, but so cool!! Hope it holds well....only time will tell. Thanks is covered....need to finish the ends. One end will be finished tomorrow and the other will take a little while...going to order a vinyl curtain to finish it....but I can start planting tomorrow so off to bed I go. Thinking of lots more Moonstruck Salad Mix, bok choy, radishes, sprouting broccoli...adding Endive, collards and anything else you think I might have missed...trying to fill in the blanks...let me know what you would like to see. Moonstruck signing off.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

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 could i pass up an opportunity to support our agricultural community...I can now let everyone know what is coming up in 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. P.S. This is the view from my backyard....yes....great community!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I love my job, but every once in a while I need a little when I saw this yard art I had to buy it...IMAGINE!! I love it...I think I will move it throughout the farm as I create each new greenhouse or retaining wall, etc. 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.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project #19294

We have a long way to go, but each time a little piece of the puzzle comes together we get to sit back and enjoy. The corral was a surprise from a friend. He said it was ours in exchange for a head of done!! Running lengthwise up and down the property next to this corral will be livestock fencing essentially fencing off about 70% of the property for livestock. With the plans of adding an additional three greenhouses over the next year or so this was an excellent time to move the livestock from the upper end of the property (flat land perfect for the greenhouses) to this lower end of the property. Next step....calves and piglets....for now a good nights's sleep!! Moonstruck Signing Off!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baby Bok Choy!

A little busy today and did not have time to take the camera out...but here was the hit today at Phelan Farmers bok of my personal favorites too. I love the greens wilted in a stir fry along with the stalk that stays nice and crispy!! Definitely one of the first things I reach for when thinking stir fry. Moonstruck Salad Mix was a great seller too...more of the mesclun style lately with Mizuna and Broad Leaf Mustards in there along with the Arugula for some pizazz and the MUST BEs of baby Swiss Chard, Bulls Blood Baby Beet leaves, variety of lettuces and maybe some baby kales in for a change...changes every time by some degree depending on what is doing well in the greenhouse that week. Celery is coming up and has been an unexpected sweet surprise. Baby Kale Mix bags are another surprise....many are adding these to their salads for an even bigger punch of nutrients. Another customer said she buys the Salad Mix and then chops in a head of Romaine (going in the hydroponics experiment) to create a wonderful blend of flavors, and just adds tuna, salmon, egg salad...whatever the protein of the day is....this is the way I eat lunch usually so I can certainly appreciate it!! Chicken legs are selling due to the shortage of wings...but they are definitely more meat for your buck...if you think about it the wings are great, but you are paying for mostly bone by the pound even with the Bashaws nice and meaty wings. Pork is put off by a few weeks....Sam is not happy with the weight gain...wants to make sure the customers get plenty of pounds for their money when buying a side...a few beef farm share boxes left...lets us know if you are interested and lamb is on its way for Easter!! Some have asked for a ham for Easter...sorry we cannot sell a ham...only a side of pork via farm share, but you get to pick the cuts and we will divide it into four deliveries if you have no freezer...same with the beef. Well need to make it an early night...have to be at Conleys to pick up the new greenhouse plastic and get home before the shut the 15 down to one lane!! Moonstruck signing off.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thank you!

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 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!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Boy are chickens funny!!

Okay, I did not have a chance to catch a photo of what I saw today...I keep forgetting my phone has a camera on it!! I came home from market and pulled in the driveway to see 99 chickens running to a bush where "One" chicken had found something good to eat...not 10 seconds later all 100 were running for the coop....a Jet had flown over and they were running like a coyote was on their tail!! I am sorry but I don't think there is anything funnier in the world than a chicken running!! You have to come and see what I am talking about!! It just makes me giggle every time!! The last two market days were another learning curve..Cornish Game Hens sold out...Baby Kale/Mustard and Baby Mustard Mix sold out....I put them in $1.00 bags to add to salads and some of them were eaten before they left market??? Go figure!! The conversations ranged from homemade prosciutto to chicken stock to feeding a couple for 5 meals on a 5 pound chicken!! You guys are awesome!!! I love our discussions and at the same time we are changing our world for the better...more nutritious pesticides...less gas consumption to transport our food...more delicious meals...real flavor...Kudos Everybody!!! You really are doing it....I truly believe something good comes out of something bad....and even in the worst of times with this terrible economy awesome changes are occurring!!! Thank you!!! Moonstruck signing off!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


What a beautiful week it was...white blanket of snow everywhere...about 8 inches here. Look on Facebook tomorrow and I will post a lot more pictures...pretty cool watching the stubborn onions, kales and collards peaking out under their blanket of insulation!! Mother Nature continues to amaze me each time I see her feats!! Sprouts were harvested this first and they were great. I will have just a few for sale this week. One line of hydroponics going in this experiment...wish me luck!! I am hoping this will solve the head lettuce issue soon! I should have been a MAD SCIENTIST!!! Well, maybe I least my husband thinks I have the "MAD" part down well...hehehehehe.. you can imagine I drive him absolutely nuts with all my experiments and projects with cooking, gardening etc. Wait until I tell him we are building the trash can enclosure this weekend...he will be soooo thrilled!!! Must improve the farm for those future school tours!!! Moonstruck signing off...for now!!