Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Well after all the winds and the snow this weekend I am ready for a little rest...but nonetheless things are always hopping around here and there is more snow on the way...time to figure out a better way to pull the snow off. Some market gardeners are using a smooth nylon rope with one person on each side and pull away the snow...have to try this one! NRCS/USDA comes out on Tuesday to certify so it better be standing!! In the meantime I went to check on things and almost every last radish had a bite out of it and a grouping of kale I had just transplanted had all the tops eaten off...critter! I put my electric trap out and got him...criminal apprehended and sentenced to death!! Sorry for those with a heart for all of God's creatures, but these guys are relentless and if I extinguish them I usually get a rest for a few months until another one finds a weak spot in my security. This is the worse time of year because there is not a lot to eat out and everybody is coming out hungry from a winter's rest!! Yes even with snow on the way everything is saying SPRING! The chives are a few inches tall already. The onions are filling out nicely. The trees have buds. The lilacs are ready to bloom and the lettuce planted OUTSIDE is even germinating...proof that ground temps are up!! Boy, it sure did not feel like it today walking in 40 degree weather with windchill, but then I went in the greenhouse and watered and the back end turned into a fog bank from all the steam coming off the!! I love soon as the night time temps creep up a bit everything will take off!! Off to a good night's sleep...Moonstruck Signing out!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Today was the first time that the Greenhouse #2 was closed up completely and it was about 40 degrees outside, but not inside. I have not set up a temperature/humidity gauge yet, but I was soaked to the bone and covered in dirt....and a very happy girl to get a few more rows built and planted!! New irrigation goes in tomorrow with the help of my husband and there is one bed built with beams still in there that is going to be moved out for a permanent strawberry bed outside. It will be easy to cover with a mini hoop house!! Herbs are coming up inside including basil, German thyme, Chervil and Lemongrass! Peppers, tomatoes, okra and Golden squash are started. The new greenhouse with its large amount of volume will create more heat increasing ground temperatures for earlier planting, but not sure how much frost protection...will it be the same as the double layer...soon to be answered!! Beets, radishes and green onions are being squeezed in between all the large kale, collards and Swiss Chard plants. Chives are popping up, which is a sure sign that Spring is on its way! Moonstruck signing off...thanks for all the new contacts lately...looking forward to seeing you all at the farm!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anyone seen Toto!!

Well not the greatest picture, but the blurriness represents the scene from last night. I could have sworn I was turning into Dorothy!! We had microbursts at "I don't want to know mph" and I swore I saw a water spout and definitely heard one!! It started as soon as night fall happened, and continued until about midnight. The greenhouse is standing, and the wiggle wire all held!!! Though I am pretty sure it is leaning a little to the North now!! One poor chicken decided to hide when we closed up last night so she spent the night outdoors!! She is still soaked to the bone, but fine. I love those Buff Orpingtons they are great winter birds....don't like it when the temperatures get above 90 or so, but they are so hardy through the worse of she found out unfortunately last night!! It is freezing ears still hurt from checking on things and feeding so I am going to start some more trays inside until the "freeze" lifts out of the air and the greenhouses warms up a bit. Hopefully tonight will be a little quieter...sleep would be nice...Moonstruck signing off!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


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

Red Orach

Seed ordering commenced about a month ago and I had to review my business plan at the same time...what is my 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!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Giddyup Ponies came to market today and brought a full petting zoo..there were baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats (I picked out a little buck...just what I was looking for!!), baby Pot Belly, baby sheep, duck, chicken cockatiel, rabbit and a CAMEL!! It as so much fun!! Everyone come and support us next week and play with a tiny baby goat or pot belly pig!! If you are looking for event entertainment you can find them at Thank you to all the new faces who came to check us out today. I am signing off...after starting more trays of kale, lettuce, first Rutger tomatoes of the season, peppers, mustards, Chinese cabbage and Lemon Grass for the bedroom (yes a little tropical look in my big decorator pots, perfect for a tropical plant), harvesting and market..good night!! Find us at Tri Community Market tomorrow!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

As you know the Popsicle marker system is not working so I am now charting my planting though as a market gardener and the constant replacement, which I am now catching up on it is very difficult to keep up! I knew that I planted Fun Jen Chinese Cabbage, but Fedco seeds does not always provide pictures and I am always trying new varieties so when this cabbage appeared and a customer questioned "but it is not a head of cabbage" I assumed I had a mix up and it must be a mustard due to its I was right the first time this is my Fun Jen Cabbage....loose leaf...I am now planting Michili which is a heading Chinese Cabbage and a Savoy, which will be a head cabbage...always learning around here at Moonstruck Farms!! I guess that is really my favorite part...always something more to learn and keep my interest around the corner...Mother Nature keeps me entertained at all times. I went into the coop to get eggs and the chickens were all excited...they have been on lock down for five days now...we have lost eight chickens due to a hawk discovering an easy hunting we are hoping by this weekend he will have lost interest....anyways in the craziness I caught one by surprise...she squawked and turned in a hurry and ran right into a pole of lumber and bounced off...probably does not sound really funny but it hit my funny bone and I have been giggling all day every time I picture it in my head....poor chicken....but I thanked her for the giggle!! Busy day starting trays of chervil, winter savory, summer savory, Fordhook Swiss Chard, Savoy and Michili cabbage and tomorrow squash, tomatoes and okra for the first time!! Moonstruck signing off!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Turkey already!!

I thought there would be this huge break in between turkey times....not so...we just processed the 60 pounders the other day it seems and now the Bashaws called and said "Summer Turkey Time - Start Preorders" here I am just dropping a note to everyone in between my flurry of planting in the new greenhouse. The summer turkeys are only raised to approximately 10-12 pounds and will be ready in mid June....fresh or smoked your choice....whole, cut in half or quartered...your choice. Perfect size for the grill or your fryer or your own personalized smoking!! Today I spent time fighting cut worms and small white moths (Soap spray and diacemateous earth should do the job -have not take time to identify just know they have to go)....this is due to the old greenhouse needing a major will be taken out of service a row at a time as soon as the new is up and running and will have 6 inches of compost added to its soil before being planting again along with my home made fertilizer consisting of alfalfa meal, bonemeal, gypsum, dolomitic lime and kelp meal. Lettuce is already germinating in the new greenhouse and soil temps are showing on the border of cool to warm crops...great indication that the new single layer is going to work just great...and the end is not covered yet!! Browsed the seed catalogs looking for more flower seed of the flowers that have succeeded in the greenhouse and will make great cut and dried flowers..and some edibles including nasturtiums and Bachelor buttons! Moonstruck signing off...good night all.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


To say the least I have had greenhouse fever...I don't even have a picture to post….not to mention Spring Fever since this is the beginning of my planting season. All storage was moved out of the greenhouse (my husband gave up more room in the garage), the garage was reorganized, and more planting was done in the new greenhouse. My tiller died so I went and borrowed a larger tiller from Tom and it did a great job…maybe too great a job!!

My husband warned me to be careful because when it was on smooth ground it would take off…boy did it!! There was all 140 pounds of me with my butt to the ground, and swinging that 140 pounds to one side every time it wanted to take off through the greenhouse wall or through my irrigation that was laid to one side!! I tilled the whole plot I was working on in circles!!! But I won!! Not by much of a margin…but I won!! Tomorrow I get to do another 400 sf!! Let’s hope I keep winning…but boy does it do a nice job on the soil!!! Moonstruck signing off to a really good night's sleep!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Today hit the low 40s, but inside the new greenhouse even with the end open it was in the was so nice!! I started at the closed end since the soil temps should be the highest there...80 feet of Tango, Salad Bowl, Oakleaf, Red Romaine lettuces...Arugula, Yellow Swiss Chard, Red Russian Kale, Mizuna, Red Streak Mizuna, Beet greens and more to make a luscious baby mix equating to Moonstruck Salad Mix that is triple washed and ready to throw on the plate to eat!! I covered with Agribon to ensure germination and threw in some Snow Peas for fun!! Added some Parsley at one end of a row and transplanted the Sprouting Broccoli from outside to inside the tunnel. The Sprouting Broccoli has been a wonderful find...I love the sweet little sprouts in salad and the leaves, sprouts and stalks all go into soup, sautees and stir frys. It froze in the snow, but came right back with nice weather so imagine how beautiful it will do in the tunnel. I am also taking the old greenhouse out of commission about 20 sf at a time, digging deep, getting rid of noxious problems that developed during my "crazy" summer, amending and transplanting what was there out to the new greenhouse and replanting. The old greenhouse has been in use consistently for two years now and needs a lot of amending to get it back to top production. Tomorrow is delivery day at Phelan Community Church 2:30-4:00. Moonstruck Signing Off!!