Saturday, November 24, 2012

Powerful pretty piglets!!

I can't figure out how to rotate this picture, but this is a shot of the largest piglet we brought home today.  He is a big guy!!  My favorite part of picking up piglets is watching the drivers behind us.  They lean forward, squint and then start laughing as they realize it is a bunch of piglets they are looking at!!  They are so cute, but so strong!!  This bunch weighed too much for us to slide out of the truck so Mike had to grab one by one and put in the pen, and they are so powerful it really gave Mike a run for his money!!!  Meanwhile Molly is running in circles trying to do her part, and Mike is doing his best not to trip over her!  Of course she is hoping he will trip and drop one so she can put it away.  She went nuts as soon as she "smelled" us coming and went right to work barking and running in circles.  You could just hear her saying "okay, let me do my job, just let them out, I'll put them away....awwww...come on guys!!!".  It was nice to have her there after watching Mike struggle with the piglets.  Just in case one did get away, I knew Molly would have it back in no time flat.  It is nice to know I don't have to run around like a chicken with it's head cut off anymore chasing escapee animals!!!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Our was absolutely stupendous!!!  See ya all soon!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Box of chocolates

This week I was fortunate enough to have the company of a wonderful woman by the name of Andrea.  She honestly worked harder than me, and was a joy to work with.  At one point the tiller would not start, and I was determined to get it start so I think I tried for 45 minutes!  Andrea had cleared a row and I wanted her to be able to see it through, tilled and planted.  Meanwhile being the worker bee that she is she was pulling the dried weeds in the next row.  This row and the one next to it were the most damaged rows from the pool collapse.  The thousands of gallons of water had spurred a huge weed growth, and there parts of the greenhouse and the pool strewn throughout it.  To be honest I had turned off the irrigation and was trying hard to not look at it until Mike had the time to help me build the hydroponics over it.  The truth is with the holidays coming it was not going to happen until after the first of the year.  Today as I left the new greenhouse because I was dripping more sweat than the ceiling with all its condensation I proceeded to the old greenhouse where Andrea had been working.  There I saw the cleared row, and to be honest it was the first real look I had given it in a while, and there I saw what I had been looking for.  I had just posted a question on building a better carrot bed on a listserv of market gardeners across the country I belong to.  My carrots are too hairy and the quality is not there, but I knew part of this was the summer season, which is not conducive to sweet carrots.  I already knew I had to watch my nitrogen levels, but the market gardeners also told me to watch my organic matter, which will cause the hairiness and of course in addition I needed a well drained porous soil that would allow the carrots to grow at ease, and there it was in front of me.  I started the tiller, which started easily thank the Lord, and tilled about 10 feet.  The bed had been amended at the beginning of the summer and all the mulch had been washed away or had broken down within the soil and now there was a healthy amount of sand in it creating a beautiful porous soil.  I widened the walkway to create an easier working area and thus built the bed up creating plenty of room for the carrots to grow.  So I owe Andrea a lot more than I thought.  Just like the tiller needed a good jump did I and Andrea was my "jump start" that day.  You never know why people walk into your life or for that matter why things happen to you and what gift you have provided to another, but in this case Andrea was my gift.  She has a fantastic appetite for life, and understood all my goofy analogies.  When I was showing her the new greenhouse she came up with one of her own that I loved.  I showed her how the Swiss chard had grown beautifully hidden behind some old celery plants and then a new growth of basil that had come up unexpectedly, and she said "It's like a box of chocolates, you never quite know what you will find".   Thank you Andrea.

Friday, October 19, 2012

It's still hot!!

The last few weeks are a blur with being sick, planting and finishing up more canning, and I can't believe it is still hot!!  I have the greenhouse going off five times a day trying to save my lettuce transplants, but it does not look good!!  The only saving grace is the cooler evenings, but when the world provides lemons, make this case start throwing spinach in the ground as fast as you can in order to maybe sneak in a harvest before the dead of winter and/or hope that it overwinters for an early harvest in February/March, and also start more transplants inside in case you lose what is in the ground, and plant, plant, plant seed!!  The meat chickens are at their "doubling" time...every time I go out there they seem to have doubled in size and the turkeys are really starting to take off too!!   The new laying hens are in full production...though here at home we are eating a lot of "baby size" eggs :).   The cows as you can see are enjoying the cleaning of the fields...squash plants are delicious...just ask them!  The piglets should be here in a few weeks for the beginning of the next pork batch, and thank you everyone for the comments on how delicious it is...makes my day!!  I spent quite a lot of time dealing with the tree order today and decided to ask if anyone wanted to hitch onto the order.  These trees you will not find in the store and they are being ordered on rootstock specific to this region.  Heirloom apples, peaches, pluots, plums, cherries, figs, etc.  Just email me at and I will provide a list.  I need to know by November 10th and the money is due then too.  They will be delivered in January/February 2013 as bareroot.   By the way...did you know the deep beige color on the butternut squash develops after it cures in the field...thought I would let you know...I had customers asking why mine was not like that; I was picking fresh from the vine...the rest are curing in the fields now :).  Have a great week everyone!!
Moonstruck signing off!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bring on the holidays!

Peach preserves, apple butter, applesauce, spiced applesauce, dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, green beans and now mincemeat are all canned and sitting on the shelves ready for eating, gifts or Thanksgiving pie!! Bring on the holidays I am ready to enjoy and be thankful for all the blessings we have received this year!!  Unfortunately Thanksgiving may have to be rescheduled at home due to Michael being asked to fly to Kauai as his buddy Scott's trainer (he fights in the MMA rings)....I feel so sorry for my husband who has to fly to Kauai!! was our favorite island on our honeymoon, I am so jealous!!  It is just as well as we will be busy putting on the dinner at the church, and I so love that day!!  By far one of my favorite of the year, and a little rescheduling is not unusual for this farm/EMS family after all these years.   Life always works out for the best as in the last few days I have been fighting a head cold so I have been poking around the kitchen cleaning and finishing up the canning chores looking forward to having more energy right when it cools down on Monday and enjoying every minute of planting dill, cilantro, lettuce, bok choy, radishes and more kale!!  Tomorrow I am picking up a couple of straw bales and finishing off a larger compost pile, and I think I will just plant my Fall potatoes right into it and see what happens.  I have some sliding glass doors to throw over it for the winter.  My favorite part of gardening is waiting to see "what will happen next"....there is always something new to learn and look forward to!!  Moonstruck signing out. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quiet coming soon

As I was filling orders I felt the sense of peace that I love so much about my farm life...not that it always feels that way, but I cherish it when it happens.  I had just come in from feeding and collecting squash, which is now producing since the weather has been a little more even in temperature, but they are still very small.  I had filled all the little Cornish chicks watererers and feeders and they are so cute at this stage to say the least, and while I was doing that the turkeys in the pen adjacent were walking up and eating all the bugs off of the waterers...turkeys are very social and love to peck at bugs that are invisible to the naked eye.  I then filled the feeders for the larger Cornish (who are running like I have a blow torch in my hand from me...not social) who will be ready for harvest in four weeks and I marveled at their growth.  Molly during all this is throwing her body against the pens reminding everyone who is boss!! (Yes, this is our morning routine).  We then went down and gave the pigs the scrap bowl and checked on them.  Two are about ready, but two are quite small so it will be a while yet.  During this Molly is running around barking at the heels of all the cows to remind them who boss is once again!  (Sorry, she loves the pigs, if she has time she just comes over and gives them kisses....and then I give her a bath!!).  Then over to feed the cows who race me to the feeder and make it almost impossible to put the leaves in as they are trying to eat as I push it into the corrrals.  I then make a second trip where "girl" comes over to eat by herself.  She is the smallest and we have developed a routine where she saunters over (I might have told you already) to eat by herself, but the last week or so "Spot" has been joining her....romance in bloom maybe??  I think part of my sense of peace comes from the break from the heat yesterday and the feeling of Fall in the air and winter soon.  I am a Fall and Winter person...they are my favorite seasons!  I can't wait to have my first fire, put some chicken carcasses on the wood stove and make heartwarming chicken soup!  My kids actually ate some canned soup this week and said it was horrible....hopefully they will appreciate Mom a little bit more, but I doubt it, they are teenagers afterall!!  See ya all soon!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bees!! Yahoo!!

As most of you know things have not been going smoothly around here, pool collapses pouring 50,000 gallons of water into greenhouse and across property (the pigs loved it!), the beds out front are now succumbing to the beginning of the critters building their stores for winter, and yields have been down due to my learning curves and the weather and taking on too much, but what do most farmers do…we bounce! So we are bouncing and not only are we about to dive into hydroponics to solve part of the issue, but we are getting some help around here in the yield category…yes the real workers are coming…two bee hives arrive on Saturday!! What a tremendous blessing they will be increasing yields hopefully beyond any tinkering with the soil that I could do would accomplish. We also are investing in more equipment to make the animal end of the farm run more efficiently with more automatic water fountains and more feeders. Even the cows are going to get a new automatic water fountain so that I don’t have to clean out their trough and they get nice fresh water with each sip. To bring my spirits up around here I walk the fields (that are doing well) like the corn, the green beans coming up and all the winter squash including sweet dumplings, butternut and carnival and the huge first two plants of rhubarb! I also tinker in the kitchen and tonight there is goats milk yogurt warming in the oven (i have a bread proofing setting of 100 degrees) and with some luck I will have luscious warm yogurt to add to my granola in the morning along with some fresh canned peaches (we did 30 quarts). Yes I know it sounds crazy after all that hard work, but it puts a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my belly!!

See ya all soon!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Whistling Turkeys

It was so nice this week to be able to leave the windows open and sit at my lap top listening to the turkeys whistle!! They are such neat animals.  Michael built them a great new coop and after going into it they did not stop talking about it for hours.  Our first batch of Cornish chickens will be ready soon and the summer turkeys soon after that so I guess we are in full swing.  We did do 10 for ourselves a few weeks back to check the numbers again on using the organic feed and test flavor of course....our favorite duty around here, and it was fabulous!!  No mushy chicken for us.  Free of worries; I know exactly what is going in them, and it is so delicious!! The coop is so nice that Mike built I think we will be able to extend the season a little more than I thought providing more poultry for our freezer and yours!  Remember this year we are only doing batches through the Fall and we only have a limited amount of Thanksgiving turkeys available this year...we needed to get our feet wet and start slow.  Any questions just drop us a line at  Moonstruck signing out!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Winter Pork Sides

Planning 6 months to a year ahead has become our natural course around here. With the pork operation growing I am developing a waiting list for the batch to begin October 2012 and be harvested February 2013. The $50.00 deposit will not be collected until September 2012. I am developing the list so that I can reserve the proper amount of piglets and build more pens if necessary. So drop me a line at if you would like to reserve or side or just need full details. Moonstruck signing off!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Progress at the Farm

While my head is not spinning I thought I would take a moment to sit down and update you to some changes.  Sales are climbing so we are only growing for the CSA at this time, and what a relief that is.  It was hard growing for the larger basket requirements for the co-ops and keeping up with a wide variety of plantings for the CSA.  It also allows us to make some changes that were needed.  When we started root crops in August last year outside they did not succeed.  It was not early enough so this year we are reserving a few rows outside to plant in the next couple of weeks of carrots and other root crops.  This way we will have a supply outside and inside the greenhouses hopefully fixing a long awaited problem of enough carrots for the year.  With sales up it looks like the large onion order I made is not going to be enough so we will have to rely on green onions through the winter though I am hoping the red onions will last until December.  I am also going to try Crystal Wax onions from seed in the greenhouses that are a small bulb like onion.  We will be taking the new greenhouse out of production in August clearing it for an September planting of greens, radishes, etc. thus allowing the old greenhouse to continue production of the summer crops until they die out in November/December.  We will then clear and reamend planting as soon as the day length starts to return towards the end of January leaving January for onion/garlic planting again for the next year.  In the meantime the poultry operation is well underway with Cornish growing like crazy and little tiny turkeys who are already spreading their wings and strutting their stuff saying "Yes, I am the man"....someone needs to tell them they are not even the size of a softball yet!!  Moonstruck signing off!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Some of My Favorite Things

Some of my favorite things....roses, fresh green beans, the first tomato of the season and Molly!!  She has truly been a blessing lately with babies everywhere and new pens going in and moving animals this way and that!!  Yes, if you don't close the door all the way those laying hen babies will squeeze through and run out!!! They are fast too!  Molly catches them, and waits for me to come and get them!!  It is awesome!  One she caught and it freaked her out by playing dead so she walked away, and I thought oh know she was too rough! I picked it up and put it in the coop and it ran away!!  The piglets she corralled with a few nips on the heels and back in the pen they went!  Now, when I go into the coop to feed the laying hen babies Molly stands guard at the door to make sure none get out.  The cows are pretty docile, but if they show any agitation at all a few quick barks and they are back in line.  She is by far one of the best additions to the farm in the last few years.  Of course, she is my constant companion also, and whines terribly if I waste anytime going outside once the overalls are she is right now.  Have a good day everyone!! 
We made fresh squeezed orange juice today and received 5 cups of juice from about 3 - 3.5 lb. oranges from Glen Cairn, and it was sooooooo good!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New ordering system!!

My daughter is the third from the left in the rear with her friends at graduation.  She has been friends with Jen on the far left since they were 3 years old when they met at the gym daycare.  This is just a little of what we did this week along with working on something that have been needing to get done for some time....a new online ordering system. 

We have been struggling with finding a new ordering system for a while and we finally found one!! Very affordable and will customize the site for us! Look for it coming in the next few weeks. You can even post a credit on the site of let's say $40.00 and just automatically deducts your order each week. I can invoice beef payments. You can order your chickens and pay for your deposits and then I can go in and add the proper weight and invoice accordingly!! I love it! Just will take some time to set up! Thank you for all your support. We would not be growing by these leaps and bounds without you!!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thanksgiving turkey deadline soon!

As I sit in the kitchen hiding from the heat believe it or not I am thinking about Thanksgiving.  I know I have to have my final order in by June 18th.  Please let me know if you do need a Thanksgiving turkey I am only ordering 20% over the total preorder this year.  This is a necessity with us taking on so much this year.  We also have decided to use an old travel trailer or toy box (so if you know of one let me know), gut it except for the nice existing plumbing and electricity and add larger sinks and presto you have a poultry processing unit with heat!!  I don't know what I will do not freezing my touche off at Thanksgiving!! Everything is still pretty "messy" around here in terms of needing a lot of weeding and hardscape still, but we are growing by no doubt.  The new beds out front have added a tremendous amount of space and with the new misting system going in soon the greenhouses can stay planted throughout the year.  Winter and summer squash and corn are going in this week....200 feet done yesterday.  720 leeks in the ground and 350 red torpedos going in the last constructed bed out front.  Lettuce is being tucked in every shadowed corner I can find along with cilantro.   Piglets are escaping and keeping Molly busy herding them back in, and she makes sure she has a word with the cows from time to time to make sure they don't get any crazy ideas like Filet did, but this bunch is a WHOLE lot calmer and they are filling out nice since they are not bunco bronching across the corral all day!! We have gained a lot of new customers from Apple Valley so we are adding a Wednesday delivery from 4:30-5:00 at the Target center near the garden center.  The fruit tree order is finalized including apples of all kinds including cider and cooking Heirloom varieties, peaches throughout the season, figs, cherries and a few pluots for my daughters along with plums for pollinating and some Texas umbrella trees for the cows and pigs.  Time to eat dinner and head out to work in the cool evening air.  Remember we are closed this week, but we will see you next week and in Apple Valley too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Filet's last day.

After a day of watching the fog roll in and then a drizzly morning I found out that even when you have a hate/love relationship with a beef cow they are just on the farm too long not to build some bond with.  Eddie from Barstow Custom Butchering came by and dropped off pork so I was busy organizing it in the freezer and could not be down in "livestock central" as Eddie began his job.  When I finally arrived there was nothing but a hanging piece of meat and that was fine.  I took the liver up to cut, the ox tail and the heart and tongue.  He showed me the marbling that I had attained that would be determined choice due to fat content...perfect.  Our goal is grass fed with just a touch of marbling that we add with the six weeks of grain.  Of course those of you who chose grass fed only will just be fed a little longer to attain some marbling with age versus grain.  He also invited us to come out when the cutting was done after the two weeks of aging so that we can understand all the cut choices better and relay this information to our customers in aiding them in making their choices.  A bittersweet day, but at the same time I thank the Lord for providing us with the beef with the awesome protein and amino acids that feeds my muscles that I so need to complete my daily chores.  Amen!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Eggs and Giant Radishes!!

The girls took a nice long rest and boy did they come back strong!! They are laying at 98%!! We are making angel food cake, scrambles, omelettes, frittatas, cookies, Texas sheet cake and lots more!! Meyers lemons have been a terrific price from Glen Cairn so we made lemon curd, drizzled it on the angel food cake and added a dollop of whipped cream!! See why I have to work so hard in the fields...I like to eat good food!! We will have our first Moonstruck beef soon and I cannot wait!! Believe it or not it is the hamburger I am looking forward to the most. I could not believe how good hamburger could taste after I tried the Bashaws!! Tonight we are enjoying a Italian Sausage Soup with just harvested spinach...yes we have lots and lots of spinach!! The radishes are huge too!! Finally all the hard work is starting to show. We have been taking the time to monitor the greenhouse temperatures and humidity and soil testing every row and all the observations are starting to pay off! I was opening the greenhouses too early and losing precious humidity. The West field is planted with sugar snap, snow peas, fava beans and shelling peas....we lost one row to a rabbit break in, but I think I have locked them out again!! Plain Jane salad mix (speckled bibb, romaine, buttercrunch and spinach) has been a big hit right along with Moonstruck salad mix. The tomatoes are about 18 inches and I can't wait to see how early we can have this year, but I know now from my monitoring that I can push it one month earlier next year. Moonstruck signing out...see ya all soon!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Say Hello Everybody!

These guys arrived today and not without a little excitement. The trailer was backed up beautifully to the corral so I only had to stand in a very small space that they could go through, but then they came running all at once, and Filet did not know what to make of it so she took off and tried to jump the other end of the corral...luckily she did not make it, but the corral does not look the same anymore to say the least. She is about four weeks from harvest so she is about 800-1000 lbs. These little guys just left the Cherry Valley hills where their Momma's are and were weaned onto alfalfa before coming here. Tony kept them in a corral for about a month before coming here so they are somewhat used to it, and trust me they are much calmer than Filet was, but they are also younger. Filet got to work right away bossing them around and eating almost all the food I put out for them....she will be making weight sooner than I thought!! You could see who the leader was out of the little guys right away, one very curious steer walked all the way up to me and Filet when I was feeding her her grain (by hand in a bucket so they could not get to it) ...need a good name for that guy!! The routine we establish will be that these guys will take a year or so to come to weight...grass fed a little longer so the earliest we will restock will be late Spring 2013. We have two sides still available. Just email me if you are interested.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pigs need their vitamins too!

This morning I was walking out to “Little Lady” our Berkshire pig with a nice bowl of morning goodies…cracked eggs, leftover cabbage, green beans and the harvest scraps from yesterday for her and she was spinning her 360s in excitement but she had to wait! She has been happily tilling her pen (and eating some dirt for her vitamins and minerals of course) and had built all the dirt up right outside the gate and I could not open it!! So there I was digging her out. She had basically tried to dig to China like all the pigs do. The last batch were harvested just in time….all four walls had been undermined and were ready to go down and we were doing temporary fixes until they were harvested. This weekend Michael will take the whole pen down, tractor away all the tilled dirt and fill it back in and rebuild the pen for the next guys to hopefully not succeed in making it to China!! The good news is Michael will tractor all that beautifully tilled dirt and all the manure from Filet’s corral (she has done some tilling herself with her “bull” action) and build the next tiered bed out front. I could get used to this tractor idea!! Too bad it does not fit in the greenhouses! We are adding a "roasting pig" choice for your large summer gatherings, but I definitely need notice on this so please let me know if you are thinking about it all. We are going to review our tree order for this next year this weekend too since it is not going into next year (but is due this week) and we want to maximize it. The cherries will take up to five years to produce on the rootstock we are choosing for soil and the apples almost as long. Sweet cherries and Gravenstein, Empire, Spitzenburg and Winesap apples are definitely on the list!! I am dreaming of a U pick addition in five years!!

Have a wonderful day and thank you again for all your support!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

California Small Farm Conference

The California Small Farm Conference was fantastic as always. It gives me time to rejuvenate, reflect and expand my knowledge!! I took the Soils Farm Tour because it featured orchards!! Yes we are adding 150 to 200 trees this year and I was so grateful to the farmers that took time out of their busy schedule to do this for us. I went to the Poultry and Beef session and learned they are using ultrasound to ensure the grass fed beef has marbled enough...up to 36 months and the software tells them how much more time on pasture, and I now know the pasture formula that I can duplicate in dry form!! Agritourism was a great source of knowledge for the future!! Grant information galore!! So much to say, but my head is still spinning I will share more in the near future! On the business front there are two lamb shares left. This will be it until August. I know I am looking forward to my lamb stew for St. Patrick's Day this weekend.....we always have to have a good dinner to honor our heritage, but mine obviously includes a good dose of Kentucky blood of Cherokee Indian....that is the only way I can explain my addiction to being connected to the land and the animals. Speaking of some of that blood line...the picture is of one of my beautiful daughters...this is the youngest Meghan showing off our proud achievement of celery. Lots more coming along with a whole heap of produce this year!! Thank you for all your support through my growing pains!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cottage Food Law!!!

This legislation is being sponsored by the SELC and Matt Gato, an assemblyman. It would enable all of you who have contacted me about selling jams and jellies and homemade breads to do it without the expense of a certified kitchen!!! From your own homes!! My aspiring pastry chef Meghan could sell her wonderful Brownie Biscotti and I could add "value-added" products from the farm to support us during the lean months!! This would be an answer to a pray, but would require huge amounts of support!!! Please forward this to anyone and everyone and contact your local assemblyman asking for his support!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lamb CSA Shares and Sweet Potatoes!

I went to Ash Wednesday mass, and I realized that Easter is just around the corner (plus Mike can’t stop talking about his big international Las Vegas karate tournament coming up, it is the day before Easter…he loves it and has been training hard for it!!) I called Nancee Siebert and we discussed the need for small lamb CSA shares and this is what we came up with! Just let me know if you are interested. In the meantime Mike has to listen to me all night about my exciting plans for the farm including sweet potatoes!!! (which includes begging for a new raised bed to be built by my “studly” husband…yes groveling and flattery is required!!). Sweet potatoes need a long warm season so raised and "warmed" beds are a must and they cannot go in until there is no risk of frost!! First time in bulk…wish me luck. This year’s focus….food for the masses…carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lettuce, green beans!! I can’t wait!!



1 LEG OF LAMB (Approx. 10 lb)



Monday, February 6, 2012

Welcome Sieberts!

Moonstruck Farms CSA would like to welcome the Siebert Lamb Farm from the Lancaster area to our multi-farm CSA. By working together we are striving towards becoming a CSA to meet all our your local farm fresh product needs. The Sieberts have been in the lamb business for 30 plus years and raise Heritage Southdown and crosses of Suffolk and Hampshire; the combination of two great Heritage breeds. They are currently grass and grain fed, but only say the word and Nancee will put one aside for you to be grass fed only. The Sieberts raise most of their own hay/grass for their animals. At this moment there is one side left of lamb for purchase, and I do have someone who would like to split it with someone if you are interested (too much for this one person). There are more coming up very shortly so just let me know if you are interested....just drop me an email to

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Compost Life Cycle on Farm

This last week was the perfect example of the Compost Life Cycle that we have been working to develop for a few years. When we built the new onion, garlic and shallot bed we emptied the compost near the chicken coop into it. Today a new helper came and emptied both coops completely in three hours....awesome job!! The manure was piled next to the compost pile area. I still had the bags of compostable cups from Navitat (I was waiting for this day). I wanted to put the cups under a nice layer of hot chicken manure so in went the cups first, and then all the chicken manure moved to bury them. The next layer was from the goat pen that was just cleaned consisting of manure/alfalfa/straw mixture. Tucked the pile in by surrounding it with straw bales, and in order to save some water I am waiting for it to rain this week to give it a thorough soaking. For an added measure of heat (something new I am trying) after it rains, I am going to lay recycled sliding glass doors on top; they won't fit perfectly so there should be enough oxygen exchange. Once a month I will run my little tiller through it; keep it moist (doors should help with this too), and hopefully in about 4-6 months we will have another large batch of compost ready!! If I were to till it more often it would happen faster, but I know I won't get to it that often so I have multiple piles on the property. The new pile is being created by Filet and the new heads of beef coming soon. Thus one of the initial goals of being "compost material" independent has been attained and we no longer have to go and get materials or compost; nice money savings!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Onions, garlic, shallots and leeks!!

2,500 yellow candy onions in, 250 heads of garlic, a few hundred shallots and the next two beds will contain another 2,500 red candy onions, 1,200 red torpedos, 1,200 leeks and more shallots!! Michael was able to tractor these!! Frees up so much room in the back fields that are fenced in on either side of the new greenhouse and we tripled our order from last year!! Thanks everyone especially Olivia who came out in the freezing weather and helped prepare the bed on Sunday!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Leafy Greens

I received a surprise order of trees (I thought I cancelled it from the Arbor Day Foundation), and so I was busy this week digging holes and moving compost for an assortment of wonderful shade trees for the livestock area and two beautiful forsythias I hope will make it on either side of the front gate (ground is really hard there). Funny thing is I thought I would be hiring a backhoe and putting in 70 fruit trees, but I have tried to reach the nursery that ordered them for three months and no response....I guess we will do that next year. The Lord has funny ways of taking care of things and in this case I guess he knew I had my hands full with the meat operation and that I needed to delay the fruit trees a year. The plans are drawn for the goat and lamb pens, the pigs are set up, the beef corral is up and I have decided to go with small "greenhouses" for the turkeys and chickens and I put trees in today to shade them during the hottest months. I called and did the first orders for the meat chicken chicks and turkey poults to begin in may. We will be raising pork during the late Summer, Winter and Spring, beef year round and chicken and turkey during the summer and our beautiful fall seasons. Whoops...lamb will be in the Spring!! Spinach is planted in about half of the old greenhouse with the other half in lettuce. The new greenhouse has some lettuce and leafy greens, but I am saving the rest to plant this weekend with snow peas, green beans, cilantro, carrots and snap peas. The lacinato is doing beautiful outside so I think it will be a permanent resident outside along with the arugula. Potatoes will go in in April along with the rest of the summer crops following shortly after. The leafy greens picture is for my husband. He was trying to figure out why my HDLs on my cholesterol test are through the roof and his are not....leafy greens is all we could discern as the major difference in our diets...he is not a kale, Swiss chard and mustard green lover and of course I eat them in baby form in my salads and I steam them up or throw them in stir fries on a regular basis. I probably eat more nuts then him too since I use them for a quick snack on the run around here quite often and I love my oatmeal and bran flakes for breakfast so I guess it is always nice to have modern science give you a clue that you are doing the right thing!! Happy New Year Everyone!! I wish you all the best!