Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I earned my cowgirl stripes today.

I earned my cowgirl stripes today.

The day started as usual and as I strolled down to feed with Molly nipping at my heels (she thinks I need to be herded to get the job done) I heard Aurora's usual mooing, but it was exceptionally clear this morning.  As I hit the top of the hill at the chicken coop I was greeted by Aurora who luckily was not brave enough to go any further.  I quickly took a survey of the scenery down below mainly to ascertain where the BULL WAS!!  He was out of the corral but happily munching on the mulch pile.  Aurora was simple enough to get back in since she is what my husband calls a "grain addict" and will do anything for a handful of it.  The gate was broken in the small corral so I put her into the large corral leaving the small corral open and thus began the tricky part.  Now, my bull is a mellow bull, but he is still a BULL.  With a few "Yaws!" I got him moving and thus the games began.  With a full gallop he began his journey across my property, but fortunately a "Yaw!!" in his direction brought him racing back towards the corral and ME!!  I knew the only way I had of getting him back in was to stand my ground so I did and prepared to dive since he was not stopping.  When he was within about 8 feet from me he halted and changed direction and headed around the other side of the corral where he stood next to where Aurora was.  He obviously decided I was no fun and he wanted back in with her so with a few more "Yaws" and me chasing HIM this time he was back in the corral happily eating his Bermuda that was waiting for him.

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Rowena McDermott
Moonstruck Farms

P.S. We harvested the first Moonstruck Salad Mix and it will be at market each week until further notice :).

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

We're back!!

The last year or so is kind of a blur??  To say the least life got a little "out of control" with ailing neighbors in need of great help, a chicken and turkey season that took over our lives, computer after computer crash and so much more, but now onto the positive!!  Here at Moonstruck we are enjoying turning things upside down, but we are not doing a lot of it on our own anymore.  Thanks to my "Moonstruck Angel" things are looking amazing around here!!  Yes, I have an employee, but I hate calling him that because he is so much more than that!  So from hereon he will be referred to as the Moonstruck Angel.   Both greenhouses are cleared, planted and ready to go.  The 20x100 is full of salad mix and spinach and more and the 20 x40 is at about 90% completion of being converted to a "berry house".  We have strawberries and blueberries in there.  We had a lot of time thanks to my Moonstruck Angel to sit back and observe and absorb all the lessons I have learned over the last five years, and even though our summers hit the 100s we are still a very cold season microclimate here at Moonstruck, and the great news is so far the BERRIES love it!!  So between the 300 fruit trees we put in and the expansion of berries we are doing this year you will be seeing a lot more fruit come from Moonstruck.  We have a 20 x 100 field that gets hit horribly with the wind in the Spring and Summer and has never done very well so we are going to run a test on it this year with a small row cover of raspberries and if the results are stupendous we will convert the entire field to raspberries!!  As always thank you all for your support through the years.  Moonstruck signing off....but just for a little while.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Heritage Pigs...So cute!!

We picked up a few Chester White pigs with a little Gloucestershire Old Spot in them from Dad and one looks like a Dalmatian!!  So adorable!!  This is a new breeder for us so we are feeding these out and offering the 40 lb. shares only on these just in case the weights don't come out where they should...better safe than sorry.  On the other hand this is another goal that we have met.  We promised our customers that we would eventually offer the smaller quarter shares for those not desiring as much pork, and for those who are worried about the curing process we will be offering "smoked" and "nonsmoked" shares trading the bacon and hams for boneless rolled roasts etc.  We appreciate your patience in this matter, but "floating" the feed bill for the four to five months is quite a task, and we had to wait until the bank account was ready for this endeavor.  Moonstruck runs on an all cash basis and thanks to you we are growing by leaps and bounds.  The account is always low, but that is because we are putting every penny back into the farm to increase the amount of farm fresh food we can supply and to eventually get to the point where we can hire permanent help!!  My teenagers are becoming young adults and my built in labor force will be flying the coop in just a few years and the truth is they are not able to help as much with their growing lives which include track, choir, new jobs and a full AP schedule.  Another chore was added today thanks to the heat we are experiencing, but this one is pure joy...spraying down pigs with a hose!!  The Berkshires are especially fun since they are black they enjoy it the most and they were spinning 360s, holding their mouths wide open, pointing their tail ends into the spray and rolling in the mud...it was pure happy pandemonium!!  The piglets only enjoy a little spray and so most of the water went into wetting the ground to provide a nice mud pit, which they happily rolled in again and again!!  The goats and the cows looked at me and said "Don't you dare point that thing at me!!"....definitely not of the same mindset as the pigs who need the water to cool their bodies.  I will have to get a picture of that spotted guy and post it as soon as he is a little more comfortable here and not racing 90 miles an hour around the pen when I am near!!  Hope this finds you relaxing in the shade enjoying a glass of lemonade!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Easter Lamb

The Sieberts have lamb available for Easter now. This will be the only lamb available for Easter with the next availability being this summer. They are lambing now and the 4H kids always get first pick and then it will be available for sale to the general public. Let us know by Friday if you are interested. Just drop a line moonstruckfarms@verizon.net. Here at Moonstruck the trees and grapes are all in the ground finally. I do have to finish mulching and painting the trunks and pruning and hopefully it will be on a warmer day than today. That North wind was so cold today...thank the Lord for flannel lined jeans and three layers and a flannel work jacket!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Summer Turkeys

Summer turkey season is upon us. The hatchery called to let me know there was a problem with some of the turkey egg orders so I could not get the white broad breasted and the bronze in an order so I switched it to all Bronze Broad Breasted, which I actually prefer. They seem to be sturdier. I guess it is because they are closer to the original Heirloom Standard Bronze breed. The white broad breasted is preferred in the commercial industry not only because of the breast meat, but also because of the white feathers there is no worry of quill marks. You will only see the quill marks after butcher if the quill busts in the skin. Most of the turkeys I have processed do not have the marks, but you do get some and it appears like tiny black dots. They do not affect the taste of the turkey at all, just look a little funny compared to your "store bought" or white broad breasted. I do get the additional pleasure of watching beautiful bronze turkeys raised here and so can you just come and visit any Saturday (after they arrive) from 9-12. If you would like to reserve a Summer turkey (10-14 pounds) for July 2013 just drop me an email at moonstruckfarms@verizon.net. Moonstruck signing out!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

200 plus trees planted!!



Well, this does not really show a fantastic picture, but all the little brown things on the ground are tree protectors on the trees....better pictures once they get bigger and bloom.  The trees are just  minus some mulching, tree protectors and tags.  We also put some vetch in to see if it will do well as a living mulch.  The vetch is already out in the West field and comes back for about 75% of the year to feed the chickens a high protein snack.   The grapes are taking a little bit longer because they are being put on a area that was tractored quite a bit and so Michael and the granite are having a disagreement, but if anyone knows my husband the granite will lose.  The last 40 holes along the fence line should go quickly and all grapes are on somewhat of a slope with a southern exposure for drainage and optimal light.  They are all Cabernet and Merlot grapes except for four seedless Flame I added near the end (well Dave Wilson added them and I just kept instead of calling for the millionth time!!)  We were shorted some trees and there is a little bit more room on the Southeast side so I think I will add 50 more this next year if all goes well and add in an additional apple, some pears and nectarines and maybe a couple olives.  Saturday was my favorite working day of the four so far, and that is when all three of my girls were out there along with Olivia and her daughter Addie (alias Great Customers and Friends).   It was "Girl Power" day and the energy made the day go so quickly and by far was almost the most productive....the day Michael augured almost all the tree holes takes 1st Place.   Well, I am just a little tired to say the least, but note sore??  I guess I am in better shape than I thought...well one more day of planting and then Saturday is irrigation day right after it rains hopefully.  Though I must say "Thank you Lord!!!", the rain, the snow, the weather for planting all was perfect!!  This was a huge step for us and I was more than just a little anxious about getting this done, but then everything fell into place so perfectly!!  It could not have gone any better!!   One of our major goals this year has been to become "tourable", and I believe by the end of March we will be there.   I went ahead and told a Boy Scout troop to come on out!!  Can't wait and they even asked for a project to do....I can't wait...they are 1st and 2nd graders!!   See ya all soon....Moonstruck signing out!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Berkshire Pork Last Chance

Moonstruck Farms has one side of Berkshire pork left available and that will harvested in June 2013, and the next available batch will not be until August 2013. We are maxed out!! The winter batch of chicken is going okay though costs are high due to this chilly winter and the lights have been on almost 24/7. Today was the first time they really ventured outside much, and even then they were cuddling by 2:30 in the afternoon and so I carried everyone back inside this evening to make sure they stay warm with the new storm blowing in. We have decided to do two batches of turkeys this year. One will be available in June/July harvesting at approximately 12 pounds and the second batch being the holiday batch and will be ready by November 1st at latest and will be brought to the 15-25 pound range for the holidays. Turkeys will be only be available in these two batches and will have to be picked up once available. Any that do not sell will be ground up right away...sorry our electric bill is already too high!! The current batch of chicken is sold out, but we are taking deposits due by January 20th for the late March harvest. The deposits enable us to grow by providing us the capital to buy large amounts of chicks and feed and we truly appreciate it. We would not be where we are now if it were not for all our customers support. In the produce division about 60% of the new greenhouse is planted in snow peas, spinach, broccoli and lettuce and the old greenhouse is slowly being retrofitted for hydroponic lettuce, strawberries and in the ground (below the hydroponic lettuce) asparagus!! The pomegranate jelly was a great success so we added a few pomegranate trees to our planting and the English Morello cherries arrived today (these will be reserved for future speciality products!!). Thanks again for all your support. Moonstruck signing out!!