October brings our gorgeous High Desert Fall season and the perfect time to preserve the last of your summer harvest. The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving is the ideal beginner’s guide to canning, which you can find at local stores or online. Water bath canning of applesauce, jams, or jellies is a great way to start and then move on to the more difficult pressure canning of green beans and tomatoes as you gain skills. The Ball Guide provides all the instructions for water bath canning, pressure canning, freezing, and dehydrating produce. I can’t recommend this book enough; it started my preserving days over 35 years ago, and I still use it as a reference from time to time. All that hard work will be rewarded when you sit down for that grilled cheese sandwich this winter and pull that delicious jar of homemade applesauce off the shelf to enjoy it with.
Here at Moonstruck Farms, our days are consumed with preserving right now with all the apples and pears coming off the trees for the season. We are stocking up on both our Dark and Rich and our McDermott Family apple butter recipes plus our Pear Apple Cranberry Jam for online and market sales, and putting up (preserving) applesauce on the shelves for our Winter meals, and adding Apple Pie filling to our selection for this holiday season. We will be sharing more of our preserving and gardening hints via our electronic newsletter, which you can sign up for on our Facebook page by clicking on “Email Sign Up.” For those who cannot come and see us at the market, you can find our pantry selections at our online store at www.moonstruckfarms.com.
You can watch the seasons change at the local markets as the tomatoes dwindle and the cooler crops become more evident, such as cauliflower and broccoli. Raspberries are starting to produce again and hopefully be in full swing at the Phelan Farmers Market within a few weeks. Watch both the Wrightwood and the Phelan Farmers Market’s Facebook or Instagram pages for operation hour changes as the days shorten. The Phelan Farmers Market is in the Phelan Community Center parking lot from 2-6pm at 4128 Warbler Road and will move some vendors indoors as the season cools and close at 5pm with the time change the 1st of November. The Wrightwood Farmers Market is currently open from 4-7pm but watch for an announcement of the hours changing as the days shorten.