The days are approaching the shortest of the year, but that does not mean you can’t be prepared for next summer’s harvest. Garlic, onions, and shallots should be planted now and will create an excellent root system to bring a great harvest next summer. Don’t worry about snow…they love it!! This can be as simple as buying a bulb of garlic at the store, breaking it apart, and planting each with the root end down into the ground about an inch apart and twice as deep as the bulb height. Shallots are planted the same way. Whether a flower bulb or a garlic bulb, planting the bulb two to three times deeper than the bulb’s height is the rule. You can plant onion seeds closely and thin for green onions next year, allowing those left in the ground to grow into nice big onions to be cured in your field or backyard once the tops start to topple. If you want to start from plants, Dixondale Onions of Texas is a great company.
Here at Moonstruck Farms, we should have unburied ourselves from peaches, pears, and apples by the time you read this. But I may still have some of the later apples like Granny Smith at the market and continue to prepare an inventory of applesauce, apple pie filling, and apple butter for our customers, not to mention our personal pantry shelves. This time of year also signifies the beginning of Spring bulb planting, including hyacinths, daffodils, tulips, and a few new varieties we are adding to the gardens this year. In addition, we just planted our first Itoh peonies, a cross of herbaceous and tree peonies, resulting in a bush-type plant like a herbaceous peony but with plentiful flowers like a tree peony. I can’t wait to see how these Itoh peonies perform. The herbaceous peonies have been a wonderful crop for our farm at almost 4500 ft.
The Phelan Farmers Market continues to offer the Market Match grant for free fruits and vegetables to EBT and P-EBT customers until December 31st at the increased $15 match and will revert to the regular $10 at the first of the year. The Phelan Farmers Market will now be on its Winter hours of 2 pm to 5 pm every Monday, and if not already, will move part of the market into the Phelan Community Center once the temperatures drop. Remember, the Phelan Farmers Market runs a monthly raffle on the 1st Monday of the month. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for details. The Wrightwood Farmers Market is currently open each Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm, and if not already, will be moving shortly into the Wrightwood Community Center for their Winter set up.