The temperatures are finally cooling across the High Desert, and for those not planning on doing any Winter planting, stop clearing those beds! Yes, I said “stop” clearing unless you have diseased plants and weeds that are setting seeds, then dispose of them in the trash. Small weeds can be pulled and left to decompose as long as they have no flower or seed heads. If you have a garden full of dying vegetable or flower plants, leave them to break down and join the soil slowly. Let nature take its course, and let the plant matter break down naturally, creating wonderful humus that will make your soil loose and airy for happy roots. The breaking down plants will also provide wind and water erosion protection from any Winter storms that may arrive this Winter. Trust me, your soil will thank you, and the large broken-down debris will be much easier to remove in the Spring.
Here at Moonstruck Farms, we have been enjoying a gorgeous Fall season with perfect temperatures in the low 80s and 60s at night for growing. The only downside this time of year is the shortening of days. The sunflowers and lilies are blooming slowly throughout the cooler days. The tomatoes are sitting green on the vines, so they will be brought in for fried green tomatoes or Green Tomato jam, and the fields are being cleared. We are filling the rows with ranunculus, camassia, irises, and other new flower bulbs. In addition, more Rudbeckia, mums, and other Spring flowers that need to be overwintered here in our gardening zones of 7-8 in our High Desert home are being planted. In the kitchen, we are busy filling the shelves once again with our jams, mustards, and fruit-infused vinegars and emptying our freezers of frozen fruit just in time for our pork to arrive from the butcher. Holiday favorites are being made again, along with the Mulled Wine/Cider kits, as we look forward to enjoying cool evenings by the fire with family and friends.
The local farmers markets are now transitioning to our Winter schedules. The Phelan Certified Farmers Market hours are now 2 pm to 5 pm, and the market will reside outside the Phelan Community Center parking lot and inside the Phelan Community Center. The Wrightwood Certified Farmers Market will be closed the week of Thanksgiving, and the following week the market will move into the Wrightwood Community Center as a Winters headquarters. For the most up-to-date information, follow the markets on Instagram and Facebook.
We look forward to sharing the holidays with you in our beautiful High Desert/Mountain homes.