Supporting Community Agriculture since 1997
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Week 11 Newsletter

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The Weekly Menu

 
What you can roughly expect to receive each week:

Please note: this CSA summary is written ahead of time, and before we even harvest on Tuesday/Friday.  We do some guesswork:  some things may be in your CSA that aren't listed and some things may not be included.  Although we're the farmers, we're still at the whim of Mother Nature. 

This weekHerbs- one bunch, Chard,  Beets, garlic, garlic scapes, beans (purple), squash, cucumbers, scallions, carrots, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes!

We had a customer last week say something insightful. To paraphrase, she said she loves the newsletters because they are heartfelt and she can really identify with our ups and downs. What concerns her, is how hard and unpredictable farming is and that we might quit. 


In fact, she's hit the nail on the head there.  Maybe not for ALL farmers, but for us, August has notoriously been a brutal month.  You would think the joy of the bountiful harvest, just at its peak, would leave us elated.  But in truth, we are worn out, and quitting can have its appeal.  We've agreed to not make any drastic decisions during August and that includes quitting. 

In September, our attitude always changes, when the breezes cool and the smell in the air shifts to fall, when the cherry trees start to yellow and drop their leaves, a weight seems to lift.  Our rational minds awaken and we are again grateful and thankful to be in this profession, growing food for people who prioritize heath, community, quality, honesty, and vitality.  Hang in there.  Fall is coming! 

 

Repeat: Feedback
Because we are nearing our half way point, it's time to ask you all how you think things are going. In the past, I've drawn up surveys, but the number of completed surveys was minimal and takes a lot of time to design. We'd be more than grateful for a note, email, text or one on one chat about what you've enjoyed and how we can improve. We have 9  weeks to go and that's just about enough time to change things up if needed. Keep in mind that there's still crops in the field and seedlings still to be planted, so you should see some of the following before the end of csa: watermelon, cantaloupe, eggplant, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peppers (sweet and hot), tomatillos, husk cherries, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Asian greens, turnips, radishes, winter squash, arugula, tatsoi, more lettuce, basil, carrots, and flowers. I think that's everything! 

 


Repeat: Big share event
We are hosting our third annual fundraiser for community human services. Profits go towards purchasing csa shares from our farm, which are then delivered to the chs food pantry and distributed to their clients. It's a win win win:  healthy, nutrient dense food to folks that have less access to our produce, money for our csa shares, and amazing farm fresh meal for you lovely folks who buy tickets for this tasty and fun event!  Please Click Here to buy tickets and find out more!
The tomato harvest has begun! In fact, it's so full on, that we can't even get them all out of the fields.  We are doing our best, and for sure, you're going to get all those amazing heirlooms that we are famous for.  We even have a late batch of paste tomatoes that are planted on the hill top across the street. They are growing well, and hopefully will be a late bumper crop, for those of you planning to can.   Sooo many tomatoes!  

Our transport for pork (from our butcher, Cunningham's in Indiana) has become cost prohibitive, and Greg had been working on insulating our farm truck, so he can start making the deliveries on his own. This week, we will be back in stock of all cuts of pork!  Just in time to get a roast for your labor day picnic (pulled pork sandwiches!) 

Because traffic is so slow on Saturdays, we've decided to close the barn. If you have signed up to pick up your share on staturdays, we will pack your share up and leave the barn open for you. Quite a few members have switched to picking to on Wednesdays, I'm not sure who's still left for Saturday pick up. Please get in touch.
Save the Date!  Farm Picnic on Sunday September 24 3-6 pm.
We'll provide wood fired pizza - you bring the rest!  Please RSVP. 
Cropolis - Online Ordering now available!

We're working with Cropolis to start up an on-line ordering system for the farm.  We've sent out one blast so far that allows you to see and buy the items we have for sale.  You place an order and then tell us where you want to pick that order up (at the farm or at a farmers market - Phipps or Lawrenceville).  You'll have already paid for it and we'll have it ready for you.  Please keep your eyes peeled on your inbox for the next Cropolis email.  If you're not interested in pre-ordering items, please go to your preferences settings (linked at the bottom of this email) and un-click  Interests: "cropolis-online ordering".  Please don't unsubscribe from the whole newsletter!


You can buy pork by the piece, the Homestead Hog CSA Share, or by the 1/2 hogInterested in pork?   There's a few new items for you to try:  We have 1 lb packages of unseasoned sausage patties (great for the grill), fresh side (unsmoked and uncured belly bacon), ham loaf (recipe in week 2 newsletter), and THICK cut chops - seriously... 2" thick?!  There's lots of roasts, steaks, and a few hams for sale too.  We feed our hogs all verified non-GMO grains, veggie scraps, and pasture.  They've a good life and they produce a quality meat!  

Customers who want to Workshare:  Some of you have already signed up for workshare, thank you!  Maybe you're interested but can't commit to coming out weekly?  No problem. As long as you are here more often than not, we are happy!  If you'd like to do a workshare with us, just show up on Tuesday and/or Saturday at 9. We will get you oriented and then talk details. An email or text would be nice, but not necessary. 

Customers who would like to spend time in the fields:  If you'd like to come out and get a little dirty and see what we are up to, we are happy to have "working visitors" almost any day, except for Wednesday, Saturday afternoon or Sunday. 

If you want to bring the family, check out the farm, visit some farm animals, and snack on a few cherry tomatoes, then you should come by on Wednesday 11-7 or Saturday 2-5. Bring a picnic, buy some veggies, relax, and enjoy the countryside! 


Our Market Card Program - is a great way to support our farm up front when our risks are higher.  You can buy any of  our home-grown items in our barn with the market cards.  For $50 your get $60 worth of purchasing power!

Looking for a bit of respite form the city? We have three bedrooms available on AirBnB.  Come out and spend a few days living like a farmer.... or watching us farm.  Click this link for more info.

 


Find us at area Farmers markets:  Lawrenceville,  Arsenal Park Saturday 1-4.  Phipps Green Market, Phipps Conservatory- Wednesday 2:30-6:30, and Pitt Farmers Market in front of the Union on Thursdays 

We are not maxed out on CSA memberships.  If you know someone who's looking for a healthier lifestyle, curious about local organic food, or wants to eat fresh, nutrient dense food - send them our way (and make sure they mention your name to receive $25 off in the barn or market stand).


CSA Pick up Details:


If you're coming to the farm to pick up: Stop at the wooden barn by the road  (at 7115 Ridge Rd) it will be open Wednesday from 11am - 7 pm and Saturday 2 - 5 pm.  Just park by the old wooden barn and come in.  We'll check your name off and give you an intro to our CSA system.  Bring your own bags please!

If you're picking up at the Phipps Farmers Market: We'll be at our market stand from 2:30pm - 6:30pm.   Swing by and pick up your veggies.  Bring your own bags please!  If you'd like us to bring down items that we sell in the barn - just let jen@blackberrymeadows.com know.  Each newsletter will list the items we have for sale.

 

Yoga sessions by the pond are gaining in popularity!  We're mentioned in the Post Gazzette article in this link.  

Be sure to carve out some time for yourself.  We're now happy to have Alyssa from Adore´Yoga to host Sunset Yoga on the Farm.  Each Wednesday 5:30-7:00  Rain or Shine.  $10.  Please bring your own mat.

 

Thanks for choosing our CSA.  We strive to grow nutrient dense, wholesome foods for you.  We think what we do is hard work - but important for our family, friends, and community.  There's a few things that we find important: growing good food, participating in the local economy, being good stewards to the environment, providing our community with access to a farm, farm animals and the outdoors, and teaching new and beginning farmers what we know.  By being a CSA member and supporting our endeavors, you're helping us to achieve our goals.  Thanks!!

Sincerely,

Your Farmers,

Greg, Jen, Evelyn, Olivia, Brittany and Mary


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