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Week 2 Newsletter 2018

15065 allegheny county farm CSA start up fawn township local Natrona Heights Organic Farm organic farm organic farm pittsburgh pastured pork pasturedpork PGHCSA Pittsburgh CSA pittsburgh farm pittsburgh organic pittsburgh pork vegetables

Well, I'd say that last week was a success!  Despite the intermittent downpours, folks seemed to enjoy the new CSA pick up location.  Greg was slinging pizzas and flat breads (Allegro Hearth Bakery provided the dough) and kids were running around having fun.  It was a nice change for us and we hope for you too.  

We had a couple folks stick around and prep veggies during CSA pick up.  We worked out most of the kinks and have stream lined the process a little better.  One member said she likes doing the veggie prep here for several reasons - 1) her kids can play outside (within view), 2) the mess in in our kitchen, not hers, 3) we're there for tips and ideas, and 4) she gets to be outside too!  We have room for about 4 -6 folks to prep veggies at one time - but may need to work out the flow of the kitchen. If you have a spare collander in your cabinet - we could use a few.  We're keeping a look out at goodwill for them too.  
 

We've had a nice run of weather here lately and the crops are doing well (so are the weeds!).  I saw our first patty pan squash nearing harvest and imagine we'll be inundated with summer squash before you know it.  We just planted about 1000' of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew last week.  

I've got 1000' of beets looking good - but another bed of carrots that, again, are looking like they are losing the battle with the weeds.  We'll put our master weeder, Linda, on them.  But if you're feeling like you need some outdoor therapy.  Shout out.  We could always use an extra hand.  Come by after work (almost anytime!) and spend an hour or two weeding something   We'll get you set up as a human powered weed destroyer in no time.  

We have some beautiful shoulder roasts ($8/#) for BBQ pulled pork for your 4th of July cook out!!  We also have our very own hotdogs ($5), pork patties and beef burger ($7/#)!  Check out our freezer section and stock up for your cookout! 

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Since Jen and I bought this farm in 2007, I've been plagued with allergies. Four or five times per season from spring blooms to hayfever and fall leaves, it's been difficult to even ride the tractor for days on end, brush-hogging overgrown pastures and field edges without stopping work to sneeze and take symptomatic medicines (like Benadryl). 

This year has been different, much much different. Jen and I have been determined to find a scientific link between soil and human health, and we started listening to podcasts from a doctor in Virginia named Zach Bush (zachbushmd.com).  He discovered (scientifically) the connection between soil and human health.  And... he has created a retail product (a sterile soil extract!) based on those findings. 

I won't go into the details of it here, but we've begun taking this supplement (called Restore®) and I've personally seen my allergies disappear!  The dirt water is working!  It's helped my body establish a protective barrier against the vast amount of invaders that I personally experience daily. 

Jen and I don't typically sell products besides what we grow.  I don't think we've ever sold a supplement besides Una Biologicals, soaps and  topical treatments ... but we are constantly on the lookout for solutions which help resetablish a healthy body and mind without the destructive problems we see from modern medicine.  

Restore® doesn't shut off or suppress bodily functions like medicine, but it does naturally promote the development of our natural defense mechanisms (our gut membrane) which are under assult from the pollution in our air, water and (off farm) food. 

We were so impressed and excited by the results and the science that we have become retailers for the company, Biomic Sciences LLC and their product Restore®.  Literature and product claims can be found at restore4life.com 

If you have ANY inflammation, digestive issues or associated health problems, Please check it out and let us know if you'd like to trial this amazing product.  

Greg

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Please voice your opinion - either via email, text, or at the CSA pick up.  Should we have CSA pick up on July 4th (next week) or cancel and add on the end of the year (November 7)?  

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This week's expected harvest: Beet greens (maybe beets too), lettuce (and lots of it), snow peas, garlic scapes, green garlic, herbs, and seedlings.

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What's Cookin'?

As per usual, we bit off more than we can chew.  There was no way we could crank out pizzas and make pickled garlic scapes at the same time!  This week, we'll pickle scapes on the even hours (12, 2, 4, and 6).  No pizza.  We'll see how it goes.  After this week - we'll set up a schedule for pizza weeks and prep weeks.

Once we get our pizza game down, you may be able to "order" pizza for eating at the farm or to take home for dinner!.
This week we'll be dealing with Garlic Scapes!   Picked, roasted, marinated, paste - you name it!  Bring your favorite recipe!
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My Nana's Wilted Lettuce Recipe

Leaf lettuce and/or other leafy vegetables
2 green onions (cut)
4 strips bacon, fried and broken
2 eggs beaten
½ c. sugar, ½ c. vinegar, ½ c. water
 
Fry bacon crisp.  Save grease.
Mix eggs, sugar, vinegar, and water together and add to bacon grease. 
Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly
Let cool slightly.
Pour over leaf lettuce.
Add onion and break bacon over lettuce
Top with sliced hard-boiled egg (optional).
 
Serve while warm.  It it all at once, as the left overs leave something to be desired! 
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The Details:

Farm pick up: Wednesdays 11-7.  7115 Ridge Rd Natrona Heights, PA 15065.  Come up the lane between the barn and the purple garage (follow parking/event signs) and park at the top of the hill (more parking signs).  Head on over to the farm house's (stone house with white roof) patio kitchen.  It's big - you shouldn't miss it.  We'll have your CSA pick up ready for you there.  As in year's past - we'll have the veggies set out and you'll need to collect them, as listed on the blackboard. Bring your own bags.  Make sure you take time to get familiar with our community kitchen, talk to us about this resource  our plans and how you can use it!  Both Greg and I will be around to answer questions and help.

Half Share folks: If you didn't come last week - you'd better come this week!

Market card holders can purchase items that are made from or on our farm.  Some items may be limited to CSA members only (if there isn't extra).  You can also purchase value added items, eggs, and pork.  Other items that we buy in  (such as chicken, beef and bread) must be purchased with cash, check or credit.  

City pick up: Wednesday Folks (I will be in contact directly with your pick up address and time).  Since our market at Phipps closed down, we've finally figured out a new location for our city drop - two locations, in fact!  Wednesday drops are in Regent Square and Friday drops are at the Northside Market 3-7 pm.  Please indicate your preferred drop off location, if you haven't already.  

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"I'm interested in getting produce and meats from you all - how do I go about it?"

1 - Be a regular CSA member
 It's not too late to join and we will pro-rate for missed weeks.  Come out weekly or bi-weekly and pick up a share of produce for 20 weeks (10 weeks if you're a bi-weekly pick up).  Our season starts in mid-June and runs until late October.  Options range from $350 - $850.  You can purchase online or send in a check (if paying by check - you can pay 1/2 now and 1/2 by August 1).  You get the best deal and support us the most by being a CSA member.  You help with our upfront cost in the spring and receive the bulk of the bounty throughout the growing season. 

2 - Need flexibility?  Buy a market cardThis allows you to purchase items that we grow or make here on the farm.  You don't have to be a CSA member to buy products from us - just stop in on Wednesdays from 11 - 7 (or call to make an appointment). Buying market cards up front, still helps to support the farm, prior to the crops coming in.  With a market card, you get a deal, $60 worth of purchases for $50! 
 
3 - Have a garden already? Become a Garden Share member.  It's not too late to join!  We've packed up several extra shares and they are ready for your garden now! We'll supply you with the seeds and seedlings and a bit of guidance to get you through the growing season.  All you need is 100 sq ft and a desire to eat a lot of veggies!  This is the best deal - grow your own!

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Additional items available:

Pastured Pork - (in the little white freezer) We have just about every pork cut available and are sending hogs to the butcher regularly.  Our pigs are raised on pasture and eat verified Non GMO grains and veggie scraps from the farm.  

Grass Fed Beef -  (in the little white freezer) This year, we're partnering up with Starr Valley Farm.  The Starr Family raises a herd of grass-fed (only) black angus/hereford cattle just about 20 minutes down the road from us.  Their stock  and pastures are certified organic, and the meat would be too, if only we had a butcher/processor that was certified organic near Western PA. We have 1/4 beef packages available and individual cuts as well.  We also have some beef from our own herd.  Mostly ground and lean.  

Eggs - We'll supplement our hen's egg production with eggs from Kevin Jarosinski or our neighbor Lenny.  All great eggs and much fresher than the ones you get from the supermarket!

Bread - For almost 10 years, we bring in fresh bread from Allegro Hearth Bakery.  They have a high quality product and make some memorable Chocolate Chip cookies too.

Beverages - Red Ribbon Pop - just down the hill is one of our region's famous pop makers.  We'll have a variety of flavors on hand! We have a display of flavors set out and the rest we keep in the walk in - so they are cold!  We also are known to make our own Kombucha on occasion.

Maple Syrup - We buy in bulk and repackage maple syrup from the award winning Hurry Hill Maple Farm in Edinboro.  Their extra dark syrup is unbelievable!  

Jams and Jellies - Kathy Montgomery cranks out some seasonal flavors - all made with organic fruits and sugars.  She also uses Pamon's Pectin, which is an all natural low-sugar pectin option and brings out the fruity flavors more than the sugar laden sure-gel.

Hand Made Soaps - we render the lard from our pastured pigs, and make our own soaps with certified organic essential oils.  

 

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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,


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