Farm Journal 2/4/24

When we launched Garden Shares a few years ago, we started using the phrase “Supporting Community Agriculture” as our motto. To us, there’s a huge collaborative responsibility for every community to feed itself, and Garden Shares are our first step in that direction. Food/agriculture is arguably the sole basis for human civilizations. Everyone from the village works together to sow, cultivate, and harvest the wealth created by combining a seed with soil, water, air, and sun (and a little elbow grease). 

We took the premise of the Garden Share a step further and have started something we’re calling Farm Club (I’m sure you’ve heard us mention this before).

Farm Club is our way of fostering a village-like local food system. Many people have expressed a need for a place to learn practical life skills, produce food, and be a part of a community. Everyone seems to want a homestead for this purpose. But in all honesty, homesteading doesn’t always coincide with community, and often can becomes a solitary and overwhelming venture. We deeply believe folks should have access to land to grow food. With rising land prices, this is often unobtainable. Last year, we explored larger plot options (1/5 acre), but it was a big leap in many ways. Farm Club is a much more approachable scale.

Currently, our food system is global – helping to provide us with strawberries in February and a limitless supply of highly processed “foodlike stuff” that fills our bodies but not our souls (or cells!). The Farm Club food system is not regional, it’s hyper-local, something like a decentralized village with a focal point on this farm. We focus on nutrient density, regenerative practices, and community. The overwhelmingly positive Wednesday CSA markets have served to reinforce and amplify our enthusiasm for feeding and fostering our community.

Between a combination of backyard gardens and larger farm plot(s) (30’x50″ each), Farm Club members would grow at least twice the volume of produce that comes through the CSA, plus enough for ‘putting up’. Our goal is to support folks who want to grow and put by enough food for their tribe… while skill-sharing by teaching/learning how to grow nutritious food and store it; the hive mind tossing knowledge around. 

Farm Club member days would include growing in the gardens, crop-mobbing each other’s plots, group potluck/byo lunches, running a kitchen shift to cooperatively clean/prep/preserve each other’s harvest And most importantly… hanging out around a potluck campfire to share food, drink and stories. 

Our farm could one day accommodate hundreds of plots, however, we are starting with a modest 10. Call it proof of concept, because having 10 members around could be overwhelming for us farmers as we continue to run Blackberry Meadows. 

Future plans might justify regular shared needs, like kids programming, while the adults focus on turning soil.  Maybe we need 25 members? We expect to learn quickly and we expect to adapt and develop into something that works for, potentially, some day, a hundred families feeding themselves from one farm.  This farm. Our Community Supported Farm.

CSA sign up has started!

It’s time to start signing up for the 2024 CSA. I’ve opened up the Shares for FARM PICK UP (half and whole), SQUIRREL HILL (half and whole), and NORTHSIDE (half and whole). We applied to get into Ligonier Country Market – so we will be able to bring along CSA shares for that market too. We’ll let you know when we know!

Get fresh organic produce right off our farm. We harvest fresh for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday distributions.

Place your order now

We have plenty of Eggs!! We’re back into egg season, after a long dry spell over the winter!

Purchase Eggs Here

Think of all the sweet things you can get for your Sweetie for Valentines Day?

How about cooking up some Honey BBQ Brats? Purchase Honey BBQ Brats Here.

Reenact Lady and the Tramp and get some Sweet Italian Sausage for fancy dinner. Purchase Sweet Italian Sausage Here!

Maple Syrup is back in stock too! Purchase Maple Syrup Here!

Honey – from bees at our farm, by Hannah’s Honey, in Fox Chapel. Purchase Honey Here!

Farm pick up to Wednesdays 3 – 7pm. We’ll have your order packed and set outside on the marble counter. Park across from the house, at the top of the land. Cross the lawn and look for the bag with your name. Frozen items will be in a white cooler. 

IMPORTANT: NO DELIVERY TO THE CITY THIS SATURDAY 2/10/24 (options to pick up at the locations listed below have been turned off for this week only). We’ll resume our regular schedule on 2/17/24

Across from Frick Park Market in Point Breeze, this Saturday at 12:00 – 12:15 pm

Across from the Mayfly Market (Arch St) in Northside, this Saturday at 4:00 – 4:15 pm

Outside of Local Provisions in Fox Chapel – at the Plaza on Freeport Rd, this Saturday at 4:45 – 5:00 pm

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