Farm Journal 3/18/24

Jump on over to our web-store and look around – maybe you’re well stocked on sausage and bacon and have a hankering for some chops, or a ham slice….

Stock up on our $12 or less (pork) items. Spend $60 and get $12 off your total order.

Various cuts of pork meat on a chopping board

It’s time to secure your Easter Ham! We have a limited supply – about 7 hams, a mix of center cut or end roasts. 

Buy your Easter Ham here.

Apologies for the radio silence! Two weekends ago, Greg and I set up our booth at the Home and Garden Show, at the Convention Center. Every year, Farm to Table facilitates the gathering of local vendors for this event. There’s a Farm to Table section at the show and a lot of local vendors are highlighted.

Under the tutelage of Cherish Creamery, we’ve learned how to take our festival/fair/convention presence up a notch. In years past, we would set up our booth to display our products, like the CSA, organic seedlings, and frozen pork. But people would just glance and keep walking.

Adopting Cherish Creameries’ style, we are now masters of the “sample stand”. We take over the airwaves with the smell of bacon and sausage, and lure everyone in for a toothpick full of sausage! Once they get a taste of our bacon and sausage, they are hooked! It was lots of fun to see each customer’s look of delight at the taste and texture of pasture raised pork.

We saw lots of familiar faces and return customers, many of whom are from the South Hills. (If we’ve got your email on this newsletter, don’t give up. We’re trying to figure out our South Hills delivery solution).

And back at the farm – thanks to everyone who kept it all going – with watering the pigs, closing up chickens, watching the kids, and all that it takes to keep a farm running smoothly. It’s a big job and we sure appreciate all the help and support!

Field Notes

In the next few newsletters, I’ll introduce you to Dimitrius (back with us for his forth year), Miles (our Diversified Vegetable Apprentice through PASA), and also JB (our good neighbor!). With a crew of hard workers, we’re keeping ahead of many loose ends!

Evelyn, Dimitrius, and Miles tackled the deer fence around the field. No small task, as the deer are persistent and the fencing is old and brittle. The time is nearing where we’ll have to bite the bullet and invest in newer deer fencing. Or not! We have a grant from the Allegheny County Conservation District that will cover the installation of a pasture fence around this side of the farm. Now – it’s not technically a deer fence, as it’s designed to contain cows/pigs/goats….. but it is high enough to keep our dogs IN. And that means, the dogs will be able to do what they love most…. chase things out of my fields! My hopes are high and my fingers crossed that the dogs understand hot wires, the pastured pigs cooperate and stay in their future pastures, and the deer are too scared to come in. A farm symphony is being written – let’s see how it plays out!

As the typical early spring season goes, we were fooled by the nice warm weather. Regardlss, we took advantage of it! On Thursday, JB tilled a few fields, and later, Miles planted spinach and peas. I always aim to have peas in the ground by Saint Patrick’s Day, and it was a success! We have a couple beds of spinach coming up in the first High Tunnel. It’s been a challenge to keep the chickens out – as they love sneaking in to much on fresh tender greens and take a dust bath in the warm wood-chip mulch…. much to my chagrin.

We also tackled part of the field across the road. A few years ago we planted a row of Heritage Norton Wine Grapes. With less that 40% growth sucess, we ended up letting the patch go. Well, the time had come to tackle that mess, and with these guys, we made short work of it! We pulled out invasive bushes, like Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose (fun!), pulled out old locut posts (heavy!), and collected piles of brush to burn. We’re making room for Megan, from, to expand up the hill. It’s a double bonus, as she gets a bit more space, and we’re reclaiming some unused land form invasive species.

Every decade or so, there comes a time to do a farm-clean-out. The crew’s helped to clear out the corners of accumulation… old row cover that was trampled by deer, broken harvest bins, old and broken coolers, old brittle watering hoses that have weathered the sunny greenhouse for too long. Well anyway – the list is extensive and no real point in digging to deep into the details – but it’s nice to do some spring cleaning. Especially when we have a good crew of workers, everything moves along much quicker.

Our gratitude goes out to the crew – it’s fixing up to be a good season – we’ll keep the intensity, camaraderie, and good vibes. We’ll get a lot done this year!

Important: Ordering Information

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: Please make sure you place a minimum order of $30 for delivery. 

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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