Farm Journal 3/25/24

The chickens are full-on out of winter hibernation and are back to taking their egg laying job seriously. Seriously… we’re getting 60+ eggs a day here! How about bringing deviled eggs to your Holiday meal? Evelyn’s latest culinary creation – Deviled Egg Chicks!

Buy or farm fresh Eggs here!

It’s time to secure your Easter Ham! We have a limited supply – about 5 hams, a mix of center cut or end roasts. 

Buy your Easter Ham here.

We had our last round of piglets Saturday night. It was crisp and cold out. Olivia, and our friend Punkee, stayed out there with WhiteStripe and helped to dry off the newborns, and guide them to the warm milk supply! She had 9 piglets!

In a few weeks, we’ll be selling “weaners”. For those of you who don’t know what that means. . . . after they’ve been weaned, we sell the piglets to other farmers to raise for themselves. So, if you want a piglet to take home, now’s the time to get on our list! Fair warning…. these aren’t for pets – they get big!!

Today has been a beautiful sunny day – the pigs are “frolicking”, the cool breeze blowing, the birds singing…. and the high tunnel heating up.

I’ve rolled up the sides for air flow and turned on the sprinklers. Now that the sides are up, the chickens circle the perimeter, searching for a small hole in the chickenwire to push through. Once they’ve breached my barricades, they like to bask in the warm sun, take dust baths in the mulch, and scratch up my young tender spinach seedlings. It’s been a struggle to get the spinach to take off in that high tunnel, as it’s been pretty cold and/or drear for the last couple weeks.

These sunny days put me on guard…. Defend the Spinach!!

Greg and Olivia cooked up a quick dinner the other night – Here’s a great recipe for our Shoulder Steaks.

Pork Fried Rice – quick and easy!

Buy Shoulder Steaks here!

Barnyard Notes

Saturday was actually rather cold and wet. I woke up to the pattering of rain and thought…. “those poor pigs, I bet they need a fresh layer of wood chips and straw.”

I fired up the tractor on a cold misty morn, rolled over to the barnyard, scooped up a bucket full of mulch…. only to think…..”hmm something doesn’t feel quite right”. I dumped my first load of wood-chips in with WhiteStripe and looked down. The front tire was completely flat…. this is what we call, an “Oh S**t moment”. Which means that the fix will easily take a half hour or more (unlike an “uh-oh” moment, which is only a 10 minute fix). I texted Greg.

I’ll tell you…. a tubeless tire is the most illogical design I’ve ever seen. Batteries and tires are the thorn in Greg’s side. He had to come out with the air compressor, extension cord, ratchet strap, sledge hammer, and soapy water. In the cold rain, we spent a good 40 minutes fussing and struggling with that tire to get it to “seat” right… always careful not to trap our fingers between the wheel rim and expanding/pressurizing tire.

With Greg’s tenacity…we finally got the tire back on and useable again. The pigs got fresh bedding… only a couple hours behind schedule! I finally made it back to the house to thaw out my fingers and toes, and then a drive into Pittsburgh for deliveries.

Never a dull moment around here!

Farm Club

We’re moving forward with Farm Club – and have 5 plots available for lease. We charge $1000 per 30’x50′ space in our fields. We envision that families will use this space to grow less time-intensive crops for their pantries. For example – a couple rows of well mulched potatoes, a couple rows of winter squash, a patch of paste tomatoes, some dry beans, and some roots, like beets and carrots. With many of these crops, a once a week visit should be sufficient, although the old saying “The footstep of the farmer is the best fertilizer” is quite true. Many crops, like tomatoes, peas, and lettuce need more attention and time, and would be best grown closer to home…. right out your back door.

Farm Club plots are for folks that need more space to grow more food, might need occasional growing-guidance, are looking for a community focused on growing healthy foods, and appreciate getting outside and ‘doing something’. We can be your Homestead away from Home.

Are you considering being a part of our Farm Club? Click here to put in a down payment for this growing season. Feel free to reach out with any questions. We’re working with CMU students to create a “best practices” and farm club hand book for this spring.

Reserve your Farm Club Plot Here!

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

TIME CHANGE: Across from the Mayfly Market (Arch St) in Northside, this Saturday at 1:00 – 1:15 pm

TIME CHANGE Outside of Local Provisions in Fox Chapel – at the Plaza on Freeport Rd, this Saturday at 1:45 – 2:00 pm

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