Farm Journal 4/1/24

We have some beautiful chops in the freezer that are looking for a good home! Our pork chops are super easy to cook up! Just thaw, salt, sear on a hot pan, and then bake in a 350 degree oven until 145 degrees. Try not to overcook the chops, as pastured pork can cook quicker that you think! Keep an eye on it – and factor in that the chops will keep cooking for a bit, after you remove them from the oven.

Order your chops here!

Order your farm fresh eggs here!

Serve with pickled eggs and potato salad and you’ve got a great spring dinner planned!

bone in pork chops on a wood cutting board surrounded by seasonings

Farm Notes

Spring is officially in the air – what with chickens and ducks both being broody (we have two nests that we know of so far), sows snuggling down with their litters of piglets, and the boars looking longingly across fences at all the sows and gilts that they’d like to “visit” with.

We have a round of piglets that have graduated to the “roaming” age. They are small enough to squeeze under fences, so they have the freedom to go on a “walkabout” around the barnyard. Occasionally, they’ll traverse across the gravel driveway and consider rooting in the flowerbeds around the house. That’s when we “release the dogs” (which sounds more savage than it actually is). Charlie, and either Alice or August, get sent over to herd the piglets back to the barn. The relationship is such, that when the piglets hear us say “to the barn” they start running for it – because they know there’ll be dogs in hot pursuit, ready to nip at their heels.

The greenhouse activity is ramping up, but I’m cheap, and hate to run our propane heaters to keep it warm enough for good germination. During the last check up on the greenhouse heaters the technician said they were running at 50% efficiency. That means, when I’m filling our propane tank with $1600 worth of gas, I’m losing $800 into thin air, without any heat gain!

Instead, I start all my seedlings in our utility room, under lights. It’s naturally toasty warm in there and the seedlings love it! I only need to tend to them there until they germinate, then I move the hardier seedlings, like lettuce, onions, kale, and cabbages, out to the greenhouse. They can handle temperatures getting down to the 30s in the greenhouse and still be OK.

Nests, babies, and seedlings ….. It’s spring and life is bursting out all over!

On the retail end of things…. we’re cleaning out the supply closets and getting ready for the onslaught of farmers markets…. All of our farmers market gear was washed and stored away over the winter – and now it’s time to get it all out, assess our equipment and systems, and determine what improvements we can make for 2024. We’re open to suggestions for our Farmers Grill Stand and the CSA Farm Stand- whether better signage, different toppings, sandwich sizes, or better service, or new products on the shelves; let us know, as now is the best time to make changes and improvements.

Speaking of improvements:

We’re proud to announce that our PIG MAC made it onto the Best Burgers in Pittsburgh list in the Pittsburgh Magazine!

Check out the article here and scroll down towards the end to read about our fresh-from-the-farm hand foods!

Farm Club Update

Are you getting the gardening bug? Maybe you’d like to try your hand at being a small-scale farmer? We’re leasing out just a few (30’x50′) sections of our fields to families that are interested in growing more of their storage crops at our farm. We’re thinking that a weekly visit to your family’s garden plot would be sufficient, as you should consider growing more “one and done” crops, like potatoes, onions, beets, and carrots. More perishable, and tender crops, like cherry tomatoes, lettuces, and beans should be grown closer to home.

Along with the space to grow nutrient dense crops, you also have the chance to meet other families and friends that value where their food comes from. Like an instant food-community, the farm brings us all together, where we can talk about and try new ideas of growing food, cooking food, and sharing our homestead skills with each other. Saturday nights are our bonfire night, where we enjoy playing acoustic music, playing card games (usually euchre or pinochle – but we’re open to other games too!), crafting and eating pizza.

Come be a founding member of Farm Club and help create the community for people looking for a Homestead away from Home!

Reserve your Farm Club Plot Here

Stay tuned – we’re planning a Mother’s Day Brunch on the farm with Sprezzatura – we’ll post the link for tickets as soon as they are up!

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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