Farm Journal 4/17/22

$30 order minimum for delivery into Pittsburgh (Northside only at this time)

New on the web-store: Spinach, green garlic, and rhubarb!

Where to find us?!

The Farm – WEDNESDAY (11 – 7). We’ll set your order out, you come pick it up. We’re putting orders out on the counter under the red awning. Park at the top of the hill in front of the house.

Northside – Wednesday 12:30 – 1:00 at the parking lot on Union Place by Allegheny Commons. Ask about delivery options.

Click here to shop our web-store!

(remember that shipping options for farm store purchases are only for Farm or Northside pick up. The other options are if you’re buying a CSA to be picked up at any of our city market locations)

It’s not too late to join the CSA! Sign up now!

Garden Share – April 20th

Garden shares go out on the 3rd Wednesday of the month (This Wednesday!) – so be prepared to pick up your seedlings at the farm, or at the Northside drop off location (see above for location specifics) on the 20th. I’ll send out a list of what you should expect this week.

If the Garden Share is too much – check out the Seedling Form:

Fill out this form to give your preference on what seedlings we start for summer sales. Fill out the form this week, and seedlings will be grown for pick-up the week of Mother’s Day. Survey Link:

Pork Sampler:

These seem to be selling well and are a good way to stock your freezer for a couple months.

$120 of pork + bag for $100. Includes riblets $18, ham slice $8, bacon x2 kinds $22, sausage x3 $30, shoulder steak $8, pork chops x2 $20, 2# ground $14+ bag.

Field Notes – by Jen

We were asked by KDKA to talk about the weather. This happens every couple years – where the news reporters want to hear farmers talk about the weather and their crops. Honestly – it’s the same story every Spring. It’s wet, it’s cold, it’s too muddy, and it’s hard to get crops in the ground on time.

That being said, we’re not limited to some of the constraints that the bigger farmers are. We’ve moved away from larger scale farming (we used to do 15 acres of veggies, and now do about 2) and can do the majority of work with light-weight walk behind tillers, broad forks, or by hand. We can get out there in the rain and mud and still plant crops, albeit, we’re still wet and miserable. The work gets done regardless.

We had a small window where the fields were dry enough for the Gravely Tiller and we prepped a bunch of beds. Annie, Olivia, and I planted a bunch of crops. Here, we’ve got about 700 baby kales in the ground!

We skirted the tilling and mud issue by laying blank cardboard (thanks to J.P. Starks’ Feed Mill!), putting down a thick layer of compost (from AgRecycle), and planting baby onions right into the compost. Hopefully, the cardboard will suppress the weeds and the compost will make those onions (and leeks) sky-rocket! We have about double this to plant still – just waiting on more compost to be delivered this week.

Animal Update

The timing worked out such that the Little Homesteaders were able to help us move the pullets out to their breezy abode last week. Our chicks have about 4 weeks in the warm cozy brooder before they feather out enough to be moved outdoors. This chicken tractor has been a great design so far. It’s light weight, easy to move, provides shelter, safety, free access to grass/bugs, feed, and water…. and we don’t have to hunch down to grab/inspect chickens. The kids were really excited to be able to handle the chickens. In fact, a few of the kids crawled into the tractor to make sure that the birds were comfortable and settling in to their new home.

Greg’s been hard at work pulling all the strings to make feed for our pigs. As international feed/grain prices keep going up, we’re doing what we can to keep our costs (and yours) down. It’s more work for us to grind, mix, store, and distribute the feed to our pigs, but it’s going to save a lot of money in the end. AND, we’re supporting other regional farmers. One of our feed ingredients is the meal from an organic canola farm in Susquehanna PA. They make organic canola oil and need a way to get rid of their by-product, canola meal. The pigs will be happy to help! Once it’s all in order, I’ll have Greg give you the intriguing details of sourcing local pig feed. You’ll be riveted!

Community on the Farm

Somehow we’re dropping subscribers…. Please check with your friends, farm fans, and neighbors and see if they’re getting the newsletter. About 3 times a week, I’ll get an inquiry if we’re still sending out the newsletter. We are!! Share the love and remind folks to subscribe on our website or go to the Farm Journal Link to hear the latest news.

It’s moving along nicely! With the help of Tim (The Digger), our vision of the patio is coming to fruition! Tim has been doing a lot of the back-work of leveling, shoring up, grading, and graveling our new patio. On Monday, we’re getting limestone dust and more pavers delivered. If you have random patio pavers that you’d like to contribute to our project, we’re happy for the donations. You know us, we aren’t set on sleek designs and having everything match…eclectic (or rough!) is our middle name. Tim is estimating we’ll get this done by Mother’s Day!

We envision using this space for our CSA distribution, and spreading our store out a bit more. We also like the lounge area, where folks can hang out while the kids run amok and play on the swing set, and flip the hammock. We love it when our CSA families come here as a destination. A place to relax, run free, visit animals, see the fields, and soak in the farm life. You’ll see that the patio and the awning make for a very inviting farm escape!

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