Farm Journal 4/18/2021

New in the Store front: Eggs, SEEDLINGS (TOMATOES! and more ) and Produce.

You can place your order here for pick up at:

The Farm this Wednesday 11 – 7

The Northside (801 Union Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15212) this Wednesday at 3:30/3:45

***If you miss the pick up window, please get in touch to schedule another time***

What is a CSA?

We raise organic produce and pastured meats. Our CSA is a direct farm investment (no middleman) so the funds directly support our startup costs as opposed to helping to run a distribution company dedicated to local farms. 
Our CSA members may not receive certain crops if they are lost to pests or disease, but also, they may get double or triple quantities when we have bumper crops! Unlike the distributors, our CSA is an inconsistent adventure that our customer join with us every year. 

Most other CSAs backfill orders and/or purchase a significant amount of produce at wholesale or even below market prices from local farmers.  They have consistency and planned boxes delivered to your doorstep. But the customers money supports the distributor, not the farmer, until the crop is harvested and packaged. So the total economic risk always stay solely with the farmer in our type of CSA.

I say these things because it’s important to manage customer expectations.  If we had CSA membership in the hundreds, I’d be concerned that our customers would expect Blackberry Meadows to behave like a larger CSA with multiple farmers, guaranteed consistency, and assurances on weekly box contents.  We are a one-farm operation and we get to know our customers PERSONALLY every season. We grow unique and heirloom varieties, and focus on soil health, diversity, and land management, rather than just on heavy production and yields. We have a small CSA (hovering around 100 members and customers at the most). You come to our farm, bring the kids, camp out, and experience where your food comes from…. And this is what we think Community Supported Agriculture is all about. Join us on Wednesdays, our CSA pick up day (starting in June), visit the animals and fields, let the kids play and enjoy a bit of the country life! It’s not too late to join the CSA. We will close up membership around mid may- so please sign up before then! You can pay half now and the remainder by Aug 1 if deferring payments would help.

Where’s the Beef?

Lucky for us all, Ron Kriess, from Rolling Hills Heritage Farm, sent a couple large beef up to Cunningham Meats for us! We learned that the beef is coming back with even more ground than we estimated! These kinds of bumper harvests are always welcome, and gladly shared with our Community here at Blackberry Meadows. So, we are INCREASING the amount of beef in the $200 beef packages.

Everyone who already ordered and anyone who’s on the fence, the deal is now for 30# ($6.60/lb for single sourced, local, grass fed and finished beef!!), but there are only 9 left! Place your order here. Beef is slated to arrive this week. Be prepared to pick up this Wednesday 11 – 7. We don’t have much freezer space and can’t store it for you.

For those of you worrying about our sanity: the ‘lost revenue’ from the beef bonus is about the same cost as yet another freezer. At this time, we’d prefer to invest this ‘revenue’ directly into our Community. We’re all in this together.

Sty-lishly Clean!

Finally! The soap is ready. We’re cranking it out and are working on the packaging and display. It’s quite a deal at only $10/lb (cheaper, yet better quality than Ivory Soap). You can order your soap here.

Field Update:

Crops are growing nicely in the fields! Despite the hard frost, the radishes, scallions, arugula, peas and spinach are coming along. We planted a bunch of broccoli, kale and lettuce and they are tucked in with row cover and not the least bit bothered by the cold.

If you’ve got some time – particularly on Tuesdays 9 – 1, we’re looking for a few extra hands. Currently, we need to add to our weeding crew. Someone who’s content listening to an audio book and pulling weeds for 4 hours would be ideal. We already have Linda (Champion Weeder), who has been with us for years, but she may need more backup as we’ve added a new field. It’s always great to look over the pristine fields!

Soon we’ll plant our potatoes and prep beds for the summer crops. We’re expanding our tomato selection and have bunches of seedlings available on our website. The peppers are still growing in the greenhouse and need another week or so, before they are ready for sale. Sit tight!

Welcome to the Hillbilly Resort and Nature Spa

Last year, we launched a campaign to construct canvas cabins on our farm. They are up and ready and we’re reaching out to you to give them a try! Spend a weekend on the farm, relaxing, walking, helping with farm chores, or simply cuddling bunnies. Check out our listing on Airbnb for more info. Feedback is always welcome!

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