Farm Journal 5/1/22

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

-new on the web-store – lemonbalm, green garlic, and a LITTLE bit of spinach (we have lots more spinach planted that’s almost ready, but this is the batch that overwintered in the high tunnel). Also… don’t forget to buy a bunch of eggs!

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 for now.

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

In fact, a recent visit to a large local(ish) grocery store in New Kensington proved that you might just want to secure you organic veggies for the summer! Hopefully they were just replacing/repairing the coolers…. but the organic produce section of the store was BARE!

Last Chance for Mother’s Day Weekend Seedlings at the farm! Pick up is Saturday, May 7th 4 – 7 pm OR Wednesday, May 11th 11 – 7.

Check out the Seedling Form – to build your own custom order of seedlings.

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: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd7lIuuzzzP1TMw5IbHp1PbeEUvXSYw-YqmahvVpcZCk0HkIQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Mother’s Day is early this year and you don’t really want to get your tender seedlings planted too soon. Our last average frost date is May 18th. We’re happy to hold onto your seedlings for another week if you’d prefer. Just email and let us know.

Notes from the Field – Jen

If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll see that we’ve posted a lot about compost lately! We got a big load of compost from AgRecycle and we use it on just about everything!

We side dressed the kale, and made raised beds in which to transplant onions directly. We laid down a layer of cardboard and then a thick layer of the compost. It looks neat now – we’ll cross our fingers and keep ahead of weeding. Thistles and grasses are persistent! We’re planning on a lot of onions this year!

Farmin’ Notes – by Greg

This week we felt like Spring ROARED through the farm. Every day was jammed with tying up winter projects and starting up spring ones. We hosted our first AirBnB guest of the season, which has given us a chance to learn more about different facets of the world and also give the girls someone to ask their countless questions to. We again feel blessed by the community of good people who surround us and keep us feeling that the world is a much better place than social media and the news will have us believe. 

Jen took a turn driving tractor this week, brush-hogging, and turning sections. She and I even fixed up the manure spreader (for compost, not raw manure) and she worked about 20 cubic yards of our biodynamic infused pile into the ground.  That’s close to half of Mount Poovius!  She was moving mountains (Go to our Instagram page to see the spreader in action!). 

Jen has also been handling the most difficult farm job of all: working out bookkeeping systems.  This meta-admin job is so that we aren’t overwhelmed by paperwork this summer.  With everything else to do, it’s still critically important to prioritize keeping the business healthy and well tended. 

Annie has been stepping into the role of directing field operations (which gratefully relieves a lot of stress for us). While the work now is mostly bed prep and planting, she’s been working closely with Jen to not only learn her methods/rationale, but to try to make those systems more efficient and easy to follow.  Spring is a great time to be able to see how things are working and make modifications for the upcoming growing season, as summer is an all out sprint to stay ahead of the work.  Yesterday, she was planting non-stop, and today it’s pouring rain… a perfectly successful, and well orchestrated bit of farming. We are lucky to have brought Annie onto the team! 

I have been preparing for the upcoming Farmers Grill experience and handling the details of the physical patio/farm store spaces. 

The Grill received a USDA grant last year, which dramatically increased our marketing budget from $0 to $225k (over several years)! While it all has to be spent on marketing, our time in working on the venture counts towards matching those funds, which is great motivation.  We have already made major changes, implementing an online/phone based ordering system and working with Fireman Creative to produce online and physical content.  The goal is to integrate the branding on all our media to make us easier to recognize at markets, and generally make the Farmers Grill look more professional.  I guess I can see how my eclectic farmer style could be perceived as rough and incoherent carni-style, albeit functional. Ideally, this redesign will preserve and enhance the efficiencies we’ve learned through experimentation, while providing a less cluttered presentation to the public.

We think we solved the newsletter glitch – please be sure that you’re subscribed to the newsletter, as this is the main vehicle with which we communicate about our CSA, Garden Share, and farm sales and events!

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