Farm Journal 5/3/21

New in the Store front: DOG TREATS! 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***

CSA starts up in Early June – specific dates still to come!

From the Fields

The chickens have graduated to the outdoor life. It was an eventful move and the chickens were rather disturbed by their new environment…. but within 10 minutes they were happily pecking at their feed, hunting for bugs and eating grass and weeds. August, on the other hand, has some learning to do. He circled the cage a couple of times, enjoying the panic that ensued. Fortunately, he responds well to correction and hasn’t been caught back over there harassing the birds. Alice pays them no mind until they are out of the pen, and she knows it’s her duty to corner and catch the chickens, but hasn’t killed any yet. A good farm dog is worth their weight in gold!

We’ve has good fortune with our peas, and they are really loving the cold wet weather! If you look closely, you might be able to see small spinach sprouts too. They, on the other hand, aren’t growing quite as quickly. They can’t handle a lot of hot weather and when the temps get up into the 80s…. we are pushing our luck with getting a good crop. We’ll keep them weeded and find out what happens.

On the other hand, the kales are looking healthy and happy and I was thrilled to have a good sized crew last Tuesday. We got sooo much done! They side dressed the kale, cabbage and broccoli with compost, and made a new bed for the Asparagus patch. We use compost from AgRecycle, which has a composting facility out here in Fawn Township. We get about two dump trailer loads each spring, and add them to the growing beds. It helps to add biodiversity, humus, nutrients, and organic matter to the soil. A good compost makes a big difference in production, but it doesn’t come cheap! We do make compost with the manure from the animal barn, but we don’t turn and monitor temperatures enough to meet the National Organic Program standards for “compost”. Because of that, we apply our compost to the fields in the fall, giving us more than 120 days before harvest. The two systems work together – as the fall application gives the microbes time to digest our barn compost and the spring application is a quick boost to the crops.

We’re excited to get a new asparagus patch going and am trying out a new lasagna system of bed building. We put down a layer of unwaxed, non glossy cardboard and then a thick layer of compost. I couldn’t believe how many trips with the tractor I had to make to help the crew spread all that compost around. We went through more than half of a tri-axel load of compost for this asparagus – an expensive experiment which I hope will work out! Asparagus crowns will arrive by the end of the week!

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