Farm Journal 6/12/22

CSA pick up Week #2 (even weeks) – starting on Wednesday.

CSA started and that means (starting this Wednesday) any half shares that didn’t pick up yet oughta head on out to the farm or markets to get your shares. You’re on the Even week (csa week #2) half share cycle. Last week was lots of fun and felt like we’ve been gearing up for a marathon and we’re finally on the run! We now get milk from Le-ara Farm in Slate Lick. She’s has prize winning Holstein cows and a state certified raw dairy. I’ve ordered twice as many gallons as last week for the Wednesday pickup. Some folks reserved gallon(s) for pick up and I put a star by their name. If you’d like to get milk on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, for pick up at the farm, please let me know at check out.

Click here to shop our web-store

If you want eggs – especially if you’d like us to bring them to the markets – please order them online! This is also a great way to guarantee that you’ll get chicken, pork roasts, or other specific cuts from our freezers – as we bring a limited variety of meats for retail to the markets.

Where to find us?!

The Farm – WEDNESDAY (11 – 7). We are officially open!

Northside – Friday 3 – 7 farmers market in Allegheny Commons.

Mt Lebanon Uptown Market – Saturday 9-12

Squirrel Hill Market – Sunday 9 – 1 at the Beacon/Bartlett Parking Lot

East Liberty Market – First one is the Monday 3:30 – 6:30 – at the new Liberty Green Park

We have frozen chickens in the freezer now! They average about 4 lbs and are $6/lb. Order online!

If you pick your share up a the Markets and haven’t been to our stand yet – look for the Farmers Grill. We’ve set up a second booth as our seating area (aka The Corral). Pick up your share (tell us your name and we’ll give you a tray of veggies to pack up and take home. Don’t forget to bring a bag!), grab a bite and hang out awhile!

Note round the field – Jen

Did you know I’ve got a side hustle? On the tail ends of the season, I take up the job of organic crops inspector. I get to travel around the region checking on farms that are meeting the USDA standards to be Certified Organic, under the National Organic Program. Now, think what you may, about the USDA organic program. I’ve inspected farms for four years now, and every farm I’ve been to, has been the real deal. These farmers are hard workers, ethical, creative, tenacious, and honest. I scrutinize all aspects of their farm; what’s in their sheds and garages, the wash pack areas, the fields, and their neighbor’s fields. I skim through the paperwork and document their marketing material. When it comes to buying USDA organic products from small local farms, they are doing it right and with integrity. I love to go on these farm inspections and see the successes and challenges that they encounter. I go there with both the eyes and ears of an inspector, but also as a peer. I gain insight and learn lessons from each farm. We swap stories and successes, and commiserate on the hardships of the trade. I know these folks have had other inspectors roll through their farm, some of whom who have never turned soil or squashed a bean beetle. I imagine it’s hard for these farmers to be scrutinized by someone who can’t relate to the trials and tribulations of this business. We feel a bit of kinship when we sit down at the stacks of paperwork that piles up since March when farms really get busy!

More and more small farms are going toward organic certification. In our corner of the world, it really does separate the charlatans from the legit. Being certified organic does make a difference, it’s worth paying a little extra for the peace of mind that your farmer isn’t just a huckster selling auction produce sprayed with God knows what from God knows where.

So from a small certified organic farm to a customer who cares…. Thanks for seeing the value in what we do! Thanks for sticking with us!

The Farmers Grill –

Our Community Tent (help come up with a name): We’ve found that our second tent at market is really becoming a popular destination site! We bring down a few folding chairs and milk crates as tables. At the markets, there’s no place for folks to sit down and eat, get out of the sun/rain and enjoy a burger. People really seem to enjoy the respite and we’re excited to keep offering this bonus! What should we call it?

Barnyard Notes –

In May, we missed the Freezer Camp bus for the pigs, due to loading issues (it was way too muddy for the loading trailer) and other “problems”. It set our production plans back and now that we’ve had markets for a couple weeks, our freezers are bare of most sausages! We’re putting a one-per limit on bacon. We encourage you to pursue the consumption of roasts and ribs!! Get your smoker out and try your hand at pulled pork, or sou vide a loin roast!

Gear up for garlic scapes and lettuce! We’ve got beautiful lettuce in the fields and we encourage you to eat more salad!

Lil’ Little Homesteaders – 3 day farm camp

Wednesday June 29th – Fri July 1: 9:30am – 12:30pm  $75  Ages 3-5

Lil’ Little Homesteaders: Welcoming our pre-K friends for three mornings on the farm. We’ll have farm chores and farm crafts, playtime, snacks, and stories. We’ll explore the veggie field and get comfortable around chickens. Literacy and numeracy lessons incorporated throughout the day. Campers should bring a lunch.

Pay a $10 deposit (per child) to reserve your space for June 29th – July 1. Balance due on June 29th.

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