Farm Journal 6/19/22

CSA pick up Week #3 (odd weeks)

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 – Monday 3:30 – 6:30 – at the new Liberty Green Park

Forth of July celebration:

Join in the community celebration and bring some fireworks to share, Monday July 4th! We have a few boxes of bigger fireworks on hand. Come to the farm for a low key (but still quite nice) fireworks show and bonfire. We’re bringing the Farmers Grill out at the farm and here’s your chance to try our famous P.I.G. burger, hotdog, and vegan polenta (from Wheterbury Farm). BYOB, make it a picnic (and/or) potluck and enjoy the evening. Fireworks will start at dusk.

Notes from the Field – Jen

We started this marathon back in December when we blissfully ordered seeds from glossy colored and enticing seed catalogs. Dreaming of the “over producing cucumbers with impeccable disease resistance that thrive in adversity” and oogeling at the large and colorful heirloom tomatoes that promise not to split or give way to blight. Then we enjoyed the warmth of the greenhouse in February and March, as the sun beamed down and kept us toasty, while the air was crisp and cool outside. We seeded and transplanted all the summer crops – knowing that a bountiful harvest will come! April, we picked up pace and started planting the fields in earnest. We had the luxury of time to lovingly spread compost on each bed and plan out the fields with a ideals of precision. In May we thought we hit our stride, as the harvest began and markets started up – yet there was still plenty of field work that seemed manageable.

But that was just the warm up. The end of June is when the race is in full swing! The CSA has started, the fields are “almost” all planted, the tomatoes are all staked (but still need to be tied up), the eggplants are covered and the late Fall tomatoes are planted in the high tunnel.

But…. the weeds. Oh. the. weeds. Grasses, ragweed, redroot pigweed, and hairy galinsoda (did I spell that right?) and the thistle! We’re in the throws of out competing the weeds and have lost the first round of carrots to the battle. Now’s the time when we call in the workshares and the weeding team. Get a good audio book, come out, and crawl around pulling out a ton of weeds! Really, it’s almost therapeutic! Tuesday mornings (stay for lunch) and Saturday afternoons (stay for a bonfire) are best for us! Email annie@blackberrymeadows.com to set up a time! We’d love the help!

Meanwhile, we’ll keep running this marathon. We aren’t even to the hard part yet -August. When thoughts of unharvested tomatoes, and marauding deer percolate into our dreams at night. It’s too hot and too dry and the sun doesn’t set until almost 10 pm.

Wild Edibles

Let me tell you something. We’re going to give you guys some weeds in your CSA share. We’re foraging wild edibles, if you want to make it sound fancy.

Last week (and this week) you all had Lambsquarters in your share. It’s a gray/green leaf with a dusty look that sheds water. A relative of spinach, it’s high in iron and can be eaten in salads or blended into smoothies, soups, or sauté’s.

Try blending it with garlic scapes, onion, a couple of ripe avocados, a handful of toasted nuts, a few seedless olives and some chickpeas. Blend and add olive oil until smooth. Spread on crackers, pita or fresh veggies. Or just treat it like spinach and cook it up!

In the future, you can expect to see more wild edibles, like dandelion greens, chickweed, and purslane. All very edible, nutrient dense, and prolific on our farm! It’d be crazy not to harvest and eat them, as this is what mother nature is providing effortlessly in the fields!

Lil’ Little Homesteaders

Don’t forget to reserve a spot for your little one to begin learning the ins and outs of farming! You can’t start them too young! The kids will have opportunities to experience harvesting in the fields, collecting eggs, visiting the barnyard animals, playing and having fun! Lindsay and Charissa are back to ensure an educational and good time on the farm!

Click here for more info and to pay a $10 deposit.

Plan for a farm dinner in September

Come out to the farm and enjoy the find dining (on our new patio) with Sprezzatura!

Pizza Picnic:

Our first Pizza Picnic day is fast approaching! We fire the wood oven and have fresh pizzas throughout the day on the LAST WEDNESDAY of the month!

Garden share pick up this week – emails to follow!

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Support Community Farming

Stock up on bacon & sausage for Fall and Winter. Shop our Farm Store products online for pick-up Saturdays at Mayfly Market & Deli in the North Side from 12 pm–12:15 pm, and in the East End at Engine House 16 - Side white door facing N. Lang 4 pm–4:30 pm.