Farm Journal 6/20/21

Click here to place your order for this week (please give us 24 hours lead time before your desired pick up date/time.

We are adding pick up locations as farmers markets are opening up. You can now find us at

Sundays – Squirrel Hill Farmers Market – 9am – 1 pm

Wednesdays – Here at The Farm – 11 – 7

Fridays – Northside Farmers Market – 3 – 7 pm

NEW! Saturdays – Mt. Lebonon, Uptown – 9 – 12.

Back by Demand!: Mondays – East Liberty Farmers Market – 3 – 7 pm


Field Update – Jen

I know, I know. How much more lettuce do I expect you to eat? Well… let’s harken back to the days of ole, when the wintry winds blew and you had to slurp down that limp lettuce that had been sitting on the grocery store shelves for 2 weeks. The chances are that it was so unappetizing that you skipped salads and swore them off until the spring, when farmers came out of hibernation with the “real deal”. So you think you might be sick of salads now, but we’re only 2 weeks into the CSA and you’re on a marathon to “eat your greens” – be it lettuce, kale, or broccoli leaves, until Old Man Winter comes and spoils our palette with trans-national imports that pale in comparison.

So when you see that boat load of lettuce…. it’s not time to cringe. It’s time to step up to the challenge. By pass the tortilla and replace with lettuce leaf burriot (who needs all those carbs anyway?). Nacho night on a bed of lettuce, Spring rolls with lettuce, Ceasar salad from scratch, stuffed lettuce leaves with local chevre (we recommend Cherish Creamery) topped with pickles. Think of your four heads of lettuce as a blank canvas in which you can explore your inner Julia Child, and paint a palette of early summer greens that you’ll reminisce over during the long nights of winter.

Let’s move away from talk of winter and throw out some excited whoops over the nearly-ready zucchini! We are on the BALL this summer and I have to say I’m thrilled with how quickly crops are getting planted, weeded, and harvested. I look back to early June in 2018 and the tomatoes had just been planted, little sprouts just establishing their own territory. This year, we’re already on our 3 round of trellising tomatoes and they are thigh high and bearing fruit. I won’t be long until we taste our first cherry tomato of 2021!

2018 tomato field planted in early June.

Market update – Greg

It’s an exciting time for the farm as our ventures start to support each other and our efforts start bearing fruit. To hire additional farm labor, (e.g., get beyond subsistence farming by accelerating construction of the community farm of our collective dreams), we COOK our produce and meats on the spot at the farmers market! Ready to eat, ‘Farm to Hand’ food. By removing the bricks and mortar, as well as the distribution costs, we can price our local organic sides and non-GMO pastured meat HAMburgers at more competitive ‘fast-food’ prices, rather than the gourmet local restaurant prices. This dramatically increases our customer base, and ensures that we can pay the labor without dramatically increasing production. The major accomplishment for us is to be able to put a delicious burger in-the-hand with a tolerable price-tag. I love burgers, and have paid over $50 to feed the family (two small girls and two farmers) something decent… so we rarely go out. I feel good telling the customers that all Farmer’s Grill profits are deposited into employee payroll. Folks are directly supporting local farm workers by buying our food.

Annie and Lou learning the tricks of the trade

This Week’s Menu

What I plan for at 11 pm on Sunday doesn’t always pan out to what we harvest later in the week. Items may vary at the whim of Mother Nature:

This week – look for Kale, lettuce, broccoli, herbs, scallions, garlic scapes, chard, and maybe even peas!!

Pickled Garlic Scapes – from SeriousEats

(you’ll have to ask my mom for her secret Pickled Garlic Scape Recipe)

  • 1/2 pound garlic spaces (approximately 2-3 bunches)
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt

Directions

  1. Trim the ends of the scapes, both the blossom end and the hard bit that formed at the original cut, and cut them into lengths that will fit in your jar. Prepare a small boiling water bath and a single pint jar. Place the dill and black peppercorns in the jar. Pack the trimmed scapes into the jar.
  2. Combine the vinegar, water and pickling salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Slowly pour the hot brine over the garlic scapes, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Once the jar is full, tap the jar lightly to dislodge any air bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary.
  3. Wipe the rim, apply the lid and ring, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Let these pickles cure for at least a week before eating. Pickles will last for several weeks in refrigerator after initial seal is broken.

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