Farm Journal 6/26/22

CSA pick up Week #4 (even weeks)

Click here to shop our web-store – New! Pickled Garlic Scapes!

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.

The next round of pigs have been shipped off to the butcher and we expect our freezers to be restocked in a couple weeks. We’ll shout out and celebrate when they are full again!

Where to find us?!

The Farm – WEDNESDAY (11 – 7).

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 going to grill and here’s your chance to try our famous P.I.G. burger, hotdog, and vegan polenta (from Whetherbury Farm). BYOB, make it a picnic (and/or) potluck and enjoy the evening. Fireworks will start at dusk.

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!

There’s a rhythm to farming, we plant, things grow, we weed, we harvest, we plow it in, and start all over again. That sounds pretty simple – but take it down another layer and the complexities begin. Our daily tasks are based on decisions made according to weather, weed pressure, soil conditions, harvest days, temperatures and equipment status (among a myriad of other factors). What we’re harvesting now – can be reflected on what was happening on the farm about 4 or more weeks ago. We live with the weather, are out in it everyday, and can see and remember how the weather patterns affect our daily tasks and the crops we grow.

Sometimes, folks who have indoor 9-5 jobs, can be a little out of touch with the weather, and as a result, they can be a little out of touch with what should be growing and ready to eat. This is often exemplified at our farmers market – folks come through asking for zucchinis in April, tomatoes in May, and spinach in August. This out-of-season-eating habit is fueled by market vendors who “supplement” their tables with auction produce; typically shipped in from the southern and western states, if not farther. Usually, veggies have a season that they do best in, being part of a CSA helps you to eat seasonally and become a more seasonal and locally in-touch eater.

Field Notes: – by Jen

We lost our crop of spring cabbages. We planted a 50’x 30′ section of Napa cabbage and 75% of it has bolted. Bolting means that a plant is under stress and it moves into its reproduction phase of life…. “Things suck right now, hurry up and make seeds!” is basically what’s going on. Our beautiful napa cabbage took a turn for the worse when the temps in the late spring soared into the 90s and then dipped into the 40s. The extremes were too much and the cabbages thew in the towel. I’m tempted to also blame variety type. We’ve grown napa cabbages successfully in the spring before (although honestly, the fall cabbages are divine) and I usually go with a variety called Bilko. Quick, uniform, and tasty. Why I switched to a new variety (called Nikko)…. I can only blame Seed Catalog Fever and will loyally go back to my tried and true Bilko Cabbage next time.

The lovely peas are about done – they are headed towards being thick and pithy and are soon to be unpalatable. We plan to tear out the peas and use the same trellising for Rattlesnake Pole Beans, Mexican Gerkins, and Bitter Melons.

We’re on a mission to curb the canada thistle that so rudely grows on our farm. We have a big area next to the veggie field that had a couple impressive patches of thistle on the brink of going to seed. I quickly mowed it down, but did so in a zig zag manner. There’s soooo much milkweed on our farm, I just couldn’t blindly raze our whole field of ecological diversity in pursuit of eradicating the thistle. I left large swaths of milkweed, flowering clover, blooming hairy vetch, and future goldenrod. Right now, it looks like a really bad haircut – but I know the reward will come when we see the monarch caterpillars happily chomping away on the milkweed!

We’ve got the zucchini and cucumbers in the field and are patiently waiting the first signs of fruiting. The tomatoes are looking lush and fab! Already there’s little fruit forming!

We’re in a harvest lull, as we’re between spring crops which have either failed (like the cabbage) or are wrapping up (like the peas) and summer crops which just aren’t ready yet.

To bulk up the shares this week, we bought in certified organic zucchini from our farming friends up north. They’ve always got great produce and we’re happy to use them to fill in the CSA if needed.

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