Farm Journal – 7/5/21

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

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

*If you missed the Squirrel Hill pick up this week, because of no market and the Holiday – please send me an email and we’ll figure out how to get your caught up.

The Menu

This week, you should get lots’a zucchini, basil, cilantro, kale, broccoli greens, scallions, yes, more garlic scapes, kohlrabi and hopefully beets.

Field Update

Apologies for the late newsletter! We had a nice 4th of July celebration and fantastic fireworks.

The rigors of summer are setting in and our beautiful spring greens are starting to show their dislike for warmer weather. We have a pest, the Flea Beetle (not the same as fleas) who just loves to chomp on brassicas (otherwise known as cole crops, like broccoli, kale, cabbage). The Red Russian kale, which just last week was large and smooth, is now showing signs of stress, with ragged purple edges and random holes. We’re going to keep it tended, oftentimes, when left to its own devices for a couple months, it’s the first to bounce back once the cool weather picks up again in late September.

We’re harvesting the broccoli leaves from the plants for you this week. Not a normal green that you find here in Western PA. We had an intern (Hi Kitty!) from California about 10 years ago who said that broccoli greens were a staple of the Santa Cruz farmer’s markets. Treat them like you would collard greens and cook long and slow. Especially good in a ham/potato/greens soup! Saute slowly with broth until they are tender enough to eat.

In classic July fashion, we’re getting inundated with weeds. It’s hot. It’s steamy. We’ve had plenty of rain and everything is growing like gang-busters. On the bright side, we can really see our progress when looking behind at all our hard work. Now that we’ve switched over to farming on multiple smaller 50′ plots, it’s easier to keep morale up. Weeding a couple of 50′ long rows is more empowering than the daunting 350′ rows that we used to grow in. I revel in the neat and tidy sections, and am always amazed to find that the area we just weeded last week is already flushed out in weeds again. This hot soupy weather brings about the Purslane, and although it’s a nuisance, it’s one of the most nutritious weeds we have ’round these parts. You might even find it in a salad mix one day!

Pig Wifery – interpreted by Jen

We had a deluge last Wednesday. Kids and CSA members were stranded under the awning while the heavens released buckets of water upon us. It was mighty! The farmhouse’s gutters were not the only thing to be tested here… the barnyard took a hit as well. The aftermath was proven the next day.

Thursday, Greg and I head down to La Dorita kitchen to cook and prep for the four days of markets Friday through Monday. As I was loading up the van with supplies, Greg kept me updated (via text) on barnyard shenanigans as he went through the evening chores before leaving for our kitchen-prep-date-night.

Greg: 5:28 pm – Pig fence is off and I need to fix it.

5:34 pm – Still dealing with this. They are going for the spilled cherries and squash that hasn’t been fed yet.

(notice pig’s pushing past electric wire and through the fence line)

5:40 pm – Picking up spilled cherries on fence line. Gotta pick them up or the pigs will get rewarded for busting through the fence! For the Glory!! Just about done and then I’ll do the rest of the barnyard chores.

5:56 – The wallow broke.

So much rain and it overflowed the wallow behind the barn.

5:57 pm – Dos is missing…. or Lil’Black (one of the pregnant sows), I’m on the hunt.

6:04 pm – Found her! (she had 4 piglets!)

6:12 pm – maybe just one more little thing before I come back….

Chickens knocked over the feed barrel.

6:17 pm – I turned around and realized that the nests are full of eggs. LoL. One more thing and I’ll be back.

so many eggs!

6:23 pm – The only thing worse than dropping feed pellets into my boots when I stand up… dropping the coop crud on my shorts down into by boots when I stand up. Lucky – no socks! Unlucky, boots filled with rain and now wet from hunting for Dos. Soggy grain and poo in wet boots. For the Glory!

barnyard curd on the trajectory for the boot gap

6:27 – Peeps low on water.

Sometimes things go smoothly, like clockwork around here. Most of the time…. you gotta laugh or your gonna cry!

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