Farm Journal 8/13/23

This Wednesday is the 11th week of our CSA (an odd week).

Farm pick up on Wednesday 11 – 7, Northside (allegheny commons) on Friday 3 – 7, and Squirrel Hill (beacon/bartlette) on Sunday 9 – 1.

Don’t forget that you can place an order and we’ll bring it to the markets for you!

Ham Loaf

A Western Pennsylvania Tradition. Great with corn on the cob and potato salad!

Get 4 lbs for $30! Enter Loaf2023 at check out for $6 off. Good until the end of August. 

Here’s my Nana Rose’s reliable Ham Loaf Recipe!

In the Freezers:

We’re all stocked up with Sweet Italian Sausage, Boneless Chops, and Ham Cutlets. Order now and pick up at the farm or at one of our two farmers markets.

Field Updates:

We had a small window to work the fields and get more fall crops seeded. While Greg was at market on Friday, I stayed home and spaded old sections of the fields and prepped them for carrots, beets, and radishes. Olivia came out and helped me with pushing our Planet Jr. Seeder through the rows, pulling out rocks and clusters of weeds that got in my way. Evening work in the fields is the best, with the cicadas, crickets and frogs singing away, the sun setting and illuminating the clouds, and the cooler temps easing the strain of a hard day’s work.

I was proud to have gotten two whole steps accomplished in one day. 1. Prepping beds (I had to wait for the fields to dry out enough), and 2. Seeding crops (the duff had to be broken down well enough to direct seed into).

Then it rained…. and I mean rained! And not just of Friday night, but on Saturday night too. It pounded my fields and most likely displaced my seeds….. Now I’m in a quandary – should I re-seed the beds? Or wait 2 weeks to see what the germination looks like. Carrots and beets can be 50+ day to maturity, which takes us into early October. I won’t wait too long to decide!

I still need to seed turnips, tat soi, arugula, daikons, and more! We have Napa cabbages, bok choi, kohlrabi and lettuce to transplant too!

If you’re looking for a bit of experience with growing veggies, and need the parameters of “little to no commitment” – come out on Tuesdays 9 -1:30 and grow with us! We can always use the help!

Farm Club:

Greg and I are kicking around the next iteration of our farm. Where are we going with this? What’s our quality of life like now and how would we like it to look in the future? What’s working now and what’s not? What makes us successful and happy (albeit sometimes exhausted, but happy)?

Many of the answers to those questions all percolate down to: COMMUNITY. This farm is at its best when there’s a humming hive of community members actively participating, helping, and developing the processes of growing food and nutrition here at the farm.

We envision creating a “Farm Club” where our ‘hard core’ members come out and work together to create food. Whether farming a 30’x50′ section of the field for themselves, with our support and infrastructure, or helping to harvest or preserve the foods that are raised here so we can all eat year round. We encouragingly supply seedlings, resources, tools, and expertise, right along side of you, while we grow our own fields for the CSA.

Ideally, we reach a critical mass, where we farmers, a few families, and many community members, are each maintaining our plots, helping each other out, weeding, planting, harvesting…. then… processing, canning, freezing, cooking, learning and teaching. It’s beyond just buying food from a local farmer… it’s Community Supported Farming. Our goal is to help feed more families from this local farmland, and we can’t do it by ourselves.

We are all aware that food security is important; that knowing how to grow and process food is becoming a dying art. We know that being outside, connecting with nature, interacting with the microbes that live in healthy soil, breathing fresh air, and getting a little Vitamin D is good for us all. We know that kids need to run, explore, get dirty, and take a couple risks. We know that as adults, we need some time to “check out” and get a little bit of peace, exercise, and tactile productivity. We know that humans are social creatures and we could all use a few more friends…. especially ones who care about food. Growing good food.

So…. why can’t Blackberry Meadows become your Club**? Get out here. Get dirty. Grow food with us!

** We’re in phase 2 of this idea – we’re open to comments, thoughts, suggestions, encouragements/discouragements, concerns and dreams. Chat with us at market, the farm store, or shoot us an email. Please reach out and give us your two cents. We’re all ears!

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