Farm Journal 9/3/23

This is the last week for our Griller Bundle (expires September 11th)!

Two packages of pork steaks, one rack of ribs (Baby back or St. Louis), one package of ham cutlets, and a BONUS pint of our own limited Maple Barbecue Sauce for $50. After loading your cart with these items, enter Coupon Code summerbbq23 at check out.

This Wednesday is the 14th week of our CSA (an even 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!

Notes from the field

Welcome to summer! Finally the dog-days of August have caught up to us! I’m happily thrilled to be successfully growing lettuce in August – normally my hardest summer crop to grow. I’ve kept it hidden from the ravenous deer, weeded, and healthy. We’ll pick a lot of it on Tuesday for you and will most likely clear the patch. I’ve found that lettuce doesn’t like heat (or stress… who does!?) and will get bitter under hot/stressful conditions. We’ll harvest all the plants before they have to undergo too much heat. There’s younger lettuce still out in the shady end of the field and should fare OK with our current summertime temps.

Cross your fingers that this “heat wave” won’t last too long! I’m looking forward to the crisp and sunny days of fall!

Notes from the kitchen table – by Greg

We did it again!

There is a new grant program released by the Allegheny County Conservation District (ACCD) to install more Conservation Practices on farms. I applied for the Conservation Grant and won! These new practices will improve how we pasture our livestock and preserve soil and water quality around our farm.

Our current problem is that livestock do a lot of damage in a heavily grazed pasture. In order to manage the natural grass and shrub recovery after a large paddock is pillaged by pigs, we’d re-seed the damaged areas and wait 5 years, letting nature recover and regrow.

Well… we  learned that nature comes back with a vigor, especially after a good fertilizing!  Needless to say, we ran out of easy to access, safe pasture space in those 5 years, and have been buying some time on the more limited paddocks around the barn and high tunnels. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of pounds of acorns drop out of the trees every year and go uncollected by our livestock (pigs love acorns!)Seems a total waste until this grant opened some doors to pasture housing, fencing, watering, and gravel road development.

After this grant, we will terrace those forests, mob graze the meadows, and strategically harvest acorns and other mast/browse each year.  We dream of lowering the meat production costs, making this food we raise more affordable for everyone. 

I’m so ready for a dairy cow again… and the kids are on-board. I’m trying to get the girls to understand the commitment to daily milking, Evelyn says she will help! Jen’s ready for more families and friend groups to get in touch about using more of our land through Farm Club since now there’s free fertilizer and pig plowing services included with every section!

(Here’s a picture of me, Jen, and Evelyn milking our Jersey Cow, Clover, in 2015!)

We’re going to have a Fall Farm Party! 

We, like many fruit tree owners in the area, we have a bumper crop of apples (and pears) this year! We’ll get out the old cider press on September 23 starting around 4 pm.

1) Bring along any apples you’ve got… ask your neighbors down the street if they’d let you pick their apples in exchange for a couple bottles of cider! Bring apples or ripe pears.

2) Bring along jugs, bottles, or jars for transporting some cider home in.

3) Help process these fruits into cider! 

4) Hang out for a bon-fire and cook dogs and s’mores afterwards!

Let’s come together and press some cider! 

This is a great time to gather the community and talk about the the collective hopes and dreams for the farm and how to rock the Farm Club fantasies. 

We’d appreciate an RSVP for this event. Thanks!

Enjoy a sit-down dinner on our patio, and then quick tour of the farm!

Join us on Saturday, September 16th, as we are the pop-up site for Spretzzatura’s (from Millvale) Autumn Harvest Feast.  Click here to purchase tickets.

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