Week 20 – Oct 31

It’s been a doozy of a week for us!  Thursday the farm was hit with a killing frost – which finished off our peppers, eggplant and a few other crops.  Saturday we had about 1” of snow, making the farmers market a cold adventure.  And Sunday, it kinda rained.  We’ve never taken our CSA into November – and now we know why – it’s stressful!  Luckily there are several veggies in the fields that can actually handle frost and snow and they are mostly greens, so be prepared!

We’re winding down here at the farm – and it’s just in time.  Kristen and Jen are both due in the first week of December.  The timing is just right to settle down a bit and prepare for the new additions to our lives!  The farm is a fun place to raise children and we’re looking forward to teaching them the importance of good food and community.  We’ll be sure to let you know when the new farmers arrive!

As we wrap up the 2011 growing season we really want to express our gratitude for you, our CSA members.  We couldn’t do what we do without your support.  We don’t personally get a lot of monetary gain from this farm, but we get satisfaction in so many other ways; growing good food for our community, preserving and enhancing our ecosystem, training new young farmers, preserving farmland, being good stewards of the earth, generating farm based businesses, and having a role in the Pittsburgh region’s food system.  We couldn’t do all of this without the support of CSA members.  Thank you!!

If you’d like to sign up for the 2012 CSA, just drop us a line – we’ll be happy to add you to the list!

ANIMALS ON THE FARM – Nate and Kristen

We’re starting to wrap up the animal season around here. That means stocking up on hay for the sheep and goat and thinking about where the laying hens will spend the winter. They’re not huge fans of snow and ice and we’re not huge fans of trekking through the fields in harsh weather to care for them and collect eggs each day. So, we’ll be moving them into the large high tunnels where they’ll have plenty of space to roam and where they’ll be out of the cold weather. Normally we’d wait until December for the big move but this year, we’ll be busy with new babies around here so we’ll be trying to get the hens settled in their winter home sometime this month.

After that, we’ll just be waiting for the big day for the turkeys. Don’t worry, they don’t know anything about it. They’re happily spending their days being turkeys. It’s always bittersweet for us. We love raising these guys but we also love providing a healthy, quality product for you and your families.

Please let us know if you’re interested in reserving a turkey. We plan to process them the Sunday and Monday before Thanksgiving so you can pick them up fresh on Tuesday, the 22nd. We expect this year’s batch to be between 16-20 pounds, but please understand that we have very little control over this. Our turkeys freeze well if you’d like to buy one to save for Christmas or to cut up and freeze for enjoying over the winter.

Send turkey questions and requests to: Kristen@BlackberryMeadows.com

Thank you for your support this season!
Nate and Kristen

A NOTE FROM OUR 2012 FIELD MANAGER – Lynn Trizna


In my eyes, this season definitely had its ups and down.  Nature has literally just spit on us this whole season but we kept our chins up and our muck boots on.  As the season comes to an end, I know how I feel about it, but I’m not sure how you do.   I’ve become familiar with members that pick up at Phipps, but haven’t gotten to know those who pick up at the farm, Boyd community center, or Summerset.   Since I’m going to be field manager next season, some feedback from members about this past season would be great!

I’ve really grown to love CSA members after selling at farmers markets twice a week, trying to explain why scallions cost $2 and not some lower price.  Whenever I feel tired and drag a bit in the fields, it’s always refreshing to hang out with the Phipps members who give me great recipes to try and always seem excited about the shares each week.  I love growing vegetables for those who love eating them, especially if they are willing to support a farm as great as Blackberry Meadows.

The relationship works both ways between farmer and CSA member.  You guys keep us going and so we want to make sure you have enjoyed your membership as much as we have.  I didn’t want to throw a survey together since it seems a little impersonal and frames or limits answers.  Instead I would like you all to just send me an email (lynn@blackberrymeadows.com) or write me a letter addressed to the farm.  Weather plays a big role on how the season turns out, but it would be nice to find out member reflections on the shares and farm in general.  What are we doing right, and what we need to improve upon?

Thanks for your support and hope to see you, or at least grow for you next year.  Happy hibernation!

ANNOUNCEMENTS

This is the last week of the regular CSA!  We really appreciate your support and couldn’t have be where we are, without committed CSA members like you.  It’s been a tough wet year, and we wouldn’t have been as successful if it weren’t for you, supporting us through the good and bad times!  Please let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas for next year.  We’re already making plans and are happy to try new things.

It’s last minute – but you still have time to place your order at Frankferd Farms.  Call them today or tomorrow morning to place an order and we’ll have it ready for you at your CSA pick up location this week.  Just let us know if you’ve got an order coming to you.

For the folks at the Phipps Market drop-off:  This is the last week of the CSA and there will be no market.  We’re going to change the hours and shift our location a bit.  We’ll bring the maroon F150 to Phipps and park near the statue in the parking lot out in front of the conservatory beside the statue.  The CSA will be pre-packed and dispersed from the back of the truck.  We’ll only be there from 4:30 – 6:30pm.  Please remember to share this info with anyone else you know that may be picking up the share.  We’d hate for someone to be disappointed with missing out on the last share of the season!

If you’d like to join our Winter CSA – please let us know.  It’s $150 to pick up at the farm and $175 to pick up in town (at the East End Food Coop).  The winter shares start Nov 9 and go until Dec 7 (5 weeks).  There are only  few spaces left!

We’ll be sure to let you know when the Wood Fired Pizza Oven is complete – we’re happy to host a pizza party and have you all out to enjoy our oven – which you helped us build!  Please look for an email invite soon.  Next year you can look forward to fresh bread – made right here on the farm!  Thank you!

If our records show that you still have an outstanding balance – we’ll send you an email and also give you an invoice at your pick up location.  Please let jen@blackberrymeadows.com know if you have any questions.

Thanks a bunch from your farmers at Blackberry Meadows!_

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