July 27th 2015 Newsletter

The Weekly Menu

What you can roughly expect to receive each week:

Here’s where we list what is going to be in the weekly shares.  What we think we will harvest when writing the newsletter – may not necessarily be what’s actually ready on harvest day.  We’ll do our best to get it right!

This week: Carrots (they are getting smaller now), beans, garlic, scallions, peppers, herbs and greens.

Now that Summer is finally here….

We don’t have air conditioning in our house….. in fact, it’s one of those houses that’s hotter inside than out.  Which kind of works for us – as if you’re going to be hot, you might as well be outside and doing things than inside…. hot and bored.  Also, the transition between going inside and out isn’t as dramatic.  I think your body acclimates to where you are and really, Summer isn’t that bad when you don’t have air conditioning to compare it to.  That said, I’m glad I’m not in Florida now!

It didn’t take long for me to say it – but we could use a bit of rain!  We had the irrigation running on the tomatoes, peppers, and cucurbits (cucumbers and summer squash).  Matt griped a bit about the tomato stakes being pounded through the irrigation hose and the main manifold nestled in a bed of extra poisonous looking poison ivy.  But these guys are all troopers and are stepping up to the challenge.

We say, once we get through August, we are over the hump, and after the 2nd week in September, things get easier.  Although I’ve never run one, I liken veggie farming to running a marathon.  For us, there’s this point (especially for the newbie apprentices) where you wonder how much more you can take; how many hot days, late nights, early mornings, weeds, poison ivy, deer damage, insect infestations, and back aches can you take?  But we just push on a little harder and that’s when we can see the finish line.  The amazing heirloom tomatoes and sungold cherry tomatoes give us that extra ‘umphh’ as we cruise on to the ending…. light weight crops!  Kale, lettuce, arugula, and spinach! and the beautiful colors of fall that we are blessed with here in Western PA!

IMPORTANT – Blueberries!

Hunter Farms, in Erie, has started picking Organic Blueberries!  These are the best around, although comparatively, a little pricy.  It’s definatly worth it – as these are the sweetest, biggest blueberries you’ll ever have.

You can still order a flat of 12 pints for $65 or buy individual pints for $5.50 (limited).  (They freeze super well!)  We sell them at the farmers market for $6 and they fly off the table!

Just email jen@blackberrymeadows.com and place your order, along with your pick up date (especially if you’re a 1/2 share).  Blueberry season just began up in Erie, so we should be taking orders for  couple of weeks.

CSA Potluck August 15th -Sign up now!

Click here for the Link

We had a nice turn out for this past potluck – and we really lucked out with the rain.  Everyone had a chance to make their own pizza, which was lots of fun!

Play Date at the Farm!

Starting on the first friday in August (the 7th), we’ll be hosting a playdate here at the farm.  We’ll try doing morning sessions: 9:30 – 12:30, and just for the month of August.  More details to come – but in general, we’d like to invite you and you’re kids (2 1/2 – 8 years old?) to come out to the farm for a play date.  If you’re a CSA member and would like your kids to get more “farm time” getting dirty, visiting animals and playing on the farm for a couple of hours, you’re invited.  We’ll see how this goes and then decide what kind of structure and time frame works best for us all.  Check in with me if you think you and your kids will attend!

Here’s a couple interesting links to articles about farm exposure and allergies:

Hay Fever

New York Times Article

Local Goods:

Frankferd Farms – These guys are great!  What a treasure to have here in Western PA – A distributer of natural and organic goods!!  Place an order with them at the end of the month and we’ll have it on hand at your next CSA pick-up.  Give Jen a heads up that you placed an order.

Natrona Bottling Co. – Brewed fresh here in Natrona, this beverage is High Fructose Corn Syrup Free and Local!  If you’re gonna eat junk food – it might as well be local junk food!

Allegro Hearth Bakery Fresh bread and sweets available at the farm pickup only.  Made fresh every Tuesday night – amazing stuff!

Jarosinski Farm – we’re excited to be working with Kevin, a young fellow in Buffalo Township who is tending high quality pasture raised chickens for eggs and meat.

Kopar Honey Farm – talk about local!  The Kopars keep bees on our farm, as well as other locations in southwestern, PA.

Clarion River Organics – we purchase potatoes, watermelon, winter squash and other items from them that we may not be growing this year.

Brenkel’s Organic Farm – in Zelienople, supplies us with a few veggies too. 

Conneautee Creamery – Artisan cheeses made from grass fed cows.

Harmony Hill Farm – supplies us with pasture raised, grass fed beef.  We’ll have ground beef on hand at $7/lb.

Northwoods Ranch – located in Gibsonia area, this farm specialies in all pasture raised, Non-GMO and soy free beef and pork.  They raise heritage breeds of pigs and Highland Cattle for beef.  Currently, we only have ground beef from these guys.

Hunter Farms –  keeps us supplied with the best Certified Organic Blueberries  around.  They usually start up in July.  

Una Biological – creams, salves, and balms.  All made in small batches, with organic and some locally sourced ingredients.

Value added from the Farm

We dabble in a few hand crafted items.  We’ll purchase fair trade, organic, green coffee beans and roast them in our wood oven.   

We just made some fantastic Garlic Salt this spring.  Mixed with high quality Himalayan Salt – it’s great for a seasoning on most meals and as an addition to popcorn!

Thanks for choosing our CSA.  We strive to grow nutrient dense, wholesome foods for you.  We think what we do is hard work – but important for our family, friends, and community.  There’s a few things that we find important: growing good food, participating in the local economy, being good stewards to the environment, providing our community with access to a farm, farm animals and the outdoors, and teaching new and beginning farmers what we know.  By being a CSA member and supporting our endeavors, you’re helping us to achieve our goals.  Thanks!!


Your Farmers,

Greg, Jen, Evelyn, Matt, Sam, Dawn and Haven

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