This photo was taken yesterday and shows greenhouse #1. Much of the product in this house is going out into next week’s delivery.
I hope this post finds everyone well and happy. Things here are going very well. We have completed an amazing amount of work in the last three weeks. We even have a significant amount of stuff planted out in the fields. This week marks the first week where there is an abundant supply coming from our farm. It will only increase from here.
Please, please please return hard ice packs. We have hundreds out that have not been returned and the prices of these don’t come down till mid-Summer. Also important to note if you get milk from us and don’t return the thermal liner and ice pack, we lose money on the sale. So keep that in mind, please.
I wanted to remind everyone that milk being shipped is now brought town to freezing temperature before packing. They will be packed slightly frozen with a large plastic ice pack and placed in a thermal liner. We are having great success with this. Also, remember this milk is as close to raw as you can get without all of the raw milk troubles, including difficulty with business liability insurance. So the shelf life of this is around 5 days. We have a number of customers that buy multi-half gallons and freeze ones for future weeks. It works amazingly well.
Our mushrooms are packed in a pulp berry basket covered with a paper towel and put into a plastic bag. Please be sure to remove the bag as soon as you get the mushrooms and replace the paper towel with a dry paper towel. They will last around a week in your fridge if you manage them this way.
As many of you know we do not wash our fresh cut loose greens. The industrial salad spinner we have causes the leaves to bruise shortening the shelf life considerably. We have a lot of techniques in place to reduce how much soil ends up on them, if any, but it is important to keep in mind that they should be rinsed prior to eating.
We are still on the lookout for a few good members. If you make a referral, we’ll give you two months extra membership for free!
Today we are preparing high tunnels for heirloom tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. They will get transplanted after the next delivery. We have a very interesting strategy this year where we are using all four high tunnels almost exclusively for peppers, eggplant, strawberries and tomatoes. Expect to see an abundance of San Marzano tomatoes this year. Every year we select several crops and several outcomes and work to develop a plan to improve on them. High tunnel production increase is one of those outcomes we are trying to tweak as well one of the crops being San Marzano tomatoes.
We made some small progress on the commercial kitchen earlier this week and I’m [johnny] hoping to work a little on it tomorrow, while the guys have a day off. This project isn’t moving nearly as fast as I want, but it will get there eventually. Wait till you see what awesome things happen when this is done!
Yesterday me and the guys loaded two of our pasture-raised beef cattle to be harvested. Expect to see a nice supply of beef in the up-coming weeks. We have developed a technique along with some infrastructure that makes this process much better and safer. It was perhaps one of the biggest wins of the week for me.
We are getting 200 additional laying hens/pullets the week of May 8th. They take about three weeks to start producing. So by June, we’ll have more eggs for all of you.
I know many of you are bummed that we are not doing our annual plant sale. Please understand that not doing this has created an amazingly better work environment for everyone here and it has also increased the amount of product we have planted and are maintaining for harvest in the near future. I’m hopeful you all found another place to source your plants. If you have, please be aware that the 8-14 day temperature outlook is not good! There is a greater than 70% chance that Western PA will have -15 degrees below the average daily low. That’s very significant.
Thank you to all of you for supporting our farm. We are super happy with how things are shaping up! Please remember, our/your farm is open to members only. We do strongly encourage all of you to come out for a tour. I’d love to show you around.