Little Peace Farm

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Little Peace Farm Blog

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Posted 2/21/2014 7:45am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

We are excited to have Kevin Bristol join our farm this season as an intern.  Kevin is currently a junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying history and linguistics.  He was recommended by a former teacher of mine who mentored and taught him throughout high school and into college (thank you Cyril!).  Kevin visited our farm in early January and has confirmed a new interest in agriculture and would like to experience farming first hand. 

Kevin needs a place to call home for the summer and I thought I'd start with all of you! Aside from anyone in crisis, our home is simply too full to add another adult human!  He calls Allentown home but needs to live nearby the farm in order to make it worthwhile.  His rental needs would include a private bedroom and a bathroom.  He has his own vehicle, is a non-smoker, said he is very private and would be here from the first week in May until the third week in August.  He might just sleep a lot because of all of the new work we'd expose him to.  If anyone has the interest and ability to offer to rent him a room, please let us know as soon as possible and we can proceed from there.  Kevin will be in the area again during Spring Break (mid-March) for a visit.  Thank you in advance for considering helping out.   

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 2/17/2014 7:32am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

I've been hearing a lot of griping about this "miserable" weather we're having and I've resigned myself to not join in.  It's only going to get me down and it's not going to melt a single flake!  Not joining in is almost a meditative exercise at this point since the snow is impacting just about every fascet of our lives right now.  So aside from appreciating the beauty of it all (was anyone outside last night? Wow!) we're looking at the humorous side as well.

The first snow of the year I proudly shoveled 3 foot wide paths everywhere and since have gotten lazier and lazier.  There is now one path about the width of a squirrel out to our market room and workshop. I think I am slowly adopting the "ah the sun will eventually melt all this anyway so why shovel" attitude.  The parking spot by the farmhouse is juuuuust wide enough to fit our smaller car in with about a 10 point turn.  The kids have built 3 complete igloos just in case it gets too cold in the house (they probably hold heat better too!).

So put a smile on, bundle up for now and be sure that warmer days are to come.  Here's some of our plans to help you think about spring: 

Our seed order is done and includes over 20 varieties of squash, melon, and cucumber; 30 varieties of heirloom tomatoes; 10+varieties of peppers in addition to new carrots, beets, onions, lettuces and greens, flowers, beans, peas, corn, broccoli, etc...I could keep going!

Potting mix is here and our nursery is beginning to fill up with flats of our earliest starts!

The first trees for our new Apple Orchard are on order and we're planning the perfect location for it!

Beds in the high tunnel are being prepped for the earliest spring greens  before being replaced by tomatoes!

We're planning our spring and summer events on the farm including our Homesteader's Roundtable, Farm-to-Table and chef dinners, pot luck dinners and family nights, farm workshops, plant exchanges (we're looking for rhubarb!) and more.

So hang in there and if anyone wants to spend a 22 degree day in a 75 degree greenhouse, give a call.

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 2/8/2014 9:16pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good Folks!

I just returned from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) conference in State College and like each year I go I am overwhelmed.  Not in a bad way but in the following ways:

*by how much more I need to learn about this incredible system I work with (the soil) and how much I've already learned!

*by how truly dysfunctional our food system really is!

*by how much evidence there is that our food is making us sick and our poisoned soils are making our food sick!

*by how blessed we are to live a farm lifestyle and especially to be supported by folks like all of you!

I attended workshops on biodynamics, apple growing (we're planting the first trees of our new orchard this spring), farm resiliency, economics of farming and lots more.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Daphne Miller and the plenary speech was given by Dr. Miguel Altieri

I'm convicted to nurture the healthiest soils I can on our farm and grow the highest quality food possible with the best seed available for the folks who surround us with prayer, support and encouragement.  So I'm buzzing with energy from the conference that will launch me into the growing season with the hope of a great year.  Thank you all for supporting us and other ecological farms.  Keep it up, we've got a loooooong row to hoe! 

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/25/2014 9:48am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey Frozen Folks!

Extra Citrus
Well after heating the market room for two days with the woodstove and space heaters the citrus we ordered is MOSTLY gone.  After the folks who pre-ordered citrus picked up their orders we have 5 full cases of Hamlin Juice Oranges available. This variety is mild in color and flavor and makes an excellent drink in the morning!  These oranges are grown on a certified organic grove in Fla. but since they are from trees on the border of their property with other conventional groves, they are not considered 100% organic. The cost is $25 for a half case and $50 for a full case.  A case includes approximately 100 fruits or about 40-45 lbs.  We are selling these on a first come/first served basis so order right away by responding to this e-mail.  

First Seeds
I thought you all would like to know that we are seeding the first of our plants in the nursery today for the 2014 growing season.  Onions take a very long time to grow and we start our own plants this week and eventually transplant them out in May.  These are red and white varieties and also large garden onions called Ailsa Craig.  So, amidst all of this frozen weather there IS hope!

We are open for new CSA members for the 2014 growing season.  Check out details on our website and let us know if you have any questions!   

Thanks and stay tuned for more farm news!

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/3/2014 10:33am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!
Wow it's cold outside!  The upside: bacteria and mold spores that cause trouble in the summer growing season and survive mild winters are NOT going to survive this arctic blast.  The downside: nervous about water pipes, cold animals (we've got 3 hogs and a flock of hens), blowing through heating oil and slippery roads.  Let's be glad we don't live in coastal NY!!!

CSA Balances Due!   
For those who have already sent in deposits and for those who plan to join our CSA for the 2014 season please be aware that BALANCES ARE DUE BY JANUARY 15TH!!!  If you don't know your balance send us an e-mail and we'll let you know.  This revenue is key to starting up the new season and getting through the next couple winter months so please be aware of the date.  After this date we can assess how many shares we'll still have available. 

New CSA Members
Welcome to our new CSA members for the 2014 season.  Look for e-mails in the next few weeks about our winter markets and other planned farm events.  

Grassroots Marketing
We have grown over the past few years mostly because of good folks like you spreading the word about our farm. The CSA (community supported agriculture) model is difficult for folks new to the idea to grasp; "I pay how much, when, why, for who, for what..."  And believe us it is hard sometimes to promote!  So along with some new marketing ideas we are relying on you to spread the word about us.  Thank you for talking us up and especially for eating food grown on our chemical free, sustainable, small family farm.       

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 12/21/2013 6:42am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!
Here's an early Christmas gift for America's small farmers.  Last year the FDA proposed an extremely lopsided piece of legislation under the guise of food safety that would have levied serious financial burden on small farms; basically applying the same rules and inspection fees for small farms like ours as large industrial operations.  I submitted my comments on the proposed legislation to our representatives and participated in webinars trying to understand the proposal.  Yesterday it was announced that the FDA has issued a surprise reversal on their proposal but will revise and resubmit next year some time.  So for now the small family farm is safe from the disconnected mindset that any legislation for farms could be one-size-fits-all. 
Below is an excerpt from Jim Gerritsen's recent post on his website.  Jim is an organic potato (and more) farmer in Maine who owns and operated Wood Prairie Farm and is a leading advocate for GMO labeling and the fight against Mon(ster)sa(tan)nto!  

Thank you for supporting our farm!  Peace.
The Scheidels

Posted 12/18/2013 10:55am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!
After the citrus pick up yesterday we have 6-7 cases of pink grapefruit left.  The cost is 47.50 and there are approximately 40 fruits/case.  E-mail us if you are interested and we'll work out pick up arrangements.  Enjoy and stay tuned for more farm news!
Posted 12/13/2013 8:11am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey folks,
Due to the threat of snow tomorrow we are opening our "Christmas Down on the Farm" tomorrow at 10 a.m. instead of 12.  Hope to see you in the morning! 
The Scheidels
Little Peace Farm   
Posted 12/8/2013 7:04pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!
We are partnering again with Thorpe's Organic Family Farm in New York to offer you fresh and excellent quality certified organic citrus fruit.  Mike and Gayle Thorpe own an organic citrus grove in Florida and travel there to work the grove and harvest the fruit during the winter months.  They are traveling back to NY and passing through PA on Monday, Dec. 16th with their first shipment and we are taking orders for the following: 

*Red Grapefruits-very sweet and beautiful rose colored interior; small, medium and large mixed in each case, very few seeds.

*Hamlin Oranges-excellent for slicing in to wedges or juicing especially to mix with red grapefruit or honey tangerine; some seeds. 

The Hamlin Oranges come in cases which weigh about 40-45 lbs. and total between 100-120 oranges per case.  The grapefruit cases weigh approximately 30 lbs. and include around 38-42 fruits per case.  The cost is $56.25/case of oranges and $47.50/case for the grapefruit.  

Pick up will be here at the farm on December 16 (details to come as the day gets closer!).  FULL CASE ORDERS ONLY!  Please also remember that if you order, you are committing to purchasing and picking up the fruit!  This is an excellent opportunity to get fresh, organic citrus for an excellent price.  If you think a case is too much for you consider splitting one with a friend or squeeze and freeze!!!  The online ordering window opens today and closes on Thursday, Dec. 12th.  Order right away as we have a limit to the number of cases we can order!  

Thank you all!    


*on our website, click on "Citrus Orders" under the CSA/Ordering tab.

*there is no need to log in as this is open for any subscirber to our website! 

*once you login, you will see the varieties of citrus we have available including a photo and description.  Make your selections and proceed to checkout by clicking on VIEW CART.

*Click SAVE AND CHECKOUT.  You must choose Little Peace Farm for pick up!

*Then click CHOOSE AND CONTINUE.  You will see your complete order including total.  GO TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE AND CLICK COMPLETE CHECKOUT. 

*You will receive a confirmation e-mail within moments of completing your orderIf you do not receive a confirmation e-mail, you did not order correctly!

Posted 11/28/2013 11:30am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!

We wanted to send a note to thank all of you who have supported our farm in so many ways this year: praying for us, joining our CSA, spreading the word, marketing for us, visiting us at the markets, working on the farm, driving for us, babysitting, fixing things, lending equipment, participating in our farm events, ...  A true community supported farm is in a perpetual state of thanksgiving for those who trust and support the effort to feed our family and yours.  Gratefully.

The Scheidels
Little Peace Farm