Little Peace Farm

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Little Peace Farm Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 8/7/2013 7:39pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!
Our third run of pastured, organically fed chicken is now available for pre-order.  For those who have never ordered before, just respond to this e-mail the number of chickens you would like and we'll do the rest.  Those who have ordered in the past, you know the routine..... 
Once everyone orders, we will e-mail the whole group to confirm details including pick up time and procedure.  We will process on Thursday, August 15th and pick up will be the same day from 4-6.  The cost is $3.95/lb and the birds weigh anywhere from 3.5 to 6.5 lbs.  Please bring a cooler or box to carry your chickens, especially if you order more than one.  These birds are truly delicious and excellent eaten fresh (same day as pick-up) or frozen (we've roasted birds that were frozen all winter and they were fine!).  Thank you to all who have continued to support our farm by purchasing our REAL chicken.  Gratefully.

The Scheidels

Posted 8/5/2013 5:36am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks,

What an emotional roller coaster ride growing tomatoes can be, especially organically.  We had the late frost in May and lost 20% of our planting.  Then the week or two of extreme heat which combined with the late frost pushed back ripening two or three weeks.  Now all this wet and cool weather, which spells slow ripening and lots of disease!  The abundance of rain has caused most of our ripening tomatoes to split right on the vine, juuuuuuust as they're turning color.  So some varieties like the red cherrys and yellow pears and already split/diseased out.  They gave heavily for a couple of weeks but couldn't handle all of the extremes.  Sungolds and purple cherrys are hanging in there.  If you notice fewer cherry tomatoes offered, this is why.  So if you grow your own tomatoes, be vigilant about disease especially late blight which has been confirmed in surrounding counties!  Let us know if you want any advice of what to look for or how to manage an infection.

Farmhouse Chef Demonstration
Chef Conrad from Ruby's Kitchen in Pottsville will be offering a free demonstration on preparing a fresh tomato sauce in our kitchen tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug. 6th) from 4:30-5:00.  Anyone is welcome and those picking up their CSA shares might find it easy to stay for an extra half-hour to learn from a very talented chef.  We'll be offering these short classes occasionally for the rest of the season. 

I could continue ignoring my field work and keep on typing but we've got a BIG week ahead of us.  Enjoy!  Gratefully.
The Scheidels
Little Peace Farm       
Posted 7/29/2013 2:18pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!
I wanted to touch bases on a couple of really cool events coming up.

Our first farm to table event will be happening here at the farm beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 24th.  The menu will be prepared by Chef Joseph Conrad from Ruby's Kitchen in Pottsville and will feature food exclusively from our farm.  This is a ticketed event which can be purchased here at the farm on Tuesdays 4-6 or at the Pottsville Farmer's Market from 8-12 on Saturdays.  If you haven't experienced either a true Farm-to-Table event or Chef Conrad's creations, this is a perfect opportunity.  The meal will feature an hours d' ourve/cocktail hour, a farm tour, and a 6-course meal including dessert and beverages.  We will also hold a silent auction during the event to support a local charitable organization (TBA).  The cost is $60/ticket which can be purchased here at the farm on Tuesdays from 4-6, Saturdays at the Pottsville Farmer's Market, or during the week at Ruby's Kitchen on South 2nd Street in Pottsville.  This is a rain/shine event and we are only selling a limited number of tickets, so please reserve tickets promptly.  We are really excited to host the areas first sustainably grown Farm-to-Table event! 

Market Time Change (Tuesdays)
We have been holding our CSA pick up on Tuesdays from 4-7 every week but find that just about everyone comes between 4 and 5:30.  So to save us precious time for the extra hour of setting up, we are shortening our hours; the new hours for Tuesday CSA pick up/market will be from 4-6 beginning this week.   

This week is time for the annual Schuylkill Co. Fair at the fairgrounds in Summit Station.  This is a classic event so if you haven't ever attended this could be your year.  Another incentive to go besides seeing Elvis is that on Tuesday at 3:00 in the show ring, three of our children (Grace, Justice, and Leah) will be showing three sheep.  It is really cool to see the kids who have worked so hard at training and grooming their animals show them off.  We'll be there so hope to see some of you there as well.  We will still be holding the farm market; we've got some great folks covering for us so we can see our kids show! 

We really hope you are all enjoying the bounty of the farm and look forward to the rest of the season!  Peace.

Michael and Emily and Ari, Grace, Justice, Leah, Jude, Lucy, Hope, Norah and Gabriel
Little Peace Farm
Posted 7/9/2013 10:08pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good Folks!

Today, Emily confirmed once again why she's my hero.  Gabriel William was born at 3:00 p.m. and she and he are doing wonderfully well.  God is good!  We came home at about 9:30 tonight to the news of flipped golf carts, a broken wrist, hawks eating some of our chicks and much more excitement (no joke!).  But all of that seems to melt away when we look at his little face and see the whole family.  We had some truly amazing coverage at the farm today to help run the CSA pick up and market and watch the kids.  We have no idea how to thank you all other than to continue living our farm dream with all of you.  We really mean that!  Thank all of you for supporting our family and farm.  Peace.



Posted 7/8/2013 5:19am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

We are taking orders for our next batch of pastured chicken.  We will be processing them on Thursday, July 18 and pick up will be here at the farm that afternoon from 4-6.  The cost is $3.95/lb. and they will weigh anywhere from 4-7 lbs.  If you haven't tried one, maybe this is the time.  They have been raised on pasture since they left the brooder (that's where we put our chicks until they are mature enough to go outside) and have enjoyed the bugs, sunshine, wind and rain since.  Order right away as we usually sell out pretty fast.  Gratefully! 

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

p.s.  All of this depends on when the baby comes, who was due yesterday so we'll keep everyone posted.

Posted 7/5/2013 8:24pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!

We're 5 weeks into our market and CSA season and with all the heat and recent rain, the farm (and weeds) is finally popping.  The late cool nights and cold early spring really pushed things back by 2-3 weeks but we're finally rounding a corner.  Expect to see cherry tomatoes in the next couple of weeks, more cucumbers and summer squash and fresh green/Italian beans.  

We receive e-mails from the producer of the film Fresh and the most recent one included the following, which was really a great synopsis of the the organic label.  To many, like us, growing organically is simply the way to go but the organic label doesn't always mean you're getting what you deserve; HONEST FOOD.  We're grateful to know all of our customers and take great pride in growing honest food.  The close contact we have with you really builds the trust that a sticker just can't match.  Thanks and read on for the lowdown from the folks at Fresh:

What Organic Means:
  • USDA Certification: The organic label means that the ingredients came from producers who were certified by the USDA as upholding organic standards.
  • Limited Pesticides: Organic produce is grown without synthetic and persistent pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Eating organic produce is a good way to reduce your exposure to these chemicals.
  • GMO Free: Organic foods do not include genetically-modified ingredients.
  • No Irradiation: Organic produce has not been exposed to irradiation, an ionizing radiation treatment used to kill foodborne pathogens and reduce spoilage.
What Organic Doesn't Mean:
  • Small Scale Producer: Unfortunately, food conglomerates have realized that premium prices equals larger profits, and they have bought many formerly independent organic operations. Many organic brands are in fact subsidiaries of larger mainstream companies, such as Kashi and Kellogg’s, or Muir Glen and General Mills.
  • Locally Sourced: Much of the organic produce at your supermarket probably comes from CA, while the small scale farms in your community may be local, but not certified organic.
  • Fair Labor Practices: An organic farm can be staffed by exploited workers who suffer poor pay and lack benefits. The Fair Trade label certifies that the food was produced by workers who were fairly compensated, but these requirements are not part of the organic standards.
  • No Additives: If the product is not labeled “100% organic,” up to 5% can be composed of the 100+ non-organic additives allowed by the National List. Many of the additives are included because no organic substitute is available or for economic reasons, and while not all of them are harmful, the list does include items like cellulose (indigestible wood pulp) and carrageenan (linked to intestinal inflammation and colon cancer).
The Bottom Line:
  • Know Your Farmer: Just because your local farmer hasn’t had the time or funding to get organic certification doesn’t mean they aren’t running a sustainable operation. It may be better to buy from someone you know and trust over an unknown, large scale organic farm elsewhere.
  • Organic Still Means Something: While the label may not encompass all that we would hope, the organic standards are still a good start to differentiating the types of farms and producers we want to support. Remember that the label “natural” is unregulated and doesn’t mean anything, while “organic” does require adherence to regulations.
  • Dirty Dozen: Maybe you don’t have the budget or the availability to buy only organic products. In that case, carry the Dirty Dozen card in your wallet or store it on your phone. This lists the top fruits and vegetables that carry the highest levels of pesticide residues. Strive to purchase organic versions of these foods where possible.

The Scheidels
Little Peace Farm  

Posted 6/24/2013 4:32pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hi good folks! 

Since Mike is the farmer and busy in the fields, and I'm the home chef and busy in the house, I thought I'd take a minute to update our CSA members and customers on the upcoming arrival of baby #9!  We still have 2 weeks until the due date of July 7th, but better to let you all know our plan before then.  It's likely that the delivery will impact one of our markets or CSA drop-off in Reading, and if we have to cancel one of those, we will send an email with those details.  If your market or drop-off must be cancelled for that week, we will continue your CSA pick-up for one extra week in the fall.  All details will come in an email if that happens.  We had to do that in 2011 when Norah was born in September, and everybody seemed thrilled to get an extra share of that delicious fall harvest.  So, we'll stick with the same idea for this summer 2013 baby!   Again, please watch for emails announcing this most exciting time for us, and we will be sure to let you all know exactly what to expect from us and when!  We always appreciate your continued prayers and support as we joyfully anticipate this new gift of life. 

Posted 6/10/2013 5:17am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks.  All of our birds for our first batch of chickens have been pre-ordered.  Thanks to those who placed orders.  For those who either missed this round or wanted to wait, we will be processing a batch every month until October so YOU DIDN'T MISS THE BOAT!  We will be sending an e-mail out in a couple of weeks for the next batch.  Stay tuned!

Posted 6/9/2013 2:51pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks.

Pre-oredering for our first batch of delicious, organically fed, pastured chickens begins today!  All you have to do is respond to this e-mail with the number of birds you'd like and we'll do the rest.  They get snapped up fast sometimes so order promptly.  We will send an e-mail when we're sold out. 

They will be processed and ready for pick up between 4 and 6 on Thursday, June 20.  The cost is $3.85/lb and the birds weigh anywhere from 4.5-7 lbs.  If you haven't ever tried one, there is NO comparison with store bought chicken.  Our birds are moved on a fresh patch of pasture every day and enjoy eating bugs, laying in sunshine, and breathing fresh air.  Quite a different life than those raised in extreme confinement and misery!  Most of our customers cook one the night they pick up and freeze the others.  Please e-mail with orders or any questions.  Thank you and hope all are well!  Growing greatfully.

Michael, Emily and kids
Little Peace Farm  
Posted 6/4/2013 5:30am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks.
For those CSA members who signed up for the farm as a pick up location today is the first pick up from 4-7.  For those who are not members, we'll also have extras to sell.  See you all this afternoon!  Gratefully.