Little Peace Farm

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Little Peace Farm Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 7/31/2012 8:01am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.

Welp, I've hit it.  As promised, I've hit that annual mid-season wall and I am a grump!  Every season, right about now, after several weeks of drought, fatal plant disease, bolted lettuce, corn-fed raccoons, unexpected bills, killed chickens, injury, less than stellar sales, rising fuel prices, tractor/equipment repairs, uncontrolable fatigue, Casea dog gone, I get really down about what we're doing here at the farm.  What ARE we doing here? 

When I answer that, it sounds all good and simple; WE ARE RAISING OUR FAMILY ON A FARM AND SHARING OUR LIVES AND HOW WE LIVE WITH OUR COMMUNITY, PERIOD!  Sharing the fruit of our vocation with our family, friends and community.  No matter how you say it, it sounds perfect but chasing that perfection is exhausting!  We've been in a sprint since February and are feeling it.

Having said all that, most of our friends will say, "Well what GOOD has happened on the farm so far this year?"  This e-mail would go unread for the length if I listed it all here but I'll name a few:

*we're still here!

*my wife and children!

*we've added lots of animals to our care!

*we're all relatively physically healthy!

*you're all supporting us!

*we're expanding our farm (more to come!)

*we're applying growing skills we've learned over the winter and seeing results!

*great winter growing in our new high tunnel!

These are all miracles and we know how much we have to be grateful for and we are profoundly grateful to God for our protection and care.  We know the end result of our labors are healthier, happier community.  We also know that WE LOVE BEING FARMERS.  This is our calling and we're totally dedicated to it.  That gives me peace, knowing that I'm fulfilling the vocation I was made for. 

So I'll stop whining and look for those little miracles that surround us every day.  Aah, I feel better now....

Peace

ms

lpf

Posted 7/17/2012 5:51am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks,

The intense heat makes everyting act really wierd.  First, we all get a little bleary-eyed and stumbly but manage to keep up with all of the work.  The chickens get pretty stressed out and the ruminants (sheep and goats) find any shade they can and try to stay still.  The plants start to show signs of heat stress as well.  Flowering and growth stalls and any injury from bug bites on the leaves turns crusty.  Weeds like pigweed and lambs quarter look great (sarcastic) but even other weeds go limp in the hot conditions.  We're supposedly going to hit the mid 90's for the next two days again so I hope you can all stay cool. 

Lettuce Lull

Because of the prolonged and intense heat, conditions were not fit to plant lettuce.  We were finally able to plant about 800 heads yesterday which should be ready in about 4 weeks.  We are in the middle of picking our 4th planting of head lettuce so there will be a couple of weeks starting next week or so when we will not have any.  Simply too hot!

Peppers, Eggplant and Okra

We should have our first eggplant within a week of which we have 4 or 5 varieties.  Look for Asian purple fruits called Ping Tung and heirloom eggplant called Rosa Bianca.  The okra is ready and I'll have it on the table in the next few days.  We'll provide recipes to help with cooking ideas.  Peppers are looking good and you should see the first in about 2 weeks or so.

Taters

We're digging the second variety of potato after the red fingerlings you've seen for the past couple of weeks.  What you'll see starting today are Yukon Golds.  As the season progresses we'll have varieties like Bintje, Purple Viking, Sangre, and Banana fingerlings.  Our intention is to have potatoes throughout the winter as well but this all depends on yield!  The heat has significantly lowered what we expected but I planted a large amount of seed!

Onions

We're just about done with our spring onions and are getting ready to start harvesting our sweet onions called Ailsa Craig.  Then on to our red and gold cippolinis, Tropea onions, and our storage variety called Copra

Tomatoes

The maters you've seen for the past couple of weeks have come from our high tunnel, which has enabled us to offer tomatoes 3 weeks earlier than normal.  Our varieties in the field with names like Rutgers, Black Prince, Brandywine, and Striped Roman are sizing up and slowly beginning to ripen.  We will likely tear out the high tunnel tomatoes by the end of August to make room for winter vegetables!!!

Pastured Chickens

Our 4th batch of broiler chickens is in the mail and we'll pick them up at the post office tomorrow morning.  We sold out our first two runs and are soon going to post pre-orders for the batch we just put out on pasture.  We will offer 3 more batches but keep an eye out for the e-mail because we sell out very fast. 

We could complain about how tired we are and the unrelenting heat and dry conditions and how markets could be better but the reality is we are staying afloat.  Thank you all for your continued support of our farm.  Our goal is make a profitable living fulfilling our vocation of producing the best, organically grown, nutrient dense food as possible you are all helping make that possible!  Peace.

Michael and Emily and kids

Little Peace Farm

Posted 7/12/2012 8:25pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks.

Today, we lost a beloved member of the family.  Most of you who come to the farm have been greeted by the classic, scrruffy, and barky dog named Casea.  Casea was 17 (human years!) years old which means I had her for a few years before I even met Emily!  She had a great life and now rests under a shady walnut tree in our meadow.

I found Casea while on a long weekend surf trip to Cape Hatteras.  I swerved to miss her with my car and pulled over to see what it was that I almost hit.  What I found was a curious and very scared looking pup on her belly in the sand.  Love at first sight.  She literally crawled towards me when I rounded the car in a submissive posture.  I checked her out and found that she was totally unhurt but still needed safety.  When I inquired at the rustic book store across the highway (RT 12) about whose dog it was, a local park ranger said she was very likely owned by the folks who lived across the way.  I walked her over to the probable owners house and found the classic run-down shack, car up on blocks and BIG ROTWEILER ready to bound through the screened-in porch at me.  Mom came to the door and I asked her if she wanted Casea any more.  She said not really and later that night, after her children were asleep, I came and picked up my new pooch.    

I brought her home to my apartment in Kutztown where I was living with a friend, finishing up a degree in Anthropology.  NO PETS read the fine print in our rental agreement but I seemed to think that didn't apply to me and my new dog.  Casea became an icon on campus as I tied her to shady trees outside while I attended class.  Usually, there was a small crowd around her loving her up when I was finished with class.  Friends volunteered to take her for walks when I was working and Casea kind of became a COMMUNITY dog.  There have even been a few songs written about her (Heather {Hart} Rees, you know the one).   

My mom cared for Casea while I studied and lived in Central America and became even more attached to my extended family (sorry for the dead chickens Terry!).  She traveled with me just about everywhere I went, even on another surf trip to Florida with Gavin where Casea met her first and last beach lover, a frumpy old Brittany Spaniel name General Lee!

Well, since then, Casea was absorbed into family and has been the omni-present guardian and friend for me, Em and the kids.  So many people have said, "Oh, what a strange looking thing!" but they were usually the ones who really didn't know her.  Strange looking maybe, but a lot like us.  Not cookie cutter good looking but loved life, playful, content, couldn't be tied down, and ate chickens (heheheh).  

Anyway, I wanted to share with you because she was THAT important to us.  I don't know what tomorrow morning will be like when I have nobody following me to the field at 5:30.

Peace.

Michael, Emily and the Kids.

Posted 6/25/2012 6:31am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

ONE DOWN

Welp the one down is Emily.  She fell yesterday morning and injured an already-hurt knee.  So after an early morning trip to the ER, Emily's leg is in an immobilizer and she's hobbling around on crutches.  This does not fit Emily's routine!  So no bread at the farm pick ups on Tuesdays for a little while and lots more of us picking up her load!

TWO ON THE GROUND

Last Sunday (Father's Day) we were on our way out the door to a family function when the kids scampered in the house to tell us that there were two baby goats in the stall with Heady (mom goat)!  They weren't mistaken, as Heady gave birth to two healthy kids, one male and one female.  The girls have had to do some supplemental bottle feeding but otherwise, all is good with the new additions.  The Scheidel farm keeps on growing! 

Peace

The Scheidels

 

Posted 6/17/2012 10:42pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.  We wanted to invite you to a local restaurant to have a truly local dining experience.  Here are the details:

Where: Brickhouse Grill 705 W. Market St. Orwigsburg; for reservations call 570-366-5220

When: Tuesday, June 26th 4 pm to 10 pm

Reservations only and they're filling up!!!

This will be the second farm-to-table event the Brickhouse has done and hopefully many more will follow!  They will be featuring locally raised pastured chicken from Herring's Green Grass Farm, our veggies, and eggs for creme brule from Potter's Farm.  We hope lots of you can make it!  Peace.

Little Peace Farm

Posted 6/16/2012 8:22pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.  Bad news for all those who love juicy, delicious tomatoes and hearty potatoes; LATE BLIGHT is in town!  Late blight is an extremely vigorous and destructive spore that basically melts beautiful plants and fruit into a gross, mushy mess.  If you grow either of these in your gardens, two weeks ago was the time to spray copper products to protect your plants.  See this link for a USDA report.  I don't know any conventional sprays other than Captan that might be effective.  I sprayed copper hydroxide (organic certified; Champ WP) on all of our potatoes and field tomatoes and started on the high tunnel tomatoes.  There are a lot of products out there that claim to be effective against late blight but eventually, the spore will kill everything if we have the right conditions (damp, cool).  So pray for hot and dry weather, spray your plants with a copper or other ecological products every 7-10 days and scout your plants as often as possible for any signs of infection.  Everyone in the Northeast, including us, lost tomatoes due to LB in 2009 so be vigilant!  Now, sleep well....

ms

lpf

 

Posted 6/4/2012 2:16pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.  Wanted to let you know that we're sold out of our first batch of pastured chickens.  We will have more batches throughout the season (about once per month) so stay tuned!  Thanks to those who pre-ordered. 

Also, we will have our first CSA pick up here at the farm tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5th from 4-7.  Non-CSA members are welcome to come shop as well and we'll have Emily's fresh baked breads, local raw cheeses, and our own honest eggs for sale.  Peace!

ms

lpf

Posted 6/2/2012 2:28pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks.  We are taking pre-orders for our first batch of organically pastured chicken.  We will process them on Thursday, June 21st with farm pick up in the early afternoon.  If you've never eaten one, now is a great time to taste the difference between "honest" chicken and factory/confinement raised chicken.  Our birds are raised on grass in moveable pens so they get fresh air, bugs, and locally milled organic feed.  The cost is $3.50/lb. and the birds usually weigh between 4.5 and 6.5 lbs.  We are doing 4 or 5 batches of about 50 birds each so if you miss this batch, stay tuned for the next which will be available the following month.  Send us an e-mail of the quantity you want and we'll let you know when we're sold out.  Thanks and looking forward to a great harvest!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 5/24/2012 7:58pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.  We got whacked by those 3 nights of below freezing temps at the end of April and even though we covered the plants, we lost about 75% of the blossoms (future fruit).  However, the blooms that already set fruit and those that didn't form survived.  Long story short: we'll have the first of our berries available this Saturday at our farm sale from 1-3.  See you here from 1-3!

michael, emily, and kids

little peace farm

Posted 5/22/2012 8:38pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks.  This is it!  This will be the last pre-season veggie sale for Saturday pick-up before the farmer's market and CSA season begins.  Our Saturdays, beginning on June 2nd, will be spent at the Pottsville Farmer's Market at the corner of Centre and Arch Streets from 8 a.m. until noon.   This is how our weeks will look all season long:

Sunday-rest

Monday-harvest for Tuesday farm CSA pick-up, field work

Tuesday-continue to harvest for CSA pick-up, harvest for Healthy Habits delivery, Allentown Brew Works delivery, Plaza Grower's Market, Allentown CSA  delivery

Wednesday-deliver all the above (Tuesday), field work after return from Plaza Grower's Market (Allentown),  harvest for CSA delivery to Montesano Brothers (Eagle)

Thursday-field work and harvest for Life Expression Wellness Center (greater Hazelton) CSA delivery, Madeline's Restaurant , Greystone Restaurant , and Schuylkill Country Club orders

Friday-delivery to restaurants, harvest for Satuday Pottsville Farmer's Market

Saturday-Pottsville Farmer's Market, field work

So this is a glimpse into what our schedule looks like and who supports our farm.  Please consider supporting them too! 

We will be having a sale this weekend and all ordering will be done online (see instructions below; ordering begins Wednesday at 8 a.m. and ends Fri. 8 a.m.).  Veggies will include: bibb lettuce, speckled romaine type head lettuce, red Russian kale, Tuscan kale, mesculin mix, mustard greens, mizuna greens, spring onions, cress, cilantro, lettuce mix, and pac choi.

Locally produced raw cheeses, our own HONEST eggs, herb and flower plants, and breads will also be available.  Hope to see you this Saturday, May 26th from 1-3!  Peace!

Michael, Emily and kids

Little Peace Farm

ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS: IF YOU DON'T GET A COINFIRMATIONE-MAIL, YOU DID NOT PLACE AN ORDER!

*on our website, click on "Pre/Post Season Ordering" under the CSA tab.

*for user name enter your e-mail address (the one you use to get messages from our website) and the password "abundance".  This is a universal password that you can change in the future.

*once you login, you will see all of the produce we have available including price 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!  Winter produce is limited so order early!

*then all you have to do is show up on Saturday, May 19th between 1 and 3 p.m.