Little Peace Farm

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Little Peace Farm Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 10/14/2012 7:39pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

The killing frost we got on Saturday morning really punctuated the change in season even though this week should be fairly pleasant.  This is the last week for our 20 week CSA and market season.  Thank you to all who have participated in our CSA and have been customers at our markets.  We are looking forward to the rest that comes with the change in season, but have a VERY full plate this winter including farm upgrades, equipment, barn, and home repairs, fall CSA and markets and much more.

EGGS

Our hens are currently molting which means they are shedding their feathers and spending all of their energy growing new feathers rather than laying eggs.  So we are going to be low on eggs, especially going into colder weather which slows egg production anyway.  We plan on increasing our flock next year  so stay tuned on more info.

NEXT SEASON

If you are planning on re-joining our CSA for next season or joining for the first time, deposits of $50 are due by November 15th to reserve your spot.  The full balance will be due January 15th.  We are planning for an increase in membership again so please stay tuned to our e-mails as we often fill up quickly.  Also, IF YOU NEED TO MAKE ALTERNATE ARRANGEMENTS TO MAKE PAYMENTS, LET US KNOW AS WE DON'T WANT TO EXCLUDE ANYONE FROM OUR FRESH, HONEST, CHEMICAL FREE FOOD!

Thank you all for supporting our farm and we hope that our honest food has blessed you and your families.  Gratefully!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 10/5/2012 4:07pm by Michael Scheidel.

Wow Good Folks!

Sometimes we forget how truly blessed and supported by you we are!  Thanks to all who expressed an interest in the Fall CSA and in our Micro-Investor opportunity.  Our Fall CSA is currently full as are our spaces for investors.  WE will be in touch shortly with those who responded to our original e-mail.  WE WILL CONTINUE SELLING PRODUCE THROUGH THE FALL AND WINTER MONTHS AS WELL SO STAY TUNED FOR NEWS!  Thanks again and hope to see some of you tomorrow at the  farm for our Harvest Celebration.  Peace.

P.S  Wish Ari luck as she is showing her Corriedale sheep at the state Capital for the Keystone International Livestock Expo on Sunday!

Michael and Emily and Kids

LPF

Posted 9/14/2012 11:18am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

We just wanted to tell you what we'll have at market tomorrow at the Pottsville Farmer's Market:

-salad mix

-sweet corn (yup, I snuck in a late planting)

-mixed colored sweet peppers

-mixed eggplant

-sweet potatoes

-two varieties of potatoes

-beets

-carrots

-onions

-winter squash (sweet dumpling, delicata, acorn, butternut) and pumpkins

-leeks and garlic

...and a whole lot more.

Hope to see you there and thanks to everyone who bought and picked up some of our honest pastured chicken last night! Gratefully.

LPF

Posted 9/4/2012 8:27am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.

Every year we offer bulk vegetables for canning/freezing and September is the perfect time to catch summer vegetables before they're gone! 

Paste Tomatoes

We are currently picking our Amish Paste Heirloom Tomatoes for bulk sale.  The price is $2/lb. ($1.50/lb. for current CSA members).  These are excellent for any canning, including salsas, sauces, stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and tomato soup.  We currently have several cases ready to go.  A case is 25 lbs. which would produce about 8-10 quarts of sauce or tomatoes.  

BASIL

Our second to last planting of basil is ready for harvest and it is looking beautiful!  Basil can be dried or processed and frozen for winter pesto!  We had excellent results last year when we simmered basil in olive oil and separated and froze the oil.  In mid winter we were cooking with basil infused olive oil!!!  We sell our herbs for $16/lb. but for bulk sales we are selling basil for $12/lb. ($10/lb for current CSA members).  This is pre-order as well.    

We also have peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and other herbs for sale at our farm on Tuesdays 4-7, at the Pottsville Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8-12 and at the Plaza Grower's Market in Allentown on Wednesdays from 11:30-1:30. 

Please e-mail us your orders and we'll make arrangements about pick up.  Thank you and happy preserving!

LPF

Posted 8/29/2012 9:31pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.

Well, you know we just purchased the additional acreage which comes with a ton of potential and....a couple acres of wine grapes.  There are two varieties; whites (Cayuga) and reds (Cambourcin).  The Cayugas are ready and we're picking next Thursday, September 6th.  We have a buyer for some of the whites and he is coming to help pick and is bringing his grape de-stemmer/crusher machine. THESE GRAPES ARE EXCELLENT FOR WINE MAKING OR FOR MAKING/FREEZING GRAPE JUICE/JELLIES!!! We are selling by pre-order and your order will be ready for pick up from 4-6 on picking day.  See below for details......mmmmmmmmmmmm local grapes!!!!!!!!!!!

A BIT OF GRAPE-OLOGY...

After grapes are harvested they go through a de-stemmer which removes the stems and pops the grapes open.  They then go through a press which really creates the juice for the wine or juice.  A winemaker estimated that 15 lbs. of white grapes makes about 1 gallon of wine and 12 lbs. of reds makes a gallon (reds are fermented with their skins for color).  A bottle of wine is 750ml and a gallon is approxiately equal in volume to 5 bottles of wine.   

GRAPE PRE-ORDERS

We are selling the Cayugas (whites) at $1/lb. in tact and $1.15/lb. for crushed.  You can order up to 100 lbs.   You will need to bring containers with lids if you are ordering crushed grapes or just boxes/bags if you are buying grapes in tact.  Please pre-order by responding to this e-mail about the quantity and state (in tact or crushed) you would like.  Thanks and call if you are confused.  Believe us, our heads are spinning too!  Peace.

Little Peace Farm

Posted 8/29/2012 2:25pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks.  Thanks to all who ordered!  We are sold out for this batch of our pastured chickens.  Stay tuned for more LPF news!

LPF

Posted 8/28/2012 7:09am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

We started growing vegetables to sell from our garden, when we lived in a half/double in Orwigsburg in 2006 and ever since it's been a sprint!  Today we settled on the "rest of the farm" which is the additional 15 acres behind us.  The property includes 2-3 acres of wine grapes (Cayuga and Chamborcin), two ponds and some ground and pasture for us to grow on.  Working farms never stop changing but this is the final step in a long journey towards self sufficiency and sustainability; WE ARE PUMPED!  With this additional acreage we plan on adding more vegetables, fruit trees (I say apples, Em says peaches...), pastured chickens and livestock, blueberries, asparagus, and a whole lot more. 

We want to thank folks for getting us this far, but how do we properly do this except by continuing what we were brought here to do; raise our family by growing HONEST food for ourselves and our community.  Our farm has been producing food for the community for over 150 years and we're doing nothing new.  I always say that as farmers, "We're all doing the same thing, differently." 

Thanks for supporting this little sustainable farm and we look forward to continue growing for you.  Now we're going to walk the new fields and continue dreaming!

Gratefully,

Michael, Emily, Ari, Grace, Justice, Leah, Jude, Lucy, Hope, and Norah

Little Peace Farm

Posted 8/3/2012 9:18pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks!

FARM WALK

We wanted to invite any of our CSA members or anyone who comes out on Tuesday to pick up veggies to join me on a walk of the farm.  I'll start the walk at 5:00 and we'll gather at the market room.  This is a great chance to get a grasp on the scale of what/how we're growing as a small, intensive, chemical-free veggie operation!  Wear appropriate footwear and dress for weather, this is a rain or shine or sleet or ...event. 

FARM ANIMALS

Next time you see Ari or Grace, maybe you could congratulate them on winning some ribbons at the Schuylkill Co. Fair this week.  The both did great showing a pygmy goat named "Caddie" and a pure-bred Corriedale sheep named "Livvy".  One of Ari's sheep is ready to drop a lamb or two any day now.  Our flock is growing!

PASTURED CHICKENS

We are taking orders for our 3rd batch of delicious HONEST chicken.  We move our birds on fresh grass each day and supplement their diet with transitional organic feed from a mill in Oley, PA.  We will process this batch on August 23 so pick up is from 3-6 that same day.  We also will have two larger batches following this one so if you don't get on the pre-order list this time, stay tuned!

Hope you are all enjoying the summer and our food! 

Peace!

Michael, Emily, and kids

Little Peace Farm

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