Little Peace Farm

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Little Peace Farm Blog

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Posted 2/5/2012 7:12pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks! 


Don't let the title of this entry scare you; I am not fighting off federal agents trying to take the farm or anything.  Emily, two of our children, and I attended the 21st annual PASA conference this weekend in State College.  PASA is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and is really the regions largest and I'd say strongest pro-sustainable farm organization.  Every year of farming brings challenges including ones that make a farmer feel quite alone.  Seeing over 2000 other people interested in providing, promoting, and protecting safe food is always an amazing encouragement and certainly does RELOAD our tanks for another season.  


Fellow farmer Eric from Barefoot Gardens and I presented results of trialing a fairly new biodegradable mulch on our farms in 2011.  The mulch is a thin film that looks a lot like plastic but is made from corn starch!  It breaks down after several months and leaves no toxic residues in the soil.  Excellent for warming soil and weed control, this resource is used by a lot of fellow sustainable farmers.

I attended workshops on growing hightunnel tomatoes, seed saving, organic hightunnel production, and diagnosing nutrition problems in vegetables.  Emily, while struggling with a sick infant (Norah with a snotty virus of some kind...) half-attended workshops including cut flowers, edible weeds and "Radical Homemakers". 

The Keynote speaker was Brian Halweil, senior fellow at the World Watch Institute and food revolutionary.  Very articulate and not a dooms-day type speaker.  The Plenary Speaker was Shannon Hayes, author of "The Radical Homemaker". 

The conference is not only for farmers so if you have an interest in attending next year, let us know and we'd be glad to introduce you to the PASA family!


We are again going to offer our hightunnel grown veggies for Saturday, February 11th pick up.  WE ARE GOING TO OPEN THE STORE AND CLOSE IT A DAY EARLIER THIS WEEK.  The store will open on Wednesday morning and close on Friday morning.  This will give us time to really pick what is ordered!  More details to follow.

THANK YOU, Katie and Chris, Adam and Bec, Ari, Addy, Juli, Sage and Fernanda!  Without you we wouldn't have been able to attend the conference this weekend and RELOAD!


Michael and Emily

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/25/2012 8:20pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks.  We are having another veggie sale for this weekend.  The "store" for online ordering opens tomorrow morning at 8 and closes on Friday evening at 8.  Pick up is between 1 and 3 here at the farm on Saturday, January 28th. (ordering instructions can be found below)

THERE HAS BEEN AN ISSUE WITH A COUPLE OF PEOPLE ORDERING ONLINE; IF YOU DO NOT GET A CONFIRMATION E-MAIL AFTER YOU PLACE YOUR ORDER, YOU DID NOT MAKE AN ORDER.  Please bring your confirmation e-mail with you when you come to pick up on Saturday.  We have had a couple of people show up to pick up who I never got an order from and we hate to turn people away!  I'm trying to figure out if it is a glitch on our side or not. 

Thanks and stay tuned!


*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,Jan. 28th between 1 and 3 p.m.

Posted 1/20/2012 12:43pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks, This is Ari. We had quite an exciting week...thought I would share with you all in case you see me hobbling around the farm for a little while :P While riding a draft horse this past Monday, a tractor trailor spooked the horse. I was riding bareback, and while she was bucking, I was thrown off and landed directly onto my tailbone and lower back. Half the family went with me to the Pottsville ER. After X-rays that showed no broken bones, and after giving me a Motrin dose, they sent me home. Upon getting home; after being in severe pain for several hours, a huge lump starting forming on my lower back and tailbone area. A few minutes after being home, I passed out in the kitchen. Dad luckily caught me on the way down, and put me on the floor. The lump on my back was growing, and the kids were freaked out when I came to. Dad called 911 because it started looking really bad. The ambulance got there 20 minutes later, and I was taken to St. Joe's Hospital in Reading. After several hours of being on morphine, and all sorts of IV's and wires and annoying nurses and doctors...they diagnosed the lump as a hemotoma. Basically, it's a large mass of internal bleeding and soft tissue damage. I was discharged the next morning. Now, I'm resting at home, and in a LOT less pain. I'm on crutches and pain medications, until the swelling of my back goes down. The multi-colored bruising, and soreness inside will take a while to completely heal. With my family, now that I'm conscious, not crying, and a little more mobile, I've been the recipient of lots of 'cute little kid' questions and remarks..... "Ari, why does your face look so white?" "Ari, you have RAINBOW on your back!!!" "Mom, look! SHE IS MOVING!!!!" Heeheehee ;P Can't wait for the growing season to begin, hopefully see you all in the spring. -Ari The Scheidels Little Peace Farm
Posted 1/15/2012 2:24pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks.  Yup, you read it right!  I don't know about you but we've got sunny and 76! No, we're not surfing on a sunny beach in the Central America, we're "vacationing" in our greenhouses.  I'd like to clarify some of the diffferences in our greenhouses.  Greenhouse is a generic term for a structure covered in plastic or glass that relies on sunlight or other means to heat the inside.  Here are our different greenhouses:

*Our smallest is mostly for overflow when our nursery is filled with flats in the spring. 

*Our next largest is our nursery which is the only greenhouse equipped with propane hear and hard-wired electricity.  This is where we grow all of our transplants and micro-greens (when we need the most controlled environment). 

*Then we have our 60' long hoophouse where we extend the season in the spring and fall.  We gave the ground a break this fall and planted nothing in it.  We are currently housing our laying hens to keep them warm enough during these frigid days and to fertilize our soil. 

*Finally we have our newest 100' X 30' high tunnel.  This is the largest structure we have and it is full of greens, cilantro, turnips and radish, scallions, etc.  The high tunnel and hoophouse are heated by passive solar which means NO FUEL INPUTS.  Just the good ole sun.

I have plans for one more high tunnel and then I will have a great system for crop rotations within the different passive solar greenhouses.  I thoroughly enjoy growing during the winter.  It's the washing of the produce that is extremely difficult! 

I was harvesting carrots on Friday in 20 degree weather, 30 MPH winds, and random snow squalls that really made me question, "What the heck and I doing out here!".  The carrots are the only vegetable we have outside in open field and they are covered with straw and row cover to protect them from freezing.  Harvesting and weeding in the high tunnel is downright pleasant.  

So for all of those who purchased our veggies this week, aside from the carrots and the last of the mini savoy cabbages, everything else was grown in our own little tropical paradise. 

Stay tuned!



Posted 1/12/2012 5:54am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks.  We are having a sale again this week so for those who ordered in the past, you know the process.  For those who didn't, follow the directions below and be mindful of the times and dates the "store" is open and closed and pick up time.  Below are the instructions:  

*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.  You will see your complete order including total.  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,Jan. 14th between 1 and 3 p.m.

*Thursdays 8:00 a.m. store opens for ordering

*Fridays 8:00 p.m. store closes (orders must be received by this time)

*Saturdays 1-3 pick up orders at the farm

Happy Ordering!

Little Peace Farmers

Posted 1/7/2012 7:35pm by Michael Scheidel.

Well, not really, but by the looks of things around here you'd think we were deep into March!  Emily did some overdue raking of a flower bed today and found crocus and columbine pushing greens.  The kids are all running around outside in tee-shirts, playing in the stream.  I can't say I mind it much.  Makes doing some of the chores more pleasant but definately strange.  By now I'm used to strange weather.  Each of the last 5 seasons has been tougher than the previous.  But I'm not here to complain; I'll save that for my JULY RANT!


If this pertains to you, please be mindful of the date.  This is the income we rely on for ordering seed and supplies for the upcoming season!  E-mail or call if you need to know your balance.  If you are having ANY issue getting the funds together in one payment, let us know.  We are open to making arrangements for ANYONE who needs. 


Our plan is to have a sale every two weeks with lots of greens coming out of the high tunnel and some of the sweetest carrots coming out of the field (covered in straw and row cover).  Ordering is done online and each announcement of the sale will have instructions on how to order if you are new to the process.  The next sale will be for next week (ordering Thurs and Fri, pick-up on Sat).   Stay tuned!

Posted 12/24/2011 3:28pm by Michael Scheidel.

We wanted to take the opportunity to wish all of our family, friends, CSA members, customers and farm help a blessed  and safe Christmas and holiday season.  We are grateful for knowing all of you and look forward to a prosperous New Year for us all!  Peace on earth!


Little Peace Farm

Michael, Emily Ariana, Grace, Justice, Leah, Jude, Lucy, Hope, and Norah.

Posted 11/14/2011 6:31am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey folks. 


Garlic is in the ground.  I'm not sure we ever planted this late but the weather has been holding out for us.  No ground freezes yet, just some frost and 10" of snow!  I was planting on Friday evening until dark and just as I sunk the last clove into the soft ground and stood up I saw this glowing sliver of the moon slowly bloom into one of the most beautiful full moons I've ever seen.  I even let out a "wooooo hoooooo!" for all the neighbors to hear!


We completed the high tunnel last week (see photos on FB) and have transpanted spinach, kale, swiss chard, mizuna, and tatsoi.  We've also direct seeded radishes, more spinach, cress, cilantro and whole bunch of other goodies.  If all goes well we will have greens for the winter and will be able to get a jump start on the season in the spring!

2012 CSA

We are currently accepting new members for our 2012 CSA season.  If you are unfamiliar with how it works, browse this website and call if you have any questions.  Deposits or balances from returning members are due this Tuesday, Nov. 15th.  New members can complete the member agreement (under the CSA tab on the website) and send in either a $50 deposit or the balance of the size share they would like.  All balances are due Jan. 15th 2012. 

Stay tuned for more farm news!

The Scheidels

Posted 10/19/2011 6:43pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!  Today we finished up our 20 week Farmer's Market and CSA  season at the Plaza Grower's Market in downtown Allentown.  Yesterday was our last CSA farm pick up and last Saturday marked our last Pottsville Market for the season.  We are extremely grateful for all of our patrons and CSA members who support us in our effort to grow healthy and safe food.  We were able to squeeze in a batch of about 50 pastured broiler chickens this fall too so thanks to all who helped process and those who purchased from us.  This season we also began serving more local restaurants than ever before.  Thanks to all of our chefs and restaurant owners for choosing local for your menus. 

As we end one season another is unfolding.  We are looking forward to continue harvesting from the field all of our cold-tolerant vegetables (broccoli, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, red cabbage, radish, turnips) and throughout the winter in our new (construction begins tomorrow!) high tunnel.  Follow the progress of the construction of our high tunnel on our Facebook page! 

We are in the process of planning how we will sell our produce throughout the fall and into winter so stay tuned.  We are also beginning advertising for new and returning CSA members for the 2012 season so we'll keep you posted.  Needless to say this has been an extremely challenging and eventful season which included historic dry and rain, a new baby in the family (Norah), new sheep and chickens on the farm, and new faces at the markets.  We are dedicated to our vocation of farming and are excited for what the future holds for Little Peace Farm. 

Our plans now are to rest for a week or so, take the kids to the coast, the zoo, and science centers and be a "normal" family, at least until we race back to the farm and get back to our lives.  Peace!

Michael and Emily and kids
Little Peace Farm

Posted 9/25/2011 5:57pm by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks.  I wanted to share with you a first-of-it's-kind event at the Brick House Grill on October 4th in Orwigsburg.  Titled "Field to Fork", the Brick House is offering locally raised pastured/organic chicken complimented with our produce for a reservations only, farm to table dining experience.  We really hope you consider supporting the event as this is really a first (of hopefully many similar events) for the area.  For more details or reservations call directly at (570) 366-5220 or find the event on FB.  Enjoy!

Little Peace Farm