Little Peace Farm

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Little Peace Farm Blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 3/5/2015 1:51pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

In all of her wisdom, today my wife Emily has called our first snow day of the year for the kids.  Because we home-school and farm for a living, we can rarely justify a day off due to weather.  Currently, just moments from the joyous announcement and subsequent cheers, the house is buzzing with sounds of legos, laughter, and busy play. 

BACK TO CLASS

I attended an all-day farming workshop yesterday that included the following topics: Farm to Restaurant Sales, Growing Winter Greens, Storage Crops, High Tunnel Modifications and Tomato Varieties, Spotted Lantern Fly, Food Safety, and Pesticides and Pollinators.  They were all interesting but one really struck me as most important. 

About 20 years ago I got my first farm job while going to college and learned of the importance of bees as pollinators for our food and the entire food web.  It's complicated but their role in food production cannot be overstated.  So their recent decline and collapse should concern us all, at least those of us who care where our food is coming from and how it is grown.  Ryan Reynolds, research technician at Penn State's Center for Pollinator Research, gave a fascinating presentation yesterday on the prevalence of synthetic agricultural chemicals in the honey bee population and POSSIBLE connections between these chemicals and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  A crude synopsis of his presentation is this: over 100 synthetic chemicals were found in the bees studied; these included herbicides, fungicides and pesticides; these chemicals impact the gut bacteria of the bee; inert ingredients labeled on these fungicides (which are often listed simply as "other ingredients") which carry the primary chemical have an impact on the bees; chemicals that have been banned since the 1970's are still found in the bees.  The cocktail of chemicals that bees are exposed to is amazing!  I'm sure that a toxicology profile on me would also turn up quite a few things that I didn't invite in!  So the only thing that will change for our farm operation in considering the bees is our ongoing effort to intentionally plant more forage for pollinators and continue farming without the toxins that are so common in our food system. 

FEAR

For those brave few who are still reading let me encourage you a bit as you have encouraged me in the past.  Some folks believe that the entire ecological/organic farm movement is "nothing but fear tactics" to draw food dollars away from the industrial/conventional food system.  Let me assure you that "we" are not fear tactics but a natural response to a food system that has moved so far from sane policy and practices.  Be assured also that we are part of a vibrant community who are energized to continue to produce safe, honest, and common sense food that CAN feed the our local foodshed community. 

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 3/2/2015 5:31am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good Folks!

LAYING HENS:

We are replacing our laying hens with new pullets this week. That means we need to clear out our current flock to make room for the new one so our hens need a home. They have full beaks (great for foraging when there is grass!), are red feathered, brown egg layers, and have been fed organic feed since we've owned them. We bought them last May/June at 16 weeks old so they are just about a year old. We have a total of 50 or so. Let us know if anyone is interested.

CITRUS:

If you are interested in ordering fresh, organic, Florida citrus you must get your order in by Tomorrow at 8 p.m.  See our previous post on what is available, price, and ordering details.  Thank you to all who ordered already!  Come on sunshine!

 

 

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 2/24/2015 7:33am by Michael Scheidel.
Hey good folks!

I just spoke with Gayle (farmer down in Florida) and they are sending the next load of organic citrus up this way soon.  They survived the recent freezing temperatures by irrigating the groves which protects the fruit and trees from frost burn.  Below are the details and ordering instructions.  They will likely be ready for pick up on Tuesday, March 10th.  Those who ordered from our last cancelled shipment, we've still got your orders and are including them with this shipment!   

*Red Grapefruits-certified organic, very sweet and beautiful rose colored interior; small, medium and large mixed in each case, very few seeds; cases weigh approximately 30 lbs. and include around 38-42 fruits per case; $50.00/case and $25.00 for a half case.
 

*Valencia Oranges-deeper orange color than the Hamlins with more zing as well, excellent for peeling, slicing into wedges or juicing especially to mix with red grapefruit; some seeds; full  cases weigh about 40-45 lbs. and total between 80-100 oranges per case; full cases $55.00; half cases $30

Pick up will be here at the farm.  Please 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. 

ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS

*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! 

*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!

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

 

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm



 

Posted 2/17/2015 6:58pm by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good Folks!

BUGS

Em and I were recently at a friend's house who was hosting a party.  During a conversation, Emily noticed a lady bug zip past her face and onto her delicious bite of puff pastry.  While some whinced, I scooped the hapless bug up and placed it on a perch above a door.  Then the conversation went to how infested some folks homes were with them; GOLD I thought!  I told just about everyone in the room that I would gladly take any lady bugs they had.  I must have sounded like a lunatic; however, I know their effectiveness in eating aphids which proliferate in greenhouses, especially in the winter.  So we came home with a bag full of bugs that the hostess had graciously donated to the farm and I released them into my nursery to start working.  Today I spent most of the day in our 80 degree nursery and seeded the last of my onions and leeks and the FIRST of our early spring head lettuce and kale.  Those lady bugs were feasting!   

REAL HEALTH 

On Saturday I was able to attend a Real Health Conference in Ronks, just outside Lancaster.  It was organized by an Amish business owner who hosted the event in his warehouse, among thousands of bags of agricultural products piled ceiling high, and hundreds of plain-clothed Amish.  There were at least 20 different talks, ranging from animal health, human health, and other agricultural issues.  I had a very hard time deciding which talk to attend! 

One of the most interesting talks I heard was about evaluating your livestock health by "reading their fur". Apparently a cow's fur will indicate many different levels of health.  I learned about swirls, escutcheons, knees, fertility, mad cows, breeding, and so much more.  Who knew that there are 12 hairs that will stand up on the back of a heifer to indicate fertility?  I didn't!  I walked away wishing I could sneak into someone's cow pasture and examine their herd!  I had to be happy to come home and take a good look at Lolipop and Ruby.  So far, so good.  It will be fun to apply what I learned when it comes time to buy more bull calves for meat, and heifers for our family's milk. 

Another talk I enjoyed was all about how minerals affect us.  We all know that minerals are important, and we try to get many from our food sources, but there is so much more to it!!! It is so complex, I thought my brain might explode.  There are 47 minerals in the cerebral spinal fluid which replenishes itself every 8 hours, kind of like amniotic fluid.  Truly, the life fluid in our bodies.  Most of us lack boron, the 2nd most abundant mineral in the fluid, and one with much value.  The majority of the population is lacking boron, magnesium, and lithium-which accounts for those affected by low sex drive, sudden anger, and cases of "brain fog".  It seems we all need to pay more attention to minerals and their applications.  I, myself, heard enough to convince me to get my hair analyzed to see what I am lacking and how much.  Maybe the results will explain my range of health quirks, let alone my mood quirks!  It is something my whole family will benefit from!

I learned so much more in such a short time that I can't possibly do it justice.  I just wanted to share a bit of what I learned and how it inspired me to, again, pay more attention to my health, and the health of the animals around us that provide, in some way, to that health.  When this conference comes around again next year, we will announce it to you so that you can have the opportunity to learn and be encouraged in our goal of good, sound healthy living.

Thanks for listening,

Emily

 

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 2/10/2015 10:14am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good Folks!

We are excited to announce two new drop off locations for our CSA for 2015!  Locally, Healthy Habits Natural Market in Orwigsburg, who have been great supporters of ours from the beginning, has offered to host us this season.  In Elizabethtown, Ryan and Dawn, owners of Folklore Coffee and Co. have offered to host a CSA drop as well.  This means that if you are in close vicinity of the farm you have another convenient location to pick up your shares and shop for other good foods.  And if you live in the Elizabethtown/Hershey area, you can pick up your CSA share AND get a great cup of coffee and a bite to eat! 

If you are interested in joining our CSA and enjoy chemical free, honestly grown food, get in touch today or browse the website for details.

Gratefully Growing!

Little Peace Farm

   

Posted 1/26/2015 7:59pm by Michael Scheidel.
Jonesing for mid-winter salad greens? Too much cabin fever food? I'll be harvesting all day tomorrow for our next sale tomorrow night 4-6 here at the farm. Aside from mesculin mix we'll have winter squash, garlic, and our own tundra grazed eggs :) See you tomorrow.

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/24/2015 6:36am by Michael Scheidel.

Sorry for the repeat e-mail but a friend let me know that the date in the e-mail conflicted with the subject.  See the change below!  Thank you!

We've got a few new varieties of baby salad greens ready for harvest!  Our mesculin mix will include the following: endive, tatosi, Chinese cabbage, salad bowl lettuce, mustard, pea shoots and purple mizuna and more.  Aside from our mesculin we will have spinach and our own brown eggs (we've got LOTS of eggs!).  Come out to the farm from 4-6 this Tuesday, January 27th for some mid-winter greens.  No online ordering!   

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/24/2015 6:16am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good Folks!

We've got a few new varieties of baby salad greens ready for harvest!  Our mesculin mix will include the following: endive, tatosi, Chinese cabbage, salad bowl lettuce, mustard, pea shoots and purple mizuna and more.  Aside from our mesculin we will have spinach and our own brown eggs (we've got LOTS of eggs!).  Come out to the farm from 4-6 this Friday, January 23rd for some mid-winter greens.  No online ordering!   

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/16/2015 9:39am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey Good folks!

NURSERY

Hard to believe but today I'm spending a good part of my day in the nursery seeding the first of my starts!  I've got most of my seed orders placed or received and am placing farm supply orders to upgrade and make improvements.  One improvement is the conversion of a passive solar hoophouse into a propane heated one.  This will enable us to grow more baby greens in the winter and to give us the appropriate space we need for all of our seedlings.  We are also doubling the size of our walk-in cooler space.   

BALANCES

Just a reminder that if you haven't paid the balance of your CSA share for the 2015 season, they are due today!  Please call or e-mail if you don't know your balance and we'll let you know. 

CITRUS

In order to get the next shipment of organic citrus (see previous blog posts) we need to have a group order of at least 50 cases.  To date we've got about 12.  If you are interested in ordering see the previous post on our website to see instructions on how to order.  No payment is due until you pick up your citrus but if you order, you are committed to buying it; we've been stuck with fruit in the past that was ordered but not picked up.

Stay tuned for more farm news and keep spreading the word about our farm!

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

Posted 1/13/2015 6:55am by Michael Scheidel.

Hey good folks!

If you're squirreling away that last organic orange or grapefruit from the first shipment or you didn't get to order last time, no worries.  I just spoke with Gayle (farmer down in Florida) and they are sending the next load of organic citrus up this way soon.  We need to reach a minimum of 50 cases to make it worth their while to stop on their way to NY so spread the word!  Below are the details and ordering instructions.  I will let you know the exact pick up day and time when we know we've got the order.    

*Red Grapefruits-certified organic, very sweet and beautiful rose colored interior; small, medium and large mixed in each case, very few seeds; cases weigh approximately 30 lbs. and include around 38-42 fruits per case; $50.00/case and $25.00 for a half case.

*Hamlin Oranges-transitional organic, excellent sweetness and flavor for slicing in to wedges or juicing especially to mix with red grapefruit for juice or fresh eating; some seeds; cases weigh about 40-45 lbs. and include about 100-120 oranges per case; $55.00/case and $30.00 for a half case.  


Pick up will be here at the farm exact date and time TBA.  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. 

ORDERING INSTRUCTIONS

*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! 

*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!

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm

 

Gratefully Growing!

The Scheidels

Little Peace Farm