Farm Show and more!

We started January off with an outing to the Pa. Farm Show in Harrisburg. Work share members Mary Ann, Denise, Jean, Mike and I all took a day for a farm filled outing and helped by volunteering to serve apple cider and apple dumplings at the Fruit Growers food booth. The proceeds from the booth go to apple research which is much appreciated since there have been so many cut backs in ag. funding recently. We especially enjoyed walking around the show visiting with the chickens, baby piggies and checking out the alternative energy booths in the trade show area. I highly recomend  everyone visit the Pa Farm Show next year and be sure to have some cider and a dumpling while you’re there.
The weather has been pretty good so far for pruning in the apple orchard so we have been pruning away. Pruning the apple orchard can take up much of our winter. We usually spend four or five hours a day working on this activity when the weather permits. Winter attire is a must! There are days you might not even recognize us in our multiple layers of clothing. We have lots and lots of prunings on the ground awaiting a stick picking up party. We will collect them and move them over to our bonfire location. For all of you who have been to the csa end of season bonfire celebration this is where it all started.
Afternoons, evenings and inclement weather are spent in the office planing for next season. After spending the mornings in the orchard I especially appreciate working in the office next to a nice warm fire in the wood burning stove.
Farmer Karen

What’s up on the farm- January 22nd

December came and went all too fast. Time was spent working on the new website,planning for next season,preparing for market, marketing our products in the outdoor courtyard of the Brandywine River Museum and much mechanical work. We had intended to spread compost under the orchards before we got into freezing, inclement winter weather. That is, until our skid steer[the all important piece of equipment that loads the spreader] decided to throw a piston.Like much of the equipment on the farm it is elderly and well seasoned. It had gone off in late summer to have an extended stay in a mechanics shop to have the cooling and electrical systems worked on.It was working great and we had just announced how wonderful it was running when the engine went. We are at least the second owners of this machine so like with any mechanical thing where you don’t know its’ history- stuff can happen. We quickly became aware that our manuals and schematic drawings for the skid steer did not apply to this engine. The former owners had apparently replaced the engine with one that was out of another tractor or ag. piece of equipment. It was reason for much consternation but after a lot of effort we figured out what we had and that parts were still available for it.
The big plastic greenhouse is a lovely place to work in the winter[when the sun shines]. It’s like a little trip to Florida to be inside where it’s warm even though it can be quite cold out. This is a fine thing when the alternative is to do mechanical work is in a unheated barn space in the winter. Anyway, weeks later and many hours of delicate work later it’s all back together and running like a champ! Many, many thanks to our good and talented friend Sonny!  If you’re at the farm when he’s there too please be sure to give him a warm greeting. We have so many wonderful people connected with us here at the farm – this is the community part of Community Supported Agriculture!
December is a time to give thanks for so many reasons.
Farmer Karen

See us in Chadd’s Ford

Dec. 24,2011

Come and see us Monday Dec.26th- Friday Dec.30th at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pa. We’ll be selling our delicious fruit butters, a couple of different apple sauces[ watch out – they might be addictive] and our absolutely fabulous pasta sauce.
We make these products from our less than perfect fruits. Having a way to receive some income from our blemished fruit is a big help in permitting us to spray our orchards so minimally. [You can read more about our growing techniques in the Membership F&Q section of our website.Check out  1.Is everything organically grown?]  It’s doubtful we could afford to grow and market our fruit primarily through our csa without the income from these products. They are all delicious! You can sample them this coming week in the museums open air courtyard and enjoy a visit to a wonderful little museum dedicated to the art of the Brandywine Valley and NC and Andrew Wyeth.
Stop in and say hello – hope to see you there.
Farmer Karen

A note from Farmer Karen…

I’m so excited to have our new website go live! This has been a really big undertaking for us. We have had numerous extended planning sessions spanning months of time discussing new features we want to have, where to put what and how to make it all function as one. Wow- I thought farming was full of specific language. Anyway, I’m sure we will continue to tweak the website so keep checking in. This is a dynamic thing.
I hope that everyone will find our new website pleasing to the eyes, informative, easy to navigate and that you get a good feeling for who we are and what we are all about.Honestly to tell the truth, I’m looking forward to everything working smoothly and to applying my time and creative juices to the art of farming. Come to think of it, Farming is a lot like dreaming up this new website.We’re constantly evaluating and thinking of ways we can improve on systems and there is an enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to bring a quality product to being.
A big thanks to all who helped along the path – here’s to you! Cheers!
Farmer Karen