We are starting to see a real abundance here at Healcrest. The greenhouse has produced deliciously sweet and crisp green peas, a lovely arugula and mesclun lettuce mix, dinosaur kale (that has now become kale chips) and really good-sized red beets, italian flat parsley and genovese basil – yum. With these beauties you can make an amazing pesto, blanched and seasoned kale (or the kale chips), steam beets or borscht and have an amazing salad on the side.
My little helper has been doing an amazing job on our rasberry bushes. He has learned to pick the big red ripe ones and fill his belly. And when he tires of that, he finds the bucket I am dropping my picks into, and I find 1/4 of the bucket gone! Amazing he hasn’t turned into a rasberry by now!
So the farm at this time is a ton of work. The rain/sun combo makes it a lush jungle here – hard to believe we are smack in the east end of a major metro area. But with years now of planting herb and food seeds, we get enormous growth. Everything from bamboo, to mugwort, roses, chaste-tree, comfrey, columbines, apple trees, grapevines, mullein, bee balms, oak and maples, mulberry trees, blackberry vines – well we are in abundance but often fighting back the growth! The birds are in abundance, we see hawks and falcons, we have ground animals to keep out, snakes, worms, bunnies and deer. It was my dream to make this place a haven of nature, a sanctuary in the midst of the city. It is becoming that each year!
I am in great need of an arborist. So if anyone out there knows or is one, willing to donate some time to our urban farming endeavors – please contact us here by making a comment – or through our website – www.healcrest.com. We have an old apple tree that needs
some major love and by the time it stops fruiting, I want to be prepared to give a major trim. We have new baby apple trees sprouting and our older-timer needs to share some space (and produce on some lower limbs – so we can actually reach the apples!!!)
So here are some great pics of our produce and other joyous times on the farm. Tomatoes, squash, okra, beets, asparagus, peppers are all following soon (you should see them in the late July/August post)
Like always, families, gardeners, and fellow Pgh neighbors are welcome to volunteer! Subscribe to this blog and you will get that automatic inspiration!
Any WWOOFers out there as well who want to rough it in Pgh – we have plenty of flat space for camping and could use the helping hands.