Category Archives: Urban Farming

Be a Healcrest Urban Farm Fan and Get Market Day Text Reminders!


You will get market day reminders from us on your mobile phone. Checkins at market can also equal rewards from Healcrest Urban Farm (like ice pops!) You can unsubscribe from these messages at any time and we will never share your information with anyone. Sign Up Here On Farm Fan! farmfanlogo

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Business, Events, Pittsburgh, Tea-pop Shop, Urban Farming

Aquaponics at Healcrest – Part 2


Everything’s coming together. The Bottom tank will hold the fish, while the Top shelf will house delicious delicate herbs.

Savi says this is what the fish will do if you put your hand in the tank.

IMG_4430The babies move in.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pittsburgh, Urban Farming

Healcrest is on Hatch!


Dear Fans of Healcrest Urban Farm!

This year has been an amazing year for local, healthy food and urban farming! Maybe you have seen the buzz on our TeaPops in Pittsburgh Magazine here & here or seen us out in the Pittsburgh region and tried one of our sophisticated artisanal TeaPops at these amazing spaces! As you may know, the TeaPops have led us into a fast-paced start-up phase as a local, natural food producer and social enterprise. This also means we must grow with the demand of our buzz and this is what we are doing! In March this year we successfully funded a KivaZip crowd-sourced loan in 2 days flat! Our supporters are amazing. As we continue to raise startup money to expand and speed-up our TeaPop and boxed tea production – we ask you, our friends, colleagues and family to join us as contributors!
Hatch
The money we raise will help get us into our own commercial kitchen space and increase productivity through high-tech ice pop equipment purchases. With startup support through Idea Foundry, our growth is being supported, tracked and led by an experienced team!
If you did not get a chance to contribute to us through Kiva, now is your chance to focus your contribution to Healcrest through a Pittsburgh-based crowd-sourced platform called Hatch! What is great about Hatch is that it supports amazing local businesses like us and it functions similar to Kickstarter, where you get swag for your contribution!
Our campaign just opened today, and we are inviting friends and family to join us now as a private, even anonymous, contributor to Healcrest Urban Farm! You can contribute funds – as little as $5 – and you get in return some serious Healcrest Urban Farm swag, including a TeaPop punch card, dry-ice TeaPop shipments and a Healcrest Urban Farm TShirt depending the level of giving!
Here is the link to contribute now @ Hatchhttps://hatch.pdcdc.org/healcrest-urban-farm–2
Thank You so Much for Your Continued Support!

The Team of Healcrest Urban Farm!

Maria Graziani, CEO/Founder
Dana Launius, Markets and Marketing/Partner
Meg Graham, Farm Manager/Partner
Michelle Soto, Farm Co-Manager and Resident Herbalist/Partner
Suzanne South, Community Relations/Partner

Leave a comment

Filed under organic gardening, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized, Urban Farming

SUMMER HAS ARRIVED AND IT IS HOT!


So to refresh and recharge you we have Savory Strawberry Creamsicle; Cucumber Lime Mint, and returning champs Chocolate Lavender, & Fresh Apple Mint. In addition we are bringing freshly brewed Iced Tea by the cup. Try our original Tea Blends like Goddess Blend or Everyday Tea. We look forward to hosting you for volunteer days, tours, and classes. And we are always happy to see you at market.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Pittsburgh, Urban Farming

A Rainy Day Photo Shoot!


By Michelle Soto

Meg and I thought we could use this rainy day to our advantage and show some photos of our muscle powered tools that we use to create the gardens.  As we were planning and budgeting to create new gardens and revitalize more green spaces at Healcrest, we made a decision to not rent heavy gas powered machinery and to invest in quality earth moving tools that we can use for years to come.

We still use lawn mowers for grass cutting, but pretty much everything else up at the farm is a hand tool.  This definitely increases the time and energy it takes to build a garden bed, but the finished products are high quality beds that will be around for years to come, completely free of knotweed roots, rocks, and anything else that might impede the growing process.

We’ve found that the beds that we built last year have needed a few wheelbarrows of compost of them and some leaf mulch in the aisles, but are free of invasive weeds.  The hard pan clay that is just right under our top soil was turned with compost last year and has matured into a dark rich layer of soil, perfect for growing.

Planting into these beds will continue for a few more weeks! Official volunteer days are on Sundays from 11-4.  We won’t make you jump on a broad fork for you can help some baby seedlings find a good home!

Image
Michelle loves to use the little digging fork to turn earth

Image
Meg attacks knotweed, clearing a new path through the woods

Image
Michelle jumps on the broad fork, using all her body weight!

Image
Meg is shifting soil with the brand new shifter that Suzy built or the farm

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Gardening, organic farming, organic gardening, Pittsburgh, Sustainable Living, Urban Farming, Volunteer

Family Time on the Farm


By Michelle Soto

This past week my family came into town ready to work on the farm!  Many of my memories of childhood involve helping my dad in the yard and in the garden.  Every spring we’d get a load of wood mulch delivered to the house and I would use my child sized shovel and wheelbarrow to mulch the rose bushes and the edges of garden beds.  I loved the smell of the mulch.  It smelled woody and alive and signaled that spring was here.  My dad’s biggest hobby was working in the yard, he’d come home every day after work, take a power nap, change into work clothes and spend the rest of the afternoon outside.  He’s the type of guy who only has ONE kind of grass in his yard, and absolutely no weeds.  Anywhere.

Image
It was reminiscent of these afternoons to spend some days with him at Healcrest.  His assignment: tree stump removal.  And not just any tree stump.  A 50 year old black locust (he counted those rings during a break one day) which was in the middle of our newest garden.  While my dad worked on the stump, my mom and aunt weeded our garlic patch, which had mulched itself with garlic mustard plants.  They caught them all before they went to flower, and the garlic patch is vibrant and sending up what soon will be delicious garlic scapes.
Image
Other areas of the garden are quickly growing as the days and nights are warming up.  The mints: lemon balm, peppermint, horehound, catnip, catmint, and chocolate mint are providing us with new herbs to harvest every week.  About half of our seedlings are moved into the greenhouse and awaiting transplant.  And of course, the lovely wild cherry trees are going to burst into bloom any day this week.
Image
Till next time,
Michelle and the Farm Team

Leave a comment

Filed under Gardening, organic farming, organic gardening, Pittsburgh, Urban Farming

It’s a Weed Walk! This Sunday MAY 18th – 3 to 5PM


Healcrest is hosting herb walks and classes with Michelle!

We’re kicking off our season:
this Sunday MAY 18th – 3 to 5PM
It’s a Weed Walk!
to learn about the plants poppin out NOW that its spring!

We’re going to walk and talk about what’s growing now and what it looks like. Curious about how to harvest burdock to get the most out of it? Or simply want to know what burdock is and looks like? We’ll talk about medicinal uses, cultivation techniques, wildcrafting habits, and whatever you want. There’s going to be a number of these kinds of classes this year where we can visit the same plants in different seasons and growing stages and identify and use them is a variety of ways.

the walk and talk is $10 and our rain date’s set for may 20, 4-6.

Register Here let us know if you have any questions, 615-804-0064 thanks! and happy spring,

Image

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Gardening, herbal medicine, Urban Farming

Spring Has Sprung at Healcrest Urban Farm!


Image

Whew! Spring has sprung and we are seeing the evidence of that all over the farm!

The daffodils are in full bloom, the forsythia has one whole garden in a wash of yellow, the hawthorns are budding out the cutest little leaves, and our perennials are coming back from the intense winter hibernation we were all in.

046Meg and Michelle have been busy tilling the ground in several gardens to get beds ready for the hundreds of plants we have started inside.  Many herblings are more delicate than vegetable starts so we’ll wait till after the last frost to plant outside.

IMG_2791We are orienting garden beds differently this year in one garden and are breaking ground the what we used to call “the knotweed field”.  Although it does have medicinal qualities: the knotweed root contains high amounts of resveratrol- the feel good chemical in red wine, we are striving to eradicate our pristine piece of land from this invasive creature.  Slowly, but surely.

IMG_2789Suzy has built a rain barrel system to catch rainwater off the roof of our shed so that we can water everything grown on the farm with water collected from the farm.

 

 

IMG_2794

As usual, the chickens have the run of a garden during the day to dust bathe and sun themselves.

 

We will post soon about upcoming classes and volunteer days!  Here’s to spring!

Leave a comment

Filed under Gardening, organic farming, organic gardening, Sustainable Living, Urban Farming


Hillcrest Steet Autumn Clean-UpIMG_1039

Please join us this Sunday, December 7th, 1-4pm for an Autumn Street Cleanup!
We would love your help lifting leaves, trimming trees, and general Fall time FUN!

Join Us at the Corner of Hillcrest St. and N. Pacific in Garfield, PGH.
Take a moment to enjoy the gardens and peaceful retreat of Healcrest Urban Farm.

*long sleeves, pants, boots, and gloves recommended*

Leave a comment

November 27, 2013 · 10:39 pm

IMI for The Holidays 2013!


IMI for The Holidays 2013!

We look forward to seeing you this weekend at The Waterfront! FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Join US for a Wonderful Local Artisan Shopping Experience
The 6th Annual Holiday Artisan I Made It Nomadic Marketplace

AND

DEC 8th – Sterling Yoga Artists Market

Leave a comment

November 18, 2013 · 9:44 pm