Tag Archives: organic gardening

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.

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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.
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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.
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Till next time,
Michelle and the Farm Team
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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,

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Filed under Events, Gardening, herbal medicine, Urban Farming


TeaPops and Tea Upcoming Markets

  • AUG 25th 11am-5pm – @Green for All Larimer Street Fair
  • AUG 25th5pm-9pm – @ Weather Permitting, Shadyside Nursery
  • AUG 31st@PRVT Event Wedding Reception, Pittsburgh, PA
  • SEP 6th – First Friday Garfield Night Market, Pittsburgh, PA
  • SEP 7th – Healcrest Hafla with Amun Raqs
  • SEP 8th – Station to Station at Station Square
  • SEP 20th-22nd – @Mother Earth News Fair, Seven Springs, PA
  • SEP 29th, 11am-4pm – @Green Innovation Festival, Hartwood Acres, PA

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August 22, 2013 · 10:06 pm

Composting in the City: How, What, Where, and Why!


Composting in the City: How, What, Where, and Why!

Where does all your food waste go? Would you rather have it be beneficial waste instead? In this workshop you will be introduced to a few easy methods for turning food scraps into soil, or composting, in dense spaces.

Whether you have a huge yard or none at all you will go home with a method or modified method that will work for you. We will explore bin, trench, and vermi-compost. You will also have the opportunity to take part in our Healcrest Compost program, where your waste is our treasure.

Dana Launius will share her experience and love of sustainable living in this fun and educational series. Simple techniques for a waste-resource lifestyle. Each participant will leave with some materials to get their compost started or enhanced! Bring water to drink and come prepared to get icky!

Join us at Healcrest Urban Farm Aug 20th – Tues 6:30 at 5200 Hillcrest St. Garfield. Register here at http://www.healcresturbanfarm.com/classes.html or contact healcresturbanfarm@gmail.com. Cost: $10

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August 14, 2013 · 4:21 pm

NEW TEA-POP FLAVORS


NEW TEA-POP FLAVORS

photo by Luiza Sarbu

FLAVORS THIS WEEK
Peaches or Pear & Lilac Cream (vegan)
Apple+Rosemary
Rose Lassi (yogurt)
Cherry Vanilla Smoother

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May 5, 2013 · 11:26 pm

The Healing Moon CSA Share


More info on the TheHealingMoon Herbal CSA.

A share would consist of:

  1. 3 herbal teas (different each time)
    1. Everyday Tea, Rising Up at Dawn, Internally Healthy, Goddess Tea, Gentle High Vitamin, BabyHeal, Pure Rasberry, Coconut Chai Herbal, HealFast
  2. 2 herbal extracts (non-alchoholic tinctures)
    1. PureGinger, FeverReducer, AllergenEase, Anti-Rheumatic, StressDown, WomanWarrior
  3. 3 (3oz) single herb packets with usage info
  4. 2 healing salves
    1. Deep Winter Healing Salve, Childrens Vapor Rub, Vegan Belly Balm, Vegan LipBalm, BlackPaw Anti-fungal Salve
  5. Fresh Herbs when in season
    1. basil, rosemary, lemon balm, rasberry leaf, blackberry leaf, motherwort, mugwort, comfrey, nettles

All would be contained in a plantable box (either tree or flower seeds) that you can soak and plant in your yard, garden etc.

3 pick-up dates (either at Healcrest or potentially E.Liberty F arm Market)

Mondays:

May 28th, July 30th, September 24th, 2012

TheHealingMoon Product Line

Donating to Healcrest to get your Herbal CSA Subscription:

Donate $65 per month for 3 months…………………………… (Made before May 1st, before July 1st and before September 1st

Donate $174 for total cost………………Made before May 1st (10% discount rate)

Donate $180 total cost…………………..Made after May 1st
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=CH9B9P43VAEHS

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Filed under CSA Subscription, herbal medicine, local food, natural skincare, Pittsburgh, Urban Farming

Fresh Fare


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.

Lavender/Echinacea/Sage

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

Kale, basil, parsley

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.

Aba & I are working on the garden fence!

 

Peas are yummy!

Organic rasberries fresh from the urban farm!

Raw Kale chips - crisp from the dehydrator!

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