Tag Archives: urban farming

AUGUST::Classes and Volunteer Days at the Farm


Sundays in August Join us At the Farm for Volunteer Days 11-4pm, followed by Farm Tours 4-5pm

August 6th, Wednesday 6pm – The Mighty Sourdough Starters
Learn how to make sourdough bread, crepes, tortillas, and pancakes with sourdough starters. Half a cup of Austrian Sourdough is complementary, so bring a jar with you! 1.5-2 hours (rain date: August 20th) Healcrest Urban Farm is located in Garfield at the intersection of Hillcrest and Pacific. Street Parking is available. Cost of each show, tell, and taste session is 25$ per person. Please register one week ahead of each workshop at http://www.healcresturbanfarm.com/events.html. Classes will be cancelled if enrollment is below eight participants. Contact Natalya at pinchuknatalya@gmail.com or 804-319-7377 if you have any
questions about the workshops.

August 11th, Monday 6pm – Old-Style Pickles, Salsas, Hot Sauces and Chutneys
Venture into the endless possibilities of flavor and learn how to stock up your fridge with delicious condiments and compliments to your everyday staples while the farmer’s markets are still bustling with delicious veggies. 1.5-2 hours (rain date: August 18th) Healcrest Urban Farm is located in Garfield at the intersection of Hillcrest and Pacific. Street Parking is available. Cost of each show, tell, and taste session is 25$ per person. Please register one week ahead of each workshop at http://www.healcresturbanfarm.com/events. Classes will be cancelled if enrollment is below eight participants. Contact Natalya at pinchuknatalya@gmail.com or 804-319-7377 if you have any questions about the workshops.

Sunday August 17, 10-12, Medicine Making, Tinctures and Elixirs.  

We will discuss the advantages to making tinctures and even more delicious elixirs using herbs that you can grow, wild harvest, or buy.  We’ll take a talk around the garden to learn about harvesting and processing techniques, how to make the best extractions from different plants and of course, do the entire process!  Everyone will leave with a sample. Please register in advance at http://www.healcresturbanfarm.com/events so we can have enough supplies for everyone. Contact Michelle at 615-804-0064 or healcresturbanfarm@gmail.com with question about registration.

Sunday August 31, 10-12, Farm Tour, Late Summer Apothecary.  

As asters take over our fields and gardens, come learn to identify the common plants of the late summer and how to look for what coming ahead.  We’ll talk about identification, sustainable growing and harvesting practices, and the medicinal properties of many herbs. Contact Michelle at 615-804-0064 or info@healcresturbanfarm.com with question about registration. RSVP at http://www.healcresturbanfarm.com/events

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Filed under herbal medicine, local food, natural skincare, Pittsburgh, Workshops

We’ll Be Joining Farmers @ the Firehouse this Saturday!


The ladies of Healcrest are excited to bring you delicious Summer refreshment at a new market this weekend! We are so fortunate and grateful to have wonderful new market opportunities.

Visit Maria at Farmers @ the Firehouse for Iced Tea, TeaPops, Loose Tea, and other amazing herbal edibles. Our flavors this week are Blueberry Lemon Balm, Roasted Peach Basil, Fresh Apple Mint, and Cucumber Surprise.

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We are excited to see you this Saturday in the Strip at “Pittsburgh’s first & largest mostly organic or Certified Naturally grown farmers’ market.” Read more about Farmers @ the Firehouse.

Voted Best Farmers’ Market in Pittsburgh, Edible Allegheny 2010; 100 Best Things About Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Magazine; Best Farmers’ Market, City Paper Staff Picks.

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Filed under market, Pittsburgh, Tea-pop Shop, Uncategorized

Spring Has Sprung at Healcrest Urban Farm!


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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.

 

 

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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!

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


intersectorlogoWE’RE ACCEPTED! Idea Foundry Intersector Program

We’re so excited and grateful to be accepted into the Idea Foundry Intersector Program. Our incubation begins tomorrow and we are eager to dive in and refine the Healcrest Urban Farm vision and plan. Read more about the new exciting programs of Idea Foundry and how social entrepreneurs are committing to the triple bottom line; people, planet, profits. We are so thankful to begin this process.

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November 18, 2013 · 9:25 pm

Join Us This Weekend for a Slew of SUMMER Fun!

TeaPop Shop POP-UPS and Farm CLASSES to Say Good-Bye to July!

  • JUL 26th –  9:30pm Quantum Theatre Social Q Happy Hour, Pittsburgh, PA
  • JUL 27th –  12-5pm Steel City Mods vs Rockers vintage motorcycle and scooter rally Millvale, PA
  • JUL 27th – Farm Class – SAT 7pm-10pm – The Art of Luscious – aphrodisiac truffle making & bellydance
  • JUL 28th 12-5pm Bakery Square Sunday Marketplace, East End, Pittsburgh, PA
  • JUL 29th Awesome Pittsburgh Party, Bayardstown, Strip District, PGH
  • JUL 30th – Farm Class – TUES 6-9pm – Fermentation Basics with Natalya

TeaPopsLG

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July 24, 2013 · 12:11 pm

Orchards and Flowers Budding::Happy Earth Day


Orchards and Flowers Budding::Happy Earth Day

Healcrest is literally Springing to Life! Thanks to help of dedicated helping hands who love getting their hands a little dirty and tending to the soil and plants.

Buds, Bees, Birds, Blossoms! We’re lovin’ life, enjoying the spring showers of rain, help, motivation, creativity, and abundance! More Here http://www.healcresturbanfarm.com/

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April 22, 2013 · 7:06 pm

Kick Starting the Fall Season!!


Ok Peeps! We are super excited over here at Healcrest Urban Farm!

We have brought back to a stronghold, Ms Dana Launius, formerly of Pittsburgh, a women goddess of world travel, sustainable project manager extraordinaire, food systems analyst and well, amazing bellydancer. She has arrived back to us via Portland, Oregon (our sister city) and is offering Burghers a Devi Dancing workshop.

Join us for beautiful breezy late summer Sundays at Healcrest as we dance in the grove under the old apple tree learning the ancient art of Devi dancing, yoga and goddess mythology! Light refreshments are served and you will see the summer sunset as we finish our time. Small tours will be offered if you want to know more about the farm as well.

You have the option of purchasing single classes or the full workshop. The final sunday, September 25th we will have an ending celebration, dancing and food – and hopefully a special performance by Dana herself – to inspire us to continue our beautiful goddess movements.

So here is an easy quick button if you would like to purchase online. Secure payments made though paypal and go directly to support the work of Healcrest Urban Farm!

Devi Dancing
Workshop 1, Sept. 4 $10.00
Workshop 2, Sept. 11 $10.00
Workshop 3, Sept. 18 $10.00
Workshop 4, Sept 25 w/celebration $12.00
Full Series $35.00
Full Series (student price) $30.00

**You can add a special message to let us know which workshop you are taking… Thank you!

Ok and even bigger news!!!

We are starting a Kickstarter Campaign on September 19th! Kickstarter is an online forum to match creative projects with angel investors! We are building a processing facility and classroom at Healcrest and your donation will be key.

PLEASE READ AND CONSIDER:

  1. We must reach our goal of $20,000 to receive any funding
  2. You can donate anything between $1-$20,000
  3. We can exceed our goal!
  4. You must pledge your support within timeframe/deadline
  5. Supporting begins on September 19th
  6. We will let you know when funding begins and give you the link directly to back us! There will be a great video on our project, pictures, images of our construction and site, etc…everything to show you the outcomes of our project

All backers funding over $100 will receive gifts for their support!

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Filed under Belly Dancing, Devi dancing, Gardening, kickstarter, local food, organic farming, organic gardening, Pittsburgh, Urban Farming, Women of Color, yoga

Beautiful Burgh Summer


 Greetings followers!

Its been an amazing journey in July with high temps, electrifying thunderstorms, sunshine tanning our skin and growing our plants up tall. The farm feels amazing – like you have stepped out of the City of Pgh and into a grotto of earthly delights – big flapping butterflies, crickets chirping, bees buzzing, flowers in blooms, grass soft under your feet, apples growing, berries sweetening! Oh we are certainly relishing in the summer months knowing here that soon enough we will cycle back through to our winter cold!

We are having an entire weekend of volunteer opportunity at Healcrest. Join us on Saturday or Sunday (July 30-31st) from 9am-12noon for general garden work. We are re-seeding some raised beds and the greenhouse, harvesting medicinal herbs and general garden bed maintenance. Its an easy three hours and we finish in time for trips to pool or finding cool rest in a shady spot.

Here is the RSVP form….please complete if you think there is a STRONG POSSIBILITY you will be coming this weekend!

For those interested permaculture, biodynamic farming and general eco-spaces, Healcrest is beginning to define itself as a Food Forest and a permaculture site. We have always been apt to allow nature to work its magic-  keeping tree lines growing, incorporating wild, northeast herbs into food beds and pairing fruit & nut trees with the general landscape. We are not your traditional raised beds, straight rows, bare spaces – we are an ecosystem in the city, a place of green life.  That said, we invite nature enthusiasts to visit us and share in the development of our natural resources.

Here is a link to the Permaculture Institute. They give a great description of Permaculture Food Forests and you can get a better sense of what we work towards here everyday at Healcrest.

http://www.permaculture.org/nm/index.php/site/Permaculture-Food-Forest/

In fact, here is a list they generated for plants in the permaculture food forest garden. I starred off what we have here at Healcrest:

Daylilies        **                                 Lemon Balm Melissa    **

Alfalfa                                                  Egyptian onion         ** (we have a heirloom German variety)

Walking onion **                            Chives  **

Strawberry   **                                Raspberry  **

Red  Clover  **                                 Stinging nettle **

Clary Sage                                          Garden Sage  **

Purple Sage  **                                 Rhubarb **

Hairy Vetch **                                 Ox eye Daisy (Black-eyed Susans & Garden white daisies) **

Oregano  **                                        Siberian Pea Shrub

False Indigo Bush                            Lovage **

Mullein **                                           Valerian

Echinacea **                                     Lavender **

Yarrow **                                          Anise (Chocolate, Mountain & Spear) Mint

Cherry (shrub and tree)               Pears, Plums, and Peach trees **

Apple **                                             Apricot

Mulberry, black  **                       Hops, kiwi vines

Grapes (wild and cultivated) **

Black Walnut **                              Blackberry brambles

As you can see, we are well on our way to permaculture, biodynamic, conservation space. Healcrest must continue to grow and develop as the City of PIttsburgh grows and develops. As houses go up around us, and young people fight the economic slump and stay in this great city- preserving an active, natural and healing green space will be asset to not only property values, but to the health & wellness of community. This is our mission. We are working to be a part of economic & community growth – not an opposition to it.  Read on fans & followers, support and grow with us!

Of course, fans, some pics….for inspiration….we hope we see you tomorrow or Sunday!

The berry/herb garden...lavender, rasberries, blackberries, sage, Greek oregano...

 

Volunteer at work w/ greenhouse in the distance

 

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Filed under Gardening, local food, organic farming, organic gardening, 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

Feeling spring


The groundhog is a Pennsylvania thing, still attached to the pinnings of mother nature we stand firm in traditions of shadows & light, earth & sky. Today of all days feels a bit like spring. So is this why Phil said spring is coming! Just his feeling for today? Check out the Washington post commentary…
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/compost/2011/02/groundhog_day_2011_results_spr.html

After a short break in California we feel rejuvenated here and the sun seems to have followed us back. I don’t mind the cold if the sun is resting on our cheeks. Feeling inspired by the ocean breeze and beautiful grounds with eucalyptus & jade, lavender & Rosemary growing with ease. We spent some time with chickens in the back yard & watching them lay their eggs.

I ponder the coming year for Healcrest & how we might make this space the oasis it is meant to be. Lively with people, home to chickens & other small animals, teeming with herbs & fruits & vegetables.

We are looking now at some small sources of funding to get the farm the infrastructure & staff it needs to bloom.

A fundraiser is being planned for early spring & any support we can gather would be exciting! Please let us know if you can play a role in helping to plan our spring event! Musicians, gardeners, marketing savvy peeps & all are welcome.

Here are some pics of southern Cali to warm your heart & inspire your mind!

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Filed under Pittsburgh, Urban Farming