Tag Archives: vitalmothermoon

ANNOUNCING! The Healcrest Urban Farm Tea-pop Shop!

ANNOUNCING! The Healcrest Tea-pop Shop!

ImageLast year Maria Graziani had an inspired idea, what if we combine tea, herbs, fruit, berries, and delicious sweetness in a frozen treat. After some tasty and not-so tasty experimentation Healcrest tea-pops were created. With growing interest in healthy treats, artisanal food, and locally grown produce, things we love in great quantities at Healcrest, we thought what a wonderful novelty item for Pittsburghers to enjoy this coming summer.

Well, WE DID IT!

ImageWe are ecstatic and elated to announce the arrival of the Healcrest Urban Farm cold-plate push cart! With the help from friends and supporters at Awesome Pittsburgh, CatapultPGH and KivaZip Micro-Lending, we made the BIG acquisition. You will recognize it as your standard ice cream or Italian ice cart, locate us by umbrella at your favorite event!

Try all of our seasonal flavors!

Please follow more of this story and watch Healcrest in the NEWS on Pittsburgh’s KDKA and in The Bloomfield-Garfield Bulletin

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

Full Spring Ahead

Kale…..mesclun mix…..beets….grapes…..strawberries…rasberries…..lavender…..lemon balm….bamboo…..beans….sage…motherwort….peppermint….catmint…rhubarb….comfrey….mullein….rue….red roses….rosemary……oregano….mugwort….asparagus….okra….apples…..peaches….

What do they have in common?

They are all growing tremendously at Healcrest Urban Farm in Garfield Heights, Pittsburgh!!

Spicy Salad Mix with Arugula, Cilantro and tender lettuces

Kale, getting ready for a thinning so it can have space!
Bamboo Leaf Harvest #1

We have several projects happening at Healcrest: Fence repair, compost application around fruit trees and grape vine, seedling transplants, tilling, and mulching!

This Saturday, May 14th we will have some great volunteers out from 9am-1pm! Please try and join us for some outdoor gardening at your local organic farm – there is major spring prep to be done and all are welcome!
We have two great pieces of news for our followers as well…..
We are partnering with a local flower grower, who will be growing on one of our spots at Healcrest this year! I will get more information on their business and do a blog post to let everyone know!
Also we have brought on a garden support person, Ms Annie Derek. She will be helping me out with some general maintenance and care of the farm, we get along smashingly and Negus Tafari loves her as well! I will also do a blog post on Ms Annie as well, once we get some pics of her!
Finally, we plan to sell a lot of our herbs wholesale/bulk on the website and to increase our overall web and community presence around the value-added products created from the luscious herbs on the farm. Healcrest is focused on these spectacular products and less on food production – if you want to eat our produce you have to put some back labor into volunteer time! You can support us best by purchasing your herbal, natural wellness products at www.vitalmothermoon.com or at www.vitalmoon.etsy.com!
We hope to see people out on Saturday for the volunteer day – coffee and healthy snacks on us!

Happy Earthstrong Lalibella!!

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Filed under Pittsburgh, Urban Farming, Women of Color


Garden Sage in Full Bloom at Healcrest Urban Farm

So as many of you may know, I am a certified Herbalist. I was trained from 2002-2004 through various internships on local farms, an apprenticeship with Sage Mountain Herbal School and years of study with my own herbal gardens before and with Healcrest Urban Farms. Hence why our name is Healcrest.

So we grow many medicinal and culinary herbs at Healcrest Urban Farms and I harvest, dry and make them into healing natural skin care products primarily for women and babies. The product company if you don’t know is called, Vital Mother Moon and we now have our own website for that company


Each and every product is made in small batches, using the finest carrier oils, amazing smelling high quality essential oils, natural preservatives like Vitamin E and grapefruit seed extract. No parabens, pretroleums, chemicals, etc.!! All that and the herbs are grown right here in Pittsburgh.

So we are doing now some serious herb harvesting and it is quite beautiful and luscious on the farm with all the rain and sun. I wanted to share some pics of our herbs and tell you a little more about how the products are made.

This one of many Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis) plants in the gardens. This is one of the biggest and it has decided this  year to multiply itself triple fold – so we have some serious harvesting to do and lots of dried lemon balm for our markets, products and online customers!!

Lavender Harvest

This is the lavender being harvested. We hang dry it in greenhouse and braid some into lavender wands. Then the flowers are shucked from their stems and stored in dark glass jars until we need them to soak in the carrier oils, or stuff into our healing heat packs!!

Oregano and Basil in background

Here we are harvesting Greek Oregano and it is sitting in greenhouse waiting to be tied up. In the background is our basil plants ready to be put in – we are planting over 30 plants – so lots of basil for your pesto’s this year and dried basil for year round enjoyment.

Finally we have Miss Ella here, planting out the native medicinal herb garden. She supported Healcrest by getting from Sylvania Natives lesser-known but potent herbs like Bee Balm, Boneset and Gentian to plant in our native medicinal plot that opens up to the big garden at Healcrest. This garden also has lavender, a massive garden sage (right in front of Ella), daisies and another Lemon Balm.

Ella in the herb garden


Filed under Urban Farming