Cherry Hill Ecological Farm

April, 2017 Newsletter

Here's where you can find us in April:

April 1 from 9am-2pm: On-Farm Pick-up*
Cherry Hill Ecological Farm 13205 West Cherry Hill Rd Albion, PA

April 4 from 4-7pm: Pittsburgh (Squirrel Hill) Pick-up*  

April 27-30: CT Delivery*
Gretchen will be travelling to CT later in April. There's still room in the cooler, if you'd like to place an order.

*We have pastured pork sampler and sausage boxes available. If you aren't able to make it out to the farm for pick-up day, we welcome you to contact us and schedule another time for a visit. Prices are available on our website:
HerdShare and PorkShare, Spring/Summer 2017

The next MemberShare cycle begins in April! We still have spaces available in both the HerdShare and PorkShare. Sign up now to reserve your spot... 

HerdShare and PorkShare each costs $250. In return you receive ~5lbs of beef or pork a month for 6 months. For more information, click here: HerdSharePorkShare.

Spread the word! If you have friends and family interested in grass-fed beef and pastured pork, please tell them about us.

Around the farm...
The moveable pig shelter emerging from the barn.
Praying mantis egg case.
You may have noticed that we market our pork as 'pastured'. But what does that really mean? And how does it work? The secret to maintaining green pastures with pigs is movement. If the pigs are on pasture, the pasture needs to be monitored and the pigs need to be moved at regular intervals. Without frequent moves, the ground becomes too disturbed. This limits water penetration and plant species diversity (read: plot of bare soil, no green grass). Last winter the pastures never really lost their green, but they did die back and they certainly weren't growing. We pull our pigs off pasture for the winter and place them in an outbuilding over a bedding pack of hay. Once the pastures starting growing again, which in these parts usually happens around May 1, we'll put the pigs back out on grass. We'll move the pig shelter around our fields and set up a temporary two-wire perimeter fence to provide ample fresh pasture for the pigs. Our pigs are happy and our pastures remain healthy!

The pruning of the perennials continues. We found countless praying mantis egg sacs in the brambles and tall grasses. We really had no idea what they were when we first spotted them, but our friend Leah was able to help us ID them. Each sac can hold nearly 300 eggs. Unbelievable, right? We love seeing praying mantis during the summer. They are voracious eaters that help take care of insect issues in the gardens and orchard throughout the summer. It made us aware that leaving brushy areas untouched going into the winter and until the eggs hatch in the spring keeps the habitat intact for such an important piece of the praying mantis' life cycle. After we cut back the brambles, we set aside the pieces of brush that had eggs sacs on them and placed those pieces on top of fence posts and other areas that would stay off the ground with the hope that the eggs will still hatch. There are a number of websites about hatching your own praying mantis inside. We're not quite up for that, but if anyone else has tried it: let us know, we'd be curious to hear about it.
Copyright © 2017 Cherry Hill Ecological Farm, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
13205 West Cherry Hill Road, Albion, PA 16401

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Cherry Hill Ecological Farm · 13205 West Cherry Hill Rd · Albion, PA 16401 · USA

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