Farming with Fort Pitt Elementary School

Yesterday was a great day! It was our first time teaching a 2 period block at Fort Pitt Elementary School right down the street from the farm. We’ll have a monthly two hour block with 4th graders through the winter and spring, ending with field trip to the farm. It’s a relationship we’ve been hoping to create for over a year now. Yesterday I brought one of my chickens to the class, taught about soil and it’s importance in sustaining life on planet earth, and we made a “worm terrarium”. All in two hours! It was a lot of fun. I owe Christy and Kelly for making it possible, they did all the leg work, the meetings with the principle, and the many emails to work schedules. They’ll also be doing the majority of the teaching over the coming months. Stay tuned for pictures and news on the amazing kids from Garfield who are in our 4th grade class.

Eating Meat This Winter

Many of us over the years have made the decision to not eat meat due to ethical, environmental, and health reasons. I (John) was a vegetarian for around 10 years starting when I was a freshman in college. Over the past few years I’ve begun reintroducing meat into my diet. First seafood then chicken, turkey and on from there. My reintroduction has been a slow process as we seek out sustainable farms and grocers where we can purchase grass fed, free range, organic meats. In the beginning it was very hard, but recently is been getting easier and easier to find healthier, and much more ethically produced food. When we eat whatever meat is cheap and available I believe we’re making choices that harm the environment and our bodies. Free range, pastured animals are happy animals that produce healthy meat. The alternative is less healthy and a very sad reality on many counts. Check this video out on Chipotle restaurant and Polyface Farm. http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7857921

Taking the time to research where your food comes from can be a lot fun, it is for me and my family. It can also cost more money than we’d like to spend. At Garfield Farm we want to make vegetables accessible to all people in our neighborhood, we also want to let people know where they can get less expensive, ethically raised meats. Chipotle is one of the first opportunities. Pastured meats will never be as cheap as meat from confined, concentration camp style, industrial farms, but there are many opportunities that we hope to share and make more available in the future.