About Our Farm...

Village Acres Farm

Village Acres Farm has a mission of connecting people to their food, the earth and each other. We are committed to growing food and building relationships that are sustaining, restorative, and transformative for our customers, employees, and selves.

Celebrating over 30 years of farming, 20 years of Organic certification and 15 years of serving the community through a CSA model, Village Acres operates as a diversified system, integrating vegetables, berries and pastured livestock.

Village Acres offers on-farm pick-up of produce, eggs, and chicken for CSA members, as well as distribution to State College, Lewistown, Selinsgrove, and Harrisburg. We also serve breakfast the first Saturday of every month (April-November) and live music several evenings a year in our FoodShed.

Located just off Route 322 near Mifflintown - about 45 minutes from State College and Harrisburg - the 30 acre farm is centered in the village of Cuba Mills, nestled along the banks of the Lost Creek close to its confluence with the Juniata River.

 Read about our farm in Grid Magazine's Farmbook...

Blog/Farm Newsletters

Winter/Spring Week #2

Posted by Debra Brubaker :: Tuesday, February 2 :: 11:04am

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK 
 
Full Share: Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Watermelon Radishes, Celeriac, Turnips, Butternut Squash
 
Greens Share*: Spinach, Swiss chard/Collards, Red Cabbage
 
*Sorry the share prediction indicated Mesclun Mix would be part of this week's share- but we decided to let it grow till next time in the hope that we have a larger portion size to share with you all.  

Please remember to return share boxes/liners and egg cartons! Also we happily reuse quart and pint mason jars. 



FARM/PRODUCE NOTES:

February is here, and after a January were I was feeling a little discouraged because our greenhouses were looking sparser than we had hoped for, we are beginning to see hopeful signs brought on by the return of the light.  Our little kale and lettuce transplants (above right) are really taking off in the propagation greenhouse and will be ready to transplant to our field tunnels in another week.  We also have multiple planting of our salad mix germinated which makes me very happy.  This time of year, we are entirly sun dependent in our high tunnels.  A sunny day can result in a 60-70 degree greenhouse, generating enough warmth to germinate these cool weather plants.  

In addition to keeping up with our weekly planting schedule, we have many other projects in the balance this winter.  We perhaps foolishly have decided to gut and renovate our kitchen over these winter months which adds an element of chaos to our lives, but we trust the results will be well worth the sacrifice now.  We are also working on designing and building a new structure for housing a new flock of laying hens we're are expecting in early March (another farmer friend with larger heated space started chicks for us in November).  We have seen an increase in demand for our eggs over the past 2 years, and are working to be able to accommodate a larger number of hens for the coming season.  

In addition to these fun projects we are working to build our farm crew for the coming season.  We are looking to hire 2-3 additional staff willing to live on farm this coming year.  We have a few applicants we are interviewing, but if you hear of folks looking for experience of a diversified farm, please urge them to contact us.  

Deb

2016 Summer/Fall Season Sign-up Now Open!

We have also just open our signup for our 2016 Summer/Fall Season.  We are eager for the return of spring and summer flavors and colors.  The planting has already started for our summer season, so we are eager to know how many CSA members to plan on supplying these season, so please sign up early and help us plan well.  Our Summer Season will begin the 3rd week of May and continue through the 3rd week of November.
 
Visit http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa for more information and to sign up! We'd love to continue to grow for you and your family!

 

 

Winter/Spring 2016 Week #1

Posted by Debra Brubaker :: Tuesday, January 19 :: 8:47am

In this week's share:

Greens Share: Spinach,  Braising greens (3 types of Kale and a little chard), White Salad turnips with tops, pea shoots. 

Full Share: Onions, Potatoes, Beets, Carrot, Garlic, Acorn Squash, plus the greens share items

Please remember to return share boxes/liners and egg cartons! Also we happily reuse quart and pint mason jars. 

Please note this weeks' Delivery times.  

On Farm/Lewistown: January 19th 3-6:30 PM

State College: January 19th 4-6:00PM Late pickup at 323 Keller St.

Harrisburg: Friday January 22nd  12PM-6PM


What's Going on at the farm:

It's the start of a new year and it has been packed with activity so far.  This past week our family was deeply immersed in Pennsylvania's 100th Farm Show in Harrisburg.  Hannah, in her position of Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, oversees the Farm Show, and therefore was also very involved in pulling off this week long celebration of Pennsylvania's agriculture.  New this year, she coordinated a "Know Your Farmer" area of the complex, that included a farmer's market display of all the seasonal fruits and vegetables available in PA in January, a beautiful collage of PA's agriculture, an activity station by Rodale institute teaching kids about soil health and microbes, a indoor high tunnel showing the possibilities for season extension (done they PA vegetable growers Association), and a hydroponic tunnel displaying the work of a school to table program at Steelton High School, and booths by Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Farmers Union.  For more pictures from activities in the Know your farmer area, check out this photo album. In addition to helping set up and tear down this area, our family spent much of Wednesday at the Farm Show as welling, cheering on Chandler as she competed in the sheep to shawl competition there, spinning to her heart's content :-) 

In addition to the work and excitement of the Farm Show, we have also been trying to keep up with all the work at home.  Seeding has begun in the greenhouses which means that wood stoves require frequent tending to maintain the proper temperatures for the newly emerging seedlings.  We have also been fine tuning our seeding schedule for the year, making sure we have all supplies on hand.  Dad have been a trooper tending the hens in these cold days, taking fresh (unfrozen) water to them several time a day. Just this past week we moved the hens to a pasture closer to the buildings were they also have access to a small high tunnels with provides them with some additional warm space to scratch and eat during the day.  They are hardy little birds and we are so grateful to have them and their eggs. 

Produce Notes:

I mentioned in my initial email last week, that our salad greens are a little sparse at the opening of this winter CSA season due to the fact that the mild December triggered early growth (ie great surplus for the December shares) but threw off our scheduled harvest for this time of year.  Due to this we are trying to be creative and perhaps sending some less familiar greens your way.  Below are some ideas for the less traditional "greens"- we hope you enjoy them.

Turnip tops: use them with other braising greens.  They have a very mild mustardy flavor.  And the root is a delicious addition to a salad, crisp like a radish, but sweet, not spicy!

Pea shoots:  The pea shoots in the share are new for us.  We trialed a few trays in the past few weeks, and we also harvested the pea shoots from trays of Pea Shoots grown for the Farm Show exhibit by Peace Tree Farm (organic).  Rather then compost them at the end of the week, we harvested them and decided to let you all give them a try this week. They are great as a lettuce substitute in a wrap or sandwich, or can be mixed in with a salad.  

Deb for all at Village Acres.


 

Final Share of 2015- Happy Holidays-thanks for the great year!

Posted by Debra Brubaker :: Tuesday, December 22 :: 10:57am

IN THIS WEEK'S SHARE: Frozen Red Raspberries, Mesclun Mix, Kale Mix, Rainbow Chard, Fingerling Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips, Salad Turnips, Acorn Squash, Butternut Squash, Yellow Onions, and Parsley 

Please remember to return share boxes/liners and egg cartons! Also we happily reuse quart and pint mason jars. 

Please note this weeks' Delivery times: 

On Farm/Lewistown: December 22nd 3-6:30 PM

State College: Tuesday December 22nd 4-6:00PM Late pickup at 323 Keller St.

Harrisburg: Wednesday December 23rd 12PM-6PM


FARM/PRODUCE NOTES:

What a year it has been here at Village Acres- surprise governmental appointment for Hannah, a growing season requiring lots of attention to irrigation, details of farm transition planning, and so much more.  While it was maybe one of the most hectic seasons in my tenure here, it seemed to be one of the smoothest years as well.  Jackie and Allison have been huge assets here at Village Acres.  As this was the second season here for both of them, they took on much of the responsibility of making sure everything was harvested and packed on time for deliveries.  I am ever grateful to have employees that I can trust will get the job done and will do it well.  Today we are saying goodbye to Allison, and while we are excited to see her pursue new interests are sad to see her go.  She has been a joy to work with.  One of my favorite things about Allison is that she is an inherently happy person.  Often times as she is walking from the packing shed to her house and I look out my office window and catch her break out into a radiant smile in response to something going on in her head. This sight has automatically brightened my day on so many occasions.  Allison is also very detail oriented and has taken the initiative of setting up a database that we will continue to use for developing planting schedules for years to come. I'm very happy to have had two years working along side Allison and look forward to seeing where see goes next.  If you see Allison today, send her will well wishes.

While we have to say good bye to Allison, we are pleased that Jackie will be saying with us again next season.  It is a real asset to have experienced employees stay with us for multiple years, so we really hope to treat Jackie well and have her stay as long a possible! 

We hope you all have enjoyed the 2015 season.  We of course hope that you feel well fed and that participating in our CSA has been worth your investment in our farm.  We are looking forward to a few weeks break here in January, but will be eager to see you all in January and will opening our 2016 Summer/Fall CSA in early January.  

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with good food and quaility time with friends and family.  Thanks for choosing us to be your farmers!

Peace,

Deb for all at Village Acres.


 

 

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