February 24th is CSA Day!

Small Farm Central has designated February 24th as this year’s official CSA Day!  It’s a great time to join our CSA.  Did you know most CSA sign-ups occur at the end of February? When you join a CSA, you are eating fresh, local, usually organic, and giving all of your food dollars direct to the farmer.  And CSA farmers really appreciate those early sign-ups to pay for the seeds, supplies and labor that goes into planting the crops months before the first CSA deliveries, which typically begin mid-May to early June.  Check out our delivery locations page, support your local farmer and  if you can’t join ours, find one close to you at www.csaday.info or www.localharvest.org.

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January 2017. We’ve always grown according to organic principles but this year we decided to make it official.  CSA manager Matt Belmont has completed and sent in the application to Pennsylvania Certified Organic. Since we have never used chemicals, we hope to skip the several years of “transitional” status required of farms who have been using synthetic herbicides and pesticides. Once approved, this means all of our CSA produce will be “certified organic. Thanks to two generous donors who helped with the hefty application fee.  We’ll keep you posted!

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Our lambing season came and went in a whirlwind 8 days – leaving us with 33 new lambs.  All but two are frisking out in the field with their relieved and much slimmer moms, while two are being bottle fed after being rejected by their mothers. We have 50% more lambs than last year and most will be for sale for freezer lamb or eid sacrifices this fall.  Contact us if interested in reserving your lamb – leave a message for Rifqa Parrino at  717-573-4722.

Tunis Ewe Nuzzles Her Days-Old Lamb, April 2012

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I feel so blessed and grateful to be a new adventurer and volunteer at the children’s school!  I am primarily helping the younger children learn math and reading but find that they are so excited to teach me everything and include me in their learning which is so rewarding.  I am overflowing with joy and wonderful things to share!  This is the first in what I hope to be many posts to share snapshots of a day at school here on the Farm of Peace.  Next time, more pictures!!

Last week we trudged down to the stream on the North edge of the Farm to look for aquatic insects.  The children are learning that certain insects cannot survive in water that it not clean.  After finding insects mostly in class two and even some in class one, they know the water is very clean because  class one insects can only survive in the cleanest of water.  Praise God!  We turned over rocks to find black fly larvae, caddisflies, mayfly larvae, leeches, and more.  The children then came back to the classroom and drew what they remembered.  Not just in the river, but all along the way to and from the river, Eddie, their teacher reminded them that they are scientists!  Who is dining at this tree stump and leaving acorn husks behind?  Squirrels!  Who has made a home under this log?  No visible residents today.  Can you feel the great and wondrous expansion in the life of a child…?

Besides weaving science and art with nature, music is also a big part of their week.  Application of patterns and rhythms is important when knowing how to apply math, (Imagine: Counting out loud, making movements with your body, taking turns and staying in rhythm all at once!!!)  but it also comes into play with music and in the instrument they are learning, the ukulele.  Three weeks ago they sang a special performance of the two songs that they themselves had written:  “Coming to America” and “Speaking Japanese.”  Here is a clip of “Speaking Japanese:”

Song: “Speaking Japanese”

A special thank you to all the people who have supported the Farm of Peace and our children’s school, The September School.  You are truly helping to create a precious jewel.

With love,

Rifqa Rebecca Zaban-Boylan

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