Here's the latest update on Gleba Farms in Batavia and its Community Supported Agriculture opportunities, provided by Tim and Amanda Gleba:
Gleba Farms will offer two CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) options for the 2018 season. We will continue with the Summer Veggie CSA and new for the year is the Meat/ Veggie CSA.
Both CSA options will run for 16 weeks, tentatively starting June 12th and concluding Sept. 27th.
The veggie pickup will be weekly, Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Pork and turkey will be included in the Meat/ Veggie CSA. Members who sign up for the Meat/ Veggie CSA will receive turkey and pork in addition to their veggie share. The turkey will be ready for pick up just before Thanksgiving and the pork will be ready for pick up at the end of November.
The pork meat is a gourmet meat pig, American Guinea Hog. The AGH were imported by Thomas Jefferson and other Virginia farmers as early as 1804. Also known as the Pineywoods Guinea, Guinea Forest Hog, Acorn Eater, and Yard Pig, the breed was once the most numerous pig breed found on homesteads in the Southeast.
The Guinea Hog is a gourmet meat pig raised on pasture. Chefs and charcuterie artists prefer to cook with this breed. The marbling, and intramuscular fat hasn't been bred out of these special hogs. However, the taste comes largely from the way they are raised.
Members will receive 1/2 a pig which equates to 50 to 60 pounds of meat. From the butcher you will receive a ham, pork chops, tenderloin, bacon, pork shoulder, breakfast sausage, neck bone and hocks (which make great tomato sauce) and lard (optional). The butcher will smoke the ham and bacon.
For the 2018 growing season we have scaled back on the amount of varieties and concentrate on growing what did well for a larger yield. The list of 30-plus veggies is available to view on our website.
As soon as the ground thaws we will start the construction of the deer fence to help protect the veggie crop. Deer was one of our biggest obstacles last year. There are other tactics we will employ to better protect this year's crop; ie. coyote decoy, scarecrows and a motion-sensor water sprinkler.
Our livestock are pastured during the spring, summer and fall months, so they grow at their own pace. We do not use antibiotics or growth hormones. We feel it's a healthier lifestyle for the animals, which in return, produces a healthier, higher quality meat.
The chickens are weathering the cold quite well. They are staying warm in the coop and currently molting. We have had a few members inquiring about eggs this winter. Between the cold and the molting, chickens are not currently laying. We will send an emailing advising when they do.
We will be adding a "guard geese" to the flock to hopefully mitigate any loss to predators. A farmer in the Southern Tier has had luck with geese protecting the chickens, so we thought we would give it a try.
We are adding two beehives to the farm this year. A local apiarist is helping us by providing some guidance on getting started. There are so many health benefits to local raw honey. We will keep everyone posted with the progress.
In a portion of the front field we will be planting 150 Christmas trees (Douglas fir, Fraser fir, concolor fir and blue spruce). As we were planning for the 2018 growing season we concluded we would not be utilizing the whole front field. So, instead of letting the field go to waste, we decided to plant coniferous trees with the intent of cutting them for Christmas trees in several years.
Since we started the farm, we have found if you work hard enough, sometimes you get lucky. There are no short cuts, it takes time and it takes money and it takes reflection to properly care for the land and livestock. We’ve had a few great farmers and members from the community help us along the way.
In closing, we valued the feedback we received from our members. We are in this for the long haul, so we want to ensure we fulfill the expectations of our members. Amanda and I have an appreciation for the relationships we have cultivated with everyone last year!
Lastly, I would like to give a big thank you to Tom Ryan, Ryan's Rose Organic Farm, John Riley, Riley's Family Farm and John Eisenhard, Eisenhard Forestry.
Cheers to a successful and prosperous 2018!
Tim and Amanda
Gleba Farms LLC
3726 S. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020
(Editor's note: Pricing, registration forms, and more information about the farm and how it works are available on the farm's website (see link just above). For previous coverage, click here.)