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Posted 6/14/2019 8:35am by Cherry Valley Organics.

One of the more surprising spring crops we harvest here at the Cherry Valley Organics Farm is garlic scapes. While most people think about the bulbous, underground cloves when they think about using garlic in the kitchen, there's another edible part of the garlic plant with a delicious flavor worth fitting into your dinner plans.  

garlic scapes

What are garlic scapes?  

A garlic scape is a central flowering stalk that develops from the center some types of garlic plants. Eventually, the scape develops tiny bulbils (mini bulb-like structures) at the top, which, when left to their own devices, fall to the ground to generate new garlic plants. However, the production of a scape and the subsequent bulbils, saps a lot of energy from the plant and leads to reduced bulb and clove size beneath the ground. Because of this, most farmers and gardeners remove the developing scapes from the plants soon after they begin to grow.  

growing garlic scapes

There are two types of garlic; hardneck and softneck.

  • Softneck garlic varieties produce many smaller cloves per head of garlic, and they do not produce a scape, so if you grow softneck garlic, this task doesn't need to be performed.
  • Hardneck garlic produces fewer cloves per head, but the cloves are larger. Hardneck garlic varieties also produce the central flower stalk known as a scape.  

 

How to harvest garlic scapes  

At first, most scapes grow straight up out of the plant, but as they continue to grow, they twist into a curlicue. Soon after the curlicue forms, it's time to remove the scape. Use a sharp pair of scissors or pruners to cut the scape off just above where it emerges from the plant's center. Do not leave a stump behind. Sometimes the plants are so rigid that you can perform this task with your thumb and forefinger, without relying on a cutting tool. But be careful you don't accidentally pull the plant out of the ground in the process or leave behind a torn stem or leaf.  

how to cook garlic scapes

How to store garlic scapes  

Once the scapes are harvested, put them in a plastic or paper bag in the fridge. This keeps them crisp and prolongs their shelf life. Properly stored garlic scapes can last for several weeks. Do not wash them before you put them in the bag and be sure they are dry or they might develop rot in the bag.  

How to prepare garlic scapes

Garlic scapes have a mild, garlic-like flavor, and there are many ways to prepare this delicious late-spring farm treat. Here are some of our favorite ways to cook and eat fresh garlic scapes.   

  • Turn them into pesto by blending them in a food processor with pine nuts, olive oil, a quick squeeze of lemon, and parmesan cheese. Garlic scape pesto is delicious on pasta and spread on sandwiches. We also love it spread over baked chicken breasts.
  • Roast your garlic scapes by coating them with olive oil and a dash of sea salt and roasting them in a 425 degree oven until they're soft. Delish!
  • Grilled garlic scapes can be made by coating the scapes in olive oil and then tossing them onto the grill until they're tender. A little char is great, but be careful not to burn them.
  • Finely chop your garlic scapes and use them raw to garnish stir fries, soups, and stews.
  • Pan fry chopped scapes in a bit of butter and add them to scrambled eggs and omelets.
  • Use them in frittatas and quiches, just as you would use onions or scallions.
  • You can also pickle garlic scapes.
  • Pulse them in a food processor and mix the results into your favorite salad dressing.
  • Puree garlic scapes, a bit of fresh oregano, and some fresh parsley, and fold the mixture into softened butter for an garlicy herb butter you won't soon forget!  

garlic scapes for sale at market

There are countless ways to prepare this gourmet spring treat. If you'd like to try our garlic scapes, visit us at the Sewickley Farmer's Market on Saturday's from 9 to 1pm, or stop by the Cherry Valley Organics Farm Market and Cafe in Burgettstown, PA. Subscribers to our Farm Share Program should look for them on the menu selections in mid to late spring.  

For more on the delicious vegetables we grow, check out the following articles:

How to harvest and cook garlic scapes

Posted 5/7/2019 9:17pm by Cherry Valley Organics.

Our Cherry Valley Organics farm family is pleased to welcome Jessie Weiss to our team. Jessie is one of our Herb & Flower Growers, and she's keen to help provide folks across the Pittsburgh region with fresh cut, organic flowers, herb plants, and herbal products.  

You may catch Jessie behind our table at the Sewickley Farmers Market or at one of the local festivals and events where we vend our products. In addition to these duties, Jessie is often found out in the fields, tending our herbs and flowers, arranging our seasonal bouquets, and more. Here's more about Jessie and her passion for organic agriculture.  

Meet Jessie Weiss: Herb & Flower Grower  

Jessie Weiss CVO

Childhood Roots  

Jessie hails from Buffalo, N.Y. She's the youngest of five children, with three older sisters and a brother. "I come from a very close-knit family who was always active outdoors, and yes, we always grew a garden," she says.  

While Jessie has many memories of outdoor activities centered around their vegetable garden, her favorite memories revolve around flowers. "I loved when my mom would ask me to go pick a bouquet for her dining room table. It was my favorite 'chore.' I’d go out and cut whatever I could find," she notes.  

Jessie found herself inspired by those blooms and the creativity that comes from seeing a little, homegrown bouquet come together like a work of art. "My mother would swoon over these bouquets, and it always made me feel good."  

College and Beyond  

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Jessie spent the last four years working in the nursing field, including a job as a travel nurse. "As much as I truly did find meaning in my career as a nurse, I kept finding myself drawn to the idea of pursuing what makes me feel the most passionate... and then this job at Cherry Valley Organics appeared."  

Jessie and dog Cherry Valley organics

Jessie's Passion for Plants  

Jessie has always loved flowers and gardening. She's grown a rather large home vegetable garden for the past couple years. "My favorite thing to grow is flowers, though," she says. "I love the process of gardening and farming; the seeding, the toiling, the labor of love, and then the waiting. And finally -- the reward!" She finds great joy and beauty in harvesting bouquets here at the farm.

"We work so hard to grow the flowers and bring them to our customers. There's a lot of beauty in that. Our bouquets bring joy and help educate people about the importance of locally grown, organic cut flowers."  

Why Organic Feels Right  

"I think what I like the most about organic agriculture is two-fold. First, it's about sustainability for the environment. And second, it's health benefits for us!" Jessie notes. From the plants and flowers we sell at market to the veggies we harvest for farm share and the value-added products we make, Jessie loves knowing that nothing is treated with synthetic chemicals. "Our vegetables and flowers aren't sprayed with anything to make them stay fresh longer either. Every one of our customers should feel confident that they know where their food is coming from. It's high quality and healthy because it comes directly from our hands to their homes."  

"It's my hope that when people stop into CVO’s store or visit us at our farmer’s market booth, they too can feel and embrace our mission to bring certified organic herbs, vegetables, and beautiful flower bouquets to our customers’ homes," she says. "I want our customers to feel welcome and be inspired to eat food, have a conversation with us about what we do and how we do it, and leave feeling that they have learned something. I hope they'll want to come back for another experience."   

Flower Bouquets Cherry Valley Organics

Customer Love  

Jessie is really embracing the process of growth on the farm. "It's already taught me so much about patience, hard work, and reward." Jessie says that working the farmer’s market in Sewickley is the icing on the cake. "I get to engage with our customers and share our products with them. Seeing the look on their faces when they smell our lime thyme plants or admire a bouquet of spring tulips brings me joy. I suppose that's the essence of farming, really. Bringing good, healthy food and farm-fresh products to families around the region."  

We hope you'll stop by the Sewickley Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings to meet Jessie and get to know this friendly addition to the CVO family.  

To meet more of our farm crew, check out the following articles:  

 

From, The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family

Posted 4/26/2019 10:06am by Cherry Valley Organics.

We're thrilled to announce that the Cherry Valley Organics Farm Market and Cafe is soon going to open for our spring and summer hours! We're located at 1713 Main Street, Burgettstown, PA in the recently refurbished, historic Burgettstown Train Station. These are exciting times for the CVO crew -- so many amazing changes are taking place! We'll be announcing our extended hours very soon!  

In the meantime, we'd like to introduce you to one of the smiling faces you'll see at our Farm Market and Cafe this season. Emily Kramer is our Cafe Supervisor. She's an enthusiastic believer of the local food movement. Emily knows shopping small and buying local keeps money in the regional economy and provides jobs for the community. Here's more about this dynamic new addition to the Cherry Valley Organics farm family!  

Meet Emily Kramer: CVO's Cafe Supervisor  

Emily Kramer

Childhood Roots  

Emily has spent most of her life here in Pennsylvania, but her childhood was spent in New Mexico. "My mother was the person to first expose me to the world of gardening. With a seemingly constant season of drought, we were restricted to watering once a week. I recall taking showers with a bucket to catch any spare water to help my mother’s struggling vegetable garden. You could say I was exposed to organic growing at an early age, eating cherries from a neighbor’s tree."  

Emily's family moved to Pennsylvania when she was 10 years old. "The first time I saw Pennsylvania, the juxtaposition of the desert landscape with the lush greenery of the east coast is still a striking memory for me," she says. "My mother of course took advantage of the rainfall and constructed a few large raised beds. This garden today is still in full production, growing pretty much anything imaginable. My favorite part of her garden is the raspberry patch, which generally gets overgrown but gives endless raspberries."  

College Days  

Emily has a BS in Nutrition and Dietetics and an MA in Food Studies. "Admittedly, and a little regrettably, I was not interested in growing food until I got to college. My friends worked on a small farm, so I volunteered there mostly just to hang out. I was caught off guard by my sudden and significant interest in farming. While I always appreciated learning about food from a strong scientific perspective during my Nutrition studies, farming and its surrounding culture felt like a less institutional and more tangible side of food to me," she admits.  

But it was Emily's continued education in Food Studies that allowed her to gain a deeper appreciation for local food systems, along with a deeper understanding of its complexities. "The program was designed with a well-rounded approach to examining our food system," she says. "In terms of agriculture specifically, a highlight for me was diving into the subject of agroecology and how to create an agricultural system that works with nature, not against it. So, excluding harmful chemical inputs, encouraging biodiversity, building quality soil with biomass, etc."  

Emily Kramer

Life After College  

Prior to CVO, Emily coordinated the food and horticulture area of a psychiatric rehab center in Pittsburgh. "I got a lot of hands-on growing experiences there because I managed a sizeable raised bed urban garden," she notes. "Previous to that, I've generally worked with food in a variety of ways such as retail and vending at farmer’s markets."  

Emily's Role at CVO  

At the moment, Emily is assisting in putting together our café by sourcing items and researching and contacting local and regional food producers to see what’s out there. She also assists customers in our store. "I oversee the day-to-day functions of the café while keeping on top of sourcing and inventory."  

What Local and Organic Mean to Emily  

"I heard a statistic recently stating that less than 10% of the farming industry is organic, which I found to be striking," Emily notes. "I think this statistic speaks to the fact that utilizing organic farming methods is certainly not easy. We need to collectively appreciate the work and dedication that goes into food production, and more specifically, production that aims to work more harmoniously with the natural environment. All of the organic farmers I know care that the food they grow supports a healthy ecosystem and healthy people. So, instead of saying that organic food is expensive, maybe we can instead notice that organic food is important."

Emily often finds herself thinking about resiliency and how our society can move forward in the best way possible. Growing organically certainly fits into the picture, as does supporting organic food producers who put their heart and soul into their work.  

What Emily Hopes for our CVO Farm Market and Cafe Customers  

"I want people to feel welcome to stay, hang out, and get to know us when they walk into the store," she says. "I foresee the Farm Market and Café being a quintessential stop for trail-goers but also part of the Burgettstown residents’ routine. Our guests will be able to get a good cup of coffee, locally sourced goods, ice cream, and quality hand-made CVO products." Sounds like a win-win for everyone!  

Stop by the CVO Farm Market and Cafe to meet Emily and get to know this warm, friendly addition to the CVO family.  

To meet more of our farm family, check out the following articles:  

From, 

The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family

Posted 4/12/2019 1:31pm by Cherry Valley Organics.

The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Market and Cafe will soon be open for our spring and summer hours! We're located at 1713 Main Street, Burgettstown, PA in the recently refurbished, historic Burgettstown Train Station. There are so many wonderful changes taking place for our CVO family, and as a result, you'll notice lots of new faces at our farm market stand and in the retail store. 

Today, we'd like to introduce you to Katie Sofio, our Retail Sales and Event Assistant. You'll see Katie behind the counter of our new Farm Market and Cafe, assisting customers, keeping the shelves stocked, and being an all-around awesome addition to the CVO family.  

Meet Katie Sofio: Retail Sales and Event Assistant  

Katie Sofio Cherry valley Organics

Childhood Roots  

Katie was raised in Washington state, surrounded by so much natural beauty, including colorful wildflowers, snow-capped mountains, clear rivers, rushing waterfalls, evergreen trees, luscious rainforests, and the majestic ocean. "All of these elements of the beauty of the earth and the vastness of ecology left an impression in my subconscious when I was very young!" says Katie.    

Her interest in gardening began when Katie's dad planted a vegetable garden in their backyard during the summer she turned 11 years old. "I remember helping him dig up the corner of the yard, planting the seeds, then watering and weeding to nurture our plants along," she recalls. "When we finally harvested our first fruits, it was pretty exciting. We ate the broccoli, even though we found a few worms in it. Our carrots turned out stubby and the watermelon didn’t make it past the size of a baseball, but it didn’t matter. The whole experience ignited my love for growing, especially growing something I could eat," Katie jokes. You'll see Katie and her dad together in the photo below.

"The world of agriculture began to fascinate me," she adds. "How does a tiny seed have EVERYTHING inside it to produce a fruit big enough to eat? And how does the process happen? All I do is plant and water it, and make sure nothing gets in the way of its growth, but how does the rest happen?" she started to wonder. "When I was a kid, it always seemed like magic."    

CVO's Katie Sofio

School Days  

Katie has an undergrad degree in Philosophy and Theology and a Masters in Education. "I taught grade school for nine years and high school for one before joining Cherry Valley Organics. But, I did find a way to fit my love for growing into my teaching career. At the first school I worked at, I started a 36 ft x 36 ft school garden," she says. "It became known as the 'outdoor classroom' where students in grades Pre K - 8 participated in growing, harvesting, and eating a wide variety of vegetables." Katie's student gardeners grew corn, radish, lettuce, tomatoes, okra, broccoli, zucchini, and squash, to name just a few.  

"Facilitating this hands-on experience for the students for five years is still one of my proudest accomplishments," Katie notes. "And I’m happy to say the garden still exists today! And, I still enjoy sharing a love of gardening with kids. These days, though, my niece and nephew are my 'students'."   

Katie from Cherry Valley Organics

Katie's Contribution to CVO  

Katie is responsible for opening and closing the store, welcoming and engaging with our customers, and taking care of the plants, flowers, produce, and products at the shop. She'll also be selling CVO products at outside events, such as artisan marketplaces, craft shows, farming events, and more. 

The Message Katie Wants to Share with Our Customers  

"Buy local whenever you can," Katie stresses. "You’re giving yourself a gift. The sooner you can get food off the vine and into your body, the better it is for your cells!"   

"Your mitochondria want energy to power your body, and the fresher your food is, the more energy it’s going to give you. Knowing where your food came from (down the road vs. from a truck that drove for several days) makes a big difference."  

Five years from now, Katie would love to see CVO become a well-known organic brand in Pennsylvania, and for our products to be selling in stores in at least 5 different states. "I’d love to see the farm expand to grow on double the acres we currently farm. And, I’d love to see the size of our team double to keep up with the demand for our produce, flowers, herbs, and products." It's a dream we all share here at CVO.  

To get to know more of the CVO farm family, check out the following articles:  

 

From, The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family

Posted 3/11/2019 9:36am by Cherry Valley Organics.

Small farmers are a hard-working, dedicated bunch. Being a small farmer requires endless hours spent not just growing the fruits, veggies, flowers, and herbs sold by the farm, but also marketing those products, managing the books, collaborating with fellow growers, maintaining equipment, keeping a website updated, arranging and making deliveries, organizing planting and harvesting dates, and about a million other tasks.  

Today, we'd like to tell you more about the woman who started Cherry Valley Organics almost 20 years ago, Jodi Danyo. Jodi's passion for organic farming is unrivaled; she's dedicated her life to making sure Pittsburgh-area families have access to fresh, locally grown, USDA Certified Organic produce. From the initial roots of CVO as a small suburban farm to its present-day status as one of Pittsburgh's premier growers of certified organic produce, Jodi has been the one constant.  

Grower Profile: Jodi Danyo of Cherry Valley Organics

Jodi Danyo of Cherry Valley Organics

Childhood Roots

While Jodi wasn't born and raised on a farm, she does believe that plants are in her blood. Her dad has a degree in Agronomy from Penn State University, and two of her uncles spent their careers working in landscaping and golf course management.  

"When you're a plant person," she jokes, "it's inevitable that a plant-filled path will find you! Some people believe that current day 'plant people' like me are descendants of the village herbalists of our ancestor's time. I can't say whether or not this is true, but I certainly 'get' plants and have known for a very long time that I enjoy working with them."  

College Days

Soon after finishing grad school with an MS in Environmental Science, Jodi knew she wanted a career that involved being outdoors, conducting research, and teaching others. Her grad school experience, combined with her undergrad degree in Biology, led her to an eventual job in environmental consulting as an Ecological Risk Assessor. Soon after reading a book called "Sharing the Harvest" by Elizabeth Henderson, and learning as much as she could about the importance of the local organic food movement, Jodi knew that small-scale farming was the right path for her. It took some time, however, for her to see that dream come to fruition.  

Having worked on a horse farm taking care of Arabian show horses during college, Jodi was, and is, no stranger to hard work. Mucking the stalls, and feeding, grooming, and moving horses, led her to realize that a good day's work should also involve plenty of physical activity, something you don't get at a desk job. She also realized that sometimes the non-glamorous jobs are the ones you feel best about at the end of the day.  

These experiences, combined with her passion for local, organic agriculture, led to the foundation of the first incarnation of Cherry Valley Organics.  

Farmer Jodi Danyo in the greenhouse at Cherry Valley Organics farm

The Beginnings of Cherry Valley Organics  

After her job as an Ecological Risk Accessor, Jodi worked as a professional gardener, maintaining some of Pittsburgh's most beautiful gardens in communities such as Squirrel Hill, Fox Chapel, and Shadyside. Then, starting in 2001, Jodi began to build a one-third-acre urban farm in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Crafton. This is where she really honed her growing skills, learning how to raise organic fruit and vegetable crops on a small, commercial basis.  

A Growing Community Farm  

In 2004, CVO moved to its present location in Burgettstown, PA and began growing on a larger scale. Though the farm property encompasses 36 acres, only about 6 acres are currently in cultivation. "Over the years, we've built a heated greenhouse, a high tunnel, and a packing shed equipped with refrigeration and work space," notes Jodi, "but Cherry Valley Organics still has plenty of room for expansion."  

A lot of lessons have been learned since farming that third-acre lot in Crafton almost 20 years ago. "Despite the years spent building the farm's infrastructure, I realized I didn't have the leadership skills to grow CVO into the company that I had first envisioned," Jodi admits. But, after a 7-year hiatus from full-time farming, during which the day-to-day growing operations were managed by a small crew of dedicated collaborative growers, including Allie Logue, our Herb & Flower Grower and Retail Sales Supervisor, Jodi is now back to farming full time.  

"One of our biggest challenges has been finding and keeping team members," Jodi admits. "It's very difficult to find hires with experience in small-scale organic farming. Regular staff turnover made it almost impossible to gain any momentum. That's why I went back to work in corporate America for a while."  

Though it was hard for Jodi to step away from the day-to-day operations of the farm, it turned out to be a blessing. "I worked with international teams to develop training programs for countless emerging leaders, middle managers, and even CEOs. I became an executive coach. I'm very fortunate and grateful for these experiences, and now have friends and colleagues all over the world. Most importantly, I've learned a lot about leadership. Now, I believe we're ready to move to the next step. We have a dream team of growers and organic enthusiasts at CVO that are going to propel us into the future."    

cut flower farm Cherry Valley Organics

Jodi's Thoughts on Being a Small Farmer  

Jodi adores farming for the diversity of tasks and activities involved. No two days are the same. The beautiful environment, a chance to be outdoors, and the productive feeling you have when you've just planted 8000 seedlings or harvested a truck-load of flowers, offer a sense of accomplishment and peace that few other jobs share. "I also derive tremendous satisfaction from knowing that we're doing work that our customers value and appreciate," Jodi says, "and we're offering healthy alternatives to our community. "  

Like most people, Jodi finds that some days are harder than others. Days spent at her desk working on accounting or humid afternoons spent in the boiling summer sun, are days that Jodi doesn't necessarily relish. But, a morning in the high tunnel seeding a new crop of lettuce or a few hours spent harvesting beautiful bouquets of lisianthus or sunflowers are among her favorites.  

"Small business is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just simply mistaken," Jodi says. Completing all the tasks that need to be done within the number of hours in a given day is a balancing act like no other, and it's one that small farmers around the globe face each and every day.  

A Day on the Farm  

"There's no typical day when it comes to farming," Jodi jokes. "On planting days, our team is focused on getting as many plants in the ground as possible. I may be running the field crew on those days, organizing which transplants go where, popping plants from plug trays, and doing a good bit of planting myself. Nahla, our farm pup, is always busy running around the whole time, making everyone laugh as we work."  

"Harvest days are a bit different. I'm in the herb and flower realm for harvest days since our produce grower focuses on harvesting the vegetables. So for flower harvest days, we load up the Cub Cadet with buckets, get out all of our gear, and head to the field to pick in mid-morning. We harvest until lunch, and then spend the rest of the day making bouquets or prepping the flowers for our florist customers."  

"Other days may be spent making our handcrafted soaps, bagging our herbal tea mixtures, or packaging our edible flowers. There's no doubt that every day on the farm brings new experiences and different types of work, which keeps it interesting and fun."  

Grower Jodi Danyo Pittsburgh farmer

The Challenges and the Future  

"Being as small as we are makes it very difficult to weather the ups and downs of business. We're focused right now on growth, and we'll be focusing our efforts specifically on growing our herbal tea, edible flower, and bath & body product lines over the next few years," Jodi says when asked about the plans for CVO's near-future. "We're also really excited to have our first retail location at 1713 Main Street in Burgettstown. We opened in the winter of 2018 and look forward to growing the Cherry Valley Organics Farm Market and Cafe into something really special over the coming season."    

We hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Farmer Jodi's background and love of all things organic. If you'd like Jodi and the rest of our crew here at Cherry Valley Organics to grow fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce for your family, be sure to sign up for our CSA Farm Share Program. And, of course, you'll want to sign up for our bouquet subscription service, too. Doing so means you'll get to enjoy a gorgeous bouquet of cut flowers grown right here at the farm each and every week throughout the growing season. Learn more about our bouquet subscription service here.

From, 

The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family

Posted 2/22/2019 9:44am by Cherry Valley Organics.

The last Friday in February is "National CSA Sign-up Day" (CSA Day for short), and we're busy celebrating here at Cherry Valley Organics! Based on data collected from small farmers, the last Friday in February is the most popular day of the year to sign up for a CSA Farm Share program.  

If you haven't hopped on-board and joined a CSA Farm Share program, now is a great time to support a small, local farm like ours by signing up to receive a weekly or biweekly share of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables all season long.  

Jody Danyo and Allie Logue of Cherry Valley Organics

What is a CSA?  

First, it's important to understand why Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are so important to small farmers like us. The CSA Farm Share model allows a customer to buy a "membership" in a farm prior to the start of the growing season. In return for their investment, the customer receives a share of the farm's products throughout the growing season on a weekly or biweekly basis.  

peppers CSA in Pittsburgh

The CSA model started in the mid-1980s in New England and has since become a popular way for people to support local agriculture around the world. It keeps food dollars in local communities, supports small businesses, and encourages a more sustainable food production system. Plus, it allows you to know exactly who's growing the food you feed to your family and how that food was grown.

From a farmer's standpoint, CSA Farm Share programs guarantee a market for our farm's products, enable us to have an early season income source to help pay for seeds and supplies, and it allow us to get to know the families our farm feeds.  

You get healthy, fresh food, and we get a much-valued, long-lasting customer!

organic tomatoes farm share

How does our CSA work?  

While many area farms have CSA Farm Share programs here in the Pittsburgh region, our program is a bit different from the standard CSA model. Instead of getting a box of farm products selected by the farmer, our Cherry Valley Organics Farm Share program allows you to select each item in your weekly delivery, based on a list of what's available from the farm each week.

You tell us which fruits and veggies your family loves, and we'll be sure to send them when they're available. You can also let us know which veggies your family isn't fond of, and we'll keep those out of your Farm Share delivery box. If you need extra of something because the in-laws are in town, just order extra in your weekly box. Or, if you're going on vacation, you can skip your delivery for that week, too.  

You select your weekly or biweekly preferences via email, and we deliver your box to a pick up site near you on a designated day of the week. It's that easy! Our 2019 Farm Share season lasts for 20 weeks and runs from June through October.

how does a CSA work

Celebrate CSA Day with us by signing up for our Farm Share program today (or whatever day suits you best - we're not picky!). Our sign ups will continue until the program reaches its maximum membership. As of this writing, we still have an opening for YOU!  

Why sign up for our CSA?

  • Support the health of your local food system
  • Keep farm land out of the hands of developers
  • Be a responsible environmental steward
  • Limit your food miles
  • Eat fresh
  • The cost is just $25.00 per week!
  • Enjoy delicious, USDA certified organic fruits and veggies grown by people who LOVE what they do!  

beets for CSA box

Cherry Valley Organics CSA Farm Share details  

We know you have lots of choices when it comes to your food dollars. There's plenty of competition from grocery stores, big retailers, food delivery services, meal plans, and even the restaurant down the street. So, we want to make it easy for your to support our small farm.  

Our CSA Farm Share program offers:

  • A flexible payment schedule
  • A pick up site near you (see a list of our pick up sites, here)
  • Automated payments
  • The ability to hand-pick what you want in each delivery
  • Plenty of potential add-ons, such as herbal teas, organic soaps, garden plants, and more!  

Help us ring in a new growing season by signing up for our CSA Farm Share program today! Click here to sign up or get more information on how it works. If you still have questions, feel free to send us an email at info@cherryvalleyorganics.com.  

Here's wishing you a season of happy, healthy eating! Sign up here.  

Best CSA in Pittsburgh

To learn more about our small farm and what we grow, check out the following posts:

 

From, The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family 

P.S. Nahla says "Buy fresh, eat local.... and take naps!" 

Farm Dog

Posted 2/8/2019 2:20pm by Cherry Valley Organics.

Did you know that most air fresheners and room sprays are made from a concoction of synthetic chemicals? The Huffington Post declared synthetic fragrance sprays to be "The New Secondhand Smoke" in this recent article.  And in this article by the Washington Post, the author discusses the dangers of these fragrances for people with chemical sensitivities, and also points out that even people without sensitivities are reporting issues. 

"But artificial fragrances aren’t just a problem for certain groups. More than a third of Americans surveyed reported experiencing health problems when exposed to them, according to a study by Anne Steinemann of the University of Melbourne. “All fragranced products that I tested . . . emitted chemicals classified as hazardous air pollutants,” Steinemann said in an email. “You may not realize you’re being affected until it’s too late.”  

An alternative to synthetic fragrance sprays

While the smell of a "Wild Orchid" or "Sea Breeze" is marketed with the image of freshness and clean-living, the truth is, these products contain chemicals that we really shouldn't be breathing in.  

All natural organic fragrances for home and body

Instead, if you want to freshen a room, your car, the bed linens, bath towels, or even your yoga mat, you should turn to all-natural, organic fragrances like ours.  

What's in organic fragrance?  

Instead of a mixture of synthetic chemicals, organic fragrances like ours are made from water, essential oils, and herbal tinctures. Their list of ingredients is short, but they offer high-impact fragrance. You'll get a burst of long-lasting fragrance from just one squirt. Plus, our fragrance sprays are in a pump-style bottle, not an aerosol can that uses a propellant.  

Peppermint essential oil fragrance spray

To make our organic fragrance sprays, we use organic rye or vodka to create a tincture using herbs grown right here at our USDA Certified Organic farm just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The herbal tincture is then combined with distilled water and various essential oils until we achieve the perfect level of fragrance.  

We have several different scents available, including:

All of our fragrances are vegan-friendly as they contain no animal products. Nor are they ever tested on animals.  

Patchouli fragrance room spray

Roll-on fragrances  

In addition to our selection of room spray fragrances, we also carry our fragrances in roll-on style packaging.  

Roll-on Essential Oil Fragrances

A touch of our roll-on fragrances behind the ear, on the wrist, or on the back of your hand provides aroma-therapeutic properties, without the expensive price tag.  

Our roll-on fragrances come in the following scents:  

All-natural insect repellent spray with essential oils

A special gardener's fragrance  

In addition to our room and roll-on fragrances, we also have a special organic fragrance spray made just for gardeners and anyone else who spends a lot of time outdoors. Our Gardener's Fragrance Spray is composed of a unique blend of essential oils thought to repel biting insects. Included in this specialty fragrance spray is eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, citronella, and more. 100% all-natural, organic, and it smells oh-so-good!  

You'll find our Gardener's Fragrance Spray here.

Where to buy our organic fragrance sprays and roll ons  

In addition to purchasing our fragrances through our webstore by using the embedded links above, we also carry the full collection of our scents in our store. The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Market and Cafe is located at 1713 Main Street in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. You can also reach us via email for more information or store hours at info@cherryvalleyorganics.com.  

Fragrance spray gift pack

Oh, and one last way you can use our all-natural fragrance sprays: They make a great organic substitute for the popular toilet-bowl sprays that stop the stink before you go! Just sprits a few pumps of our fragrance into the commode water prior to use and no one will even know about "your business."  

Rose geranium organic fragrance spray

From, The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family

All-natural, organic fragrance sprays are made from essential oils, herbal tinctures, and water -- never synthetic chemicals. #essentialoils #fragrances

Posted 1/16/2019 9:53pm by Cherry Valley Organics.

With today's ever-busy schedules, it isn't often that we take time for ourselves and relax. But when we do, it should be in a way that's comforting and calming. That's where our organic bath salts and bath bags come in. A good, long soak in a tub full of warm water, infused with the finest fragrance-infused sea salt or organically grown, aromatic herbs, is one of the best ways to take a break from the world and enjoy a few precious moments to yourself.

lavender bath salts

Herbal Bath Salts  

Many commercially made bath salts are filled with synthetic fragrances, rather than the calming scents of natural herbs and essential oils. Instead, our bath salts are made by combining pure certified organic essential oils with a very special type of salt. We also infuse the mix with various combinations of herbs grown, harvested, and naturally dried here at the farm.  

At Cherry Valley Organics, we use only Breton™ grey sea salt. It's hand-harvested from the island of Noirmoutier near Brittany, France. The salt isn't treated, modified, washed, or refined after harvest, unlike some other brands of bath salts. This keeps the high mineral content intact, leading to a luxurious, soul-warming soak!  

Because the folks who harvest Breton™ sea salt follow the specifications of the French Organic Farming Association, our bath salts carry the USDA Certified Organic label. You can be assured that our bath salts care for your skin like no other.  

You may wonder why adding salts to your bath water is so enjoyable. Salts stimulate circulation, ease joint inflammation and stiffness, soothe sore muscles, and reinvigorate the skin.  

peppermint bath salts

Herbal Bath Bags  

In addition to our fantastic bath salts, we also take great pride in our organic bath bags. These little treasures are created by combining various types of dried herbs we grow right here on our Pennsylvania farm. We add rolled oats for their skin-calming abilities, as well as heaven-scented organic essential oils.  

patchouli bath bag

All of these goodies are hand-packed into small muslin bags and tied into a little sachet that's easy to drop right into the bathwater. Soon after exposure to the warm water, the herbs begin to release their fragrance for a unique and relaxing experience.  

You'll never find any herbs grown with synthetic pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides in our bath bags or bath salts. And they're available in several amazing scents.  

 

lavender bath bag

You can purchase our bath salts and bags on our web store via the links above. ***They're also available at our new store at 1713 Main Street in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. We'll be open on Saturday, January 26th and then every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10-6 through March 31st. When April arrives, the store will be open for our soon-to-be-established spring and summer hours.  

Watch for more store news right here on our blog, and on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  

For more on our fantastic line of organic body care products, check out these articles:  

 

Herbal organic bath salts and bath bags are used for relaxation and to improve circulation and reduce inflammation. #herbalproducts #bathsalts

Posted 12/13/2018 2:46pm by Cherry Valley Organics.

Looking for the perfect gift for a friend, relative, co-worker, or neighbor? How about a weekly or bi-weekly bouquet of fresh-cut, colorful, organic blooms? Heck, maybe you'd even like one for yourself! Our organic bouquet subscription service in Pittsburgh makes it easy for you or a treasured friend to enjoy fresh-cut blooms throughout the growing season. Here's how it works.  

organic cut flowers in Pittsburgh

What is a flower bouquet subscription?  

Each week we cut thousands of stems of vibrant blooms from the fields on our USDA Certified Organic farm near Pittsburgh. Then, our Grower for Herbs and Flowers, Allie Logue, and the rest of our team, arranges the flowers into stunning seasonal bouquets. Some of these bouquets go to our farm share subscribers with their weekly box of produce, others go to out for sale at our stand at the Sewickley Farmers Market. But, dozens more bouquets are hand-arranged daily just for our organic flower bouquet subscription customers.  

Once the bouquets are built, it's time to deliver them. Our weekly or bi-weekly subscription bouquets are delivered to convenient neighborhood pick up sites all around Western Pennsylvania on a designated day of the week. You (or your gift recipient) just need to stop by and pick up your bouquet. It's that simple. We currently have pick up sites in Lawrenceville, Mt. Lebanon, Squirrel Hill, Upper St. Clair, Sewickley, Burgettstown, Cannonsburg, Crafton Heights, Southpointe, Oakdale, New Brighton, with more sites to come in 2019! We also have a pick up site in Columbiana, Ohio.  

Weekly flower delivery in Pittsburgh

What will you find in your organic bouquet?  

We grow over 200 different varieties of flowers here at our Pittsburgh-area farm. Because each and every flower is grown on-site, you'll find that our bouquets are filled with a successional parade of seasonal flowers. In the spring, you'll likely find bright yellow daffodils, iris, and larkspur; summer may bring such beauties as lilies, zinnias, and yarrow; and autumn bouquets are graced with the likes of amaranth, gomphrena, and sunflowers. Each bouquet is guaranteed to be cheerful and as fresh as can be.  

At the end of this article, you'll find lots of photos of our gorgeous bouquets from last season. They're great examples of what you can expect.  

bouquet subscription service in Pittsburgh

How many bouquets do you receive with the subscription?  

Our flower bouquet subscription season runs for 20 weeks, starting in mid-May and running through early October. The total number of bouquets you receive depends on how frequently you'd like them to be delivered. 

organic flower farm near pittsburgh

How to sign up for our organic flower bouquet subscription service in Pittsburgh  

We have a subscription to suit every budget! Flower subscriptions are available for small, medium, or large bouquets for $15, $20, and $25 a week, respectively. You can choose to have any size bouquet delivered to your chosen pick up site on a weekly, bi-weekly, or even a monthly basis. Weekly bouquet subscribers receive 20 bouquets per season, bi-weekly receive 10, and monthly subscribers receive 5 gorgeous bouquets each season.  

This is really the perfect gift for hard-to-buy-for friends, family, and colleagues!  

To check on the pricing of each different option, or to sign up for our organic bouquet subscription service, click here  

Pittsburgh cut flower farm

For more on our farm and the organic flowers we grow, check out the following articles:

Here are more of our gorgeous organic cut flower bouquets! 

locally grown flowers in Pittsburgh

organic local cut flower bouquets Pittsburgh area

flower grower Pittsburgh

bouquet delivery local organic flowers Pittsburgh region

Posted 12/6/2018 11:31am by Cherry Valley Organics.

We've been making our certified organic, handmade soap for over a decade. Our soap-making process begins by selecting only the finest ingredients, some of which we grow ourselves right here on our Pennsylvania farm. All of the plant-based ingredients we can't grow on the farm are sustainably sourced, and none of our products are ever tested on animals. We make our natural handmade soaps in small batches, completely by hand.  

Handmade organic soaps for sale

While our selection of handmade soap varieties changes with the seasons, here are our core varieties.  

Click the name of each soap for more on that variety or to make a purchase. 

 

Join our Soap of the Month Club to receive an assortment of our natural handmade soaps. Choose 1, 3, or 6 bars per month, and shipping is included in the price. Click here to sign up. 

Handmade soap company

What makes our handmade soap different?  

Our natural handmade soaps are not detergents, so they're softer on skin than most mass-produced soaps. We use essential oils to naturally scent our organic soaps, not artificial fragrances. And, we skip the artificial dyes, opting to use various combinations of herbs instead.  

Every ingredient is listed on the label, and many of our soaps are vegan. We do have a few that contain beeswax, so be sure to read the ingredient list for confirmation.  

Handmade soaps for sale

As USDA certified organic farmers, it's important that our handmade soap contains responsibly sourced ingredients. You may have heard recent concerns about the effect of palm oil farming on wildlife. Rest assured that our soaps contain certified organic palm oil that's sustainably grown in a way that does not destroy wildlife habitat. In fact, other than the beeswax included in some of our recipes, we don't use any animal products at all. That means that, unlike most big, national brands, our handmade soap selections do not contain beef fat/tallow (sodium tallowate).  

Lavender tea tree soap

The saponification process combines a fatty acid with a base (sodium hydroxide, a.k.a. lye, for bar soaps and potassium hydroxide for liquid soaps). Many big-brand soaps use beef tallow as the fatty acid, and it's most often sourced as a by-product of the factory farming industry. The fatty acids we use in our soaps, however, are only vegetable based. We use various combinations of olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil in the saponification process.

The USDA Organic Certification Standards do allow for the use of sodium hydroxide (lye) as the base in the saponification process as it's required for the chemical reaction to occur. Nothing else can saponify oil into soap, and since all of the sodium hydroxide is consumed and neutralized during the reaction, no lye remains in the finished soap. Glycerine soaps are also made by using lye in the initial steps of the saponification process.

natural handmade soap company

How to purchase our handmade soap varieties  

Where you can find our handmade soaps for sale:   

  1. Our natural handmade soap is available for purchase from our online store. We ship our soaps to customers across the U.S.
  2. Our soaps are also available at our in-season farm market booth on Saturday mornings in Sewickley, PA.
  3. In addition, you'll find a full selection of our handmade soap at our store at 1713 Main St in Burgettstown, PA.  

 

For more on our natural body care products, check out the following articles:

From, The Cherry Valley Organics Farm Family    

Organic handmade soap is different from most big soap brands in some major ways. Discover how both are made and why you should be choosing small-batch soaps instead of the big brands. #naturalsoaps #handmadesoaps