Recently, Powder Keg Farms scored a refrigerated trailer! This tagalong trailer was made possible by Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s Institute for Rural Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (IREED) in partnership with West Virginia State. This wonderful addition is helping us better transport our produce to customers, which has been tricky to do in the summer heat with just ice packs.
Eastern is an institution of higher learning located in the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia covering a six-county region. It created IREED to assist local food growers, producers and others in agriculture to “grow” the regional economy. After West Virginia State conducted a cold storage training at Eastern, the need for a leasable cold storage trailer was noted. As a result, Eastern is excited to now offer a cold storage trailer for lease thanks to its great partnership with West Virginia State.
We are so lucky many agencies and entities exist to help the little ag guys (like PKF) to grow and thrive! THANK YOU! #PKF #PKFCSA #WVAGTech #EWVCATC #WVState #IREED
Powder Keg Farms is combating aphids in its gardens by releasing the Aphidius colemani wasp. This parasitic wasp is native to North America and useful for biological control of aphids in greenhouses and outdoor growing. These tiny (1/8" or 2-3 mm) aphid parasites seek out aphid colonies to provide food and a place to oviposit. Adult wasps respond to alarm signals from plants to locate the aphids where they feed on the honeydew aphids excrete. Parasitization occurs when females lay their eggs inside aphid nymphs. Aphidius colemani eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on the nymphs from the inside. Once larvae mature, adult wasps chew their way out of the aphid mummy and emerge to seek out aphids. These parasites are a good choice for year-round use in greenhouses and outdoors as the short days of winter do not affect them. Was that TMI?
Pictured is Gavin—a rising senior at Hampshire High School, who has been a tremendous help to us this summer—releasing the wasps.
Shareholder Jenny shared this photo and recipe link with us as something to do with squash or zucchini, since those vegetables are exploding right now in the garden and everyone has an abundance. She got the recipe from Bon Appetit magazine, but said she swapped our basil for their mint and pine nuts for the hazelnuts. Looks pretty amazing!
Get the recipe: Marinated Zucchini with Hazelnuts and Ricotta
Thanks for all the texts and photos showing what you are making with your weekly farm fresh vittles from the Powder Keg Farms CSA. We love it! #nomnom #PKF #eatyourveggies
Our “Kelso Poppies” are showing their pretty faces in the garden right now—and what a beautiful sight they are to behold! People regularly ask about them as they are unusual, so here’s the backstory… The Kelsos were the landowners on our homestead 75 years ago. When we arrived and a fragile pink poppy with a purplish center emerged, we salvaged it! From one lone poppy, we now have hundreds throughout the garden. As a special treat to our CSA shareholders, this week each basket will contain a packet of Kelso Poppy seeds so they can grow their own and keep this rare breed of poppy alive and well for generations to come—a nice parting gift as we transition to the Summer CSA beginning next week! In addition to the poppy, we also saved and repopulated the original pear tree on the property and irises that eventually appeared. I continue to feel blessed to have learned gardening skills from my grandmother and be a part of the giving and taking from the earth in such a wholesome, nurturing way.
This short video says so much about why farming is important. Please watch it and share. #PKF #farming #smallfarm #careaboutfarming #careaboutyourfood
We’re busy bees over here, and our bees are busy, too because we now have two hives here at PKF! They stand about 100 feet from the garden spaces and look a little different than some of the traditional beehives you might be used to seeing—because they are horizontal hives. The bees build sideways instead of up, and the long legs mean no mice or possums to worry about, plus are a little easier on the beekeepers. Over the weekend, we installed 100,000 bees (wow!)—and no one was stung except our dog, Willa. Our bees are being managed by beekeeper Noreen Dunlap, who also lives in High View.
Just like PFK’s produce and poultry, the bees are also Certified Naturally Grown. Their primary purpose is to increase produce pollination (which is needed for plants to reproduce), but a nice fringe benefit is the honey they will make here on the farm. Natural honey has many health benefits—and is delicious! #PKF #beehappy #honeydo
Some weeks you lose a farm hand, and other weeks you gain a couple (or in this case, four!). Each one is a different color and cute as can be. Welcome to Powder Keg Farms, little ones. #PKF #meow #awwww
Just some wholesome food-lovin’ farmers sharing about life on the farm.