A week in pictures

This week at the farm, we got a lot done!

Interns worked with a local spirituality group planting wildflowers for pollination, transplanted squash for the fall CSA and the Food Bank in our Elsama field, harvested rye for Food Studies student Shauna Kearns delicious brick oven bread, weeded (always and forever),  inspected for insects, watched the bees pollinate on our wildflowers, tried the first of the yummy, delicious, pop-in-your-mouth yellow cherry tomatoes (many more to enjoy in the coming weeks.)

What are you enjoying this week from your garden?




Summer Workshops at Eden Hall

Take advantage of the summer workshops offered Thursday nights at Eden Hall in the coming weeks including:

  • Roof Run-off: Rainwater Harvest and Usage–July 17th @ 6:30
  • The Living Lawn: Sustainable Yard & Landscaping Practices–July 31st @ 6:30
  • Backyard Composting 101–August 14th @ 6:30pm
  • Harness the Sun: Solar Home Projects & Energy Saving Tips– August 28th @ 6:30pm

For more information and to register–http://www.chatham.edu/summerseries/workshops/




Work N’ Pick

“It’s amazing how much you can get done with a group of people working together.”

Katie Walker beams as she weeds around softball size kohlrabi out at Eden Hall last week. A straw hat dips around her face and blocks the three o’clock sun overhead. It’s an ideal summer Wednesday in the garden–soft blue skies, lingering white clouds and an ever-so-often breeze that sends the wildflowers dancing.

Katie Walker, one of the two Graduate Assistants that run the program.

The group she talks about is Work N’ Pick –a crew of exclusively Chatham students, faculty and staff that venture to Eden Hall either Wednesday nights or Saturday mornings throughout the summer to help out in the garden in exchange for harvest–hence the Work N’ Pick name.

Participant Hana Uman shows kale equals strength.

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Kale Summers–Here and There.


A few summers back, I lived in Cape Cod for a couple of months. It took about three hundred sandy steps to get to the shore and I usually rounded up my day with a nice beach walk and a swim in the mostly timid Nantucket Sound. Despite being so close to the ocean, I was turned off by the abundance of tourists (me being one of them) on the beach and in town. So, instead, I found solitude in the garden started by my housemates right outside my room. I weeded. I watered. I harvested. I sweat into the dirt of the garden, then would refresh my skins in the salt of the sea. It was a lovely combination.

That summer was my formal introduction to kale. Sure, I had consumed it before. I knew about it. But I hadn’t handled it. I hadn’t watched it grow from something small into big bulky bundles. My other housemates didn’t really care for kale despite how much we had. So, I took it upon myself to find something to do with it.

It became the summer of variations of kale salad.

A few days ago, I snapped my first beautiful bundle of Eden Hall kale. As I broke its stem from its base, I traced the iridescent pale purple of its stalks with my pointer finger. I studied the kale’s curly leaves and they reminded me of when you look down into a dense forest from an airplane. In the green house, I talked to Allen Matthews about the kale. He informed me Eden Hall has three varieties– Red RussianRipbor and Toscano.


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Chatham’s First Solar High Tunnel Complete

Last week some of the final steps for Eden Hall’s Solar High Tunnel took place. The tunnel, at 3,000 square feet, will provide students and the local community with fresh produce year round. The tunnel is solar powered, with full solar panels that heat water for radiant floor heating throughout the bitter temperatures of winter. The side walls have panels that can roll up automatically and are controlled by a thermostat. In the winter the system will be set to maintain a temperature of at least 42 degrees, even on the coldest days.

Solar high tunnels provide protection to the crops by creating a shelter from the wind, rain and snow. The polyethylene sides roll up on ideal temperature days to let the outside air flow in. On overly hot days, exhaust fans come on, relieving the crops from heat.

The solar high tunnel provides an extended growing season and a protected environment for the crops. This is Chatham’s first heated high tunnel and it will provide harvest year round for its students, faculty and local community.


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Successful Empty Bowls Hunger Banquet

The Empty Bowls Hunger Banquet at Eden Hall Farm was really successful! There were about 50 people who attended the event, ate delicious soup, supported the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and took home a beautiful, handmade bowl. Martha Matthews, a local artist, lead Chatham students in the Empty Bowls Ceramics Course to teach them how to make bowls for the event. Be sure to check out the pictures below.


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Despite the ever-looming threat of snow, we are busy planning, preparing, and planting out at Eden Hall! Our greenhouse is exploding with tiny seedlings and plants ready to be transplanted into our moveable high tunnel. We are all very excited and anxious to get outside.

Here are some cheerful photos from our greenhouse! Enjoy.


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