Saturday, October 24, 2015

Holiday Turkey, Ham, and Leg of Lamb

One of Daniels turkeys, soon to be yours
Danielle and Arlene Miller raised their birds on pasture, eating bugs and such, also fed locally grown, non-GMO grains and organic produce scraps. 

Hams come from pigs raised by Emanuel Schmidt. They are on pasture and supplemented with local non-GMO feed and organic produce scraps as well. 

Lamb is raised the same: pasture, and supplemented with local non-GMO grains.

Meats can be reserved and picked up at any of our current Winter CSA pickup locations the week before Christmas. Meats come frozen. You will not be able to choose the exact size you would like. 

Turkeys: $4.25/lb. (average 14-18 lbs)

Hams: $6.00/lb  (average 8-10 lbs)

Lamb Legs: $10.00/lb (average 5 lbs)

Sign up now, enter your payment details into our system, and you will be charged the full balance automatically upon pickup. 

Last day to place an order is December 14th.

Email with any questions.

Sign Up Here
Current CSA members or not can use the link above to access the online store and place an order
Or, if you would just like to look at a list of current pickup locations, days and times.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Winter CSA Signups Open!

Be ready when winter rolls in! Reserve your spot in our Winter CSA and reserve your source of local organic produce during the coldest winter months.

Click HERE for more info
Sign Up HERE

Email with questions 
or call Katie direct at: 412-589-9276

Monday, July 6, 2015

Peak of the Season Registration Open!

Our Peak of the Season CSA shares include some of the most anticipated veggies of the summer. If you'd like to try a CSA but can't commit to the entire 6 month season, you have some picky eaters in the house, or you missed signups for the full season CSA you have come to the right place. 8 weeks of tomatoes, peppers, green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, carrots, sweet corn, greens, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, blueberries, ground cherries and more. Season starts the 1st week in August and runs for 8 weeks. Full shares are $30/week and small shares are $20/week.

Strapped for time? Home delivery in select neighborhoods. 
Aspinwall, Regent Square, Upper St. Clair, Squirrel Hill, Shadyside

Here are a couple shots of last seasons Peak Shares 

Email us at for more info/questions.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Finally some sunshine

Red and green cabbage soaking up the sun.
Finally a beautiful sun filled day after weeks of rain! As much as the plants were loving all that rain, they're loving all this sun too. Myself I used the good weather to go tend the bees whose honey you may have received in the CSA or from our stand at the Pittsburgh Public Market.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fields of Green: Summer Farm Tour Highlights

The rain held out. The company was wonderful. The food was exceptional. Everyone brought something to the mix and took something away. It was a pleasure spending the day with everyone. Thank you for all who made the trip and to the Schwartz and Schmucker families for hosting us.

David was putting fresh shoes on a couple of the horses while we readied for the wagon ride.

Everyone got a chance to pick some kale.

Photo Credit: Thank you Polly Whitehorn

Good thing there is a tree line to put a stop to these never ending rows of peppers.
Preparing for the feast.
Emmanuel's old chicken house now serves as a greenhouse for extra early tomatoes.
Tomatillo seedling

Freshly sheared to stay cool this summer. See the ridges of their new haircut?
Photo Credit: Thank you Polly Whitehorn

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Evening in CRO Country

One evening a couple Sundays ago Carla and I took the kids for a walk up Shady Lane past Aaron and Daniel's farms. We get so busy moving produce and keeping customer happy that we sometimes stop noticing what a beautiful place we live in. But when we stop and really look we see how blessed we are. I hope you can come see for yourself someday (a few folks are coming up today for our spring field day), but for now here are some more photos of the place.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Wild Edibles - Lambs Quarter

The single toughest part of growing vegetables organically is managing the weeds. With not chemicals to burn the weeds off we have to rely on good management and physical labor to keep the crops weed free. The good news though is that some of those weeds are delicious.

Lambs quarter is one of the most common and troublesome weeds in America, but it is also one of the best to eat. It has a nutty variation on spinach flavor and cooks up much like spinach. It's high in vitamin A, vitamin C and Calcium. When it is very young it's great raw in salads and when it's a little older a light steaming or saute makes it nice and tender.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chicken Share Sign-ups filling up fast!

Summer is the time for cookouts and barbecues, so don't miss out on our pastured, non-GMO roasting and stewing chickens!

This year our roasting chickens are being raised by Marty at Hidden Valley Farm!

This is Marty's first year raising so many chickens, but he has risen to the challenge. He and his sons constructed portable chicken enclosures that provide the chickens with shade, and set them up in an area with plenty of grass to graze in.

A few chicks were lost in the beginning so they were treated for Coccidiosis with Corid. Corid, or amprolium, is an anticoccidial drug that mimics thiamin (needed for Coccidiosis) and causes malnutrition in coccidia, making the chickens better again.

Our stewing chickens were once again raised on pastured and fed with non-GMO feed and organic scraps by Emanuel Schmucker. Emanuel gets his Rhode Island Red hens in the fall, and uses them as layers for the summer season.

When they first arrive at the farm , he gives them a little Aqua-Nox for stress, but after that are given no antibiotics. Once they get too old to lay eggs, he butchers them for stewing chickens. He has recently cut down on his flock, though, and because of this, our chicken share members will only receive one stewing chicken this season, in the last delivery.

But don't let that stop you from signing up!
We are making up for it by giving members
 3 roasting chickens for the first two deliveries!

So sign up now, because we are almost sold out!                                                                                                                                                                

Friday, May 22, 2015

A Change in Seasons Calls Us to Celebrate

Please join us to celebrate the start of a new growing season. Spring on the farms is lush with crisp greens and lettuces of which we grow many varieties. You'll tour thru a few in the fields and get a shot at Kale picking. 

We hope you can make it out to see our produce and fields, connect with the land on which your food is grown, and celebrate the beginning of the growing season with us, our growers, and each other.

Click HERE to RSVP and reserve your spot!

Once you RSVP the events details such as address and directions to the farm will be emailed to you the week before. Any other inquiries please email or call 412-589-9276

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Season Begins!

Broccoli Raab fresh out of the ground.
This heat has really sped things up in the field!
All of a sudden we have all kinds of green things on the cusp of harvest.

For the first time in years we have Broccoli Raab back. It's a peppery gourmet cooking green. Think a cross between mustard greens and broccoli stalks, or a more robust arugula. The cold start and hot finish to this Spring made them mature before they were fully grown, so we'll have mini-raab for you this week. 

We also have plenty of everyone's favorite spring treats, Asparagus and Rhubarb! 

Produce season is finally here and the farmers are glad to be working the fields dawn to dusk tilling and planting and, soon, harvesting. Our CSA starts in just three weeks and we can't wait to bring everyone from Pittsburgh to Erie to Punxsutawney a steady stream of fresh organic produce. You can still get your share at our CSA page. Until then stop by the Pittsburgh Public Market or our outdoor markets and Zach hook you up.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pork for your Fork

As with our cows, our hogs are bred and raised on one of our co-op farms, Hill Top Farm, by
Emanuel Schmidt. Emanuel raises mostly Berkshire/Tamworth cross hogs.

Tamworth hogs are a heritage breed that tend to be leaner than other breeds and have a reputation of providing the best bacon. Berkshire hogs are also a heritage breed, and are known to have darker, high quality meat. Crossing these two breeds creates the perfect pork for your fork.

 Our hogs are raised in pasture and have access to hickory nuts which helps to give them a natural hickory flavor.

Though they are not certified organic, the hogs are fed non-GMO feed and scraps of our organic produce. Antibiotics are only used in extreme cases, in small doses, and the hogs are not sent to the butcher until the antibiotics are out of their system, usually within 30-60 days.

The hogs are also sent to Whitings Meats for butchering. Since we raise organic produce and pastured animals, Whitings does not add any MSG or nitrates to our hams and bacon to make them the best around!

So if you haven't yet, hurry and sign up for your pork share before it's too late!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Goodbye and Thank You!

One of the many home-cooked
meals from our farmers
In 2007, quite by accident, I ended up doing a delivery for Aaron Schwartz, the lead grower of what would become Clarion River Organics. That first day we met, just as I was about to leave he called to me from his loading dock. Squatting down as if to check the soil, he looked at me with his big Abraham Lincoln eyes and said "you know we need someone like you to turn this into a business." With one foot in my truck and with an unconvincing confidence and a smile, I told him that I would make it happen. That day I know that neither one of us knew what we would be getting into, but I can remember it clearly because I had that amazing feeling of having found what I was looking for – generous, passionate farmers and the most challenging and rewarding work of my life.

Beet Crazy at the Public Market
Today, Clarion River Organics has 13 farming families, produces millions of pounds of organic food, and feeds thousands of families. I am very proud to have had the honor to be part of this amazing group of farmers as well as to have had the privilege to serve so many wonderful customers. Every farm market purchase, every CSA sign-up, every time you bought from us at the grocery store or for your restaurant YOU made this happen

Home with family and friends
To all of our faithful customers, thank you from the bottom of my heart. This spring, I am leaving CRO to work on a new project that will help farmstead dairies of Western Pennsylvania. My new business is called Family Farm Creameries. I will also be using local milk to start a farm-to-cone ice cream business called Homegrown Ice Cream. You can still visit me at the farm markets, and I hope you will! CRO is in good hands with Zeb, my partner from the beginning, and the rest of the team - Katie, Adrienne, and Zach.

I love the growers of CRO and cannot think of a nicer group of farmers with whom to work. However they taught me two very important lessons: one never be afraid to start new things and if you can be closer to your family it’s probably worth it.

Much love and always EATCRO,


Monday, May 4, 2015

We're Hiring Again!

Join our team!

We're looking for a few great people to join our team. If you know anyone who loves farmers, cares about the environment and is looking for a good job send them our way! We need to find some help soon so please pass this on anywhere you think it would be welcome.

Office Manager

In brief: The manager will oversee the daily office activities of the cooperative including bookkeeping,taking orders, updating inventory, and providing packing and delivery instructions and check lists to other staff. The office manager may also help with delivery driving and warehouse packing regularly. This is a full time year round position.

Delivery Driver

In brief: The driver will pick up produce from member farms, bring it to the cooperative warehouse, and deliver assembled produce orders to customers using a non-CDL delivery truck. The driver will also help with order assembly and other warehouse operations as needed and as available.This is a seasonal part time job, 20- 40 hours a week June through November, with potential of summer overtime and winter part time hours if desired. 
More details: Driver Job Description

Friday, May 1, 2015

Zeb's video interview with The Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

This week Sven at The Journal of Lifestyle Medicine was kind enough to interview me about our cooperative and our CSA program. It's a nice little introduction to who we are and what we do. Check it out!

Friday, April 17, 2015

What's the Beef?

Here at  Clarion River Organics, we pride our selves on our organically raised*, 100% grass-fed beef.

Our cows are raised by two brothers, James and Emanuel Schmucker. The brothers both raise their cattle in open pasture with plenty of grass, and in the winter feed them only organic hay.

Absolutely no growth hormones are used, and only in extreme cases of necessity are antibiotics used, and the animals are not sent to be processed until the antibiotics are out of their system. Also, all of our beef is MSG and nitrate free.

 Both growers breed their own cattle, with James raising a Devon-Angus cross, and Emanuel raising a Limousin-Angus cross. The cows are then raised to about two years old, when they have the best marbling for the best taste, and then sent to our choice, USDA certified butcher, Whitings Meats in local New Wilmington, PA.

We believe that grass-fed animals are a healthier and more sustainable way of raising our cattle, as they are raised in healthier conditions than cattle raised in lots, who are more inclined to diseases which can harm them and us, and emit more methane gas. Our cattle are raised in smaller herds, lessening the chance of disease and reducing the amount of emissions released in air. They are also more economically stable since there is no need to buy grains since the grass is already provided, and they aren't bought as calves because they are bred on our farms.

Beef Shares for Summer 2016 are $420:
48 lbs = 1/8 of a cow
Three deliveries of 16 lbs each in June, August and October

*not certified organic

Monday, March 23, 2015

Last Chance to Sign Up for Easter Meats!

Don't miss out on your chance to get a ham, turkey or leg of lamb for your Easter dinner!

Sign ups close this Thursday, so order yours now!

 Our hams come from pigs raised by
Emanuel Schmidt, who raises  his pigs
 in pasture, and supplements them with
 local, non-GMO feed and  organic
vegetable scraps.

The turkeys are pastured as well by Daniel Miller, and also supplemented with organic scraps and local, non-GMO grains.

Our lambs are raised by their mothers, with a little help from Marty at Hidden Valley farm. The lambs
 have plenty of space and lighting to keep them healthy and happy.

The weight of each animal will vary, with hams weighing between 8-10 lbs at $6/lb; turkeys weighing between 17-20 lbs at $4.25/lb; and lamb legs weighing between 5-7 lbs at $11/lb.

A $30 deposit is required at the time of sign up, and the remainder of the cost will be charged the evening of your pick up.

To sign up, follow this link:

You will be prompted to sign in as a guest, choose your meat, enter your payment information, and select a pickup time and location.

This is the last week of sign ups, so don't miss out!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Meat Share Sign-ups Now Open!

It's time again to sign up for the best all natural meat you can find in the area!

We've got 100% grass fed beef, pastured pork and pastured chicken to keep you grilling and roasting all year long. Our vegetable farms all raise animals in order to improve their soils and make their farms more sustainable. The meat animals are not certified organic, but they are all natural. All of our animals are antibiotic and GMO free. They are raised on organic pasture and fed organic hay or locally grown non-GMO grains. The cows and pigs are sent to a USDA Certified butcher to be processed and the chickens are butchered on the farm. All our meat is free of nitrates and MSG. 

With the new season we're offering a new distribution style. Instead of getting a monthly delivery of unspecified cuts, you'll get bi-monthly deliveries that represent 1/8 of a cow, 1/4 of a pig, or nine chickens. That will equal the same amount of beef or pork as previous years, about 48 pounds total. It's just half the amount of  chicken compared to previous years though, so sign up for more than one share if you want!

Each delivery will bring you about 16 pounds of beef or pork and 12 pounds of chicken. Deliveries will be in June, August and October.

Here is a breakdown of what might be included in each meat share. Cuts may vary depending on the animal:

Beef:                                                   Pork:                                          Chicken:
2 New York Strip                               6 Bone-in Chops                         9 Roasting Chickens
2 Sirloin Steaks                                  6 Boneless Chops                       
2 Rib Eye Steaks                                1 Butt Roast
2 Tenderloin Steaks                            2 Spare Ribs
2-3 Round Steaks                               6 Ground Pork
1 Arm or Rump Roast                        3 Breakfast Sausage Links     
1 Sirloin Tip Roast                             2 Sweet Italian Sausage Bulk
2 Chuck Roasts                                   1 Sweet Italian Casing
2 Short Ribs                                        2 Hot Italian Sausage Bulk
2 Stew Beef                                        1 Hot Italian Casing
1 Brisket or Flank or Skirt Steak       6 Ham Steaks
18 Ground Beef                                  6 Bacon            
                                                            2 Hocks

Beef Share: $140 per delivery x 3 = $420/season
Pork Share: $110 per delivery x 3 = $330/season
Chicken Share: $60.5 per delivery x 3 = $181.50/season

For more information about our CSA or to sign up go to CSA Summer 2016

We look forward to another great season with you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Easter Dinner Signups Starting Soon!

Easter is right around the corner, so don't miss your opportunity to get the main dish for your dinner!
Clarion River Organics is offering ham, turkey and lamb to members and the public for Easter.

Our hams come from pigs raised by Emanuel Schmidt, who also grows many of our winter squash. Emanuel raises his pigs in pasture, and supplements them with local, non-GMO feed and organic vegetable scraps.

The turkeys come from Daniel Miller, who also raises them on pasture and supplements them with local, non-GMO feed and organic scraps. Daniel and his wife also grow celeriac and beats, along with some greens like pea shoots and spinach.

Our lambs come from Hidden Valley Farm, which as its name suggest, is settled in a valley with lots of pasture for the lamb
bearing sheep to graze, and a
spacious indoor living area for in
the winter, with lots of light.

The weight of each animal will vary, with hams weighing between 8-10 lbs at $6/lb; turkeys weighing between 17-20 lbs at $4.25/lb; and lambs weighing between 5-7 lbs at $11/lb.

Our online store will open on March 9th and stay open until March 26 at 11 p.m.           .
You can access the store here:
You will be prompted to sign in as a guest, choose your meat, enter your payment information, and select a pickup time and location.

A $30 deposit will be charged to you on the Friday or Saturday after you place your order. Pick-up
dates are April 3rd and 4th at the Pittsburgh Public Market.
The remaining balance of your order will be charged to you on the evening of your pick-up.