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Posted 8/14/2015 8:10am by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

 We hope that you are having a great summer!  We are!

  Oliver and Juan and Julie are planting broccoli right this minute for the fall CSA and markets.  Oliver has a bit of arugala to plant yet and he wants to plant a fall crop of lettuce and then eventually plant some lettuce in the high tunnel so that we will have lettuce for the markets in December.  The cherry tomatoes from the high have been tremendous this year - so sweet-so good! 

Gregg has been dutifully picking the okra this year.  He is the only one who can stand the prickly plants and also not miss the okra!

Right now we are overwhelmed with eggplant and tomatoes!  They are everywhere.  The cows are eating them; the pig is eating them; the chickens try to eat them, but they prefer softer juicier stull like rotten tomatoes.  Speaking of chickens they are laying very well right now, even the old chickens are laying at 90-95%  right now. 

We had a tough year for basil.  The cold and wet weather in June and early July did not make for a great crop.  Oliver has planted a second crop mainly for our CSA customers for the fall.

One thing that has grown very well this year on our new farm land is - weeds!  This is one of the worst years for keeping after the weeds.  It could be because this new farm had been left fallow for a number of years and so the weeds have a great seedbed there.  We are trying to get the best of them, but hopefully next year it will look better.  The weeds are taller then the eggplant and the tomatoes.  The only thing taller than the weeds is the corn!

We are half way through our summer CSA session.  The fall session will begin the week of September 7.  If you have not signed up and want to be part of the fall harvest season - you can go to the website www.orchardcountryproduce.com and sign up for the fall. 

We have also added an extended fall session which begins at the end of October and goes through the week before Thanksgiving.  it is a short four week session.  We should have a lot of fall aquash, pumpkins, cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, Brussels sporouts, cabbage, APPLES,APPLES,APPLES and pears. 

We are also raising out our turkeys.  I do not want to "count my turkeys before they are grown", but we have a good many at the present time.  They are three weeks old and very fun to watch.  They are so much more enjoyable to watch then chickens and do such crazy stuff! But as I read in a turkey book once,.  the one thing that turkeys want to do in the first five weeks of life is die.   So I still am afraid to boast too much about them.  I will keep you updated as we get into the fall, but if I do not mention them at all, then you will know that the turkeys got their way and we will not have any for thanksgiving dinners!

We are butchering the last pig this year and we have a date for a steer in September.  We also have another steer that we would like to butcher before the winter sets in.

You are probably wondering if we ever have disasters where everything goes wrong, well not everything hopefully, but we do have our setbacks.

Vehicles break down and cost a fortune to repair;  Tractors break down and we keep jimmy-rigging them to keep them running until the end of the season;  irrigation lines burst apart for no apparent reason;  pumps catch fire and melt down before your eyes!  But these are just common kinds of problems that you all have too.  Thankfully we do not see them as insurmountable obstacles, but just part of living on this earth.  We keep smiling and stuff another rag in the leaky pipe!

 

Have a great month!

Gregg, Louise and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryprouduce.com

Posted 8/12/2015 4:44pm by Gregg Keckler.

East Columbia Farmer's Market

East Columbia Library

Cradlerock Way

2-6 pm. 

 

 Rain or heat!! - We will be here to bring you fresh fruits and vegetables as they are picked!

 

 

Come out to check out the great vegetables and berries. 

These are some of the items that we will have at the market.

 

   

 Fruit

Apricots

blueberries

 red raspberries- only a couple!

PEACHES

Shiro plums

Red Heart plums

Methley plums

Ginger Gold apples

nectarines

blackberries

cantaloupes

watermelon

 

 

 

Vegetables 

 Kale

red beets

Swiss chard

zucchini

yellow summer squash

cucumbers

 red and green cabbage

Heirloom tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

green beans

bell peppers

sweet peppers

Sweet corn - bi-color

spaghetti squash

eggplant

red shallots

sweet Candy onions

red potatoes

 white potatoes

lettuce mix

garlic

Mexican Gherkins

lemon cucumbers

 

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - We have steaks - rib steaks, NY strip, sirloin, filets !

 

pork- We have chops, fresh ham steaks, 7 in grillers and breakfast links

chickens - whole  Reduced price $3.99/lb!!!

 

 

Bakery

Raised Breads - honey oatmeal bread

 

Sweet breads -  apple and zucchini - Pumpkin Bread

cookies

Homemade Pies

Peachy pies

blackberry pies

blueberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the stand! 

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/10/2015 1:53pm by Gregg Keckler.

 

  National Geographic Society - Tuesday, August 11 from 9-2pm in the courtyard.

  We will have jellies, honey, Shagbark hickory syrup

 Fruit

blueberries

apricots

Shiro plums

Red heart plums

peaches

Methley plums

blackberries

red raspberries

nectarines

 cantaloupes

Watermelon

 

Vegetables 

 Kale

lettuce

red beets

Swiss chard

sweet candy onions

okra

cucumbers

zucchini

yellow summer squash

sweet corn!

tomatoes

red potatoes

 cherry tomatoes

green beans

eggplant

red shallots

cabbage

bell peppers

spaghetti squash

Mexican Sour Gherkins

hot cherry peppers

mild sweet peppers

 

 

HERBS

mint tea

catnip

cut basil

parsley

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - we have steaks!

pork - we have chops!

whole chicken - $3.99/lb

 

 

Bakery

Raised Breads - honey oatmeal

Sweet breads

cookies

blackberry pies

peach pies

blueberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at the stand! 

 

 

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce

Posted 8/10/2015 1:51pm by Gregg Keckler.

 We will be at DOT for the Farmer's Market tomorrow from 10-2 pm  

Come out and get fresh vegetables.  We will have these items available for sale.

 

 

    We will have jellies, honey, Shagbark hickory syrup

 Fruit

Peaches!!!

blueberries 

plums - Shiro, Methley, Red heart

apricots

nectarines

cantaloupes

watermelon

donut peaches

blackberries

red raspberries

 

Vegetables 

 Kale

lettuce

red beets

Swiss chard

tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

zucchini

summer squash

red potatoes

cucumbers

green beans

sweet corn!

mild peppers

bell peppers

eggplant

spaghetti squash

okra

cooking onions

red shallots

garlic

Mexican sour gherkins

 

 

 

 

 HERBS

mint tea

parsley

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - We have steaks!

pork - We have chops!

chickens - whole $3.99/ lb

 

 

Bakery

Sweet breads

cookies

Homemade blackberry pies

peach pies

blueberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at the stand! 

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/10/2015 10:00am by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

 It is time for another contest!

This week some lucky people will get Siamese Twin eggplants in their shares.  Those folks will win a free CANTALOUPE!

Now how to tell a Siamese twin from a regular eggplant:  The Siamese twins must have two different lobes and they must be attached in the flesh of the eggplant. 

We have quite a few of these this year.  So keep your eyes peeled for one in your share this week. 

As before just take a pictures of your winning eggplant and send it to us for confirmation of your Siamese twin and we will include a cantaloupe in the next week's share.  If you are unsure if you have one, send a picture anyway and I will let you know if yours is a winner!

On another note- Do not forget - if you got someone to sign up for the summer CSA and they put your name in the question form on the sign up, then you have $20 of free money to spend on the online store. Please check this out!  I just updated the store for this week.  Keep this in mind if you will be needing any of these items throughout the week.

 

This week's shares will include:

 Full and half shares-

Plums

peaches

eggplant

spaghetti squash

tomatoes

 sweet candy onions

 Mystery item

 

Personal Shares:

plums

Eggplant

tomatoes

 bell pepper

spaghetti squash

 

The mystery item is not really an unknown item.  It is just that we have a little of this and a little of that, so we will be varying this item from share to share.  You may not be getting the exact same thing as your neighbor.  If you do get something that you are not familiar with let me know and I will clarify.

 

We are working hard right now and the market stands reflect this.  From now until the end of September, we have the most items available at any one time than through the rest of the year.  the harvest is very plentiful this year.  I will be sending a general email with farm news later this week.  Watch for it!

Looking forward to seeing everyone this week.

Let us know if you need any tomatoes, peaches or any other items bulk. We can probably help you out. 

Gregg, Louise and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

Posted 8/5/2015 2:07pm by Gregg Keckler.

East Columbia Farmer's Market

East Columbia Library

Cradlerock Way

2-6 pm. 

 

 Rain or heat!! - We will be here to bring you fresh fruits and vegetables as they are picked!

 

 

Come out to check out the great vegetables and berries. 

These are some of the items that we will have at the market.

 

   

 Fruit

Apricots

blueberries

 red raspberries

PEACHES

Shiro plums

Wizard plums

Methley plums

White peaches

sour cherries

William's Pride apples

nectarines

blackberries

cantaloupes

watermelon

 

 

 

Vegetables 

 Kale

red beets

Swiss chard

zucchini

yellow summer squash

cucumbers

 red and green cabbage

Heirloom tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

green beans

bell peppers

sweet peppers

Sweet corn - bi-color

spaghetti squash

eggplant

red shallots

sweet Candy onions

red potatoes

 white potatoes

lettuce mix

garlic

Mexican Gherkins

lemon cucumbers

 

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - We have steaks - rib steaks, NY strip, sirloin, filets !

 

pork- We have chops, fresh ham steaks, 7 in grillers and breakfast links

chickens - whole  Reduced price $3.99/lb!!!

 

 

Bakery

Raised Breads - honey oatmeal bread

 

Sweet breads - banana,and apple and zucchini - Pumpkin Bread

cookies

Homemade Pies

Peachy pies

blackberry pies

blueberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the stand! 

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/3/2015 11:31am by Gregg Keckler.

 

  National Geographic Society - Tuesday, August 4 from 9-2pm in the courtyard.

  We will have jellies, honey, Shagbark hickory syrup

 Fruit

sour cherries

blueberries

apricots

gooseberries

red currants

yellow plums

wizard plums

peaches

Methley plums

blackberries

red raspberries

nectarines

 white peaches

cantaloupes

Watermelon

 

Vegetables 

 Kale

lettuce

red beets

Swiss chard

sweet candy onions

okra

cucumbers

zucchini

yellow summer squash

sweet corn!

tomatoes

red potatoes

 cherry tomatoes

green beans

mild peppers

eggplant

red shallots

red beets

cabbage

bell peppers

spaghetti squash

Mexican Sour Gherkins

hot cherry peppers

mild sweet peppers

 

 

HERBS

mint tea

catnip

cut basil

parsley

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - we have steaks!

pork - we have chops!

whole chicken - $3.99/lb

 

 

Bakery

Raised Breads - honey oatmeal

Sweet breads

cookies

blackberry pies

peach pies

blueberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at the stand! 

 

 

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce

Posted 8/3/2015 11:29am by Gregg Keckler.

 We will be at DOT for the Farmer's Market tomorrow from 10-2 pm  

Come out and get fresh vegetables.  We will have these items available for sale.

 

 

    We will have jellies, honey, Shagbark hickory syrup

 Fruit

Peaches!!!

blueberries

 sour cherries

plums - Shiro, Methley, Wizard

apricots

gooseberries

currants

nectarines

cantaloupes

watermelon

donut peaches

 

Vegetables 

 Kale

lettuce

red beets

Swiss chard

tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

zucchini

summer squash

red potatoes

cucumbers

green beans

sweet corn!

mild peppers

bell peppers

eggplant

spaghetti squash

okra

cooking onions

red shallots

garlic

Mexican sour gherkins

 

 

 

 

 HERBS

mint tea

catnip

cut basil

parsley

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - We have steaks!

pork - We have chops!

chickens - whole $3.99/ lb

 

 

Bakery

Sweet breads

cookies

Homemade blackberry pies

peach pies

blueberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at the stand! 

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/3/2015 10:26am by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

 This week's shares will include:

Full and half shares:

plums

peaches

Swiss Chard

Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes

cucumbers

sweet corn

peppers

 

Personal shares:

peaches

Swiss chard

Sweet corn

tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

cucumber

The plums are great!  We have several varieties right now.  Methley, Shiro and Wizard  Wizard is reddish-yellow, Shiro is large and yellow and Methley is  reddish purple.  Enjoy!

The peaches are yellow and very good.  They are free stone - so you can cut them off the seed or just eat them are they are. 

I know that sometimes you may feel overwhelmed with greens - chard, lettuce and kale, but we purposely try to givbe you a leafy green every week.  Truthfully, even though your taste buds may be tired of it,it is VERY good for you.  Your body is not tired of it.  Your body needs it.  So as you gulp down another dish of sauted chard, remember how happy your body is.  Try to add herbs and flavors to enhance the dishes that you eat.  Add a sweet onion or a strong onion or garlic or shallots.  Add squash - tomatoes, seasonings, Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, or red wine vinegar to your sautés; also basil and dill.  You will be amazed at how a little seasoning can help your taste buds swallow what is good for you!

The Sweet corm is a bi-color variety that we always have in August.  it is delicious.  I had some yesterday (Sunday) that was picked on Friday and went to market on Saturday, sat out in the heat, did not sell, sat over night and I ate it on Sunday and it was delicious.  So-  not suggesting that you go to this extreme to see if yours will taste as good, but this is GOOD CORN!

We have lots of tomatoes - heirloom, red and cherry tomatoes, so you will be getting them again.  Time for tomato sandwiches or BLTs or just tomato snacks.

Have a great week.  Do not forget about the online store.  Check it out!  I am updating it every week to add new items.  We have our first eating apples of the year - William's Pride!  We also have blackberries and we still have a few sour cherries left.  We are selling chickens very quickly - so check these things out if you are interested.

Gregg, Louise and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

Posted 7/31/2015 5:13pm by Gregg Keckler.

Tomorrow August 1

Oliver will be at St Luke's Episcopal Church from 8 - 1 pm. 

  

Gregg will be at St. Mark's Episcopal Church on South King's Highway Alexandria on Saturdays from 8-1 pm

 

These are some of the items that we will have tomorrow at the market stands.

 

    We will have jellies, honey, Shagbark hickory syrup

 Fruit

apples - Lodi

apples - William's Pride

plums

apricots

blueberries

gooseberries

currants

peaches

sour cherries

canteloupe

watermelon

nectarines

 

 

Vegetables 

patty pan squash

Sweet onions

peppers

green beans

Kale

lettuce

red and white  potatoes

Swiss chard

Red Beets

cucumbers

zucchini

Yellow summer squashi

cabbage

bell peppers

Tomatoes - heirloom!!!

cherry tomatoes

Sweet Corn!

eggplant

spaghetti squash

 hot peppers

pickling cucumbers

 

 

Meat - our own home grown

beef - WE HAVE STEAKS! Filets, NY strips, Rib steaks, sirloin, flat iron

Fresh chicken - just butchered reduced price $3.99/lb we need to clear out the freezers!

pork - We have chops and ham steak, bacon, breakfast links and 7 inch grillers

 

Bakery

Raised Breads - Honey Oatmeal and cinnamon bread

cinnamon rolls

Sweet breads - banana, zucchini, and apple

cookies

Homemade pies - blueberry pies

Cherry pies

blackberry pies

 

Home grown eggs

Homemade jellies and jams

HONEY

Shagbark Hickory Syrup

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Cheese Haus

 

 

 

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow at the stand!

 

   

Gregg, Louise, Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce