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Posted 9/1/2014 9:32am 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.

 

 

Vegetables

summer squash

zucchini

salad mix

kale

cucumbers

cabbage

Swiss chard

garlic

cabbage

red beets

cherry tomatoes

red tomatoes

bell peppers

sweet corn!!!

 okra

Mexican gherkins

Spaghetti squash

Butternut squash

carrots

hot peppers

green beans

 

 

 

 

Fruits

red raspberries

blueberries

peaches

plums

cantaloupe

strawberries

watermelon

blackberries

nectarines

Gala apples

Red Gravenstien apples

Rambo apples

Smokehouse apples

Zestar apples

prune plums

 

Cut herbs

Basil 

 

Meat

 Pork

 Beef

Whole chickens

 

 

Baked goods

Blueberry pies

peach pies

Sweet Breads

cookies

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

OUR OWN Fresh eggs

Cheese from Whispering Brook Farm

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 9/1/2014 9:29am by Gregg Keckler.

 

Dear Folks,

 

You have until Saturday, September 6 to sign up for the fall session.  We will be having Concord grapes, applels, apple cider, pears, Stanley plums,  acorn squash, butternut squash, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, potatoes, sweet potatoes, red beets, cabbage and turnips and other fall crops.

We will be giving summer crops until the first frost (usually between the first of  October the 15th of October 15th.)  We would love to have you join us.  The first week of our fall session begins next Monday, September 8.  You can go to membership updates to change your membership for fall.  If you want to see what your status is for fall, just go to membership status and you can see if you are already signed up. 

I have added a few new items to the store this week: including butternut squash, red raspberries, peach mango melons,  and apples in bulk for apple sauce.  Check them out.

If you are not coming back for the fall session, thanks so much for supporting our farm.  We have enjoyed providing your food for this summer.  Please remember if you are in the area to check us out for next spring.

 

This week's shares will include:

watermelon

Zestar apples

Cantaloupe

cherry tomatoes

zucchini/summer squash

sweet corn

Peach Mango Melons

 

personal shares:

Zestar apples

corn

zucchini/summer squash

cherry tomatoes

cantaloupe

The zester apples are like an early Honey Crisp - very crisp and sweet-tart, enjoy!

The corn is Mira - a wonderful sweet bi-color.  You will love this variety!

We grow these Peach Mango Melons.  They are an heirloom melon with a unique flavor.  I do not think that they taste or look like a peach or a mango, but you can taste for yourself!  They do have a smooth texture which could be peach-like, but I do not know where they resemble a mango.  Try something new!

We are excited about the fall!  I hope you are noticing the subtle change in season.  I know is is still too hot and humid to be thinking about fall.  But I noticed that the Black Tupelo is changing to red!  Fall is in the AIR!

See you this week! 

Gregg, Louise, Viriginia, and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

Posted 8/26/2014 4:00pm by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

August is nearly over and I have not written my monthly farm news.  So here goes -

We have some beautiful broccoli planted for fall.  We have just picked a lot of the watermelons.  They are scrumptious!  One of you came to the farm yesterday to buy second tomatoes and left with watermelon!  Gregg was giving samples and the taste was irresistible!

We are picking several apple varieties already -  Red Graventstien, Chestnut Apples, Gala, Zestar, William's Pride, and Summer Rambo.  We have about 2 -3 weeks left of peaches to pick and sell.  Our first batch of heirloom tomatoes are finished.  We have a second batch coming on and lots of cherry tomatoes.

Last week's weather was hard on the tomatoes.  Wet and Warm!  A recipe for mold and fungus.  Hopefully with the hot, dry weather this week the plants will recover.  We are paying kids to pick all rotten and split tomatoes to get them away from the plants.

New developements this month.

In the middle of July we hired Juan Hernandez.  He is a farmer, who as worked for many years with a local large fruit grower.  Juan and Oliver work well together.  He is our first full time salaried worker.  He is living in the house on the other farm.  His coming has been a huge asset for us.  We've got a experienced man whom we can rely on to do the right things while Gregg and Oliver are at markets or making deliveries.

We are not extravagant folks, You can come and see for yourself.  We try to use money and resources wisely incorporating recycling, reusing, solar, respectful land use, and accurately accessing our needs and wants.  We have made mistakes, but since we farm conservatively and strongly believe in diversity, we have never been devastated.

We love growing food and selling food directly to you.   You are people needing food. ( I hate to call you a consumer and us a producer.  That is not true and those terms are dehumanizing.)  You buy your food from a farmer who grows fruits a vegetables on a farm that you are welcome to come and visit.

 

We like this model!

With that said - feel free to come and visit or even work!  We would enjoy having you as much as you would enjoy the drive, the visit, ahd green space and the dirt.

The future:

Our area is dotted with old small family farms - 15 acres - 60 acres places,  The population is aging.  Many of these places are available now or will be available in the next couple of years.  We hate to see farms broken up for development - some residential - some industrial.

 We would like to purchase some more land - we own 41 acres and rent about 40 more.  We do not mind renting, but we are always afraid that these aging farmers will decide to sell out for development.

So our thoughts -

Would any of you folks be in a position to lent money to us for real estate purchase?  Yes, we can go to the bank, but we would like to go right to our income source first.  You are the folks who believe in us and local farming and want to see local farmers succeed.  Banks will charge many upfront fees.  By getting private investors we can avoid these fees and put our (actually- as an investor and as a buyer of our fruits and vegetables- your money) to better use.

A couple of these properties have older homes that would require much updating in order for a bank to consider loaning money.  The landowners are elderly people- many living on limited incomes,  They would not be able to make necessary repairs and updates to meet bank requirements.  We are interested in purchasing these places because of the soil, the land,  the potential for food production.  We can fix up the house in our personal time (in the winter). if you may have some money in an account gaining little interest or you might consider playing big investor for our future growth, please let us know.  We can discuss terms, interest, repayment, etc.. We are open to ideas, and creative thoughts.  If you are saying, "How much money is she talking about?"  I would say that we would need a total of about $300,000.  We have $100,000.  The rest could come from many sources - say..

10 people @ $20,000

20 people @ $10,000

40 people @ $5,000 and so on

I realize that not everyone is an a position to do this - that's fine.  I just wanted to throw the thought out.  It is only going to pertain to a small unique portion of our farm friends, but at least we are letting you know what we are considering doing. 

 

We hope that you are having a wonderful summer - lots of sunshine, lots of birds, lots of butterflies and lving things.

 

if you are interested in our Fall CSA, now is the time to sign up.  We will be taking subscriptions until September 6.

Loving Life,

Gregg, Louse, Oliver, and Virginia Keckler

 Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

Posted 8/25/2014 10:55am 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.

 

 

Vegetables

summer squash

zucchini

salad mix

kale

cucumbers

cabbage

Swiss chard

garlic

cabbage

red beets

cherry tomatoes

red tomatoes

bell peppers

sweet corn!!!

 heirloom tomatoes

okra

Mexican gerkins

Spaghetti squash

Butternut squash

carrots

hot peppers

green beans

 

 

 

 

Fruits

red raspberries

blueberries

peaches

plums

cantaloupe

strawberries

watermelon

blackberries

nectarines

Gala apples

Red Gravenstien apples

Rambo apples

Smokehouse apples

 

Cut herbs

Basil

Dill

 

 

Meat

 Pork

 Beef

Whole chickens

 

 

Baked goods

Blueberry pies

peach pies

Sweet Breads

cookies

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

OUR OWN Fresh eggs

Cheese from Whispering Brook Farm

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/25/2014 10:49am by Gregg Keckler.

 We will be at NGS on 17th Street in the Courtyard from 8 - 2:30

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

 

 

Vegetables

summer squash

zucchini

salad mix

kale

Sorrel

Swiss chard

Red Beets

cucumbers

CHERRY TOMATOES

green beans

red tomatoes

banana peppers

cabbage red and green

bell peppers

Sweet Corn!

Heirloom tomatoes

okra

Mexican gerkins

hot peppers

spaghetti squash

butternut squash

eggplant

potatoes

 

 

Fresh cut herbs and flowers

basil

dill

flowers

 

 

Fruits

red raspberries

blueberries

Pink Lady apples

peaches

plums

Summer Rambo apples

Nectarines

cantaloupe

William's Pride apples

 Strawberry apples

Zestar Apples

Watermelon

blackberries

Clapp's pears

Red Gravenstein Apples

Gala apples

 

 

  

 

Meat

 Pork

 Beef

Chicken whole

 

 

Baked goods

Blueberry pies

peach pies

Sweet Breads

cookies

yeast bread

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

OUR OWN Fresh eggs

Cheese from Whispering Brook Farm

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/25/2014 10:46am by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

it is hard to believe that we are almost finished with the summer session.  We are now taking subscriptions for the fall.  So you can go on to the website - www.orchardcountryproduce.com and click on membership updates and sign up for the fall session.  The last day to sign up for the fall will be September 6.  Do it NOW!  I know September seems like a long way off, but it is just around the corner.

Also - some for you have not yet paid for the summer session, please do this now.  I will keep bugging you until you do it.  You can pay with a credit card on the website or you can send a check for the amount due. 

Do not forget to check out the online store.  There may be something there that you were going to purchase in the store - buy from us (your farmer) instead.  We will include it in your share and you can pay when you order with your credit card or you can wait until the end of the session and pay the balance due with your card or with a check.

I have added several "new" apples this week.  We are picking some pears and spot picking Gala apples.  We also have some heirloom apples that are great old cooking and tart eating apples - Red Gravenstein and Smokehouse.  We have blueberries, but they are near the end of their season, very sweet, but beginning to get softer.

WE HAVE SECOND PEACHES AND SECONG TOMATOES NOW!!.  Do not' wait to get these for cooking and canning.

This week's shares will include:

Watermelon

plums

cherry tomatoes

summer squash/zucchini

mystery item

Sweet Candy onion

mystery item

 

personal shares:

watermelon

cherry tomatoes

mystery item

summer squash/zucchini

mystery item

 

We have seeded and seedless melons.  Oliver and Juan have been picking all morning.  I see 9 bins of watermelons sitting outside the barn right now. These are sweet and great eating!

We have several different plums available right now - red heart, large yellow, and Castleton - a blue prune plum.

you will notice 2 mystery items this week.  We have a little of this and a little of that.  We also have some items that we will have a lot of  early in the week and other items that will not be ready to pick until later in the week.  So be surprised!

 

I have been noticing a lot of goldfinches right now.  They are enjoying the elderberries.  I saw a Common Grackle last week in the yard.  I was surprised at his shiny greenish/bluish/indigo color and, of course, his yellow eye.  Enjoy the last month of summer!

 

Gregg, Louise, Oliver, Virginia Keckler

 Orchard Country Prpduce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryrproduce.com

Posted 8/22/2014 12:11pm by Gregg Keckler.

 Saturday Farm Stands!

St Luke's Episcopal Church on Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA from 8-1pm

August 23rd is Oliver's birthday!!!!  If you are at St. Luke's on Saturday be sure to wish him a happy 20th!

Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  on Cedar Lane, Bethesda from 9-1pm

We will have these items available this week!

 

Vegetables

cucumbers

Mexican gerkins

sweet onions

yellow wax beans

 kale

salad Mix

 zucchini

summer squash

red beets

Swiss chard

cabbage

green beans

tomatoes   YEAH!  Red and Hierloom

cherry tomatoes

lima beans

Sweet banana peppers

Garlic

eggplant

Sweet Corn

Hot peppers

carrots

 

 

 

Fruits

raspberries

blueberries

peaches!!!!!!

plums

cantaloupe

canary melons

sugar cubes

watermelon

summer apples - William's pride

Ginger gold

Rambo apples

nectarines

 

Meat

 Pork

 Beef

 Whole Chickens   

  

 

Baked goods

Blueberry pies

Peach pies

Sweet Breads

 

Teas and other herb greens

 mint tea

lemon blam

basil

dill

sage

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

Fresh eggs

 

Cheese from Whispering Brook Farm

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/22/2014 12:09pm by Gregg Keckler.

Saturday Farmer's Market across from the High's Store in Westminster

We will have these items available this week!

 

Vegetables

cucumbers

sweet onions

Kale

salad Mix 

cabbage

red beets

Swiss chard

cucumbers

zucchini

Summer squash

Green beans

tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

yellow wax beans

lima beans

Sweet corn

heirloom tomatoes

plum tomatoes

garlic

spaghetti squash

Mexican Gerkins

butternut squash

carrots

 

 

Fruits

raspberries

blueberries

plums

cantaloupe

Peaches

 nectarines

canary melons

sugar cubes

watermelon

nectarines

 

Meat

 Pork

 Beef

Chicken 

 

 

Baked goods  at Tamara's stand - She will be next to us!

Blueberry pies

Peach pies

Blackberry pies

Sweet Breads

cookies

yeast breads

rolls

sticky buns

cinnamon rolls

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

Fresh eggs

bunches of tea ( great for making a cold pitcher of summer tea)

 

 

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/20/2014 3:11pm by Gregg Keckler.

Between now and the middle of September is PEAK season for fruits and vegetables.  Get them now!

We will be at the East Columbia Library on Cradle Rock Way Tomorrow from 2-6 pm! 

WE HAVE PEACHES!

We have SWEET CORN!

We have Cantaloupe!

We will have these items available this week!

 

Vegetables

White potatoes

kale

Sweet onions

 Swiss chard

Red Beets

Summer Squash

Zucchini

Cucumbers

yellow wax beans

green beans

Sweet corn

broccoli

carrots

sweet banana peppers

bell peppers

egg plant

okra

TOMATOES!!

cherry tomatoes

plum tomatoes

Red Norland potatoes

red and green cabbage

Hot peppers

snacking peppers

spaghetti squash

Butternut squash

 

 

 

 

Fruits

raspberries

blueberries

peaches  -Free Stone peaches are here!

plums - three varieties

cantaloupe

Rambo apples

William's Pride apples

watermelon

nectarines

Zestar apples

Ginger Gold apples

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meat

 Pork - We have chops!

 Beef

Chicken whole

beef bologna

 

 

Baked goods

Blueberries pies

peach pies

Sweet Breads

cookies

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

Fresh eggs

Cheese from Whispering Brook Farm

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 8/18/2014 9:24am 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.

 

 

Vegetables

summer squash

zucchini

salad mix

kale

cucumbers

cabbage

Swiss chard

garlic

cabbage

red beets

cherry tomatoes

red tomatoes

bell peppers

sweet corn!!!

 heirloom tomatoes

okra

Mexican gerkins

Spaghetti squash

Butternut squash

carrots

 

 

 

 

Fruits

red raspberries

blueberries

peaches

plums

cantaloupe

strawberries

watermelon

blackberries

nectarines

 

Cut herbs

Basil

Dill

 

 

Meat

 Pork

 Beef

Whole chickens

 

 

Baked goods

Blueberry pies

peach pies

Sweet Breads

cookies

 

Other items

jams and jellies

honey

Shagbark hickory syrup

OUR OWN Fresh eggs

Cheese from Whispering Brook Farm

 

Come out and stock up with good food!

 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce