News and blog

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Posted 5/6/2014 8:36am by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

Spring is finally here!  We have been planting and planting and planting - everything from peas, kale, spinach, lettuce, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, radishes, spring onions, red beets...  You name the spring crop and it is in the ground.  The greenhouse is bursting with summer plants - tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, flowers, peppers, summer squash --- waiting to get out in the ground.  We usually begin to plant these out around May 15.  We are starting seeds for pumpkins and winter squash and continuous plantings of cucumbers and summer squash.

Our first batch of broilers are 3 weeks old and doing well.  This week we will be putting them out in the grass to grow and enjoy life.  The new pullets are beginning to lay well.  The eggs are a little small at first, but they will get bigger as time goes.  The old pullets are still laying and are enjoying their semi-retirement outside in our egg mobile.

 

 

All the Farm Stands and Farmer's Markets are beginning this month.

Don't forget to stop at one near you and buy some fresh fruits and vegetables from our farm.

If you haven't signed up yet for the CSA and are planning to - do it NOW!  The Early Bird Special will end on May 15th  The last day to sign up for the Spring session will be May 27.

I will be sending an email on May 27th to everyone who has signed up for the spring session to let you know specifics about the delivery/[pickup process.  The first delivery/pickup for the Spring session is the week of June 2-7th.

I am still working on composting and particularly putting the chickens to work turning it and adding to it.  I have also been experimenting using a combination of shredded paper and wood shaving for animal bedding (pigs) - trying to get a drier manure that can be used more quickly on the soil instead of having it sit in a pile and leach the good nutrients into the pile and not out on the fields and gardens.  I am still working on this.

I have enjoyed reading many articles from magazines and periodicals on soil content, nutrient value in feeds, and how to give back to the earth what we take from it to feed ourselves.  Wendell Berry's books on this subject has always been an inspiration!

If you have any questions about farming, vegetables, fruits, CSA or our particular plans, please let me know.  Check out our website www.orchardcountryproduce.com and our Facebook page

 

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

 

 

Posted 5/3/2014 7:32am by Gregg Keckler.

We will be there!  We will be in the upper parking lot of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church for the first day of market today! 

  Come out and get fresh vegetables. 

The CSA will start on June 7th.

 

We will have these items available for sale

Vegetables

spinach

fresh garlic

Frozen corn and  broccoli

fresh asparagus

 

Fruits

stored apples

 

Plants

bedding plants

herb plants

 

Meat 

Pork 

Beef

Chicken stock

 

Baked goods

Strawberry Rhubarb pies

Cherry pies

Sweet Bread

 

 

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 4/30/2014 3:06pm by Gregg Keckler.

We will be there!  We will be in the parking lot of the East Fredrickson Library on Cradlerock Way.

  Come out and get fresh vegetables. 

The CSA will start on June 5th.

 

We will have these items available for sale

Vegetables

spinach

fresh garlic

Frozen Brussel sprouts and  broccoli

 

Fruits

stored apples

 

Plants

bedding plants

herb plants

 

Meat 

Pork 

Beef

Chicken stock

 

Baked goods

 

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 4/30/2014 1:03pm by Gregg Keckler.

Greetings Columbia-area customers and friends!

As many of you know, Thursday, May 1st is the first day for the East Columbia Library farmers market - 2pm - 6pm (it's also May Day!) 

After jumping through a lot of hoops this winter, we got permission to continue the market, but outside of the 'umbrella' of the Howard County Farmers Markets official organization.  This means, of course, that we do not have access to quite the same promotional budget & audience, so we have to rely heavily on good-old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising for the market.

We created a facebook page for the East Columbia Farmers Market here - https://www.facebook.com/eastcolumbiafarmersmarket


If you have a Facebook account, could you take a minute to like our page and share our most recent status so other folks in the area can find out about the market as well?  (plus, you'll be entered in a chance to win a free CSA share from our farm!).  Most importantly, please continue to patronize the market and spread the word!

Oliver is looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow at the market- the weather will be beautiful!

Thanks for your loyalty to the market!

The Kecklers @Orchard Country Produce
Posted 4/30/2014 12:54pm by Gregg Keckler.

Greetings Columbia-area customers and friends!

As many of you know, Thursday, May 1st is the first day for the East Columbia Library farmers market - 2pm - 6pm (it's also May Day!) 

After jumping through a lot of hoops this winter, we got permission to continue the market, but outside of the 'umbrella' of the Howard County Farmers Markets official organization.  This means, of course, that we do not have access to quite the same promotional budget & audience, so we have to rely heavily on good-old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising for the market.

We created a facebook page for the East Columbia Farmers Market here - https://www.facebook.com/eastcolumbiafarmersmarket


If you have a Facebook account, could you take a minute to like our page and share our most recent status so other folks in the area can find out about the market as well?  (plus, you'll be entered in a chance to win a free CSA share from our farm!).  Most importantly, please continue to patronize the market and spread the word!

Oliver is looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow at the market- the weather will be beautiful!

Thanks for your loyalty to the market!

The Kecklers @Orchard Country Produce

Posted 4/28/2014 6:10am by Gregg Keckler.

We will be there!  We will be at National Geographick Society in the Courtyard Tomorrow for the Farm Stand In spite of the cold weather  and the rain!  Come out and get fresh vegetables.  We will have these items available for sale.

Vegetables

Fresh asparagus

spinach

fresh garlic

Frozen Brussel sprouts and  broccoli

 

Fruits

stored apples

 

Plants

bedding plants

herb plants

 

Meat

 

Pork

 

Beef

Chicken stock and chicken broth

 

baked goods

 

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 4/21/2014 3:55pm by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

Tomorrow is the first market of the season!  We will be at National Geographic Society Tuesday, April 21 from 9-2pm in the courtyard.

  We will have jellies, honey, Shagbark hickory syrup

 apples, potatoes

beef, chicken broth, chicken stock, pork

flowers, bedding plants

bakery items, bread, cookies, pies, eggs

cheese 

 

Our spring season is starting slowly, but we are making a start. Come out to buy, say Hi and welcome the beginning of a great growing season!

 

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

www.orchardcountryproduce

Posted 4/7/2014 2:41pm by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

We are having our last work day for 2014.  If you have not contacted us yet, but would like to come to help plant things, let us know.

We will be planting raspberries, blackberries, potatoes and radishes.  We are expecting to start at 11:00am and finish by 2:00pm.  We will have a lunch for everyone at 2:00pm.

We would love to have you come and visit, work a little and share a lunch.

 

Gregg, Louise , Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

Posted 4/1/2014 4:35pm by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

   We are getting a slow start this year.  We have lots of lettuce, kale, greens ready to plant, but we cannot seem to get them into the ground.  Too Wet!  Tonight Gregg and Oliver are planting some lettuce and cabbages by hand since the tractors can not get into the fields. 

We had a great two days for work days earlier in March.  All the Spring onions were planted.  We are looking forward to the work Day in April.  We have set aside Friday, April 11 for the last work day for this spring. If you have not contacted us yet about coming, please let us know if you can come.

We are planting strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, sweet onions, several fruit trees, and more peas this month.  We did get quite a few sugar snap peas and snow peas in the ground in March. We are also going to be getting our first batch of chicks in April.

We are sending two hogs and a steer to the butcher in April as well.  All the pruning is finished except for the black raspberries.

  We are very grateful to all who have signed up for the CSA so far this year.  If you signed up for the CSA, but did not pay yet, please pay for the Early Bird Special by April 30th.  You can go to the website www.orchardcountryproduce.com and click on membership details and it should tell you if you signed up and if you owe money. 

Keep in Mind!

Tuesday, April 22  -first day of National Geographic Farm Stand in the courtyard from 9-2pm

Thursday, May 1 - first day of Columbia Farmers Market at the library from 2-6pm

Saturday, May 3 -first day of the Farm Stand at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda 9-1pm

Saturday, May 3 - first day of the Farm Stand at St Luke's Episcopal Church on Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA 8-1 pm

 

We are looking forward to seeing everyone this spring!  We are expecting great early greens, asparagus, and onions.  Can't Wait!

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

Posted 3/17/2014 2:00pm by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

  Please let us know (if you haven't already) whether you plan to attend one of our two work days in March.

Friday, March 21 - beginning at 11:00am  with lunch served about 2:00pm.

Saturday, March 22 - beginning about 11:00am with lunch at 2:00pm.

 

We will be planting blackberries and spring onions on both days and for the truly robust folks who enjoy a challenge there is the opportunity of putting up deer fencing.

  We will provide a delicious healthy lunch for everyone and a time to visit.

Coming soon! Friday, April 11 - the last work day for this spring. 

 

CSA subscriptions are coming in now!  If you are planning to sign up for 2014 CSA season, sign up is going on now!  www.orchardcountryproduce.com

 

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm