News and blog

Welcome to the blog
Posted 3/3/2014 7:59pm by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,

March certainly came in like a lion!  I was collecting frozen eggs this morning from the chicken nests, believe it or not!  Oliver has pruned all of the orchard trees, despite the snow and ice, and Gregg has been making lots of jam.

We managed to get some turkey manure spread on a couple of fields (to add nutrients to the soil- it's an organic fertilizer!) and we will do the rest when the spring plowing is done.  Unfortunately, with the cold and snow-covered-ground we will be getting a later start on planting the early vegetables outside.  The greenhouse has been active though, we've planted kale, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and herbs such as rosemary, lavender and stevia. 

We will have several farm work and visit days this spring.  There will be a planting day on Friday, March 21 and on Saturday, March 22.  We will also have a work and visit day on Friday, April 11.  Let us know if you would like to come to work and/or visit on any of these days and we can provide timeframes at a closer date.

We have 2 happy pigs weighing in at about 225lbs each.  We will be getting more pullets (ready-to-lay hens) in April and also the first batch of chicks to be raised as broilers.

I know it is hard to think about summer vegetables, strawberries, cherries, and peaches with all this cold weather, but if you haven't signed up yet for the CSA - check it out now.  You can sign up at www.orchardcountryproduce.com (navigate to CSA menu)

If you would like to organize a drop site in or around DC for either Wednesdays or Fridays,  you can do it!  Get at least 6 shares (any size) for a drop off to your site.  Send us an email and we will add your site address to the list so folks can sign up.

We will be back at all our regular market locations this year (Yes- including East Columbia Library on Thursdays!!). 

DOT - Tuesday

NGS - Tuesday

East Columbia Library - Thursday

Westminster - Saturday

Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church - Bethesda - Saturday

St Luke's Episcopal Church - Alexandria VA - Saturday

Family/Personal news!

Welcome to Eleazar Keckler on February 19, 2014.  He joins sisters Tabitha, 3 and Abigail, 1.  His mother and father, Tamara and Stuart Keckler are hoping he will not be too overwhelmed by his doting older sisters!

We love to hear how you all are doing over the winter months as well, so feel free to shoot us an e-mail back to tell us about anything new and exciting!

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

www.orchardcountryproduce.com
https://www.facebook.com/orchardcountryproduce

Posted 2/14/2014 4:09pm by Gregg Keckler.

Yes, we are getting tired of the snow, too! After Tuesday and Wednesday last week, we had about 6 inches on the ground and after it melted down to about 3 inches, it all turned to ice over the weekend.  Then this week starting Wednesday night and lasting through Thursday afternoon, we got about 14 inches more!  Apparently tonight through Saturday morning we are supposed to get another 3 - 5 inches.  This is definitely one of the more snowy winters in recent history.

Here are some photos that were posted on the facebook page of some of our wintery moments, and also an inspiring collage of spring/summer/fall photos that we took at our farm.  They are supposed to inspire you to "Think Spring" and maybe with the power of positive thinking, we can start thinking about spring planting!

 Winter 2014 Think Spring

Don't forget that the Early Bird Special is on for all those who sign up for the full-season CSA before the end of April.  You can find the sign-up page under the CSA Experience tab --> CSA Member Sign-up page.  We are also open to new drop-sites (businesses, residential complexes, non-profit organizations, schools, even private homes*, etc), just e-mail us and let us know and we'll try to work something out with you! As always, don't hesitate to e-mail us if you have any questions!

*We try to have at least 4 - 5 shares per site, so private homes usually work best if you have friends/neighbors who are willing to pick up their shares at the same site.

                

 

Posted 1/6/2014 4:55pm by Gregg Keckler.

 

Dear Folks,

   We have had a very good 2013 season and are  looking forward to the 2014 season.

Right now Oliver and Gregg are doing a lot of repair work and field work.  They hauled in nine ton of turkey manure for the 10 acre field on Myerstown Road.  We purchased this field and a meadow in 2012.  The field had been continuously planted in corn for at least 20 years.  That is as far back as I can remember.  Last summer I had a friend who does soil analysis and recommendations come a do a few samples for us.  He recommended a ton of limestone/calcium per acre each year for a while and then another sample.  We are starting this regime with a load of  turkey manure and a load of calcium over the winter.  Then another load of limestone in the spring before planting.  We will be working on this field for a while.  Interestingly I also did a sample of the soil on our home place which we have been continuously farming for 30 years.  The tests came back excellent in all categories.  This is because we use a lot of our own manure, green row cover and rotation plantings.

We have several pigs right now in various growing stages.  We are attempting to grow our own pork from the beginning!  So we have a nice large black sow that we raised from young.  We (hopefully) just got her bred and she should be due in the spring.  We will keep you posted on our success.  We also have two feeder pigs that we bought at 70 lb from our daughter and son-in-law who raise pigs.  They are all doing very well and are quite snug in the barns. 

 

The chickens are also staying warm in their shed for the winter.  We are still getting 19 eggs/day.

 

 

We will be doing the tree pruning this month and berry pruning.

We are now taking subscriptions for the 2014 CSA season.  If you would like to sign up, go to www.orchardcountryproduce.com and follow the directions to sign up.  You can sign up and pay right away with paypal or you can choose invoice and send us a check.  If you send a check we are also offering a 4% discount which you can take at the chieckout. In order to get the Early Bird Special you must sign up before Aprill 30

We will be returning to all the following markets for drop-offs and market sales in 2014.

Westminster Farmers Market

Columbia Farmer's market

St Luke's Episcopal Church, Alexandria, VA

National Geographic Farm Stand (DC)

Department of Transportation (DC)

Cedar Lane area, Bethesda

We will also be making deliveries for the CSA on Wednesdays and Fridays again as before.

if you would like to add a location for us to deliver CSA shares, please send an email and we will work out a plan for your delivery.  We do ask that you have at least 6 shares (any size) in order to get a delivery.  We will deliver to your office, church, neighborhood, etc. 

 

We are enjoying our winter routine.  We hope that you are enjoying winter vegetables and fruit.   We have a new collection of jellies and jams which Gregg is creating right now. 

 

We also have several stewing chickens and chicken broth.  We butchered some older laying hens in december.  We used the pressure cooker to cook the meat and then packaged it for great chicken stock or broth.  We also have the raw hens for sale if you would like to cook them down yourself.  Check them out!

 We still have one more Winter Delivery on January 14.  If you would like to order anything from us for this delivery the store is open now!  You may choose any of the locations listed for pick up. 

Have a Great Winter!  We will keep you posted on happenings from the farm!

 

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm, Inc 

www.orchardcountryproduce.com

 

 

Posted 1/4/2014 12:17pm by Gregg Keckler.

Hello all,

We hope you are enjoying the freezing (and well below!) temperatures of 2014. The temps are quite a shock to the system, but our stored veggies and fruit are holding up very well! 

The online store is now open for the January Delivery! You can follow this link, http://orchardcountryproduce.com/ and go to the Store on the top navigation bar.  Browse through the categories, select your items, and then you can checkout and pay via paypal or check.  If you prefer to pay via check, just fill out the information for mailing a check instead and we will follow-up with you.  All Deliveries will be on Tuesday, January 14th

The online store will close on Friday, January 10th at midnight. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail and we will get back to you ASAP.

The Kecklers @ Orchard Country Produce

Posted 12/9/2013 8:47am by Gregg Keckler.

Hello all,

The online store is now open for the December Delivery! You can follow this link, orchardcountryproduce.com and go to the Store on the top navigation bar.  Browse through the categories, select your items, and then you can checkout and pay via paypal or check.  If you prefer to pay via check, just fill out the information for mailing a check instead and we will follow-up with you.  All Deliveries will be on Tuesday, December 17th

When you reach the end of the checkout process, please select the appropriate pickup location based on the guidelines above.  If you do not see the location you want listed, please e-mail us before you complete your order and we can add it to the list.  The online store will close on Friday, December 13th at midnight. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail and we will get back to you ASAP.

Thank you, we hope you get a chance to enjoy the snow (if you had any) and be safe traveling in the ice!

The Kecklers @ Orchard Country Produce
P.S.  Here are 2 photos of Demi the farm basset hound enjoying the snow!

Demi loves the snow Demi's ears go wild!
Posted 11/20/2013 4:34pm by Gregg Keckler.
  If you would like to get a monthly delivery of fruits and vegetables from our farm + meat, cheese, baked goods, honey and jam - please send us a return email and we will add you to our winter Delivery email list. 
IN THE MEANTIME -  

THIS IS IT! - This is the LAST WEEK for the Columbia St. Luke's and Westminster Markets!  Come out this week and get your fixings for Thanksgiving!


      Come to the Farmer's Market at Columbia -East Fredrickson Library 
 at Cradlerock Way 2-6pm - Thursday - November 21

   
  
Check out our Farm Stands  -SATURDAY, November 23 

Farm Market Stand - St Luke's Episcopal Church 
Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA  8 AM- 1PM   

Farmer's market in  Westminster - 8 - 12 noon  
    


    
  
 Come to the Farm Stand at National Geographic Society- in the courtyard - 9 am- 1:30 PM Tuesday - November 26
 
 
  
 
This week at the farm stand: 
 
Veggies and Greens


     bell peppers 
                
        Kale
 
    Sorrel

    Cabbage 

  Sweet Candy Onions

  Yukon Gold Potatoes

Spaghetti Squash

Butternut Squash 

Hot peppers

Broccoli

Snacking Peppers 

Red Norland Potatoes

Kiri/Buttercup Winter Squash

Pumpkins - big and small

Cauliflower

Turnips      

Fairy Tales/Cheesecake Squash 

Brussel Sprouts 
  
Sweet Potatoes         


    


 Fruits      

Bosc Pears
 
Northern Spy Apples

 Pink Lady Apples

Fuji apples

York apples
      
    
We have our own Apple Cider!  It is the BEST! 
                 
Quinces
       


HERBS and TEAS

Sage
          

 


Meats, Baked Goods and others

Beef  - our own

Honey - our own

Jellies and jams - our own

Cheese - Whispering Brook Farm - Great cheese made on the farm! 

Pies - peach, apple, and blackberry

Breads               

Eggs - our own 



Come out and stock up on FRESH  vegetables and  great apples!  

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce.com  

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler                              
Posted 11/19/2013 8:59am by Gregg Keckler.

Hello Winter Delivery folks,

Just a reminder to place your orders online before the end of this week.  Please note that all cheese orders MUST be in before this Thursday

Please go to orchardcountryproduce.com and navigate to the Store on the top menu bar to place an order.

ATTENTION: 

Patrons of East Columbia Library Farmers Market:
- Your November delivery will be on Thursday, November 21st at the market.  Please place your baked goods orders BEFORE 9pm Tuesday night (tonight) otherwise we cannot guarantee that baked goods orders will be filled for Thursday.

Patrons of St. Luke’s Farm Market & Westminster Farmers Market:
- Your November delivery will be on Saturday, November 23rd at the respective marketplaces.  Please place your baked goods orders BEFORE 9pm on Thursday night otherwise we cannot guarantee that baked goods orders will be filled for the Saturday pickup.

All Others - Your November delivery will be on Tuesday, November 26th.  Your orders must be placed before the store closes on Friday night at 11:59pm.  If you do not see the location you want listed, please e-mail us before you complete your order. 

Thank you! We hope you enjoy the first winter delivery!

The Kecklers @ Orchard Country Produce

Posted 11/13/2013 3:30pm by Gregg Keckler.
  If you would like to get a monthly delivery of fruits and vegetables from our farm + meat, cheese, baked goods, honey and jam - please send us a return email and we will add you to our winter Delivery email list.  We will be sending out an email shortly to announce the first Winter Delivery and open the store!


IN THE MEANTIME - 

Don't quit Yet!  The season is not over yet.  We have great fall crops of spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage ....    


      Come to the Farmer's Market at Columbia -East Fredrickson Library 
 at Cradlerock Way 2-6pm - Thursday - November 14

   
  
Check out our Farm Stands  -SATURDAY, November 16
 

Farm Market Stand - St Luke's Episcopal Church 
Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA  8 AM- 1PM   

Farmer's market in  Westminster - 8 - 12 noon  
    


We have closed the Saint Mark stand because of low attendance. 

Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church Farm Stand is closed for the 2013 season.
We will be back in May, 2014

      

  
 Come to the Farm Stand at National Geographic Society- in the courtyard - 9 am- 1:30 PM Tuesday - November 19

Farmer's Market at  DOT this Tuesday - November 19    9am -2 pm


  What's New

 Fuji Apples

York Apples

PINK LADY APPLES 
 
 Bosc Pears  

Winter Squash - butternut and spaghetti squash, Pokemon, Kiri, Buttercup, Acorn, Carnival, Hubbards,

Hot PEPPERS!     

Brussel Sprouts
 
Cauliflower

Apple Cider  (Our own)  

Northern Spy Apples     

 
 
This week at the farm stand: 


 
Veggies and Greens


     bell peppers 
                
        Kale
 
    Sorrel

    Cabbage 

  Sweet Candy Onions

  Yukon Gold Potatoes

Spaghetti Squash

Butternut Squash 

Hot peppers

Broccoli

Snacking Peppers 

Red Norland Potatoes

Kiri/Buttercup Winter Squash

Pumpkins - big and small

Cauliflower

Turnips      

Fairy Tales/Cheesecake Squash 

Brussel Sprouts 
  
Sweet Potatoes         


    


 Fruits      

Bosc Pears

Honey Crisp Apples

Cox Orange Pippins
   
Northern Spy Apples

Cortland Apples

Macoun Apples

MacIntosh Apples

Pink Lady Apples

Fuji apples

York apples
      
    Rambo (Great sauce apples)
   


We are picking new varieties of apples every week!


We have our own Apple Cider!  It is the BEST!                   

       


HERBS and TEAS

Parsley 

Sage
          

 


Meats, Baked Goods and others

Whole chickens

Beef  - our own

Honey - our own

Jellies and jams - our own

Cheese - Whispering Brook Farm - Great cheese made on the farm! 

Pies - peach, apple, and blackberry

Breads               

Eggs - our own 





Come out and stock up on FRESH  vegetables and  great apples!  

We have lots of apples for sauce or large quanities of firsts for parties, schools, etc.  Let us know if you would like any! 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce.com  

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler                              
Posted 11/13/2013 11:58am by Gregg Keckler.

Hello all,

If you are receiving this e-mail it is because you are on our Winter Delivery e-mail list. 

The online store is now open! You can follow this link, orchardcountryproduce.com and go to the Store on the top navigation bar.  Browse through the categories, marvel at the photos (sadly we did not get a chance to take pictures of everything...), select your items, and then you can checkout and pay via paypal.  If you prefer to pay via check, just fill out the information for mailing a check instead and we will follow-up with you.

Attention:  Patrons of St. Luke’s Farm Stand & Westminster Farmers Market

-          Your November delivery will be on Saturday, November 23rd at your market.

Attention:  Patrons of Columbia Farmers Market

-          Your November delivery will be on Thursday, November 21st at the market (it is CRUCIAL that you place your order at least 1 day prior to this date, so we have enough time to fulfill it)

Attention: All Others

-          Your November delivery will be on Tuesday, November 26th at any other pickup location

When you reach the end of the checkout process, please select the appropriate pickup location based on the guidelines above.  If you do not see the location you want listed, please e-mail us before you complete your order and we can add it to the list.  The online store will close on Friday, November 22 at midnight. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to shoot us an e-mail and we will get back to you ASAP.

Thank you, we hope you are enjoying the shift into the winter season- we certainly are!!

The Kecklers @ Orchard Country Produce

Posted 11/6/2013 2:46pm by Gregg Keckler.
  If you would like to get amonthly delivery of fruits and vegetables from our farm + meat, cheese, baked goods, honey and jam - please send us a return email and we will add you to our winter Delivery email list.  We will be sending out an email shortly to announce the first Winter Delivery and open the store!


IN THE MEANTIME - 

Don't quit Yet!  The season is not over yet.  We have great fall crops of arugala, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage ....    


      Come to the Farmer's Market at Columbia -East Fredrickson Library 
 at Cradlerock Way 2-6pm - Thursday - November 7

   
  
Check out our Farm Stands  -SATURDAY, November 9
 

Farm Market Stand - St Luke's Episcopal Church 
Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA  8 AM- 1PM   

Farmer's market in  Westminster - 8 - 12 noon  
    


We have closed the Saint Mark stand because of low attendance. 

Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church Farm Stand is closed for the 2013 season.
We will be back in May, 2014

      

  
 Come to the Farm Stand at National Geographic Society- in the courtyard - 9 am- 1:30 PM Tuesday - November 12

Farmer's Market at  DOT this Tuesday - November 12    9am -2 pm


  What's New




 Fuji Apples

York Apples

PINK LADY APPLES 
 
 Bosc Pears  

Winter Squash - butternut and spaghetti squash, Pokemon, Kiri, Buttercup, Acorn, Carnival, Hubbards,

Hot PEPPERS!     

Brussel Sprouts
 
Cauliflower

Apple Cider  (Our own)  


Northern Spy Apples     

 
 
This week at the farm stand: 


 
Veggies and Greens


     bell peppers 

                
        Kale
 
    Sorrel

    Cabbage 

  Sweet Candy Onions

  Yukon Gold Potatoes

Spaghetti Squash

Butternut Squash 

Hot peppers

Broccoli

Snacking Peppers 

Red Norland Potatoes

Kiri/Buttercup Winter Squash

Pumpkins - big and small

Cauliflower

Turnips      

Fairy Tales/Cheesecake Squash 

Brussel Sprouts 
  
Sweet Potatoes         


    


 Fruits      

Raspberries   
 
Bosc Pears

Honey Crisp Apples

Cox Orange Pippins
   
Northern Spy Apples

Cortland Apples

Macoun Apples

MacIntosh Apples

Pink Lady Apples

Fuji apples

York apples
      
    Rambo (Great sauce apples)
   


We are picking new varieties of apples every week!


We have our own Apple Cider!  It is the BEST!                   

       


HERBS and TEAS


Parsley 

Sage
          

 


Meats, Baked Goods and others

Whole chickens

Beef  - our own

Honey - our own

Jellies and jams - our own

Cheese - Whispering Brook Farm - Great cheese made on the farm! 

Pies - peach, apple, and blackberry

Breads               

Eggs - our own 





Come out and stock up on FRESH  vegetables and  great apples!  

We have lots of apples for sauce or large quanities of firsts for parties, schools, etc.  Let us know if you would like any! 

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce.com  

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler