News and blog

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Posted 6/19/2013 4:02pm by Gregg Keckler.

Greg -

Keep the good food coming!
The Paxtons (Cedar Lane Saturdays)
 
Posted 6/19/2013 4:02pm by Gregg Keckler.
Here's an easy (and kid friendly) Kale Salad recipe that we love--thanks for posting on the blog: Rip the kale into small pieces removing the stems---then spend 10-15 minutes massage it with your hands with salt  (1/2 t. or so) and lemon juice (maybe juice from a half of a lemon.  Then once the kale looks dark green and is a bit wilted, add  chopped red pepper, chopped red onion, grated carrots, sliced avocado, raisins, and walnuts.   Then finish with about a T of  olive oil.  Toss and enjoy!  **Leftovers will keep in the fridge to be eaten the next day.  ***This is a great recipe to make with kids as they can easily tear the kale and help massage it with salt and lemon--good for fine motor development---and if they help make it, research says they'll be more likely to eat it!
 
Posted 6/19/2013 4:01pm by Gregg Keckler.

I have a very easy way to use kale! I put two or three leaves in the blender with a banana, some apple juice, and either frozen pineapple or frozen mango. This makes a great breakfast smoothie! My next goal is to try adding dairy to see if I can turn it into a delicious ice cream :) Carrmen

Posted 5/8/2013 3:46pm by Gregg Keckler.
  • Check out our Farm markets  -SATURDAY, MAY 11


    Farm Market Stand - Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church 
      Cedar Lane, Bethesada, MD  9am - 1pm


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



    NEW Farm Market Stand - Staint Mark Presbyterian Church
      Old Georgetown Rd, North Bethesda, MD  8am-1:30pm  



    This week at the farm stand:


      
    Veggies and Greens


        Lettuce Mix - many greens

        Asparagus

        French Radishes

        Potatoes
        Spring Onions 

        Spinach

        Kale


    Fruits      


    Apples



    Meats, Baked Goods and others


    pork - our own


    Beek  - our own

    Honey - our own

    jellies and jams - our own

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


    pies - Strwberry Rhubarb, cherry, and blueberry


    breads               

    eggs - our own 


    Plants



    herbs


    bedding plants 
      


                 






    Come out to stock up on FRESH  spring greens, delicious apples, and great food!   The CSA will start the week of June 3.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again this year.

    Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

    Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler                              
Posted 5/6/2013 5:05pm by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,


        We have been doing a lot of planting.  Gregg and Oliver have been planting continuous plantings of peas, radishes, onions, and red beets.  They are getting ready to plant the summer crops outside after May 15 incluing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash.   Azerahael and Oliver have been laying mulch in the raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries.  Gregg is picking asparagus and rhubarb now. We are renting an additonal 10 acres this year.  This land was organically cared for for several years so it will be perfect for us.  We are planning to plant all our winter squash and pumpkins there in mid-June.


I have been making some very good dishes with rhubarb lately.  I am sure those of you from the Great Lakes regions can share many good recipes for this great tart spring Fruit?? - not sure if it is a fruit or vegetable.   But either way, it is good.  I made a strawberry rhubarb pie (made with frozen strawberries).  Oliver ate it so quickly I never got any!  Today I made a few rhubarb muffins for the guys to take to market tomorrow to eat on the way down.  

I also grilled asparagus a couple of times so far this year.  We love it grilled with garlic salt and olive oil.  I began to use a little sprig of garlic mustard with it and it is delicious!  Garlic mustard grows wild here.  I introduced it to Gregg and he really enjoys it with a sandwich ( instead of lettuce).  It adds a bit of zip to the sandwich.  If you see him of Oliver at market ask them about it!  I LOVE sauted spinach!  It is sooo goood and sooo good for you!   If I cook it a little crisp Oliver even likes it!  Try it!  It is time to try all the great fresh spring things again! 



Looking forward to great cooking this season!    


The markets have started! 


Tuesdays at DOT and NGS


Thursdays at Howard County Libaray


Saturdays at St Luke's in Alexandria,VA - Cedar Lane UU Church in Bethesda,MD and NEW MARKET STAND Saint Mark Presbyterian Church in North Bethesda.


Westminster Farmer's Market  begins on May 18.



We are looking forward to the beginning of the CSA.  The CSA will begin the week of June 3.  You will get an email from us the week before explaining the process and pick up information.  We are excited about the new folks joining us this year and we are encouraged by the folks who have been with us for years.  



We just butchered the first two pigs this year.  We are getting our meat chickens next week and the turkeys should be here by the 22 of May.         




If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, do not hesitate to ask! 


Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Oliver, and Virginia Keckler -

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm           


                      



Posted 5/1/2013 3:22pm by Gregg Keckler.
Check out our Farm markets that will be opening this SATURDAY, MAY 4


Farm Market Stand - Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church 
  Cedar Lane, Bethesada, MD  9am - 1pm


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



NEW Farm Market Stand - St Mark's Presbyterian Church
  Old Georgetown Rd, North Bethesda, MD  8am-1:30pm  



This week at the farm stand:


Asparagus                         Spinach                               Kale


Spring Onions                     Potatoes                             Apples


Honey                                Jams                                   Baked goods


Bedding plants                    Herbs                                  Flowers


Our own pork                       Our own beef                     eggs








Come out to stock up on FRESH  spring greens, delicious apples, and great food!   The CSA will start the week of June 3.  Looking forward to seeing everyone again this year.

Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler                              
Posted 4/6/2013 10:48am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,


We printed the WRONG date for the start of the St Mark's, St Luke's and Cedar Lane Farm Stand.


The REAL date for the start up of these Saturday Farm Stands will be on May 4!   


Sorry about the mistake!

   Louise 
Posted 4/5/2013 7:45am by Gregg Keckler.

Hello all,

Well, after a series of un-spring-like snowfalls in March, we are finally into April and relieved that the temperatures are beginning to go up, slowly but surely.  This weekend we are looking at 60 degree days at last!

Remember: April 13th is our 2013 Farm day. We encourage you to come on up, visit the farm, and do some planting with us! We'll begin around 12pm and work/tour the farm until about 4pm when we will provide supper.  Of course you are always free to leave whenever you need to.  Please let us know if you plan on attending for the day.

CSA Sign-ups: We are excited about this year's CSA.  Each year we learn new things, try new things, and do a better job of growing and harvesting good food.  Don't forget to take advantage of our Early Bird discount for whole-season shares which is good through the end of April. You can learn more about the CSA and sign-up here on our website.

  • SPECIAL NOTE: We are offering a special discount to any person who can get a new CSA drop-spot established at their place of work, neighborhood, apartment complex, gym, church, etc.  If you can get 10 other individuals signed up for the CSA at that location for at least 1 session, you will receive a free CSA box for that session (7 weeks).  If you get 10 individuals signed up for the CSA at that location for an entire season (all 3 sessions), you will receive a free CSA share for the entire season as well!!

    Please contact us if you are interested in adding a new stop and we will work with you to make it happen!!

Greenhouse Activity:
The greenhouse has been looking VERY green this past week- here are just a few photos below!

Red Beets On Left:  Now we know Red Beets are not the most popular vegetables, but they are looking good in the
greenhouse!


On Right: During the spring we often run short on planting containers.  We don't want to buy new planters each year, so we use any plastic containers we can find! Milk jugs, cake lids, etc, we use it!
Recycling...


Farm Stands & Markets: We have added a new farm stand this year.  We will be running a stand every Saturday between 8:30am - 1pm during the market season (May - October) at St Mark Presbyterian church off Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda.  If you know of folks who live that way, help us spread the word!

Time is moving quickly and the Market season is almost upon us!  Here is a list of markets/stands and their starting dates for 2013:

- National Geographic Society Farm Stand begins April 23rd (week of Earth Day)
- DOT Market begins May 7th
- Columbia Market begins May 9th
- St Mark Presbyterian, Cedar Lane Unitarian U, St Luke Episcopal farm stands all begin on May 11th
- Westminster Market begins May 18th

If you have any questions or need any assistance signing up for the CSA please contact us at 717-486-4653

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler  - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm
www.orchardcountryproduce.com
http://www.facebook.com/orchardcountryproduce

Posted 3/21/2013 8:00am by Gregg Keckler.
Greetings to all of our farm supporters and friends!

We are planning our annual event for CSA members (and non-members as well) who are interested in visiting us, doing a little farm work, and touring the farm!  We will have an asparagus-planting extravaganza/farm tour day on Saturday, April 13th.  We will begin planting around noon.  We will plant/work/tour the farm until about 4pm when we will provide supper.  Of course you are always free to leave whenever you need to.  Meeting place will be at our home:
 
1410 Goodyear Road
Gardners, PA 17324


Please let us know if you plan on attending for the day.  Do not worry if you need to arrive late, someone will be able to direct you to the right place (or you can follow the sound of voices around the farm till you find everyone in the asparagus field :) )  We look forward to meeting new members and seeing familiar faces this year!

Please let us know if you have any questions.

REMINDER:  April 30th is the deadline to sign up and receive the Early Bird Special for the 2013 CSA season!

Gregg, Louise, Sarah, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler
@Orchard Country Produce    
Posted 3/8/2013 4:37pm by Gregg Keckler.

We've added a new member to the family! Meet Demeter (or Demi) named after the Greek goddess of the harvest. 

She is a 1-year-old basset hound whom we adopted from a family that no longer wanted her.  She is a true basset hound and goes crazy tracking scents down all over the farm.  She especially enjoys trailing down our turkey who seems to live in mild fear of her.  We are glad she's here!

Demeter the basset hound Demi likes tree stumps