News and blog

Welcome to the blog
Posted 7/9/2012 11:03am by Gregg Keckler.
This week in the shares -


Red potatoes, Green beans, Basil, Plums, Blueberries, Swiss chard, Cucumbers.


We are just beginning to pick green beans.  These are a very tender variety.  I know that basil goes with tomatoes, but since the tomatoes are not quite ready yet.  Try pesto sauce with pasta or potaotes.  Another thing I have been doing with basil is making basil lemonade.  it is amazing!  I make about two quarts of lemonade then add between a half to a full cup of basil leaves.  Put it in the blender or processor with about two cups of ice cubes.  It is very good!  My husband will drink two quarts of this all by himself on a Sunday afternoon without even realizing it!  Give it a try.  We will be giving lots of basil.  If you remember from last year - folks were actually starting to root their own basil on the kitchen table from our cuttings!  Basil will keep very well in a jar with water on the counter.  I kept some that had come back from market for almost a whole week.  Try to keep the leaves out of the water.


We are stocked full of plums and blueberries right now.  Enjoy the berries - make muffins, eat them with sugar and shortcake, use with yogurt, make smoothies.  I make popcicles with one pint of blueberries, one cup of vanilla yogurt, one half of sugar, and one cup of ice cubes - in the blender.  You can eat this for a dessert or you can freeze it for popcicles.


I am going to be sending another email later about the sign up for the summer session.  The deadline is coming soon for the sign up.  July 19th - Deadline


 

Check out the online store for any extras.  
  
blueberries-

apricots (seconds)-  These are delicious, but they have "the black spot" (to quote Robert Louis Stevenson) - it is a bacterical spot from not enough spray.  Check them out if you would like to peel them, eat them raw or use for cooking or jam. 

basil -

soft peaches-  These are delicious, soft, ready to eat.  They are CLING peaches, so they are difficult to cut off the stone.  I have been cutting them up and eating them.  I just peel the shell off and then cut around the stone.  It is not a perfect job, but it is very easy to get the most of the peaches.

pickling cucumbers- Make a batch of pickles!  I have not made any yet this year, I always make dill pickles (both sweet and sour).  I am thinking I will make some bread and butter pickles this year.  I haven't made them in years.


Enjoy that week.  I am glad that we have a little reprieve from the extremely hot days.  We are planting sugar baby watermelons for a late crop in late September and October.  The turkets and the chickens are looking great.  We should have chicken by the second week in August.
  

Let us know if you have any questions about anything. 


Gregg, Louise, Virginia, and Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm
Posted 7/5/2012 7:31am by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this email to any list serve with the church and surrounding communites!  Thanks


Farm Market Stand  Open this Saturday! July 7 Come to:

   Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda   9am-1pm


   St Luke's Episcopal Church - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria   8am-1pm  NEW LOCATION!


NEW ITEMS this week!

PEACHES!  These are very sweet and perfect for just eating!

Apricots!

Methley and Early Gold Plums!  Shiro Plums!
    

Fourth of July TOMATOES!  Nice small sandwich tomatoes!   
 
Sweet CHERRIES!    Great taste!

SOUR CHERRIES!  Get them now!

Blueberries!   Black Raspberries!  Red Raspberries!   Blackberries! Berries are in - time to make muffins and ice cream!   

 Summer Squash!   Yellow Squash

   Zucchini!
  Time for summer steamed squash - Squash on the grill!

 CUCUMBERS!  pickling and others


Red beets and Gold beets!   
  

We have  spring onions, radishes

lettuce, salad greens - get the greens now - they are almost over until fall!

spearmint tea


cabbage (small heads), kale, Swiss chard!  Time for stir fry!


Red potatoes!  These are great for kabobs on the grill!   
     
  
 
 
We have our own sweet breads - Banana, Pumpkin, and Zucchini.


Homemade pies - Cherry, Strawberry/Rhubarb, blackberry and Blueberry


We make our own jams and jellies and natural applesauce.


HONEY! 
 
Get ready for the grill!


We have BEEF!  Our own lean pasture-raised beef grown slooowly the way it should be!


Steaks- Filets, NY Strips, Del Monicos, Sirloin, rib steaks, round steaks

  Ground Beef!


We have pork - steaks, chops and 7 inch links. We now have breakfast links as well!

 Our hogs are raised on grass/woodlands.  They love rooting under leaves and eating acorns.  I have been grilling these sausages every Saturday for a while.  They are better tasting and BETTER for you than hot dogs. 


free range EGGS from our own chickens!



We will also be offering cheese from Whispering Brook Farm.  Ed Breckbill makes his own cheese at his farm in Chambersburg, PA.  His cheeses are delicious with a short list of ingredients:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt.  Check out his cheeses!


 We are looking forward to seeing folks on  Saturday, July 7!
Stop in, look around and take home some fresh greens, vegetables, berries,  and baked goods!


If you have any questions, let us know - www.orchardcountryproduce.com or send an email ocp@orchardcountryproduce.com



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


   
                


        


Posted 6/27/2012 3:54pm by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this email to any list serve with the church and surrounding communites!  Thanks


Farm Market Stand  Open this Saturday! June 9Come to:

   Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda   9am-1pm


   St Luke's Episcopal Church - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria   8am-1pm  NEW LOCATION!


NEW ITEMS this week!

PEACHES!

Apricots!

Methley and Early Gold Plums!


Fourth of July TOMATOES!  Nice small sandwich tomatoes!   
 
Sweet CHERRIES!    Great taste!

SOUR CHERRIES!

Blueberries!   Black Raspberries!  Red Raspberries!  Berries are in - time to make muffins and ice cream!   

 Summer Squash!   Yellow Squash

   Zucchini!
  Time for summer steamed squash - Squash on the grill!

 CUCUMBERS!  pickling and others


Red beets and Gold beets!   
  

We have  spring onions, radishes

lettuce, salad greens - get the greens now - they are almost over until fall!

spearmint tea


cabbage (small heads), kale, Swiss chard!  Time for stir fry!


Red potatoes!  These are great for kabobs on the grill!   
     
  
 
 
We have our own sweet breads - Banana, Pumpkin, and Zucchini.


Homemade pies - Cherry, Strawberry/Rhubarb, blackberry and Blueberry


We make our own jams and jellies and natural applesauce.


HONEY! 
 
Get ready for the grill!


We have BEEF!  Our own lean pasture-raised beef grown slooowly the way it should be!


Steaks- Filets, NY Strips, Del Monicos, Sirloin, rib steaks, round steaks

  Ground Beef!


We have pork - steaks, chops and 7 inch links. We now have breakfast links as well!

 Our hogs are raised on grass/woodlands.  They love rooting under leaves and eating acorns.  I have been grilling these sausages every Saturday for a while.  They are better tasting and BETTER for you than hot dogs. 


free range EGGS from our own chickens!



We will also be offering cheese from Whispering Brook Farm.  Ed Breckbill makes his own cheese at his farm in Chambersburg, PA.  His cheeses are delicious with a short list of ingredients:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt.  Check out his cheeses!


 We are looking forward to seeing folks on  Saturday, June 30
Stop in, look around and take home some fresh greens, vegetables, berries,  and baked goods!


If you have any questions, let us know - www.orchardcountryproduce.com or send an email ocp@orchardcountryproduce.com



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


   
                


        


Posted 6/21/2012 7:09am by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this email to any list serve with the church and surrounding communites!  Thanks


Farm Market Stand  Open this Saturday! June 9Come to:

   Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda   9am-1pm


   St Luke's Episcopal Church - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria   8am-1pm  NEW LOCATION!


NEW ITEMS this week!
 
Sweet CHERRIES!  We have the early dark cherries and the red sweet ones.  Great taste!

SOUR CHERRIES!

Blueberries!   Black Raspberries!  Red Raspberries!  Berries are in - time to make muffins and ice cream!   

 Summer Squash!   Yellow Squash

   Zucchini!
  Time for summer steamed squash - Squash on the grill!

 CUCUMBERS!  pickling and others

Sugar Snap Peas - very sweet!  Get them now!  They are almost over for the year!
 

Hull Peas - the old fashioned one that you have to shell!  These are great in a pan with lettuce, spring onions and a little olive oil! 

We have  spring onions, radishes, and red beets with the greens, 

lettuce, salad greens, and spearmint tea


cabbage (small heads), kale, Swiss chard!  Time for stir fry!
   
Get the ASPARAGUS now!  The season is coming to a close!

   
 
 
We have our own sweet breads - Banana, Pumpkin, and Zucchini.


Homemade pies - Cherry, Strawberry/Rhubarb, Raspberry and Blueberry


We make our own jams and jellies and natural applesauce.


HONEY! 
 
Get ready for the grill!


We have BEEF!  Our own lean pasture-raised beef grown slooowly the way it should be!


Steaks and ground beef!


We have pork - steaks, chops and 7 inch links.  Our hogs are raised on grass/woodlands.  They love rooting under leaves and eating acorns.  I have been grilling these sausages every Saturday for a while.  They are better tasting and BETTER for you than hot dogs. 


free range EGGS from our own chickens!



We will also be offering cheese from Whispering Brook Farm.  Ed Breckbill makes his own cheese at his farm in Chambersburg, PA.  His cheeses are delicious with a short list of ingredients:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt.  Check out his cheeses!

Check out the bedding plants!  Herbs, tomato plants, and flowers!

 We are looking forward to seeing folks on  Saturday,June 16

Stop in, look around and take home some fresh greens, vegetables, berries,  and baked goods!


If you have any questions, let us know - www.orchardcountryproduce.com or send an email ocp@orchardcountryproduce.com



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


   
                


        


Posted 6/5/2012 10:46am by Gregg Keckler.

Dear Folks,


  News from the farm!  Melons, fennel, and broccoli were planted out today.  Gregg and Oliver planted over 5000 tomato plants.  We are picking strawberries, lettuce, beets, kale. Swiss chard, peas, Peas, PEAS.  We have also begun picking sweet cherries.  All the fruit is about 3 weeks early this year because of the mild spring.  That is good for some things, but others are suffering.  We did not have as much rhubarb or asparagus as other years.  The spinach bolted because of the 90 degree weather.  But summer fruits are going to be ready very soon.  We are looking forward to some good raspberries and blueberries this year and also plums.
    We butchered 2 hogs last month and 2 more are going next week.  The chicks and turkey poults have arrived.  We should have chicken for sale in August and turkeys by October. 
  
 
If you haven't signed up for the CSA this year, but would like to, we are still taking subscriptions for the summer and fall session.  Go to www.orchardcountryproduce.com to sign up.  Summer session begins July 23 and Fall session begins September 10.

   If you are in the area of our farm markets or farm stands stop by the stands and stock up on good fresh produce, fruit, meat, eggs, cheese. 


Tueadays DOT Tuesdays - 10-2pm

Tuesdays - NEW LOCATION!!!  NGS Farm Stand - in the Courtyard at National Geographic Society 
16th St NW   9:30-1pm
 
Thursdays - East Columbia Library - Cradlerock Way 2-6pm


Saturday - Westminster Farmer's Market 8- 12 noon

Saturday - Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church - Cedar Lane, Bethesda 9 - 1pm

Saturday - NEW LOCATION!!!  St Luke's Episcopal Church - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria 8-1pm


            


Posted 5/23/2012 10:52am by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this email to any list serve with the church and surrounding communites!  Thanks


Farm Market Stand  Open this Saturday!  May 19

Come to:

   Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda   9am-1pm


   St Luke's Episcopal Church - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria   8am-1pm  NEW LOCATION!


STRAWBERRIES are here!  They are sweet and very good!
 
Great Rhubarb!



NEW ITEMS this week!


Sugar Snap Peas


Snow Peas (flat pod)          
either of these kinds of peas steamed or sauted with spring onions is GREAT!

We have spinach, spring onions, radishes,

lettuce, salad greens, asparagus and spearmint tea.

I have been grilling asparagus with a little olive oil and garlic. Delicious!

Arugala, stored potatoes.


 Breaburn apples, Pink Lady apples, Gold Rush apples,  and sweet Fuji apples. 


We have our own sweet breads - Banana, Pumpkin, and Zucchini.

Don't forget the Memorial Day Picnics!


Homemade pies - Cherry, Peach and Strawberry/Rhubarb


We make our own jams and jellies and natural applesauce.


HONEY! 
 
Get ready for the grill!


We have BEEF!  Our own lean pasture-raised beef grown slooowly the way it should be!


Steaks and ground beef!


We have pork - steaks, chops and 7 inch links.  Our hogs are raised on grass/woodlands.  They love rooting under leaves and eating acorns.  I have been grilling these sausages every Saturday for a while.  They are better tasting and BETTER for you than hot dogs. 


free range EGGS from our own chickens!



We will also be offering cheese from Whispering Brook Farm.  Ed Breckbill makes his own cheese at his farm in Chambersburg, PA.  His cheeses are delicious with a short list of ingredients:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt.  Check out his cheeses!

Check out the bedding plants!  Herbs, tomato plants, and flowers!

 We are looking forward to seeing folks on Saturday, May 26. 

Stop in, look around and take home some fresh greens, vegetables, strawberries and baked goods!


If you have any questions, let us know - www.orchardcountryproduce.com or send an email ocp@orchardcountryproduce.com



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


   
                


        


Posted 5/21/2012 11:15am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,

     Two weeks until the CSA begins!

June 5 DOT - New Jersey Ave pickup 8-2pm

June 7 - Columbia - East Fredrickson Library 12-6pm

June 9 - Westminster Farmers' Market 8-noon
             Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, Bethesda - 9-1pm
             St Luke's Episcopal Church, Alexandria 8-1pm


When you get to the stand there will be a clipboard with your name on it, check off your name and pick up a cooler or box and go.  Half and full shares will be clearly marked.  If you order extras it will be listed behind your name.  Go to the stand and pick up your extras.


Extras:

We will have all the extras listed in the store on our website.  You can order items there.   I will be opening the store next Monday, May 28.   As the season progresses we will have a section for bulf items.  These will be larger quanities at a discounted price.

We have our own pasture-raised beef and pork.  The eggs are from our chickens .Our chickens are all outside -free-range and supplemented with cracked corn and our own organic veggies.  We have our own butter churned by me (and my KitchenAid).  Our cow is pastured with supplements of some corn and alfalfa hay.  We also have our own jams and jellies which Gregg created from our fruits.  We freeze the fruit throughout the summer and then make the jam during the winter months.

The pies and breads are made by our daughter-in-law, Tamara.  The pies are fresh.  Our fruits are cooked into a filling because they keep better that way.  The breads are made fresh for you.  If you order any baked goods, please order at least 4 days before your delivery or for the next week. 


We will again be offering Ed Breckbill's Whispering Brook Farm Cheese.  His cheese is from his own milk, his own herbs and processed right on his own farm.  No bulk tank of milk from any other farm, just his own.  Try it out, you will be amazed at the difference in taste from the ones in the store.


Paying for Extras:  you can choose to pay with paypal at the checkout and pay with credit card OR you can choose invoice at the checkout .  If you choose invoice you can pay at the stand or send a check in the mail.  If you choose invoice you can take a 5% discount.  The discount will not show up on the checkout screen, but you can calculate it yourself and then when we get your check or cash we will manually adjust the balance. 
'For Example:

Total bill is $35.00                           Choice

                                                       paypal -- You pay $35.00 with paypal

                                                       invoice --You pay $33.25 ($35.00x.95=33.25) with check or cash.         We   will adjust the balance for $1.75   



I hope this makes sense.  You do not need to send a check each week.  At the end of each month we will send you a reminder of your balance and ask you for payment then.


If you have not paid your balance yet for the CSA, pleaswe do this as soon as possible, expecially for the spring session.  You will be getting a reminder of your balance today.  PLEASE DO NOT PAY WITH PAYPAL IF YOU CHECKED OUT WITH INVOICE!  Send us a check instead.   

We are looking forward to a great year.  All the vegetables look great because of the mild spring weather.  All the fruits are about 3 weeks ahead of schedule.  So we are picking strawberries now.  We should be in mid-season for strawberries when the CSA starts.  I will send an email every Monday throughout the season to let you know what is coming that week.


We hope you get outside and enjoy the great weather, even if it is raining.  Being outdoors is good for the soul! 

  Gregg, Louis eand Oliver Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

www.orchardcountryproduce.com
Posted 5/3/2012 2:19pm by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this email to any list serve with the church and surrounding communites!  Thanks


MARKET STAND OPENS MAY 5


Come to:

   Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church  - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda   9am-1pm


   St Luke's Episcopal Church - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria   8am-1pm  NEW LOCATION!


We have spinach, spring onions, radishes,

lettuce, salad greens, asparagus, and spearmint tea.


Arugala, stored potatoes and carrots.


Great Rhubarb, Breaburn apples, Pink Lady apples, Gold Rush apples,  and sweet Fuji apples. 



We have our own sweet breads - Banana, Pumpkin, and Zucchini.


Homemade pies - Cherry, Peach and Strawberry/Rhubarb


Check out the bedding plants!   Herbs, tomato plants, and flowers


We make our own jams and jellies and natural applesauce.


HONEY!  


We have BEEF!  Our own lean pasture-raised beef grown slooowly the way it should be!


Steaks and ground beef!


free range EGGS from our own chickens!



We will also be offering cheese from Whispering Brook Farm.  Ed Breckbill makes his own cheese at his farm in Chambersburg, PA.  His cheeses are delicious with a short list of ingredients:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt.  Check out his cheeses!



 We are looking forward to seeing folks on Saturday, May 5. 

Stop in, look around and take home some fresh greens, vegetables, and other good stuff! 



If you have any questions, let us know - www.orchardcountryproduce.com or send an email ocp@orchardcountryproduce.com



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


   
                


        


Posted 5/2/2012 9:36am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,
 May is here!  We have little plums and apricots on the trees.  The rhubarb looks great and the strawberries are just around the corner.  This is a very dry spring (the first dry spring for several years).  So the strawberries should be very sweet.  All the fruit trees are about three weeks earlier than usual.  We planted new raspberries and a couple hundred plum, cherry, apricot, and peach trees this spring.

   We are expecting a great season this year.  Each year is unique because we are guided by the weather.  The cherries look a little spotty, but the plums are loaded.  We have over 3000 tomato plants growing in the greenhouse.  We are pulling spring onions and radishes, picking asparagus, cutting lettuce and some spinach and rhubarb!    The cycle has begun afresh!


   We sent two hogs to the butcher.  Our chicks and turkey poults will be here by the end of May.

  We are weeding peas today and transplanting kale, cabbage, broccoli, Swiss Chard, and other things.

The markets are starting this month.

Tueadays - DOT Market -3rd and M St SE - 10:00am-2:00pm

Tuesdays - NEW MARKET! NGS (Natinal Geographic Society) Market in the courtyard-  9:30am-1:30pm


Saturdays - beginning this week May 5

                 Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church Farm Stand  - 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda- upper
                 parking  lot      9am-1pm


                 NEW FARM STAND! St Luke's Episcopal Church  - 8009 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria     8am-1pm


Thursday May 10 - East Columbia Library Farmers' Market - Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD    2pm-6pm


Saturday beginning May 19 - Westminster Farmers' Market  - 8am-12 noon                       
  

We are looking forward to our markets and farm stands.  Come out and visit us and check out the spring produce and Gregg's assortment of unusual jams and jellies.  



If you are interested in signing up for the CSA there is still time!  We have extended the deadline to May 15 for the early bird special - all 21 weeks full share $870.00 and  half share   $450.00

  The deadline is May 15 to sign up for the spring session which begins the week of June 4.  Cost full share - $300.00 and half share - $160.00.

You can sign up on the website www.orchardcountryproduce.com  go to the sign up page.  You can pay with paypal or you can click invoice at the checkout and send us a check.


Have a Great day.  Get outside and get some natural vitamin D.  Try to shut out the noise and listen to nature.  It will refresh your soul!


Gregg and Louise Keckler - Orchard Country Prpoduce and Fruit Farm
Posted 4/13/2012 9:05am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,
   
This is reminder that the deadline to sign up for the CSa for 2012 is April 30.  It is coming soon so please sign up now if you want to join the CSA for this season.  The first week of the spring session begins on June 4.  We will send out emails throughout May letting you know about the delivery particulars and the extras that we will be offering this year.

   I will be sending individual emails to those who are on our list to get drop offs letting you know how many folks have sign up for your location.  We will be at NGS for a mini market and CSA display on April 24.  Come and visit if you are in the area.  We will also be going the Suburban Hospital in Bethesda on April 24 for a CSA display and sign up event. 


If you want to sign up for the CSa you can go to our website www.orchardcountryproduce.com and sign up online.  You can choose to pay with paypal or you can click invoice at the checkout and just send us a check.  We are looking forward to theis season.  With the early spring and mild winter, fruit is running about three weeks earlier than usual.  The plums and apricots have already set their fruit.  So we are hoping for no really hard frosts now.  We planted 600 new raspberry plants yesterday and today the kale, and lettuce are going out of the greenhouse into the field.  We have been planting lots of small red potatoes for the early ones and the big Evas for the large white ones.  We have 4000 onions coming next week and we will be planting them on Friday April 20, if anyone is available to help let us know.  We hope that you are as excited about this year as we are and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again at the markets.
  
Remember DOT Farmer's Market starts May 1 from 10-2!  
  That is only 2 1/2 weeks from now!


Gregg and Louise Keckler
Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm
www.orchardcountryproduce.com