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Farm news - January 2014

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