News and blog

Welcome to the blog
Posted 10/7/2011 10:27am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,
    We survived the rainest September in our history.  We are finally digging some potatoes and sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips and getting out the remainder of the carrots and red beets.  We had a good year for butternut and acorn squash.  We are picking a lot of apples right now.  Sun Crisp are almost all picked and then Stayman Winesap, Braeburn, and Fuji.  We have a good many acres of these varieties.  We have quite a few Ida Reds, York Imperial, and Red Delicious as well that we are picking right now.  Northern Spy apples were all picked last week.  We are taking some apples and pears to auction because we have run out of cooler space.

 
      New Plans for the winter:  We are making plans for a once a month Winter Vegetable and Fruit Delivery.  If your neighborhood or business would like to have a monthly drop off beginning in December let us know

   Here is how it will work:  You will be able to go to our website and order items from our farm.  You can pre-pay using paypal and or credit card.  Then we will deliver to your business or neighborhood on the designated day.  Weekday deliveries will be either Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursday.  We aren't sure which day yet.  We may do a Saturday delivery for neighborhoods if there is enough interest.

   So if you would be interest in the Winter Deliveries - here are some of the things that you can buy.  we have alot of acorn and butternut squash, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, turnips, neck pumpkins, orange pumpkins, some odd and unusual winter squash(hubbard, black forest, kiri and cheesecake),  onions (while they last), apples (many varieties) Bosc pears, apple cider (unitil Christmas) Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  We will also have lettuce, greens and asparagus in April.
  
     We will have our beef and bologna, eggs, honey, jelly and jam.  We will also have pies and sweet bread for sale.
      We will offer Ed Breckenbill's cheeses and Apple Valley Creamery's butter.

     We are making one stipulation for delivery - that your location have a minium  $50.00 order - not each person, but each location.  We will still bag each person's items separately, but the total for your drop off spot must be at least $50.00.
 
   For Example:  The National Zoo wants a delivery of Winter Vegetables and Fruit.  The monkeys order $5.00 of apples; the elphants order $35.00  worth of pumpkins;  the bird house wants 1 gallon of cider for $5.00 and the lions order filet mignon (of course) for $30.00.  Each critter gets online and pays using paypal and we deliver everything (individually bagged for each customer) to the National Zoo on the designated day. 

I hope this makes sesne to everyone.

FAQ about the Winter Vegetable and Fruit Delivery

1.  How much does it cost?  The costs are determined by what you order.  No additional costs.

2.  How often must I order?   We will deliver once/month.  We are asking each drop off spot to order a total of at least $50.00 each month.  Each drop off location  must commit to the 5 monthly deliveries.

3.  What day will you deliver?  We will deliver either a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (depending on response) and possibly Saturday (depending on response).

4.  When does the Winter Vegetable and Fruit Delivery begin? It will begin the week of December 13.  January delivery will be the week of January 17, week of February 14, week of March 13. and week of April 17.

5.  Can we get a delivery to our house?  Yes, if you purchase $50 worth of things.  You can go together with a friend, etc..

6.  Can I buy meat and cheese as part of all of the $50?  Yes, you can buy anything on the order form that will be on our website by Thanksgiving. (hopefully)

    Please send us an email if you would be interested in participating in Our Winter Vegetable and Fruit Delivery. 

     We may be able to connect you with others near you who would like to participate as well.

We are also working with our webhost to allow folks to purchase shares online beginning in 2012.  Just think - NO MORE STAMPS! and NO MORE NASTY EMAILS from me asking for money!  We will let you know when this will be available.

We hope you enjoy the fall weather, the long evening hours and a bowl of good squash soup!

Gregg and Louise Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm 
Posted 10/6/2011 8:16am by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this to any list serves in the Bethesda Area.  Thanks!

This week at the Farm Stand

Come out on Saturday morning 9 AM- 1 PM.
 
We are located in the upper parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Church   9601 Cedar La, Bethesda. 

Check us out!

Send an email if you would like to order anything for delivery on Saturday.  Iif you need bulk amounts of apples, pears, pumpkins, or anything let us know.  We will try to provide it for you.  We want you to consider us your local farm!


 
For Facebook users, you can "like" our new Facebook page.  We will keep this page filled with updates and PICTURES!


We have great natural APPLE CIDER!  Our own blend.  Taste it for yourself - THE BEST!

Nectarines!

Raspberries!

Yellow Bartlet pears!  Asian Pears!  Seckle Pears!  Bosc Pears!

HONEY CRISP APPLES!  

GALA  APPLES! 

Jonathan Apples, Jonagold apples,  Macoun Apples, Freedom Apples,  Cortland, Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap, Ida Red, Sun Crisp, Granny Smith, York Imperial (the BEST baking apple), Northern Spy (heirloom variety dating from the Civil War)


We have great apples for sauce! One Pound Apples (heirloom),  Smokehouse apples (heirloom), and Greening

  

THE GREENS are coming back!  We have ARUGALA!  KALE,  SWISS CHARD!

Broccoli, Kohlrabi - great vegetables!

GREEN BEANS and yellow beans!

Sweet BANANA Peppers and bell peppers and HOT peppers.

We have ZUCCHINI, YELLOW SQUASH

RED BEETS!  Great size, Great taste 

Sweet potatoes!

 Acorn Squash!  Butternut Squash! Buttercup Squash! Kiri squash! Carnival squash!  

Neck Pumpkins!  Small round pumpkins for decorating!  Miniature Indian Corn!

BIG, RED, WARTY THINGS! - a redish-orange pumpkin 

White POTATOES! 

Good Candy SWEET ONIONS! 

Nice green and red CABBAGE!

EGGPLANT!  CARROTS!  Turnips!

BEEF -  Buy grass fed hormone- free beef for your cookouts!  Our own beef. 
       ground beef, round steak, sirloin, Delmonico steaks, fillet mignon,  flat iron and NY strip 

OUR OWN BOLOGNA!  Smoked beef bologna!

WE HAVE CHICKEN!  These are our own free range chickens.  These chicken weigh in at about 3 - 4  lb.  Nice size for grilling or frying  

 CHEESE- including dill/bacon, cheddar, smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar, smoked jalapeño, farmers, baby Swiss, tomato/basil and goat Gouda. 
The list of ingredients for these cheeses is simple:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt - refreshingly short.

Free range eggs!  Our own eggs from our own chickens.

PIES - Blackberry Pie. Peach pie and Apple pies - We have our own pies.

Sweet breads - pumpkin and banana bread.  perfect for tea or a dessert!

Honey - Our honey is straight from the hive to you.  Very flavorful

Jams - We have a favorites - Raspberry, Strawberry and some different ones - fruit and veggie jam, Mint Jelly and others.
   

Send an email if you would like to order anything for delivery on Saturday

Gregg and Louise Keckler -Orchard Country Produce
 Gardners, PA
Posted 9/26/2011 9:21am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,
 
    This week's share will include:  Cortland apples, Asian pears, Apple cider, mystery item, tomatoes, acorn/butternut squash, broccoli, Spanish onion.
  
The Cortland apples is a white fleshed sweet/tart apples.  This weekend I made an apple pie with Cortland apples.  I cooked some cider,  sugar and  pecans and poured it over the top crust.  It was delicious!
  
      Enjoy the tomatoes.  Each tomato I eat I keep thinking it will be the last of the season.
   
     If you can't use all the onions right away, keep them in your crisper in the frig.  They should keep for quite a while.  I am freezing all the half rotten onions.  I chop them and put them in freezer bags for use in the winter.  They are great in soup.

     Remember to give all the cartons and boxes back.    Each quart box cost 12 cents, each pint cost 7 cents,each CSA box- $1.75, each tag - 75 cents, each strap to hold the tag - 11 cents, These things add up, so please return them to us along with the also jelly and honey jars too.

     If we can get into the ground, we would like to give some potatoes and sweet potatoes, but it has been so wet that we can't begin to get a plow in the ground.  Hopefully this week will be sunny and dry out the ground and help the greens grow.  We are also having more trouble with rot and fungi on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts this fall because of the wet and damp.

Enjoy the week!

Gregg and Louise Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm



  Extras:

Nectarines - $4.00/quart
Basil - $2.00 bunch
Swiss chard - $2.00/bunch
1/4 lb(approx)arugala - $2.50
Butternut squash - $2.00
acorn squash - $2.00
Bunch of radishes (about 8-10) $1.50

Eating apples - $4.00/quart  (choose a variety)
    Honey Crisp - Sweet, tart, crunchy
    Buckeye Gala - Sweet, crisp
    Jonagold - Sweet crisp
    Sun Crisp - tart, crisp
    Stayman Winesap - tart, crisp

Ghost Chili peppers - $1.00/each
    About the size of a ping pong ball
     (ONLY FOR THE VERY STRONG!)

Red Warty Things -  reddish-orange pumpkin covered with warty bumps
        basketball size- decorative and edible - $6.00


Red Warty Things - $6.00 
Indian Corn bunches of three - $2.50

Apple Cider
gallon - $5.00
1/2 gallon - $3.50

Apples for sauce  
Smokehouse (tart)
Summer Rambo (tart, soft)
$3.50/quart
$9.00 / peck
$16.00/ 1/2 bushel



BEEF

 $4.50/lb                                                              $6.99/lb                                                        $3.50/lb
Lean Ground Beef (1 lb pack)                                 Round Steak                                                Beef liver (1 lb pk)
                                                                              Flank Steak
                                                
$11.99/lb                                                              $13.99/lb                                                      $15.99/lb
New York Strip (1 steak/pk)                                 Flat Iron (1 steak/pk)                            Fillet Mignon (1 st/pk)
Sirloin Steak                                                          Delmonico (2 steaks/pk)  



CHICKEN
about 3 - 4 lb whole chickens    $5.99 /lb


CHEESE

$9.99/lb                                                              $11.99/lb                                                       $14.99/lb
Farmers                                                               Smoked Cheddar                                           mild Goat Gouda
Cheddar                                                               Smoked Jalapeño
Baby Swiss                                                          Sharp Cheddar
tomato/basil
dill/bacon
Colby jack

JAMS                                                                    EGGS                                                              BUTTER
$4.50/half pint jar                                                 $4.00/doz                                                     $3.50/half pound
Red Heart Plum
Strawberry
Raspberry
Black Cherry                                                          HONEY
Grape                                                                      $5.00/half pint jar
Orange Marmalade
Blackberry
Pink Lady and Pomegranate


Posted 9/23/2011 11:27am by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this to any list serves in the Bethesda Area.  Thanks!

This week at the Farm Stand

Come out on Saturday morning 9 AM- 1 PM.
 
We are located in the upper parking lot of the UU Church   9601 Cedar La, Bethesda.  Check us out!

WE WILL BE THERE NO MATTER HOW MUCH RAIN!

We are picking Stayman apples, arugala,  corn, broccoli, peppers etc in the rain!
So please come out and buy in the rain!
 
For Facebook users, you can "like" our new Facebook page.  We will keep this page filled with updates and PICTURES!


We have great natural APPLE CIDER!  Our own blend.  Taste it for your self - THE BEST!

SWEET CORN!  We have yellow and bi-color.  Very sweet! 

Nectarines!

Raspberries!

Yellow Bartlet pears!  Asian Pears!  Seckle Pears!
We will be having many apple varieties, the common and the not-so-common!

HONEY CRISP APPLES! 

The Best! GALA  APPLES! 

Jonathan Apples, Jonagold apples, Macintosh apples, Macoun Apples, Freedom apples, Cox Orange Pippins!

Banana Apples (the sweetest), Cortland, Golden Delicious, Stayman Winesap


We have great apples for sauce! One Pound Apples (heirloom), Rambo apples, Smokehouse apples (heirloom)

Roma Tomatoes!    

THE GREENS are coming back!  We have ARUGALA!  KALE,  SWISS CHARD!

Broccoli, Kohlrabi - great vegetables!

GREEN BEANS and yellow beans!

Sweet BANANA Peppers and bell peppers and HOT peppers.

We have ZUCCHINI, YELLOW SQUASH

RED BEETS!  Great size, Great taste 

Sweet potatoes!

 Acorn Squash!  Butternut Squash! Buttercup Squash! Kiri squash! Carnival squash!  

Neck Pumpkins!  Small round pumpkins for decorating!  Miniature Indian Corn!

BIG, RED, WARTY THINGS! - a redish-orange pumpkin 

white POTATOES! 

Good Summer SWEET ONIONS!  Spanish White onions, purple and red onions and Walla Walla onions

Nice green and red CABBAGE!

EGGPLANT!  CARROTS!  Turnips!

BEEF -  Buy grass fed hormone- free beef for your cookouts!  Our own beef. 
       ground beef, round steak, sirloin, Delmonico steaks, fillet mignon,  flat iron and NY strip 

OUR OWN BOLOGNA!  Smoked pork bologna!

WE HAVE CHICKEN!  These are our own free range chickens.  These chicken weigh in at about 3 - 4  lb.  Nice size for grilling or frying  

 CHEESE- including dill/bacon, cheddar, smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar, smoked jalapeño, farmers, baby Swiss, tomato/basil and goat Gouda. 
The list of ingredients for these cheeses is simple:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt - refreshingly short.

Free range eggs!  Our own eggs from our own chickens.

PIES - Blackberry Pie. Raspberry pie and Peach pie and Apple pies - We have our own pies, sweet breads, honey and jams.

Gregg and Louise Keckler -Orchard Country Produce
 Gardners, PA
Posted 9/19/2011 10:14am by Gregg Keckler.
Dear Folks,
    This week's shares will include:  Honey Crisp Apples, Concord grapes, bell peppers, hot peppers, Sweet Candy onions, apple cider, and mystery item.
  
      When you get tired of Concord grapes here is a SIMPLE way to make grape juice.  Use a half gallon container with a lid.  Put 2 cups of grapes in the jar.  Add about 1 cup of sugar (or less if you like it tart).  Pour boiling water over the grapes and sugar.  Put the lid on the container and put in the frig for at least 4 days.  (The longer the juice sits the more flavorful it will be.)  When you want to drink it - pour off the juice and discard the grapes.  Great juice!  You can cut everything in half and use a quart container if you like.  This juice will keep for weeks in the frig.

   A word about the cider.  Our cider is natural, unpasteurized cider from our own apples.  Another farmer near us owns a cider mill.  He makes the cider for us every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  So the cider is fresh.  We use a different blend of apples in each batch - so each batch tastes different.  Unpasteurized cider is very flavorful. 

   Warning - It is unpasteurized - so it will turn within 2 weeks.  You will know it is turning hard when it gets a little bite ( like soda) to the taste and you can see bubbles comes up on the inside of the jug.  Some folks love hard cider.  ( We know a friend who can drink it when the plastic jugs are so puffed up that they won't stand up any more.  Now that is a little TOO hard for my taste!)

    If you do not like hard cider or you are giving it to children, you may want to pasteurize it yourself.  Just empty the cider into a pot and cook it on the stove until it boils.  Remove from heat.  You can drink it hot (add a cinnamon stick and you have hot mulled cider) or cool it in the frig.  It will stay sweet.  
  
     I like good sweet cider.  My stomach can't take the hard cider.  It is amazing how each person's intestinal flora are different.  Some folks say that fresh unpasteurized cider "goes straight through them",  yet hard cider sits OK.  and other people are the opposite.  It is your choice! 

     If you have never tasted fresh, unpasteurized cider before, please give it a try before boiling it.  The taste is so good - no comparison to the stuff in the stores!
   
    Cider can be frozen for later use.  Be sure to leave a little head space at the top of the jug when freezing - or you will have a mess in your freezer. (We know from experience.)
   Beginning this week you can order extra cider if you like.

Happy eating this week,

Gregg and Louise Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit Farm

Extras:

Nectarines - $4.00/quart
Basil - $2.00 bunch
Swiss chard - $2.00/bunch

Eating apples - $4.00/quart  (choose a variety)
    Honey Crisp - Sweet, tart, crunchy
    Buckeye Gala - Sweet, crisp
    Jonagold - Sweet crisp

Ghost Chili peppers - $1.00/each
    About the size of a ping pong ball
     (ONLY FOR THE VERY STRONG!)

Red Warty Things -  reddish-orange pumpkin covered with warty bumps
        basketball size- decorative and edible - $6.00


Red Warty Things - $6.00 
Indian Corn buches of three - $2.50

Apple Cider
gallon - $5.00
1/2 gallon - $3.50

Apples for sauce  
Smokehouse (tart)
Summer Rambo (tart, soft)
$3.50/quart
$9.00 / peck
$16.00/ 1/2 bushel



BEEF

 $4.50/lb                                                              $6.99/lb                                                        $3.50/lb
Lean Ground Beef (1 lb pack)                                 Round Steak                                                Beef liver (1 lb pk)
                                                                              Flank Steak
                                                
$11.99/lb                                                              $13.99/lb                                                      $15.99/lb
New York Strip (1 steak/pk)                                 Flat Iron (1 steak/pk)                            Filet Mignon (1 st/pk)
Sirloin Steak                                                          Delmonico (2 steaks/pk)  


Smoked pork bologna $8.00/lb or $4.00/half lb


CHICKEN
about 3 - 4 lb whole chickens    $5.99 /lb


CHEESE

$9.99/lb                                                              $11.99/lb                                                       $14.99/lb
Farmers                                                               Smoked Cheddar                                           mild Goat Gouda
Cheddar                                                               Smoked Jalapeño
Baby Swiss                                                          Sharp Cheddar
tomato/basil
dill/bacon
colby jack

JAMS                                                                    EGGS                                                              BUTTER
$4.50/half pint jar                                                 $4.00/doz                                                     $3.50/half pound
Red Heart Plum
Strawberry
Raspberry
Black Cherry                                                          HONEY
Grape                                                                      $5.00/half pint jar
Orange Marmalade
Blackberry
Pink Lady and Pomegranate


Posted 9/16/2011 6:40am by Gregg Keckler.
Please forward this to any list serves in the Bethesda Area.  Thanks!

This week at the Farm Stand

Come out on Saturday morning 9 AM- 1 PM.
 
We are located in the upper parking lot of the UU Church   9601 Cedar La, Bethesda.  Check us out!

If you haven't been out yet this year, NOW is the time!
Come out and enjoy fresh, LOCAL produce.

For Facebook users, you can "like" our new Facebook page.  We will keep this page filled with updates and PICTURES!
We have great natural APPLE CIDER!  Our own blend.  Taste it for your self - THE BEST!

SWEET CORN!  We have yellow and bi-color.  Very sweet! 

PLUMS!  Stanley and Damson plums!

PEACHES!  THE last of the year!  Get them while they last!

Nectarines!

Raspberries!

Yellow Bartlet pears!  Asian Pears!  Seckle Pears!
We will be having many apple varieties, the common and the not-so-common!

HONEY CRISP APPLES! 

The Best! GALA  APPLES! 

Jonathan Apples, Jonagold apples, Macintosh apples, Macoun Apples, Freedom apples, Cox Orange Pippins!

We have great apples for sauce! One Pound Apples (heirloom), Rambo apples, Smokehouse apples (heirloom)

We  have  TOMATOES!  Great for sauce and sandwiches!  

Roma Tomatoes!    

THE GREENS are coming back!  We have ARUGALA!  KALE,  SWISS CHARD!

Broccoli, Kohlrabi - great vegetables!

GREEN BEANS and yellow beans!

Sweet BANANA Peppers and bell peppers and HOT peppers.

We have ZUCCHINI, YELLOW SQUASH, and CUCUMBERS

RED BEETS!  Great size, Great taste 

 Acorn Squash!  Butternut Squash! Buttercup Squash! Kiri squash! Carnival squash!  

Sweet potatoes!
 

Red and white POTATOES! 

Good Summer SWEET ONIONS!  Spanish White onions, purple and red onions and Walla Walla onions

Nice green and red CABBAGE!

EGGPLANT!  CARROTS!  Turnips!

BEEF -  Buy grass fed hormone- free beef for your cookouts!  Our own beef. 
       ground beef, round steak, sirloin, Delmonico steaks, fillet mignon,  flat iron and NY strip 

OUR OWN BOLOGNA!  Smoked pork bologna!

WE HAVE CHICKEN!  These are our own free range chickens.  These chicken weigh in at about 3 - 4  lb.  Nice size for grilling or frying  

 CHEESE- including dill/bacon, cheddar, smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar, smoked jalapeño, farmers, baby Swiss, tomato/basil and goat Gouda. 
The list of ingredients for these cheeses is simple:  unpasturized milk, vegetable enymes, sea salt - refreshingly short.

Free range eggs!  Our own eggs from our own chickens.

PIES - Blackberry Pie. Raspberry pie and Peach pie - We have our own pies, sweet breads, honey and jams.

Gregg and Louise Keckler -Orchard Country Produce
 Gardners, PA
Posted 9/14/2011 6:36am by Gregg Keckler.

Here's a recipe for a hearty soup that does NOT smell or taste 'cabbagey'......

1 small chicken
1 small head of cabbage, chopped
48 oz of crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
6-7 carrots, sliced
1 large potato chopped into small bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6-7 whole allspice balls
5 whole peppercorn balls
1 1/2 tsp marjoram
2 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook chicken in 4-5 cups water until tender; skim off fat and use broth. Cool and debone chicken. Add carrots, cabbage, potato, onions and crushed tomatoes with tomato juice to chicken broth.
Add spices. Add just enough water to cover vegetables (the cabbage cooks down quite alot).
Cover, bring to a boil, add de-boned chicken; reduce to simmer for 2-3 hours, adding more water as needed.

Use a big pot - makes alot. Obviously you can adjust and add more/different veggies, etc.

Posted 9/13/2011 3:50pm by Gregg Keckler.
I just got an email from the Columbia Farmers market board and they have decide that starting in 2012 people will no longer be able to pick up CSA shares during the market hours.  I am not sure what their decision is based on, but I wish that you would take the time to email the board and tell them that this is a bad decision.

  Email:  healeyk4@verizon.net 

  Otherwise we will no longer be able to have you pickup shares at the market next year.  Please email them and let them know that you care about this decision.  Thank you!  Louise Keckler - Orchard Country Produce and Fruit farm
Posted 9/12/2011 7:39pm by Gregg Keckler.

We have been shredding the cabbage and using it in egg rolls and stir fry. By the way, the Kale chips with cheese is great- even my 10 yea old eats it!

 
Posted 9/12/2011 2:44pm by Gregg Keckler.
One of our favorite ways to eat cabbage is in the homey English dish known as "bubble & squeak" - it is supposedly named this because of the sound it makes when the cabbage & potatoes are cooking (though I have yet to hear this sound). Though, if they don't like cooked cabbage at all, they may not like this. But you can vary it in a few ways to try! 
 
Chop the cabbage and boil it until tender
Peel & boil 4 or so potatoes until tender, or use leftover mashed potatoes or other cooked potatoes
Mash the potatoes (if not already mashed)
Mix the cabbage & mashed potatoes together. Add salt & pepper to taste (we like ours peppery). Can also add grated cheese, bits of chopped bacon or ham, and any other leftover chopped, cooked veggies
Form the cabbage-potato mixture into hamburger shapes (these are going to be a bit like potato pancakes)
Pan fry in a hot skillet coated with a few tablespoons of oil or butter until browned and a little crisp on one side; flip, and brown on the other side.
 
Some people just put the cabbage, potatoes, other additions and seasonings into one big hot skillet and make the whole thing into a big pancake or hash, with plenty of crisp, browned bits of potato.