Thursday, May 25, 2017

First Farmers' Market Of Season

Laura and Rytz harvesting greens from the high tunnel
We're excited to have new energy and enthusiasm on this old farm in 2017. We hope you'll join us at the Potter County Farmers' Market tomorrow (Friday, May 26) to meet Rytz and Laura and have a first look at the certified organic vegetables they've been growing and tending these past months.
This week features a variety of salad greens including mixed lettuces, leafy red and green head lettuce, chard, turnips, radishes and more.
Stop by the market - located on the corner of N. East and E. Second Streets in downtown Coudersport. It's just past the construction zone so we have our fingers crossed that folks won't be dismayed by the new traffic patterns.
We're now accepting debit and credit cards for your purchases as well as cash and checks.

Tomatoes, Peppers And More

Potter County Farmers' Market opens tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. and we'll be bringing our USDA Certified Organic plant starts. Today is your last opportunity to assure that we can provide you the tomato and pepper varieties you're looking for. Alas, some varieties have already sold out.
Please send an email to or call 814-274-8004 and leave a message if we don't answer. We can bring your reserved plants tomorrow or we can make arrangements for pick up at the farm.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Big Deal For A Small Farm

We stopped briefly this morning at a nearby hardware store and stepping out of the car, the breeze brought me the unmistakeable distinctive odor of herbicide. Sure enough, just around the corner of the building a makeshift greenhouse had been set up, the ends open to the passing winds.

I couldn't help but think about my trip to my own greenhouse this morning, of how I had noted the familiar and comforting aroma of damp soil and growing things. Such a contrast to the smell that characterizes herbicide and pesticide.

It's not an easy task for a small farm such as ours to achieve certification through the USDA. But it's your assurance that we are accountable to the standards set for organic production. We're proud to be certified by Pennsylvania Certified Organic for the third year after a five-year transition period. Yes, it's a big deal!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mixed Greens Ready Now!

Choose from mixed greens, spicy mix or mesclun mix
Where else can you customize your salad greens?  Rytz and Laura have carefully tended several beds of salad fixings in the high tunnel since mid-March and they're ready now! They have mixed greens, spicy mix and mesclun mix and can pick and customize your bag just for you!
By buying USDA certified organic salad greens, you have the assurance that your greens were grown without herbicide, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Plus, when you open the bag, your nose won't detect that "off" odor that tells you that the greens have been treated to preserve their freshness. No need for that when you buy local!
Prices are $3 for a small (4 oz.) bag and $6 for a big (8 oz.) bag. Please call 814-274-8004 and leave a message if we don't answer. We'll return your call.  (Another way to order is via email at You can pick up your order here at the farm or local delivery can be arranged.
We can't wait to share this goodness with you.
Coming soon .... radishes, kale and arugula.
And don't forget the certified organic tomato and pepper plants.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Armed Conflict

Here's the conflict: Our early plantings in the high tunnel are being assaulted by these tiny creatures. 

Do you recognize them? I would bet that you've encountered ubiquitous pill bugs (also known as rolly-pollies, sow bugs, doodle bugs, wood lice) in your backyard.
Our raised beds have turned into combat zones! Under the cover of darkness, these voracious armies swarm the tender little seedlings and attack! They've enjoyed a cozy life in the protected environs of the high tunnel, hiding under the wood and in all the organic material. If they had just stuck to the decaying wood and the dark dampness under the ground cover, we could have co-existed.
But now, it's war!
What's in our organic arsenal?
The first line of defense was diatomaecus earth. Not too effective but it did slow them down somewhat.
Golden chard with food-grade
diatomaceous earth sprinkles

Yesterday afternoon we hollowed out reject potatoes and put them face-down in the earth around the plants.

See the potato trap in the upper right?
This morning we plucked the potatoes from the soil and sent the pill bugs to a watery grave! We'll see if these deterrants will allow all the seedlings a fighting start.
How do you combat pill bugs in your organic garden?

Even the tomatoes are fair game!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Let's Get Growing!

Haven't we had a lovely taste of early spring the past couple of days? Here on the farm, it's given us lots of opportunities to get growing.

Garlic - planted last fall, growing this spring!

Tomato plants - is one destined for your garden?

These beautiful broccoli plants have now transitioned
to permanent homes in the garden
Lettuce planned for the opening of
Potter County Farmers' Market
Things are a-changing here on Crandall Hill this spring. We're happy to announce that we have entered into a "Share-Farming" agreement with Rytz Bowman and Laura Mangan, who bring lots of enthusiasm and excitement to their new venture here on Metzger Heritage Farm.
Share farming or "crop share" is a flexible, collaborative approach to farming. Sometimes known as tenant farming, crop share is an agreement where the landowner and farmer work together to grow and harvest the crops.
They have already jumped in with both feet to plant and tend a big selection of vegetables to share with you. Many kinds of kale, summer turnips, radishes, Swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, spicy mesclun and more share some of the beds where the first tomatoes have been transplanted in the high tunnel.
We're looking at our production with a fresh set of eyes and new energy! Laura and Rytz have lots of great new ideas and even plans to put together a modified CSA arrangement to bring you a weekly share of certified organic produce. Watch for details.
And to celebrate the new arrangement, have a look at our new logo (Is my pre-farming life as a graphic designer showing?)

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Always Warm In The Greenhouse!

I was awake early enough this morning to see the silvery moonlight brightening the skylights while in the east, the horizon took on muted hues of gold.. Today's predicted sunshine will melt the last vestiges of Friday's snow that linger in shaded spots under pine trees and against outbuildings.
The outdoor thermometer read 26 degrees but it's always warm in the greenhouse, thanks to the supplemental gas heat that lends it glow as I make my early morning visit. Once I turn on the lights, here's what I find.

I am quite pleased with the progress of the tomato plants and pepper plants I am growing for sale this spring.
I have selected many tomato varieties that promise to do well in our northern climate. Click here for descriptions.
55-60 Days
Gold Nugget Cherry
Sophie's Choice
60-65 Days
Silvery Fir Tree
Oregon Spring
New Girl
Organic 506
65-70 Days
Mountain Princess
Northern Ruby (Paste)
Roma (Paste)
75 - 85 Days
Amish Paste

Peppers are a bit of a challenge for home gardeners. I've located some new-to-me varieties to try this year with promised early harvest.
Sweet Peppers
King of the North
California Wonder
Charleston Belle
Carolina Wonder
I will also have extras of the varieties I plant in the high tunnel including Carmen (an Italian red pepper) and Chocolate (dark brown and gnarly).
Hot Peppers
Early Jalapeno
Ring Of Fire
Hungarian Wax
Click here for complete descriptions.

To ensure the best selection, it is best to pre-order your plants so I can put them aside before I offer plants to the public. They'll continue to have their tender, loving care until you're ready to plant them in your garden.
Please call 814-274-8004 or email for details.