Sunday, December 7, 2014

December Harvest

Spinach and Leafy Head Lettuce
Ever since a visit to the high tunnel at Canticle Farm in nearby Allegany, N.Y. on a cold Feburary day a couple of years ago, I've had a goal of harvesting fresh greens in the winter. Canticle Farm grows greens year round to sell in their winter market held twice a month.
Though the solstice is still a few days away, our days of temperatures in the single digits and the lack of light and sunshine provided a test of the various methods employed to have a four-season harvest in our Crandall Hill high tunnel.
Yesterday's temperatures above the freezing mark offered me the opportunity to venture across icy grass to the high tunnel. As I unzipped the corner, ice showered down on my head. Inside I made my way between the raised beds to the interior bed shrouded in white row cover. I unclipped the filmy covering from the hoops and found what I had hoped - vibrant deep red and green leafy head lettuce, spinach and flat leaf parsley.

Three varieties of leafy head lettuce

Italian parsley and carrots
There was also a planting of carrots in the high tunnel, most of which I had already harvested. However the carrots you see were transplanted as I thinned the original planting. See the crooked roots?


More lettuce remains to be harvested in the coming weeks though one cannot count on much growth. The same holds true for the spinach. It will remain mostly dormant until there's more warmth and light.
This morning the sun is bright in the sky and I expect that though it's projected to be in the 20s all day, the sun will warm temperatures in the high tunnel to well above freezing.
Though I am not offering any of this produce for sale, we do have some beautiful organic potatoes available. Contact us directly to get your supply for the holidays. The red ones are particularly festive this time of year!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Buttoning Up

The teasingly beautiful days this fall provided us a false sense of security when it comes to what can be accomplished before winter really sets in. But alas, it seems the dire predictions of moving into the deep freeze hysterically trumpeted by every single weather guru this week might be the harbinger of things to come. But, lest we forget, it is November in northern Pennsylvania!
I'd say we've accomplished a lot of what needs to be done in the gardens, high tunnel, orchard and fields but it's discouraging to see what still should be done.

Yesterday a work crew arrived to put a new roof put on the big barn that we've recently acquired across the road from our house. This grand old lady has fallen on hard times recently but we're full of plans to keep her useful. This first step will help preserve her for what's to come.
When the crew finishes that one, they'll move on to the newer barns that need to have their nearly 40-year-old roofs replaced as well.
Progressing!
Yesterday I dug more carrots. Our customers who pre-ordered their winter supply are enjoying the ones harvested a couple of weeks ago and the rest are being stored for our winter use. They are so beautiful and so delicious that I have been adding them to nearly everything I have been cooking. And it seems that the dog feels quite entitled to enjoy the tops and tips and all the ugly/split/ puny ones as a bedtime snack!

Napoli, Atomic Red, Dragon Purple & Yellowstone Carrots
 I have discovered that our best plan is to plant the main crop of carrots outdoors in July to help control weeds and carrot pests. That gives them enough time to mature and the cold weather they need to develop sweetness. We also plant a limited number of carrots in the high tunnel to harvest throughout the late spring and summer. They fit nicely on the outside of the tomato rows.
I could be talked into parting with a few more carrots if you're interested. Just email (metzgerfarm@gmail.com) or call 274-8004. Also, potatoes are still available at Costa's and Genesee Natural Foods. For larger quantities, we offer discounted price with a purchase of 10 pounds or more.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Root Vegetables

We've been enjoying lots of root vegetables this fall including this beautiful (and delicious) Carrot/Beet Slaw which incorporates the colorful carrots and beets we're harvesting now.


The basic recipe is one from Chef Butch and Chef Colin who did an awesome cooking demonstration at the Potter County Farmers' Market in summer 2013. Of course, I have altered it a bit to fit the ingredients I have on hand.

Carrot/Beet Slaw
Large beet, grated
Carrot, grated
Finely chopped red or green sweet pepper
Finely chopped jalapeno pepper
Finely chopped shallot (adjust for your own taste)
Finely chopped parsley (I prefer the flat-leaf type)
Dressing:
2 Tb. vinegar (consider using rice wine vinegar for a milder tang or balsamic for deep, sweet flavor)
2 Tb. olive oil
1 tsp. honey (consider using real maple syrup or you can use sugar)
salt and pepper to taste

We have a nice harvest of carrots that we're beginning to dig. We plant our main crop of carrots late to help avoid weeds (fat chance!) and find that the chilly weather in the fall helps to sweeten them. There are also some beautiful beets still in the field that will be gathered soon.
As with all of our crops, if you're interested in these, please call (274-8004) or email (metzgerfarm@gmail.com) to make arrangements for pickup or delivery.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Potatoes Are In!

This photo documents the last of the 2014 potato harvest, completed last week. (It was a beautiful shirt sleeve day – quite a change from the dusting of snow on the ground this morning... sigh!)
If you'd like a winter supply of organic spuds, contact us soon to make arrangements. There's a price break if you buy 10 pounds or more. Telephone 814-274-8004 or email metzgerfarm@gmail.com. Retail locations include Costa's in Coudersport and Genesee Natural Foods. Look for them on the menu at the Crittenden too!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

How Hot Is Hot?

The addition of the high tunnel to the farm has opened new opportunities for vegetable varieties that have traditionally been difficult to bring to maturity in our short growing season.

Hungarian Hot Wax, Jalapeno, Czech Black, Ring of Fire, Maya Red

Hot peppers are an excellent example. While we've had moderate success in the past with Early Jalapeno and Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, our hot pepper repertoire has expanded to include varieties of Cayenne and Habanero varieties.
While hot peppers are not exactly a Potter County Farmers' Market favorite, we've found uses for the excess production including fiery hot sauce, salsa and – our favorite – dried hot pepper flakes.
The dehydrator is doing its thing on the back porch as I write this, the sharp aroma punctuating the cool fall air as the these beauties relinquish their moisture but not their heat!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Organic Apples!

Arthur poses with Bridget Reynolds at Quest Farm Produce in Almond, N.Y.
We're excited about the harvest of organic apples from our "new" orchard and even more excited to be offering them for sale at Quest Farm Produce in Almond, N.Y. So far we've made two deliveries of these organic beauties to the store run by Denis and Bridget Reynolds, organic farmers and friends. If you're in the neighborhood (perhaps while taking in the Allegany Artisan Studio Tour next weekend, Oct. 19 & 20), stop by their store at 7142 State Route 21 to see all that they offer. 

We've been apple lovers for years and have enjoyed harvesting Northern Spy, MacIntosh and Golden Delicious apples from older orchards on our farm. The majority of the fruit trees in our new orchard were planted in April 2012 and they've been carefully tended since then. Harvest this year is limited but we're expecting next year to produce even more.
Joe awaiting his apple-planting assignment (April 2012)

Conner and Arthur separating trees (April 2012)
Apples top the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen again this year. To come up with the rankings, the group analyzed pesticide residue testing data from the U.S.D.A. and the FDA. They found that 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. That's the reason we're committed to growing our apples organically. We know folks are anxious to have safe, local sources for this nutritious and beloved fruit.



Friday, September 12, 2014

Edamame

We have a great supply of amazing Edamame available right now! This is what they look like straight from the field.

While we won't be at the Farmers' Market today, we would be happy to process your order and arrange for delivery. Price is $4 per pound. Just click on the comment link below or call the farm at 814-274-8004 or email metzgerfarm@gmail.com.
While they're fabulous just steamed, chilled and popped into your mouth, they are also suitable to use in soups, salads and any place you'd use cooked beans.

Edamame Hummus - Yummy!
Here's the link to a previous edamame post with recipes http://metzgerfarm.blogspot.com/2012/09/more-edamame-plus-recipes.html
Here's a link to a post that tells you more about edamame.
http://metzgerfarm.blogspot.com/2014/01/beans-on-branch.html