Friday, January 29, 2016

What's 'Hot'?

Vitamin-Packed Chard
Have you seen the January edition of "Better Homes and Gardens?" This venerable old magazine was always on the coffee table when I was growing up and I have been a subscriber for years. Except for a few years when they editors went far afield, recipes are dependably good. This month "winter greens" are featured. How about some Toasted Couscous and Chard Salad? Sounds divine!
As our customers already know, we grow great Swiss Chard. It's one of the first vegetables available in the late spring and, if the farmer plants successively, harvest continues well into October. We have several Farmers' Market customers who come to our table specifically to snap up the tasty greens each week.
Swiss Chard is just the latest in the string of vegetables that become "hot" and turn up in recipes on the Food Channel, magazines and in the blogosphere. Along with the chard, the magazine also featured other hardy greens – kale, chicories, collards and spinach – all of which thrive in our cooler climate.
Shall we grow some for you?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Winters Past

Wanda Gooch Metzger in the mid 1950s.
A typical winter on the farm.
The farmer lady in the picture photo above has weathered the big northeast blizzard of 2016 from her home in the capital region of Pennsylvania. She kept us updated throughout the storm by telephone and email. But, of course, she's no stranger to snow as this photo attests.

Arthur Metzger Jr. and Carol Metzger (now Wilkerson)
in front of the farmhouse on Dingman Run Road
The little boy in this picture recently enjoyed sled riding with his grandchildren on a recent visit to their home in northeast Washington (state).

(These and other vintage Metzger Heritage Farm pictures are published on the Our Farming Heritage page on this blog.)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Rest

"Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city."

– from Mary Oliver's poem Starlings In Winter

Garlic • January 21, 2016

Garlic • January 8, 2016
 "In seed time learn, in harvest time teach, in winter enjoy"
– William Blake
January 8, 2016

January 21, 2016

"What good is the warmth of summer
without the cold of winter
to give it sweetness"

– John Steinbeck

What lessons are we working on this year?
Even as we are writing the last entries in the ledger for our 2015 growing season, planning for 2016 is well underway. We'll share details in coming posts. Let me know you're here!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Vegetable Sunshine

Who needs the sun when you have a beautiful Red Kuri squash to share its golden beauty on a gray January day?

We still have a limited quantity of Red Kuri and Butternut squashes in storage. Email if you're interested.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Pleasure Of Carrots

One might expect that once the calendar turns to December, farmers might expect to catch a little down time. However, in 2015 the salubrious weather has extended the work season and we're still working to properly put the gardens and fields to bed for the winter.
Soil tests, garden clean up, equipment cleaning and stowing and food storage/preservation crowd out other activities (except for deer hunting, of course) like blogging.
Our grandchildren were here for a quick visit before Thanksgiving and they enjoyed helping us harvest the last of the carrot crop. These carrots grew on the edge of a raised bed in the high tunnel as a companion to climbing tomatoes.
Carrots are one of my favorite crops because they keep so well. It's not unusual for us to be finishing the previous year's carrots just as the early planting is ready. Year-round nutrition and good taste - what more can you ask?
If you have an interest in purchasing carrots, I have a limited quantity available for sale. Please call the farm at 274-8004 to make arrangements. Also, we have some wonderful winter squash for sale as well. And remember - all our vegetables are USDA Certified Organic.

Harvesting carrots was like a treasure hunt
on Grandma and Grandpa's Farm!
No worries about pesticide residue here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Staff Of Life

Our wheat field was very small when measured against the standards of agribusiness - or even small scale farms. The wheat (a variety of hard red spring wheat named 'Glenn' and acquired from Lakeview Organic Grain in Penn Yan, N.Y.) was sown originally as a cover crop but as it ripened in the field, Arthur began to turn over in his mind ways to harvest our certified organic grain.

Our friend Jerry Houwer offered the use of an old Allis-Chalmers All Crop Harvester, Model 66, circa 1950s that was stored in his barn. And so one September afternoon, Arthur drove up Fishing Creek pulling the hulking orange apparatus.
Days were spent just getting it into shape - with the expertise of Bryan Morley and our neighbor Roy Thompson who just couldn't resist stopping by when he saw the vintage machine parked in the driveway. Roy brought firsthand knowledge, harkening back to the days he'd spent helping Don Stearns and Shorty Pepperman with their oat harvests on long-ago Crandall Hill summer afternoons. He even pointed Arthur in the right direction to find a pulley on a old combine on the Thompson farm.
Farmer Art with Farmer Roy and the Allis-Chalmers Combine

On harvest day, Roy Thompson was joined by his son Rob (who took these photos) and even Jerry Houwer stopped by to watch.


From the very beginning, this grain project brought together many folks who share a heritage on our Potter County hilltop. Mike Snyder (who grew up just down the road from here) graciously transported the seed from Penn Yan to us on one of his trips to lend a hand to his son, John (proprietor of Olga's Cafe and Gallery in Coudersport).

This Crandall Hill heritage also includes this John Deere combine that rumbled along in these fields back in the 1950s.
Walter Metzger on the tractor with either Arthur Matteson or
Arthur Metzger Sr. on the JD Combine.
Perhaps the photographer Wanda Gooch Metzger can tell us

Wondering what we're going to do with the organic wheat we harvested? I'll show you in the next blog post - somewhat reminiscent of the Little Red Hen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Certified Organic by Pennsylvania Certified Organic

Friday marked our last day at the Potter County Farmers' Market. It was a cold, damp day and all the vendors huddled around the courthouse square shivered and struggled with making change as the winds threatened to blow away our hard-earned dollars!
Preparation for this final Farmers' Market included the adding of this label to our business cards and produce bags. You could say it was a labor of love ...
And then there's the sign (laminated at the very last minute by our friend Andy Kulp at KOS).

So ... do you think we're a little bit proud of this accomplishment?