Saturday, December 1, 2018

Chicken-less Coop

I've had a love-hate relationship with keeping chickens. We haven't had chickens on the farm for several years, mostly because we have been spending chunks of time in the winter away from the farm.
Over the years, our flocks have been housed in this old chicken coop that sits not far from the shop and house. At various times, it's been surrounded by a chicken fence but the chickens were free-ranging more often than not. Our children can tell stories about gathering eggs and encounters with a miserable rooster!

Pa's chicken coop captured in the late-summer sunshine
still bearing scorched siding from a fire in the 1970s.
Imagine how delighted we were to come across these old photos documenting the construction of this venerable coop.
Dawn Metzger Newton hanging out the window
Carol Metzger Wilkerson (in the overalls) playing in the
chicken yard

J. Walter Metzger (known as 'Pa' to grandson Artie)
appears to be cutting tarpaper siding.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Grandma Metzger's Apple Cider Pie

Thanksgiving this year marked our Metzger Matriarch's birthday and we have been celebrating with her for days. Wanda has enjoyed the company of both her children this week.
The old farmhouse kitchen has seen lots of activity with many hands contributing to traditional and untraditional holiday treats.
Thanksgiving/birthday desserts featured Wanda's favorite yellow cake with lemon filling courtesy of her niece Paula. Sister-in-law Dawn offered mincemeat pie with homemade mincemeat
And Carol Metzger Wilkerson created two pies - pumpkin pecan and the special pie you see here.

Carol and her husband Roger make their home in Portland, Oregon and her Thanksgiving table wouldn't be complete without apple cider pie. This recipe came from Grandma Thelma Metzger and when Carol heard of our bumper crop of apples plus fresh cider from our organic apples, she knew what she'd contribute to the meal.

Notice Wanda's initial decorating the crust

With her permission, I am sharing the recipe. We still have lots of USDA Certified Organic apples staying fresh in the cooler. Contact us to make arrangements for purchase. We made a cider run on Monday. Our organic cider is offered for sale at Costa's Shursave Food Shop and Schoolhouse Natural Foods in Eldred. You can also make arrangements to buy it from the farm by calling 814-274-8004 or emailing

Grandma Metzger's Apple Cider Pie
1 unbaked pie shell (with top crust or consider topping with a crumb topping)
6 cups apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup cider
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. corn starch
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. butter

In saucepan, combine apples with cider, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until apples are barely tender. Drain liquid and add additional cider if necessary to give 1 1/2 cups of liquid. Set apples aside. Return liquid to pan and blend with cornstarch, lemon juice, spices and butter. Simmer together until thickened.
Layer apples in unbaked pie shell, pour liquid in unbaked shell. Add top crust. Bake at 350 until bubbly and crust is browned.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Potter County Organic Apple Cider!

We're offering our first-ever commercial run of apple cider using our USDA Certified Organic Apples for sale for a limited time.

You can find it at Costa's ShurSave Food Shop in Coudersport while supplies last. Gallon and half-gallon sizes are available.

Arthur and Todd Williams, Produce Manager at Costa's

You can also contact us to buy directly from the farm. Email or telephone (814) 274-8004.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

How Many Apple Varieties On Crandall Hill?

Here's information on the 2018 crop of USDA Certified Organic Apples. Call 814-274-8004 or email us at for additional information.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Faded Photograph

We've recently come across a couple of old photograph albums filled with memories of farm life in the 1940s and 1950s here on Crandall Hill.
This photo is of Arthur Metzger Sr. (on the right) and his father, J. Walter Metzger. They're tending to bees in the back yard, circa late 1940s. It's not surprising that there are still remnants of that beekeeping endeavor put into service in the 2018 version of beekeeping on the farm.
I  blogged about our honey bee adventure in 2017. In October last year, our Washington grandchildren enjoyed helping their Grandpa harvest honey.

Rowan was excited to use the smoker

Straight from the hive

Tasting is the best part!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Late Summer

The school bus rumbling by this morning sends yet another signal that summer is winding down. My last blog post was months ago as we looked forward to summer and the plants featured there have long since made their way into CSA shares.
I've done a poor job of chronicling life on the farm this summer for our 92-year-old Metzger family matriarch has faced a health crisis, bringing many changes to our world here on Crandall Hill.
But, due to the diligent and loving efforts of Laura and Rytz, CSA customers have enjoyed the bounty of our little USDA Certified Organic farm.
They've also had a major presence at the Potter County Farmers' Market each Friday in downtown Coudersport. This is the time of year that customers can enjoy the best of the season with tables laden with heirloom tomatoes, peppers of all colors and heat, cucumbers, beets, kale, chard, garlic, ground cherries, tomatilloes, cabbage, cauliflower, herbs, flowers... and early season apples.
The USDA Certified Organic designation assures you that your food is grown to exacting standards.  And with stories like this in the news every day, it becomes even more important to seek organic foods to nourish yourself and your family.
See you at the Market!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pops Of Color

I downloaded a camera roll of 52 pictures today and discovered photos of the fields shrouded in snow at the beginning ...

... and tomatoes reaching for their trellis as photo 52.

What a crazy spring we've enjoyed this year! And adding to the craziness is planning - and planting - for our first-ever CSA. If you've already joined, we thank you and provide you with a peek at what we're growing for you.

on the way to becoming red cabbage

Mesclun Mix
Mixed Lettuces
Baby Ruby Chard

And if you've not signed up yet, maybe the anticipation of enjoying vegetables such as these will prompt you to take one of the last available spots. Sign up today!