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!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Certified Organic CSA!

Nobody can deny that this has been a very cold spring. I hear the furnace rumble in the cellar as I   and look out over frosty fields this morning. There's a hint of green only where the spring runs behind the house. Will the patches of snow in shady spots melt into the ground on this day?
Here on the farm Rytz and Laura are busy getting ready for our first-ever CSA, set to launch on June 8. We've had a great response but still have space for more members.

Have your ordered your CSA share yet?
Click on the link below for information and pricing.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Announcing Our CSA

Ever since I learned about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in a long-ago conversation with Joe Bailey and his mother Natalie Phelps, it's seemed like a great way to run a small farm.
That's why it's such exciting news that 2018 will be the year that Metzger Heritage Farm CSA boxes will find their way off Crandall Hill each week. There's nothing better than sharing our best produce with our community.
The Metzger Heritage Farm Organic CSA will be lovingly managed by Rytz Bowman and Laura Mangan, who joined us on the farm last summer to put into action the concepts they'd learned in Maine and Florida. They're back this summer full of enthusiasm and bursting with plans!

A “CSA Share” is a simple idea (very much like buying a magazine subscription) in which a “member” buys a “share” of a farmer’s harvest at the beginning of the growing season, and then comes to the farm each week to pick up their “share” of the farm’s vegetable harvest. Other pickup options are also available.
To celebrate this day, we are offering an additional $10 off of full share signups from through midnight March 30.  Just use coupon code SUPPORT during checkout. 
Head over to: to sign up for yours.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Consider These Tomato Varieties

New Girl Tomato - Johnny's Selected Seeds
Are you thinking about planting tomatoes in your home garden this summer? Why not consider one of the USDA Certified Organic varieties we can start for you.

Pictured above is the New Girl tomato. We grew this tomato for the first time in the 2017 growing season. Vigorous plants yielded cluster after cluster of good-sized, flavorful fruits until frost claimed them in October. With its short (62 day) season, you should have good luck with this variety.

Oregon Spring Tomato - Fedco Seeds
Oregon Spring is one of the earliest tomatoes at 58 days from transplant. The Fedco catalog says it's "recommended as a hedge in northern climates for cold summers." This variety has been a favorite of northern growers since the 1980s.

Stupice Tomato - Uprising Organic Seeds
Stupice has been part of my garden forever! It's often the first tomato (55 - 70 days) to ripen and continues to produce through the end of the season. Stupice bears smaller-size fruit (2-3 inches) with a deep red color. It's described in the seed catalog as a "reliable old friend." The biggest problem is how to pronounce it!

Moskvich Tomato - High Mowing Organic Seeds
The Moskvich tomato is another old favorite of mine. The seed catalog describes it this way: "...deep red color and luscious, rich flavor. Great eaten fresh or processed. Like all Russians, it can stand up to cool conditions."

Other varieties include: Rose De Berne, German Johnson, Sweetie Cherry, Black Cherry, Weisnicht's, Brandywine, Sophie's Choice, Silvery Fir Tree, Cherokee Purple, Cherokee Chocolate, Amish Paste, Northern Ruby Paste, Roma.

Let's have a conversation so I can get your plants started in time for transplant when frost danger has passed at the end of May.

Let's start the conversation via email:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fast Time

Metzger Heritage Farm, late winter 2018
stubborn snow drifts
Arthur's grandfather used to call it fast time. Along with most of the country, we dutifully reset clocks ahead one hour Sunday morning and today fought to to arise early to capture the daylight we've saved.

Daylight Savings Time is the final buzzer of the farm planning season for me. I've completed the seed orders and the fat envelopes have begun to arrive. The pots, seed trays and potting mix are stacked and ready. I keep my fingers crossed that when the time comes to turn on the water in the greenhouse,  we will be awarded with instant gurgling and a steady stream of water.

Have you given thought to your home garden needs as the days have lengthened? I am happy to offer you a selection of USDA Certified Organic plants so you can grow your own organic vegetables. 

Most consumers don't realize that commercially-produced vegetable and flowers are grown with large amounts of chemical fertilizers to promote lush plant growth, boosted by systemic and sprayed pesticides to control insects. You have no way of knowing exactly what has been done to those plants!

All our plants are started in a heated greenhouse with a supplemental light source. At Metzger Heritage Farm, we have always used organic methods. Our USDA Organic Certification is your assurance that our plants are grown to exacting NOP standards, beginning with certified organic seeds.

I'll post additional information in coming days but let's have an email conversation to discuss your needs - I will need to have all orders for seedlings by March 25 to allow enough time to have plants ready for transplant after frost danger has passed.

garlic under its protective mulch

"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn"
- Hal Borland

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Certified Organic Plant Starts

Seeds have been ordered and I'm anxious to get growing!
For the past couple of years I have been growing USDA Certified Organic plant starts in our heated greenhouse for sale to home growers who are looking for vegetable plants grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers. They're the same plants we use in our USDA Certified Organic operation.
In 2018, I will be happy to start plants for those who pre-order and make a small deposit. I will need to have your orders by March 25.
Because your plants will be grown specifically for you, we will need to communicate about your needs. Please send me an email at to begin the conversation. Prices per tomato or pepper plant (in 3- or 4-inch pots) will be between $3.50 and $4.50 depending upon seed costs.
In past years I have offered tomato and peppers only. This year I can also provide squash (winter and summer), onion plants, cucumbers and more. Prices for these will be based on my costs.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tomatoes in February

This photo captured my attention last week when looking for something else in my photo files.

late season tomato harvest 2017 on Crandall Hill
I'm not sure how many tomato varieties are represented but I can quickly identify Green Zebra, Yellow Pear, Sweetie Cherry, Cherokee Chocolate, Black Cherry, Roma Paste, Amish Paste, Black Sea Man and Stupice. I can almost smell the particular tomato scent, almost taste the sweet, complex, deep flavors, almost feel the splash of sun-warmed juice on my chin.

But, it's February, and it's cold, and it's snowy and these tomatoes are but a colorful memory.

Author Barry Estrabrook writes:

"I think wanting a tomato in the dead of winter - or wanting a little bit of orange on the plate inherent in a lot of our shopping decisions. We expect an ingredient to be on the supermarket shelves 365 days a year, whether or whether not it's in season or tastes any good. It's the price we pay for insisting we have food out of season and not local." 

supermarket tomatoes
"We all know what industrial tomatoes taste like (or don't)
but they have only a fraction of the vitamins that the tomatoes
my mother fed to me in the 1960s did" - Barry Estabrook
"Tomatoes are bred to be perfectly formed so they can make their way across the United States and onto your dinner table without cracking or breaking," writes Estabrook in his best-selling book, "Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit."

"Corporate agriculture does one thing, and only one thing, extremely well. It puts incredibly cheap food on our tables. But that cheapness comes at an incredible cost to the environment, to workers, to rural communities, and to food quality - in terms of both nutrition and taste...
We foodies and people in the sustainable food movement chant these mantras, 'local, seasonal, organic, fair-trade, sustainable,' and they almost become meaningless because they're said so often and you see them in so many places. If you strip all those away, they do mean something, and what they mean is that you end up with something like a Florida tomato in the winter — which is tasteless."

In this interview, Estabrook, elaborates on changes since "Tomatoland" was published in 2011.