Thursday, August 25, 2011

Serving Organic Locally Grown Potatoes

We made a visit to the Genesee Environmental Center on Sunday morning to enjoy their breakfast buffet and to deliver the first batch of Metzger Heritage Farm potatoes to be used in their restaurant. Larry and Diana Hinrichsen (pictured at the right) are our longtime friends and owners of Genesee Natural Foods. They also operate the Environmental Center, serving breakfast on Sundays (8 am to 1 pm) and catering to special events. Chef Mike Budnyk (left) prepares a weekly buffet (with excellent service by Charlene Hemphill) that will include our organic locally-grown potatoes served up as luscious homefries. Since commercial potatoes are one of the "dirty dozen"( ), the Hinrichsens were delighted to have a local source for an organic option.
The Olga Cafe and Bistro in Coudersport has also featured our potatoes in soup and salad this year.
We're working on plans to offer our 22 varieties of organic potatoes for sale through Genesee Natural Foods, both at their store in Genesee and through their distribution network that reaches natural food stores in the northeast.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Swiss Chard

I had Swiss Chard for sale at the Farmer's Market in Coudersport today and many folks shared that they'd never tried it. Below I've posted a couple of recipes. If you'd like me to harvest some especially for you, either comment here or send an email to
Swiss Chard is a versatile green – sturdier than spinach, and it boasts a delicate flavor compared to other sturdy greens like kale or turnip greens. We plant Bright Lights Chard that features different color stalks. No matter what color they are, chard stalks are edible and add texture and flavor. Chard is a nutritional powerhouse, boasting high levels of calcium and potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene, as well as two carotenoids which can help protect the eyes against vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

1 1/2 Tb butter
1 1/2 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
A pinch of dried crushed red pepper
2 bunches Swiss Chard, cut into strips

Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chard; stir to coat. Cover; cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serves 4

Here's a recipe for a chard tart – perhaps a bit complicated for some but the flavor is amazing.
Swiss Chard Tart
1c whole wheat flour
1c unbleached white flour
1/2t salt
1/2c water
1/2c olive oil
Stir until well blended and knead briefly. Press into 11" tart pan and refrigerate for an hour.
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 pound Swiss Chard, chopped
2T fresh basil (11/2t dried)
1/4t salt
1/8t black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 c half and half or milk
1c grated parmesan
Saute onion in a splash of olive oil. Add greens and saute for 10 minutes. Season with basil, salt and pepper and allow to cool a bit. In bowl combine eggs, half and half and parmesan, add greens, pour into crust.
Bake in lower half of oven until filling is firm 40-45 minutes. Cool to room temp before serving

Marketing Locally Grown Produce

There are new surprises in the garden every day! Some are the good kind - like the beautiful cucumber that was waiting for me to pluck it from its leafy vine yesterday. Some are the bad kind, like the cabbage that was a snack for some animal (deer?) last evening. I am keeping a close eye on our shallots as they develop bulbs and the edamame soybean pods as they plumpen toward the perfect time to pick.
As mentioned in a previous post, our plans for this season were seriously curtailed but we do have some extra produce for market in addition to our main crop of potatoes.
I snapped a picture of this market box I prepared for a customer this morning. She was delighted to get some baby summer squash, new red and purple potatoes, green beans, lettuce, beets and Swiss Chard. If a basket similar to this interests you, please let me know and I'll put one together.
I'm currently sitting on the courthouse square in Coudersport at the Farmer's Market. It's held here every Saturday beginning around 9 a.m. Stop down and see me and the other farmers.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Vegetable Lover!

Our grandson, Rowan lives with his mom (our daughter) and dad (pictured here) and baby sister in eastern Oregon. Rowan enjoys their big backyard garden where he harvests little cherry tomatoes, peas, strawberries and other treats. Rowan also enjoys visiting the chicken coop every afternoon to gather eggs. Like his parents, he loves the outdoors. Rowan will celebrate his second birthday in September.
We had the privilege of spending an extended period with Rowan and his folks in the spring after he was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor (a form of kidney cancer) in March. He weathered surgery to remove the tumor and an 18-week regimen of chemotherapy and now shows no evidence of disease.
While we were "out west" (folks in Oregon refer to Pennsylvania as "back east"), our son Joe, his friend Jen, and a legion of friends and family did an amazing job getting 250 lbs. of seed potatoes in the ground, along with rows and rows of peas, shallots, beets and other plantings. While our plans for the farm year were somewhat de-railed, I have been amazed at how the farm has come together this growing year. We're able to offer some vegetables for sale at the Farmer's Market and at Costa's ShurSave Food Shop. We took potatoes, Swiss Chard and lettuce to the fledging Roulette Farmer's Market on Monday. John Snyder used our peas and new potatoes to prepare gourmet offerings at Olga's Cafe and Bistro in Coudersport.
In the next couple of weeks, our farm focus will be on the continuing harvest of new potatoes. If you'd like to try any of the 22 varieties, come by the Farmer's Market in Coudersport (Saturdays beginning at 9 am) or in Roulette (Mondays beginning at 2:30 pm at the library) or send an email to us at