Thursday, September 9, 2010

Derelict in my duties

Hey friends of local food! Sorry I've been AWOL for a month. I've been doing a lot of cool stuff but haven't been writing about it. Honestly, I have been pretty tired, being almost five months pregnant with twin boys! Here's an update:

Yesterday, Chef Christine from the Kitchen Studio gave an AWESOME demo at the North Market Farmers Market and made both panzanella and corn salad. The dishes were simple, super-fresh, and they brought out the best in seasonal flavors. In other words, the samples went really fast! Chef Christine really knew how to draw in both kids and adults, and I realized while watching her demo that I would really enjoy taking one of her classes, maybe the farmer's market class, or the sushi class...

This past Friday 9/3 I worked with our Office of Sustainability at work (I work for Frederick County Government) to put together a brown bag lunch about local food. We had a panel that included Chef Bryan Voltaggio from Volt and Zoe Brittain and Sally Fulmer from the Common Market. These folks talked about how they work with local farmers to get local produce into their establishments, and what they get out of it. It was really a very smart conversation about how to create direct relationships that benefit the farmer, and how it these relationships benefit a local restaurant and grocery store. More than that, the speakers talked about intersecting profit with purpose, and it was a very engaging. We also talked a little about the loss of family farms, and other outlets to access farm products directly, including farmers markets, CSAs, and direct farm sales. One resource we shared was the 2010 farm guide published by the County's Office of Economic Development. Get a copy if you don't have one.

I didn't grow a garden this year- I started a bunch of seedlings in my friend Chad's greenhouse and then got caught up in things like making babies. Chad ended up planting some of my stuff (especially the lettuces) on his farm and got some enjoyment out of them. So I've been shopping a lot at the farmers markets this summer, more than I usually do, because I am determined to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season so that the babies get lots of good nutrition! Right now, I am obsessed with tomatoes and honeycrisp apples and watermelon.

I discovered Spriggs Delight Farm goat cheeses and am totally hooked. I am a cheese lover, and finding out I had a dairy sensitivity last year was a total bummer! But I was happy to discover that I could still eat goat and sheep's milk cheeses, and that has saved me from getting too skinny. I am a big fan of a lot of local goat cheese producers like Caprikorn farms. Each farm has totally different products despite using the same basic ingredient, and that's very exciting. Spriggs has very rustic, old-style cheeses with complex flavors. I tried the Hillside Feta and Torre cheeses yesterday for the first time and was so impressed. The Hillside Feta is smooth, creamy, and goaty without having the metallic tang that can sometimes infiltrate goat milk. It is honestly better than any other feta I have tried. The Torre is an aged, complex cheese with lots of character, despite being mellow- It's solidly in the stinky cheese category, in a good way. And the dairy also makes goat milk fudge- needless to say, I spent all of my farmer's market money there yesterday and then had to walk past the Cortland apples at Lewis Orchard and all of the other market goodies with a blind eye.

Three words: FRESH LOCAL EGGS. With the disgusting conditions revealed on a daily basis at the mega poultry operations in the midwest, I am SO GLAD to be eating local, free range, organic eggs. They also taste better. I got my last batch from Persimmon Pond at the West Frederick Farmers Market from Wendy and they were wonderful.

I hope you are enjoying the harvest season! Corn is coming to an end, but melons and squashes are reigning supreme. Tomatoes will be good until the first frost and then a little later as the green ones ripen. Enjoy apples- the different varieties will phase in and out- right now you have to try Cortland and Honeycrisp. Ooo, and don't forget peaches! And I see all of the summer vegetables are still hanging in there because of all the heat we've had. It's been a hard summer for your local farmers because of the heat and drought. It's a good time to appreciate your local farmer.


P.S. Sweet Potatoes.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Tomato Festival August 22

Our friends at Volt are having a Tomato Festival at the Big White Barn in Buckeystown on August 22nd. For $50, you can taste over 40 varieties of heirloom tomatoes and try dishes made by Frederick's own Bryan Voltaggio of Volt Restaurant. Sounds like a fun and fancy way to enjoy local food on a lazy Sunday afternoon!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Results of the Blueberry Challenge!

Hey pals! I'm behind! The banner on top of this website says it's still June. I am also a few days later than I wanted to be reporting the results of the blueberry challenge. C'est la vie! I am excited to report we had three entries for the blueberry challenge (four if you count my muffins and the awesome blueberry/peach cobbler that we ate before we remembered to take a picture of it):

It's always fun to do a challenge and see what people make! Thanks to the talented cooks who participated in the blueberry challenge- I want to come visit your houses now to thank you in person ;D


Simple tomato salad

We're having my parents over for dinner tonight, and we've decided to make picnic food (but eat it indoors- it's 100 degrees ouside!) Here's what's on the menu:

  • Devilled eggs (mom's recipe, but made by me with eggs from Chesapeake's Choice at the West Frederick Farmer's Market)
  • Potato salad (great grandmother's recipe, made by mom)
  • Baked beans (from a can)
  • Fresh fruit salad (with watermelon, peaches, blueberries and blackberries from the farmer's market)
  • Ribeye (from the Safeway)
  • Tomato salad (with tomatoes from the farmer's market) with basil, olive oil, and Cherry balsamic vinegar from Lebherz Oil and Vinegar Emporium (new place on Market Street-it's Lou's addiction)
Lou and I had to eat one of the eggs because it didn't look pretty enough. Now there is an empty hole in the egg tray. Too bad. There might be a few more holes before people get here. Lou is making the fruit salad- that might get a few holes in it too. The watermelon might be missing a few pieces already. We are bad.



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh this Week

  • Potatoes
  • Slicing tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Beets
  • Basil
  • Onion
  • and more!
From Farmer Rick

So what happens each week to make your veggies happen? Well our work team arrives at the farm at 8 a.m. At that time nothing is harvested yet for your boxes (except maybe potatoes). On a board in the packing area of our basement is the list for today's box. We start the day picking in the High Tunnels to beat the heat of the day. Tomatoes, greens and berries are picked first. Next we move on to the field crops. Generally 4 people are in our work team on CSA days.

At the same time we are taking restaurant orders for evening delivery. Today we took orders from Cafe Nola, Isabella's and Volt. Additionally we picked an order for the Common Market and MOM's. While the crew is picking, my two young nieces start packing in the packing area (that is why CSA members sometimes see smiley faces on the bags!). They weigh and bag potatoes, tomatoes, etc. When the field crew comes back in (like today with about 200 lbs of squash and zuch!) they start cleaning the produce and methodically placing it in the CSA box so each person's box is similar. We finish by cutting the herbs so they are still fresh. All this packing is in an area that is about 75 degrees so that the produce is not stressed.

We then pull my delivery van under a large awning to keep it cool and load the produce in order of our delivery route. About 3 p.m. (give or take--OK I run late a lot) I leave to deliver to the Frederick drop-off. Then downtown to the restaurants and out to the groceries. Then to Urbana. All the while the produce is in an air-conditioned van. We do the best we can to pick it fresh that day and keep it cool so when you get it it tastes like just out of the field. I hope you enjoy all our hard work.

Thanks for all your support and for the jobs you have helped create for our young work crew.

--Farmer Rick

Photo: Summer Creek CSA box contents, Week 10, 2009


Originally from central Africa and Southeast Asia, basil has long been cultivated as a culinary and medicinal herb. Traditionally, basil has been used in treatment of headaches, coughs, diarrhea, constipation, warts, worms and kidney malfunctions.
If you have an abundance of basil, try making pesto, which can be used as a spread (it’s great in grilled cheese sandwiches) or a sauce for pasta. To make a basic basil pesto, blend the following in a food processor:

2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup grated hard cheese (like parmesan or pecorino)

Serve pesto at room temperature (or no more than gently warmed - do not cook). Pesto freezes well for later use. Try adding a thin layer of olive oil on top before freezing, to help maintain the bright green color. If freezing, try adding the cheese after thawing.

Sources: Purdue University (basil facts) and Food Network (pesto recipe, modified)

Recipe Feature

This rustic tomato and bread salad is an excellent way to use leftover artisan bread from the farmer's market (or your oven), and tomatoes and basil. For the recipe, including a photo, cruise over to Frederick Foodie's blog.

Recipe: Christine Van Bloem

Link of the Week - Buy Local Challenge

Buy Local Challenge Week (July 17-25, 2010) encourages everyone to eat at least one local item per day for the week. You've probably been doing this without trying! For the rest of this week, consider trying the challenge. If you're already eating mostly local foods at home, try visiting one of the restaurants Farmer Rick mentioned above for some tasty, locally grown treats cooked by someone else!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

News from Truffle King

Greetings Chocolate Lovers:

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, there were things going on behind the scenes that had not been finalized. You may have noticed my recent absences at the Farmer’s Markets. I will be locating in August to Alexandria, VA. To help organize and pack for the move, I will no longer be at any of the Farmer’s Markets for the rest of July and there will be no production in August.

I’ll try and keep the Clustered Spires Pastry Shop on 285 Montevue Lane, Frederick stocked for the remainder of the month, but once inventory is gone, there will be no further production. Google directions are on my web site listed above. Clustered Spires is not far from the West Frederick Farmer’s Market on Baughman’s Lane, so you might stop there on your way home and pick up your truffles. They are open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm.

A special thanks to all my favorite customers for your inputs, patronage and mutual enjoyment of my truffles over the months and years. Once relocated and up and running again, I will send out an email, and perhaps we can do business again through the mail, or by some other method.

Monthly flavors for JULY:

DARK (58.5% Cacao)Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Heavy Cream Ganache enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

DARK/BLUEBERRY (58.5% Cacao)Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Heavy Cream, and Organic Blueberries enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

WHITE CHOCOLATE/COCONUT (35% Cacao Butter)Sweet White Chocolate, Heavy Cream, Organic Coconut Ganache enrobed in Sweet Milk Chocolate

MIXEDEqual mixes of all three flavors in boxes of 6 or 12

Yours for good chocolate,
Timothy Miller, Chocolatier

Imperial Chocolate Company
Frederick, MD
301 788-5278


Friday, July 16, 2010

Buy Local Challenge Week July 17-25!!!

From the press release:

Start Today!

Pledge to Eat Local during Buy Local Challenge Week, July 17-25, 2010

Every pledge counts! We invite you to take the pledge again this year and join the thousands across Maryland supporting Maryland's family farms during Buy Local Challenge Week, July 17-25, 2010.

Register your pledge now at Your pledge to "eat at least one item from a local farm every day during Buy Local Challenge Week" immediately puts your $'s to work in your neighborhood, ensuring that farms survive for future generations. Plus you're doing your part to maintain a cleaner, greener planet and provide safe, nutritious food for you and your family. If you have already registered your pledge - take the next step: starting today make your first purchase at a local farm, farm stand, farmers' market or winery; stock up at a grocer that offers genuine local products; or treat yourself to a meal at a restaurant that serves local farm food. Discover the bounty of Maryland's farms, and we hope you'll decide to shop local year round!

Need help finding Local? Visit for statewide directories to locate farm fresh products, meats, wines and more. Share your favorite Buy Local experience with your friends. The Buy Local Challenge website also hosts the BLC Online Community. This site allows you to upload information about BLC events, submit your photos, tips or recipes, to chat, or generally interact with other users in Maryland and around the nation.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Challenge: You have til July 18!

Hi there, blueberry lovers! Just a quick reminder that you have until July 18 to complete the blueberry challenge!

I have already gotten one submission already from my pal Omar Siddique. Pictured is his blueberry buckle. He makes these every year when the blueberries are in season. From Omar:
I made my usual blueberry buckle recipe, it's a firm-textured coffee-cake with a vast quantity of blueberries (about 4 cups), and a crisp streusel top. Pictured here for your viewing pleasure. The in-season berries were a little too juicy and seemed to burst disproportionally (making for a bit of a soggy cake on one side) but pleasing over-all.Recipe is from Cook's Illustrated, berries from
Larriland Farms.
You can see more pics of the buckle here.


Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh this Week

  • Potatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Squash
  • Green tomatoes
  • Basil
  • and more!
Notes from the Farm

The farm went from drought to mud this week. We went from fixing irrigation breakdowns to weed control. The rain is very welcome but the weeds go wild when it is hot and wet like this. Slicing tomatoes and peppers are coming on soon. Our cherry tomatoes are in four regional grocery stores this week. I hope you are enjoying them too. We pick on average 50 pints a day this time of year. At the same time we are planting for fall. More crops to continue our harvest through Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving we get a rest, for now we have too much to do!

--Farmer Rick

Green Tomatoes

Green tomatoes are simply regular tomatoes that haven't ripened yet. They are firmer in texture than ripe tomatoes, which are usually red.

There are probably as many fried green tomato recipes as there are Southern cooks. There are plenty of ways to coat and fry your sliced green tomatoes. First, season with salt and pepper. You could use bread crumbs (such as Panko), cracker crumbs, corn meal, flour or even crushed Corn Flakes for the outside coating. The coating will stick better if you coat the tomato slices with flour, then dip them in a beaten egg, then coat with your final outside layer. Then fry in a deep skillet or deep fryer.

Of course, you can always place the tomatoes in a brown paper bag and wait for them to ripen before using. You can find some tips on how to speed the process here. Store tomatoes in a cool place, but try to avoid refrigerating whole tomatoes, for better flavor. Once they are cut, leftover tomatoes should be refrigerated.

Thanks to Chef Christine Van Bloem and Shannon Moore for the green tomato tips.

Recipe Feature
Fried Green Tomatoes
2 medium to large green tomatoes, sliced thick
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup flour, seasoned to taste (salt, pepper, cayenne, etc. to taste)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs, or other coating of your choice
1 large egg, beaten with 2 tbsp water (egg wash)
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat butter and olive oil together in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (If you don't use a nonstick skillet, you'll need to use more butter and/or oil.)

Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper, and coat lightly with flour. Then dip in the egg wash, and coat with bread crumbs. Be sure the outside is completely covered.

Carefully place tomato slices in the heated oil/butter mixture and fry until the bottom is golden brown (4-5 minutes). Carefully flip and repeat on other side. If you have one, a fish spatula works well to flip delicate items with minimal disturbance of the coating.

Once both sides are golden brown, remove to drain on paper towels. Season again to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Recipe: April Finnen

Link of the Week - About Lycopene

According to the Mayo Clinic, "numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration." These studies were based on tomato intake, and while it is not clear that lycopene was the sole reason since tomatoes are high in a number of nutrients including lycopene, study participants who ate a lot of tomatoes fared better than those who didn't. So enjoy those tomatoes!

Summer Creek Farm
15209 Mud College Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
We are on facebook!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Truffle Flavors from Truffle King

Greetings Chocolate Lovers:

Last month I queried: what happened to Spring? Now that we’re into August weather in late June and early July, like all the plants, I’m confused. With the heat wave this week, and other complications, my Farmer’s Market appearances will be predicated on the weather and other circumstances. I’ll try and keep the Clustered Spires Pastry Shop on 285 Montevue stocked in case we miss each other. Google directions and hours are on my web site listed above.

I am still at the West Frederick Farmer’s Market from 10 am - 1 pm in the rear parking lot of the Physician’s Building at 110 Baughman’s Lane, Frederick (off of US 40) and should be there some Saturdays this month. Note: I do not attend the Farmer’s Market if it is raining or excessive heat; rain or excessive heat and chocolate just don’t mix. I am also contemplating a move, so may be in search of housing some Saturdays this month.

I am also set up from 3 pm - 7 pm at the brand new Farmer’s Market on Market Street in the parking lot of the old Jay-Carmack Building. Again, excessive heat precludes my appearance, but if you live or work downtown, you should check this market out. It has some very fine vendors, great produce, meats, honey and other items.

13 July I will be at the special Ft. Detrick Farmer’s Market in front of NCIS Library from 11 am - 1:30 pm.

You can continue to stop by the Clustered Spires Pastry Shop (directions on the website) 285 Montevue Lane, Frederick 11 am- 2 pm Tuesday-Saturday and pick some up during the week or call me for alternate pick-up times or for mail orders.

Monthly flavors for JULY:

DARK (58.5% Cacao)
Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Heavy Cream Ganache enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

DARK/BLUEBERRY (58.5% Cacao)
Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Heavy Cream, and Organic Blueberries enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Sweet White Chocolate, Heavy Cream, Organic Coconut Ganache enrobed in Sweet White Chocolate

Yours for good chocolate,

Timothy Miller, Chocolatier
Imperial Chocolate Company
Frederick, MD
301 788-5278


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blogger's Challenge: Blueberries

We're in the middle of blueberry season. For me, that means I hit the farmers' markets several times a week, buy a pint of blueberries and eat them all by the next day. Blueberries are wonderful in baking, and with meats, but I just can't seem to let them sit around long enough for that to happen. This week, after I got a pint from Glade Link Farms at the West Frederick Farmers Market, I decided after my third or fourth handful that I would make the rest into blueberry muffins. This was quite a sacrifice, I must tell you.

I bought a cookbook recently of gluten-free recipes called "Artisanal Gluten-Free Cookbook" and had been experimenting with it the past two weeks. So far everything I had made with it was tasty, but the leavening was totally not working, and the recipes seemed gummy. This might have been due to the brands of flour I was using- I hear that Bob's Red Mill Brown Rice flour is not milled finely enough to rise well in GF recipes. I made a flat, gummy lemon poppyseed bread that everyone loved and chocolate chip scones using the flour mix recommended in the book with a recipe from another book that was also tasty but flat. Since I had already made up a big batch of the flour mix that is the basis for all the recipes in the book, I was loathe to abandon it. I decided to use the blueberry muffin recipe from the book, but double the baking soda it called for and halve the xanthan gum (xanthan gum makes doughs stretchy and is used in lieu of gluten, You can also use it to make instant pudding out of just about any liquid. It's weird stuff, both creepy and impressive. I got mine at the Common Market). The product is the picture you see above. These muffins rose, they browned, they tasted like regular blueberry muffins. I could not have been happier.

This leads me to my next point: all of you bloggers and tweeters and food lovers out there, I am inviting you to participate in a blueberry challenge. Make a dish involving blueberries, and then either post a picture or send me one. Feel free to include the recipe if you like. You have until July 18th to make something out of blueberries and post it up. At the end of the challenge, I'll post a link or pictures to everyone's blueberry dishes. Have fun!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Fresh this Week from Rohrer's Meats

With the nice weather this week I'm trying to bale hay. Hopefully I will still be in one piece and functioning well for the markets.

With the holiday this weekend you might want to get an early start shopping or also avoid the lines at the Frederick market. This is where the Friday afternoon market at Grace Community Church is an alternative. The church is located just west of Frederick on Alternate Route 40 next to Trout Liquors. Hours are 3 until 7 PM. At today's market I will start out with frozen meats. I hope to be back from the butchershop by 6 if you want fresh product for your holiday cookout. I will have a full selection of fresh beef, pork, and lamb when I return. I will also have the first sweet corn of the season and hopefully peaches as well. Everyone knows that the first local corn of the season tastes the best since we have been waiting for it since last fall. There should also be red raspberries, blackberries, squash and other vegetables.

My full product line will be available Saturday as well. Scenic View called to tell me they will have sweet corn and lots of peaches at the market this week. Every week new fruits and vegetables will be ripening making your farm market shopping experience more enjoyable.The Saturday market is open every week from 10 AM until 1 PM at 110 Baughmans Lane.

Enjoy the break from the heat and I hope to see you at the markets.

Rohrer's Meats


Chef's Challenge with Bryan Voltaggio at the market

Chef Bryan Voltaggio of Volt Restaurant (and who can forget, runner-up on Top Chef to his own brother, after a nail biting competition and decision by the judges) was at the North Market Farmers Market on Wednesday for a Chef's Challenge. Bryan actually started the Chef's Challenges at the West Frederick Farmers Market last year- he was a big supporter of the market and had just filmed the episodes for Top Chef. I think he had really enjoyed cooking in front of people in a pressured environment on that show, because he suggested to me that he'd like to do a challenge at the market. The way we decided to do it was with just one chef for logistics, and the challenge would be that he would have to go around the market, get products from the different stands, and cook a dish onsite using what he found. Even before the Top Chef episodes aired, his Chef's Challenges were very popular with the customers, who would watch him cook things like lamb loin on a camp stove under a shade structure. Though his tools were crude, his finished product was always exquisite. Iron Chef meets MacGyver.

This time Chef made a poached egg with soft polenta, a vegetable and bacon hash, and potato souffles. He had much fancier equipment, but still explained how people could make the dishes themselves at home.

To make a soft polenta, he used three parts broth to one part polenta. He suggests never to use a metal whisk in a metal pan like he is doing here. Use a wooden spoon so the metals don't get in the food.
The egg was poached at 63 degrees C, the temperature at which the yolk and the white are the same consistency.

Bryan sweated onions and peppers, which means he cooked them to translucent without browning. He also added lardons, which are small strips of thick bacon about a few millimeters wide and an inch long. He also added Swiss chard.

The potato souffles are little slices of potato that are first fried at 250 degrees and then deep fried at 450 until they puff. Each of the souffles has a little dehydrated something on top. Bryan taught the audience how they could make their own dehydrated herbs in the microwave.

The audience really enjoyed Bryan and I enjoyed emceeing with him. The first Chef's Challenges we did last year, I prompted him a lot because he would get really involved in cooking. But this time he was a seasoned pro, and explained his processes really fluidly- it's obvious that being what the Denver Post recently called himself and his brother, the "hottest chefs in the country", has given him tons of practice to be not only an excellent chef, but also one who knows how to entertain. Thanks so much to Bryan for his ongoing support of the farmers and farmers' markets, and for having his wonderful restaurant, Volt, here in Frederick.


Woman About Town

FiND iT FREDERiCK has a very dedicated person known as Woman About Town, or WAT, who attends various events downtown and writes about them with chipper enthusiasm. This gal has made it her mission to visit all of the farmers' markets in Frederick County and report back on them. It's wonderful for the markets and propably pretty fun for WAT too. She writes about here experiences on her blog, which I have linked to here. Her most recent post, from the Chef's Challenge at the North Market Farmers Market with Bryan Voltaggio, is here.

I was meaning to look out for her at the Chef's Challenge but got sucked in to my emcee role and forgot. Maybe WAT and I can meet up some time soon and talk turkey.



Friday, June 18, 2010

Fresh this Week from Rohrer's Meats

Greetings from the farm. Things are so busy here on the farm I need two of me to keep up. I have thought about asking the local veterinarians about getting myself cloned, but decided that might not be a good idea because most of you would say one of me is more than enough already.

Father's Day weekend has arrived already. And while dad would love a special dinner, he most likely would prefer grilling farm fresh meats at home rather than going to some crowded restaurant. I had extra animals processed this week to hopefully keep up with the demand. I will have my complete line of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and eggs. A good supply of pulled pork has been made. English bacon is ready this week. Janet has started "jamming" so different combinations of strawberry jellies will be available.

For those of you wanting to avoid the Saturday market crowds or get an early start on the weekend, I am at the Grace Community Church farmers market every Friday from 3 until 7 PM. This is just a short hop away, along Alternate Route 40 just before Braddock and next to Trout Liquors. Frozen meats are available early, but I return with fresh meats by 6. We will also have red raspberries, black raspberries, sweet cherries, a few sour cherries, spring onions, and red beets. Sour cherries are in very short supply this year. This is a small market, but there are also baked goods, vegetables, and some crafts available.

Eat fresh, be well, and I will see you at the market,

Rohrer's Meats


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh This Week

  • New red potatoes
  • Snow peas
  • Red Russian kale
  • English shelling peas
  • Radishes
  • Fresh garlic bulbs
    ... and more!

Notes from the Farm

Busy time at the farm, baled hay yesterday and unloaded in the barn before the rains. Dug some new potatoes till after dark to beat the rain. Our workers picked all day in the rain Thursday to get you fresh produce, by lunch they were drenched! Fresh peas are not easy to pick in the rain. Wet vines all over searching for those pods.

Tomatoes are growing, vines are over 4' tall now. Squash in bloom, beans starting to flower, soon more summer produce will be on it's way. I hope you have enjoyed our offerings so far.

--Farmer Rick


A member of the cabbage family, kale is a hearty green. As such, it needs to be cooked thoroughly. For best results, blanch kale (boil briefly) before sauteeing with a little olive oil and garlic, or other spices.

Kale is a nutrition powerhouse - 1 cup has 206% the recommended daily value of vitamin A, and 134% of Vitamin C. It's also a good source of fiber--just like many of our CSA items--and has 2 grams of protein per serving. Kale keeps best in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. This week's box may have Red Russian Kale (pictured) or Tuscan kale (also known as Lacinato kale), which has a crinkly texture and darker color, earning it the nickname black kale.

Sources: Fine Cooking and NutritionData

Recipe Feature

Crispy Kale Chips

If you think your family won't eat kale, try this. It's important to dry the leaves thoroughly before cooking, or they won't be as crispy.

1 bunch kale

1-2 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder (optional - any combination you wish)
sea salt, to taste (important: add the salt after baking!)
Preheat oven to 350, and line a large cookie sheet (with sides) or baking pan with parchment paper. Wash kale, and dry thoroughly. Cut kale into bite-size pieces. Drizzle olive oil over kale, coating the leaves as evenly as possible. Add spices, if using (but NOT salt yet). Spread the leaves into a thin layer on the parchment, and put in oven for 12-20 minutes. Check at 12 minutes. Kale is done when it is crispy with a texture almost like paper. Do not allow the leaves to brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe: modified from Steamy Kitchen


The Week in Farmers Markets

I went to the opening of the North Market Farmers Market yesterday and chatted with both the vendors and the customers. That is kind of my thing. I do volunteer marketing for farmers markets. I like to take the pulse. I chat with people, design logos, organize occasional events like chef's challenges, and post things on facebook. My intent is to help the farmers connect to the consumers with more than just product. So I guess I am kind of a social organizer volunteer. I like to do it. It's fun. I was really excited yesterday because, despite the rain, the vendors were very happy. They were happy with the market location, with the turnout, with selling out of some items on their first day. They were happy with the spot they got in the market, or with the music, or whatever. The customers were happy too. They were happy to have the parking lot of the empty complex full of local food. They were excited about how delicious the cherries were, and were sharing them with other customers because they were so good. In fact, the only feedback I could get about improvements was from my boyfriend, who suggested that the market needed more visible signage and had room for more vendors. This is a really good sign. This market is going to do well. Will Morrow did an excellent job with the variety and quality of vendors that he put together when organizing the market. It really showed. The Market also benefitted awesomely from all of the supporting actors like the Downtown Frederick Partnership, Frederick Tourism, Volt Restaurant, the many bloggers and tweeters and facebookers, and of course all of my friends and their big mouths. And my little sister, who distributed hundreds of door hangers. And my boyfriend, who talked to the restaurateurs and chefs about the market. Thanks to everyone who made it out to the market on a drizzly day, because it had an awesome opening day.

The Shab Row and Everedy Square Farmers Market is today from 3-6. I have been hoping that the North Market Farmers Market will increase traffic to the Everedy Square market. With more people aware that the markets exist, clientele increases for all of the markets. A rising tide floats all boats.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

North Market Farmers Market Opens June 9

Too bad we can't have yesterday's weather today. The air was cool, the sky mostly clear except for a few stray puffy clouds. Today is drizzly with possible thunderstorms...and the opening of the North Market Farmers Market. Will Morrow and I emailed this morning and he is going to go forward rain or shine. People don't melt. Bring an umbrella. The market is at 331 North Market Street in Downtown Frederick, in the lot of the old Carmack-Jays next to Olde Towne Tavern.

The market has 12 vendors, several of which will be familiar to you from the West Frederick and Everedy Square markets. Some will be new to you, and they are new to me too- I am excited to check them out. There is a really good variety of products at the market:

  • Glade Link Farm (cut flowers, berries, vegetables)
  • Washington Street Gardens (plants and vegetables)
  • Tomatoes Etc. (vegetables)
  • Lewis Orchard (fruit)
  • Bella Terra Farm (vegetables, cut flowers)
  • Rettland Farm (Beef, pork, eggs)
  • Goose Creek Farm (baked goods, lamb, beef, cut flowers)
  • Kiparoo Farms (soap, wool, yarn, handknits)
  • Truffle King (chocolates)
  • Local Raw Honey
  • Pennys Plants (plants and herbs)
  • Whitmore Farm (lamb, pork, rabbit, vegetables)

I hope you can make it!


Monday, June 7, 2010

Fresh this Week from Truffle King

Greetings Chocolate Lovers:

What happened to Spring? Seems like we went directly from winter to August. While we can’t change the weather, we can console ourselves; what better way to treat yourself than a box of handmade gourmet truffles?

I am still at the West Frederick Farmer’s Market from 10 am - 1 pm in the rear parking lot of the Physician’s Building at 110 Baughman’s Lane, Frederick (off of US 40) and should be there most Saturdays. Note: I do not attend the Farmer’s Market if it is raining; rain and chocolate just don’t mix.

8 June I will be at the opening Ft. Detrick Farmer’s Market in front of NCIS Library from 11 am - 1:30 pm.

You can continue to stop by the Clustered Spires Pastry Shop (directions on the website) 285 Montevue Lane, Frederick 11 am- 2 pm Tuesday-Saturday and pick some up during the week or call me for alternate pick-up times or for mail orders.

Monthly flavors for JUNE:

DARK (58.5% Cacao)
Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Heavy Cream Ganache enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

DARK/COFFEE (58.5% Cacao)
Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Heavy Cream, and Organic Coffee Ganache enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Sweet Milk Chocolate, Heavy Cream, Organic Raspberry Ganache enrobed in
Sweet Milk Chocolate

Yours for good chocolate,

Timothy Miller, Chocolatier

Imperial Chocolate Company
Frederick, MD
301 788-5278


Friday, June 4, 2010

Local food in the local blogosphere

It's the time of year when the local twitterers and bloggers are posting about their gardens and adventures with local food. Here's a rollup:

frederickfoodie is having a Farmer's Market class at The Kitchen Studio on July 30 & 31 to teach folks how to really work the markets!

April of 1000 pizza doughs posts pictures of her garden that is ACTUALLY GROWING despite fears to the contrary. She also posts pictures of her greens. I am jealous, because I neglected mine so long in my friend's greenhouse that he planted them in his own garden. He said, "you can come visit the farm if you want some lettuce".

Chelsea of figs and twigs is eating greens for breakfast with beans and hot sauce. Sounds very refreshing.

Fred Foodie ate "halibut on a white asparagus risotto with a rhubarb ginger compote for lunch at VOLT last week and it was absolutely the best piece of fish that I have ever had. Just perfectly cooked: moist and flaky. I was sad to finish it. It sounds lame but I actually had a dream about it that night! I don’t usually dream about food. Anybody have food dreams?" I do. I am dreaming of that dish right now. Bryan always does a great job with fish, and the rest of the dish, sprinkled with fresh local ingredients like rhubarb and asparagus, sounds divine. Speaking of restaurants, I learned today that the Tasting Room uses a lot of local produce too. Good to hear.

The Frederick Community Garden Association asks, "What issues do you want to see addressed in our community? " I would like to see greater access of fresh local food to people of all economic backgrounds, particularly in school lunches. I would also like to see a formal connection between the food bank and local farms, and I would like to see a nonprofit food distribution company in Frederick that bridges the distance between farmers and retailers while allowing the farmers to maintain a greater share of profits. Just some thoughts.

House in the Woods is having goat adventures, which you will have to check out for yourself (it's very sweet).

The intermittent gourmet at real food * real life has taken the dirty dozen list of fruits and vegetables (from the Environmental Working Group as published at cnn) that are laden with pesticide residue and has turned it into a cute chart. way to go!

That Farmers Market Chick has joined I support farmers' markets on facebook. Me too! It's a pretty cool page.

Hilda from Volt visited the Elk Run Winery. She goes to the coolest places to learn more about their sources.

I think we are due for a blogger's challenge soon, where we pick a farm fresh product and ask everyone to make something out of it and post pictures. Hmm. I wonder what that will be!


Catching up

Though I haven't been posting much here recently, I have been a busy bee working on farmers market stuff. Here's an update of some cool things that I have been working on that you might enjoy:

I have been working with my friend Will Morrow to help set up the North Market Farmers Market. Will is organizing the market, which will be Wednesdays 3-7PM beginning June 9 at the old Carmack Jays site next to Old Towne Tavern on Market Street in downtown Frederick (331 North Market Street). I am really excited about this market; Market Street is actually named after a farmers market that started back in 1746 by a man named Daniel Dulaney, who had laid out the town of Frederick a year before on part of Taskers Chance.

According to the City of Frederick, Dulaney's "vision for Frederick-Town was clear, having encouraged the development of the surrounding area with productive grain farms, his new town would serve as a regional market town; a place to gather agricultural products for refinement, shipment or local sale, and where goods could be purchased by town residents and the surrounding community...In 1746, Dulaney received permission from the Proprietary to hold a weekly market at Frederick-Town, and by 1747 he was placing advertisements in the Maryland Gazette for a fair “at Frederick-Town, near Monocacy,” and a market “to be held there every Saturday." The press release for the market, put out by Colby Ferguson from Frederick County Economic Development, has a great quote from Will:

“After a 52 year hiatus we're bringing the Farmers Market back to Market Street,” stated Will Morrow of Whitmore Farm, and Market organizer. “The oldest and longest running Farmers Market used to be on Market Street. The original market was established in 1746 and served as the center of agricultural commerce for Frederick County for 212 years!”
So far the market will have meat, fruit, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, cut flowers, soaps, plants, fiber, and yarn. Will is still talking to vendors so there may be even more. Check out the market on facebook. I designed the logo :)

I also worked on a logo for the Big White Barn Tomato Festival with my friend Hilda. I'll follow up when I have more details.

Other than this past weekend when I went camping, I have been going to the West Frederick Farmers Market a lot. My boyfriend is addicted to the fat asparagus spears at Scenic View Orchard. The season for that is probably close to over, which is sad. On the other hand, it's really fun to be able to eat the foods that are in season at the times when they are available; they are more special that way. I can't wait for blueberries and tomatoes to be in.

The Shab Row and Everedy Square Farmers Market opened for the season on Thursday. I didn't make it this week but am hoping to go next week.

I talked to Colby Ferguson and we chatted about market stuff. He runs the Virtual Farmers Market, organizes the Family Festival at the Farm, and publishes the Wine Trail Brochure and Frederick County Farm Guide. Colby says there's a bunch of new markets coming this year, including one in Myersville and maybe one in New Market. There are farmers markets every day of the week now in Frederick County except Monday. I hope all of these markets are successful.

The 2010 farm guide is out, and Colby needs to get a pdf of it to put it on his website, because he still has the 2009 guide up. That guide is useful. I did see that the Truffle King had the new printed guides at his booth at the West Frederick Farmers Market on Saturday, so you can get one from him.

If you are interested in buying a CSA share and have not done so yet, visit here.

My little sister Precious and I visited our friend Chad from Chad Stull Organic Produce and Mount Zion CSA in his greenhouse yesterday. I haven't seen him much recently, but when you have friends that are farmers, you never see them this time of year unless you help out on their farms or at least visit them there. That's how it goes. Chad had kept our tomato seedlings alive that we had planted and then so rudely neglected. Other than a few weeds that I pulled out, they looked good. I need to transplant them.

I am having friends over for dinner on Saturday, and I can't wait to see what is at the market on Saturday morning.



Fresh this Week from Cakes for Cause

Farmers’ Market = Good Cause

Each month during the season, Cakes for Cause chooses another local community agency and we donate 10% of our farmers’ market proceeds for the week to them. This Saturday (the 5th) we’ll be donating proceeds to the YMCA of Frederick County to help support their scholarship/campership program. We started out this life as camp counselors…YMCA camp counselors to be exact and we remember how much fun the kiddos had every year (who are we kidding...YMCA camp ROCKS!). Every family in our community can’t give their children that experience so we’d like to support the great programming offered in our cool North End neighborhood. Anyone up to match our portion of the donation???

Cakes for Cause + Baltimore Orioles???

After some good-natured teasing on Facebook about our Executive Director throwing like a girl (ummmmm, she is a girl!), we’re off to a good start for the All Stars Among Us competition from People Magazine. We were nominated to represent the Baltimore Orioles and your vote (multiple votes people…put an intern on it!) will help us bring more exposure to the difficulties that foster care youth face when they don’t have a program like ours. Our program at Moxie gives them 6 months of steady job experience, helps them develop critical life skills, and puts them on a path to successful adulthood. It also puts a new generation of young people out there who take pride in their skills and who love food almost as much as we do. There are too many young people out there who do not have the kinds of positive lasting relationships with adults who can help them transition into adulthood. If you’re a “fan” of what we do in this community and what we would like to do in other communities, please vote for us. Thank you.

The Mission of Cakes for Cause is to empower vulnerable youth and develop social enterprises that engage the community in cultivating meaningful employment and educational opportunities to teach work and life skills. In Frederick, Cakes for Cause operates Moxie Bakery & Café, a social enterprise that trains youth in the hospitality industry.

Cakes for Cause (Administrative Office)
22 South Market Street, Suite 3
Frederick, Maryland 21701
Phone: 301-620-0311

Moxie Bakery & Cafe (for the sweet stuff!)
629 North Market Street
Frederick, Maryland 21701
Phone: 301-620-0003

Facebook and Twitter too!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh This Week

Garlic scapes
and more...

Notes from the Farm

Busy time at the farm, planting, weeding, picking. I spent the last two evenings in a field cultivating. The cool evening, with the air full of honeysuckle sweetness. Wonderful time to get work done after a hot day in the field picking berries. Lots more to plant to keep crops coming all season long.
--Farmer Rick

Garlic Scapes

Garlic scapes are the sprout of the garlic plant—a thin green stalk that curls above the ground and is more tender and sweeter than the bulbs that grow below ground. The season for garlic scapes is only a couple weeks; after that, they become tough.

Scapes can be used in place of garlic, scallions, onions or ramps in most recipes. They have a garlic taste, but it is milder and “fresher” than that of garlic cloves. They are a great addition to croquettes, guacamole, omelets, stir fries, salads and more. For a colorful take on garlic butter, mix chopped garlic scapes with softened butter, and other herbs if you like; herbed butters will keep refrigerated for a couple weeks.

Scapes store well for a couple weeks.


Recipe Feature

Garlic Scape Pesto

To make a quick garlic scape pesto (using garlic scapes instead of the more traditional basil), combine in a food processor until smooth:

½ cup almonds or pine nuts
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan
1 cup garlic scapes
Serve immediately with your favorite pasta or crusty bread, or refrigerate and use within a few days. Note that this pesto is for serious garlic lovers. Since the garlic scapes are not cooked in this preparation, though milder than raw garlic, they still have a strong flavor in this quantity.

Recipe: modified from

Links of the Week

For more garlic and garlic scape recipe ideas, visit 2sistersgarlic, or try this white bean and garlic scapes dip from the New York Times. (You'll need one can of cannellini beans, garlic scapes, fresh lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil for the dip.)


Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh this Week from Summer Creek Farm

Fresh this Week
Broccoli raab
... and more!

Notes from the Farm
It is a busy time of year at the farm. We planted peppers, more tomatoes, eggplant and melons this week. Rain has prevented us from doing much weed control but as soon as it stops and the soil dries we will have to get right after the weeds. Weeds never sleep! Weather is cooler than normal but strawberries are coming in full. I hope you all enjoy the flavor of our traditional strawberries. They are not as large in size as the berries you see in a store, but they are giganic in flavor compared to those strawberry look alikes!
--Farmer Rick

Fresh mint comes in two main varieties: spearmint, which has bright green wrinkled leaves, and peppermint, which has smooth leaves. Chop or crush fresh leaves to release their flavor (remove stems). Mint is traditional with peas or potatoes, but it goes well with many fruits, vegetables, yogurt-based sauces and chutneys. Or, if you're feeling more festive, try mojitos.
When I have fresh mint, I make Indian food, including the raita (a cold yogurt dish) recipe below. It's also great in tabouleh, served alongside warm pitas and hummus.

1/2 cup fine- to medium-grind bulgur wheat
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (adjust according to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped parsley leaves
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup shopped green onionsSoak bulgur in hot water to cover until tender, 15 to 30 minutse. Drain well, squeezing out as much water as possible. Toss with oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.
Sources: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman 2008, and The Food Life. Photo:

Recipe Feature

1 large cucumber, diced1 cup thick plain yogurt1 clove garlic, minced1-2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped1 tsp. salt½ tsp. grated fresh ginger½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add yogurt right before serving. (Keeps in fridge without the yogurt for up to 2 days.) Serve with fresh naan, tandoori anything, or a great masala or daal.
Recipe: The Kitchen Studio

Link of the Week
This news article from the Associated Press reports a "persuasive" link between ADHD in children and organophosphates (a common type of pesticide) used to grow fruits and vegetables. Yet another reason to eat organic!

Your Recipes, Blog Links and CSA Cooking Tips Wanted!
If you've got great recipes for any items you'd like to share, please send them to We'll generally need them by Sunday for inclusion in that week's newsletter. Also, if you're blogging about your CSA share, please send us a link to your blog so we can include them all here in a future edition. Thanks, and happy cooking!


Fresh this Week from Cakes for Cause

Speaking Of the Farmers’ Market…Have you been yet? Did you pick up some of our seasonal berry shortcake biscuits and pair it either with strawberries or rhubarb or both??? These are a variation on our light and fluffy Moxie biscuits and tricked out with some fresh thyme and lemon zest, sprinkled with coarse sugar and served with strawberries and whipped cream, they’re a delicious dessert while they last. We also carry breads at the farmers’ market every week. Every loaf is vegan, two are whole wheat, and they’re all yummy for sandwiches, French toast or just al fresco with a salad or a steak. Volunteer and you can spend the whole morning with our booth o' delicious!

The Mission of Cakes for Cause is to empower vulnerable youth and develop social enterprises that engage the community in cultivating meaningful employment and educational opportunities to teach work and life skills. In Frederick, Cakes for Cause operates Moxie Bakery & Café, a social enterprise that trains youth in the hospitality industry.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Back from the Farmers Market

I am back from the West Frederick Farmers Market. I brought my boyfriend Lou and my dog Lucy with me. I love going to the market with Lou; he is from Athens, Greece originally. He says farmers markets when he grew up involved a lot more haggling and hawking. He tells me about the guy who sold olive oil and offered samples on fresh, rustic bread. The ocean was less than half a mile away, so vendors sold seafood. They sold grains, produce, meats. He said there were lots of varieties of grapes, olives, and feta cheeses from different regions like Attica or Chios or Crete. It's neat to think about how each place can have a totally different market flavor; and that's the point.

We got to the market a little after ten this morning, and it was bustling. Perhaps people found out that strawberries are in! We bought three pints from Jubilee Organic Farm along with two bunches of asparagus. Lou wanted to get the fatter asparagus from Richard at Scenic View Orchards, but the weather this week in Sabillasville was not warm enough to produce much; Richard said that the wet weather was good for the asparagus but the cold was not. We got a bunch of radishes from Summer Creek Farm and chatted with Rick for a while. We also talked to Tim, the Truffle King; I am so sad that I can't eat truffles anymore since I quit eating dairy. He had strawberry and caramel truffles in addition to his chocolate ones. Dave and his son were working at Chesapeake's Choice today; we bought two dozen multicolored eggs from them. Their eggs are gorgeous on the inside too, with a rich, dark yolk that is light years away from grocery store eggs. I bought a gluten-free rice krispie treat from A Better Choice Baked Goods and shared pieces of it with several people. I bought a large, gorgeous bag of spinach for $3 and chatted with Gwen from Glade-Link Farm for a little bit. Their u-pick operation for strawberries begins tomorrow, 5/16, at 7AM. Call 301.898.7131 before you go to make sure they haven't run out. Strawberries will be $1.50 per pound. This info isn't on their website yet, so you get first dibs.

Lucy wandered around and sniffed other dogs. She was very happy. Lou and I talked to our friends. We had a great morning. Then we went home and made bacon burger burritos with fresh greens from the market. I love Saturdays.



Friday, May 14, 2010

Summer Creek Farm Newsletter

Welcome all to the 2010 season. The warm weather has accelerated some crops. We are hoping this does not causes a hole in the produce as we go through the early stuff and current cool weather delays the later produce. Time will tell. I hope you enjoy all the fresh produce we have for you and tell your friends. You can email me at any time with comments or suggestions. Enjoy the season! We are busy planting much more!
--Farmer Rick

Fresh this Week

Broccoli raab
... and more!

About Your Newsletter

To give you some tips on what to do with some of the produce, and let you know what’s coming, we’ll send out a newsletter every week. The same newsletter is sent to all pick-up locations. Since produce becomes available when it wants to, box contents may vary from location to location and day to day. The list included in these weekly newsletters is our best guess as of newsletter publication time (which may also vary from week to week, depending on when Farmer Rick can tell us what will be in the boxes).

Recipes, tips and suggestions are encouraged. To contact Farmer Rick directly, please email him at

Broccoli Raab

Broccoli raab, also known as broccoli rape, rabe or rapini, is a longtime regular in Italian cooking. With a stronger, more bitter taste than broccoli, broccoli raab is a welcome addition to the adventurous cook’s repertoire. To prepare, trim the dry ends of the stems and pull off any yellowing or wilted leaves. To serve plain, parboil (boil briefly), and shock with ice water to preserve the green color. It is done when you can insert a skewer or thin-bladed knife into the thickest part of the stalk. Overcooked broccoli raab becomes mushy. You can substitute turnip or mustard greens in place of broccoli raab successfully in many recipes. Broccoli raab is an excellent source of Vitamin K, and is also high in Vitamins A and C.

Sources: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, and

Recipe Feature

Basic Pasta with Broccoli Raab
This recipe works well with other leafy greens or regular broccoli as well - simply adjust the cooking time for the greens according to their toughness.

1 bunch broccoli raab
2-4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-6 cloves chopped garlic, to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 pound box small pasta shells
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with salt. Boil the broccoli raab whole until it is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook just until it begins to sizzle, then lower heat to keep warm. Scoop the raab out of the water carefully, then drain, chop into 1-2 inch pieces and add to skillet. Scoop boiling water into the skillet 1-2 tbsp at a time to keep moist as needed. Use the remaining boiling water to cook the pasta according to the package’s “al dente” instructions, then drain and add pasta to skillet. Stir to combine, add parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Recipe: Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman, 2008.

Link of the Week

Strawberry shortcake with whole grain biscuits and an interesting twist on cream, from Eating Well.

Shopping list items for this recipe (things you may not keep in stock):

Neufchâtel (reduced fat cream cheese)
Heavy whipping cream
Reduced fat sour cream
Buttermilk (optional, if you have vinegar - see tip in recipe)
White whole-wheat flour or whole grain pastry flour (both available at the Common Market in Frederick)


Friday, May 7, 2010

Fresh this week from Rohrer's Meats

Greetings from the farm. With Mother's Day being this weekend, I will have plenty of meats available for you to prepare her the best home cooked meal ever. Beef will include ribeye, strip, T-bone, porterhouse, sirloin, flank, and skirt steaks; eye round, boneless chuck, and sirloin tip roasts; stew cubes, ground round, and steak burgers. Pork will include boneless loin roasts, pork chops, spare ribs, country style ribs, boneless butts, and bacon. Mild Italian, bratwurst, applewurst, and sage sausage will be fresh while country, hot Italian, and maple will be frozen. Lamb will include butterflied legs, boneless shoulders, shanks, Frenched racks, loin chops, arm chops, ground lamb, and lamb sausage. I will also have whole chickens, cutup chickens, and eggs. Have a good week and I will see you at the market.



Saturday, May 1, 2010

Update from Catoctin Mountain Orchard

Click on the image to see it larger

As you can see, "Spring has Sprung" and we're blossoming out, not only in the fields, but also in our market store
Our MARKET opens this Saturday May 1st, and we have awakened our apples out of their winter sleep storage, so we can provide you with fresh, crisp, "just picked from the tree" flavor. We have all your favorites, like fresh pies and an assortment of baked goods, pear and apple cider, jams and jellies, hanging baskets, crafts, mixes, peanuts, sauces, dressings, munchies, fudges, candles, and lots of local items, etc, etc. We also carry a lot of sugar free items for those watching their sugar intake.

We will keep you informed on all new arrivals through the 2010 season as they become available through and eBlasts.

To catch you up on our activities over the last few months, let's just say it's been non-stop. From tree trimming, to removing old trees, to planting new varieties of trees, to getting the soil prepared, to planting early season veggies, to starting seedlings in the greenhouses, to getting the latest education info from workshops and seminars, to getting the market spruced up to making a better product for you - wow, makes me tried just thinking about it.

We've already started our tour season, showing where the food comes from, starting new trees through grafting, testing of varieties (looking for the best), conservation practices, selling retail, bee keeping, and Ecological Management.

We look forward to seeing you again as we kick off the new 2010 market season. Make sure you come and seeing the beautiful rolling hillsides of Catoctin, as she shows off all her blossoming splendor.

The Harry Black Family


West Frederick Farmers Market is Today!

Hey friends! Can't wait to see you at the market today!!!


Fresh this Week from Truffle King

Greetings Chocolate Lovers:

Lots of things happening this month, including lots of good chocolate, and OMG, next Sunday, 9 May is Mother’s Day. This month’s flavors are favorites and quantities are limited, so act soon so you don’t miss out.

1 May I will be at the first West Frederick Farmer’s Market from 10 am - 1 pm in the rear parking lot of the Physician’s Building at 110 Baughman’s Lane, Frederick (off of US 40) and should be there most Saturdays. Note: I do not attend the Farmer’s Market if it is raining; rain and chocolate just don’t mix.

4 May I will be at the special Ft. Detrick Farmer’s Market in front of NCIS Library from 11 am - 1:30 pm.

You can continue to stop by the Clustered Spires Pastry Shop (directions on the website) 285 Montevue Lane, Frederick 11 am- 2 pm Tuesday-Saturday and pick some up during the week or call me for alternate pick-up times or for mail orders.

Monthly flavors for MAY:

DARK (58.5% Cacao)
Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Heavy Cream Ganache enrobed in Semi-Sweet Chocolate

Semi-Sweet Chocolate, Heavy Cream, Organic Strawberry Ganache enrobed in
Sweet Milk Chocolate

Buttery Carmel centers, enrobed in Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate

Yours for good chocolate,

Timothy Miller, Chocolatier
Imperial Chocolate Company
Frederick, MD
301 788-5278


Friday, April 30, 2010

Farmer's Market starts Saturday!!!

I am really excited that the West Frederick Farmer's Market is starting Saturday! I didn't get enough asparagus out of my plant this year to make it worth harvesting, and the market always has the freshest bunches. The market this year is in the same place as last year- behind the Physician's building next to Holiday Cinemas on Baughman's Lane. It goes 10-1 every Saturday until Thanksgiving.


Seedling Sale at House in the Woods Farm

The House in the Woods Seedling Sale starts this weekend on Sunday. Come to the farm! Organic heirloom plants for your garden. We feature beautiful heirloom tomato plants, but this year we also offer peppers, eggplant, herbs, and some greens.

See my blog entry about tomato plants--with photos and descriptions-- Go to our website the scrollbar for more info and photos of heirloom tomatoes.

Sale Hours --- MAY 2-8:
Sunday May 2, 10am-5pm
Tuesday-Thursday (May 4th-6th) from 4-7pm
Friday May 7th, 10am-5pm
Saturday May 8th, 10am-5pm

2104 Mt Ephraim Rd, Adamstown, MD 21710
Contact or 301-607-4048 for directions and appointments off-hours.

Bring a box for your plants. Return pots to our mailbox, we’ll re-use them!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Locavore Basics

I joined a food club recently where people collectively buy food from suppliers in order to get quality food cheaper. I went to my first meeting yesterday and discovered that a lot of people in the club preserve food through canning. I also had dinner at a friend's house this week (venison, carrots, potatoes, collards, and a salad- heavenly) and he showed me his canning stores from last summer. I am thinking I am going to have to get in on this canning. My mom used to can a lot and it was a way to make use of produce when it was at its cheapest and most abundant. My mom saved a lot of money by canning and we always had healthy food to eat. I took it for granted as a kid but I don't anymore. I am also thinking that for my food club, I am going to try to build relationships with local farmers to see if we can do some wholesale buying of produce in season when they have extras.

The Culinate website has a nice little writeup of eight locavore basics: eight budget tips for going local.

  1. Grow or forage your own grub. Gardening is the ultimate local-foods diet, matched only by foraging for wild edible plants. There are delicious wild fruits and vegetables as well as gourmet mushrooms growing right at your feet, even if you live in the city. Usually overlooked as “weeds,” these free foods are yours once you learn some simple but essential identification skills. Sign up for one of the wild-edibles classes offered nationwide, and you’ll soon be safely harvesting the free food growing all around you.
  2. No room, time, or interest in gardening? Get involved with a CSA. If you can volunteer a few hours a week for a few weeks each year, you may be able to get a community-supported agriculture (CSA) share totally free. CSAs depend on a core group of volunteers who are responsible for tasks that range from bookkeeping to website maintenance to communicating with the farmer. In exchange, most CSAs offer core members discounted or free vegetable shares, depending on how much time they put in. (I volunteer five hours a week as site coordinator for my CSA for eight weeks, in exchange for which I get my vegetable share for free. If I put in more weeks than that, I also get my fruit share for free.) Many CSAs also offer discounted shares to low-income families, and most CSAs accept EBT payments at a discounted membership rate. Ask if discounted shares are available at your local CSA, and be prepared to show some proof of your income status to qualify.
  3. Even with a CSA, you might need extras. Be a savvy shopper at the farmers’ market. Walk through the entire farmers’ market before you buy anything, checking to see what looks the best and which stalls have the lowest prices. Often there’s a huge difference in price for the same vegetable between one farm’s stall and the next.
  4. Pay attention to peak seasonality. Each crop has a season and a peak season. “Peak season” is when the produce is both tastiest and cheapest. For example, tomatoes appear at my farmers’ markets in June, but aren’t really at their tastiest or most affordable until August.
  5. Put up your harvest (or bulk purchases) for the cold months. By freezing, canning, pickling, or otherwise preserving summer's bounty, my locavore meals in wintertime are varied and delicious, and they balance the budget of what I spend during the warm months. The strawberries I froze when they were at their most luscious (and cheapest) become breakfast smoothies in January; the ratatouille I made with summer squash and eggplant becomes a quick pasta sauce long after squash and eggplant season is over. So pick up a few food-preservation skills, not only to add interest and nutrition to your winter diet but also to keep costs down.
  6. Waste not, want not. Instead of throwing apple cores and peels into the compost, I stockpile them in the freezer to make homemade apple vinegar and to use as pectin for jellies and jams. I also use my freezer to save vegetable trimmings and poultry, meat, and fish bones, which I turn into delicious stocks that later become soups and sauces. Carrot leaves, onion skins, parsley stems, and the tough green parts of leeks are among the usually thrown-out parts of vegetables that are great in stock.
  7. Eat fewer animal foods. Even sustainably, humanely raised animals and animal products require a heftier input of resources and labor than plants do. That’s why they’re the most expensive items at the farmers’ market. By eating vegetarian meals several times a week, even if you enjoy your dairy, eggs, or meat on the other days, you’ll significantly reduce your food costs.
  8. Eat at home. And no, takeout doesn’t count. If your lifestyle till now has included more than one restaurant, takeout, or delivery meal a week, then cooking at home will definitely save you money.

I am trying to do more home cooking. It's easier the more I do it. I am saving quite a lot of money! I am really looking forward to cooking more this growing season and sharing more pictures. I have rhubarb in my yard that looks ready to harvest, so it looks like I'll be using home-grown products tonight for the first time this season- for dessert! Picture from Culinate.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

News from Summer Creek Farm

Hi all , working up here on the farm getting ready for the 2010 season. Its was a hard winter. Much damage was done with the storms and personally it was tough. Greenhouses being repaired , damage cleaned up, we are planting for the season. The weather has been good, just a little dry. We have all out potatoes and peas planted. Greenhouse is stuffed with plants. Looking forward to serving all our CSA customers for another year. We have a few slots left if you have not signed up and still want too.

To all our new CSA members, we are also a dealer for Organic Fertilizer and other gardening supplies. If you are interested in supplies or plants for your own garden let me know. CSA customers get a 10% discount. This also applies to our rain barrels.

As an FYI Farm Inc. the movie will be on PBS on April 21.

All that have signed up for this years CSA will receive a post card in the mail in early May. This is to make sure that if you are not getting these emails (thus not reading this message) you will be notified to contact us. It is very important that in order for use to communicate through the season that our emails are working. That means I have your address correct and that they are not getting dumped in the junk box. Make sure that our email address is in your address book, this helps keeps us out of the junk!

May is coming, fresh greens, strawberries , Asparagus and other goodies will be in the CSA. I will be back in touch soon!

Farmer Rick


Saturday, April 17, 2010

West Frederick Farmers Market Staying Put

The West Frederick Farmer's Market is going to be on Baughman's Lane once again this year! The contract is signed, and lots of people are relieved and happy. The market starts May 1 and is on Saturdays from 10-1. See you there!!!



Friday, April 16, 2010

West Frederick Farmer's Market Location

The market members met last week and selected the site for this year's market. Danny Rohrer is hoping to be able finalize the contract today. The market will open in two weeks, on May 1. I'll let you know as soon as I can tell you where the market is going to be. It's not done until the ink is on the paper.

Also, I am really excited that my friend Will Morrow is going to start a new market at the old Carmak Jay's location next to Old Town Tavern on Market Street in downtown Frederick! Will runs a farm and has the most delicious lamb and eggs...maybe ever. My apologies to other sheep and chicken farmers. The market will be Wednesdays from 3-7. The Thursday market is not moving- we are just adding another one. So exciting!!!!!


Fresh this Week from Rohrer's Meats

Greetings from the farm.

I will be returning to Frederick on Saturday April 17. Location will be behind the Potomac Physicians Building on Baughmans Lane. Hours will be 10 AM until 12:30 PM. I will have my full line of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and cheese. I will also have several special deals this week. Pork spare ribs have been accumulating in my freezer this winter. With grilling weather returning, I am offering them this week buy 2 packages, get a third pack free. I have put in 400 new laying hens in preparation for the market season, and they are producing like crazy. When hens first start to lay, the eggs are of the highest quality, but just not real big. This week I will be offering these eggs at 3 dozen(2 medium and 1 small) for $5.00. These offers are good while the supply lasts so it may be a good idea to preorder.
The market members met last week and selected the site for this year's market. Hopefully I will be able finalize the contract today and be able to announce the location tomorrow when I see you. The market will open in two weeks, on May 1.

Have a good week and I will see you at the market.

Rohrer's Meats


Friday, April 9, 2010

Morel season is upon us

I was reminded today by a facebook post from a mushroom foraging friend that morel season is upon us. Check out the archives for mushroom eating enthusiasm and the occasional hunting tip.

It's awesome to have been doing this long enough to have seasonal archives.

Also, it's time to plant a bunch of things if you have not already and want to give your garden a go. Right now would be a great time to plant potatoes.