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.



Thursday, April 1, 2010

CSA memberships available at House in the Woods

Hey folks. I got this from my friend Ilene today. They still have a few memberships available for this year for their Community-Supported Agriculture:

House in the Woods CSA Farm has openings for new members for our 2010 season!


House in the Woods CSA is a certified organic Community Supported Agriculture farm just south of Frederick, Maryland near the base of Sugarloaf Mountain. We grow a wide variety of organic vegetables, mostly heirloom varieties, and also some herbs and flowers. We feature over 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Veggie Distribution is a unique Free Choice system, where members fill their own bags as they wish, selecting from the items available each week. There are two tables--the Free Choice table and the Counted Items table. There are also U-Pick crops--such as herbs, flowers, cherry tomatoes, and green beans. On our website there is a list of vegetables we have grown (not completely updated, but you will get the idea). Pickups are from mid-May through September, Fridays or Saturdays noon to 8pm (you choose your pickup day).


The fee is $700 per share. Shares are for one household only (no splitting shares, please). This includes 20 weekly on-farm pickups of farm fresh organic vegetables, flowers and herbs, you fill your own bag and decide what goes in it, enough to feed your household for the week. It also includes: invitations to family-friendly CSA events such as potato digging parties, canning day, and other farm events; participation on the farm; gardening advice and hands-on experience; and so much more as part of the community.


We are a very small CSA that prioritizes the whole farm experience. Our CSA prioritizes the "farm experience"--so getting your hands into the soil, feeling involved on the farm, helping you participate in the growth of your own food, benefiting from your connection to this place--its all important to us and our mission here. Members are invited to help out at group Farm Hands Days, or by appointment for solo worktime. Members, including children, are involved in almost all aspects of the farm.


I am often asked how many people a share feeds. This varies greatly by each member's eating habits. A share is expected to feed 1-2 adults for the week. Some kids (and grown ups) eat lots of veggies, some don't. You might find your household will be inspired to eat more veggies when you are in a CSA. Since you fill your own bag, picking and choosing from our offerings, you will find it is just as much as you need for the week. For this same reason, we cannot allow split shares. Each share is for one household only. If you have a friend who also wants to join, please let us know. Please honor our system as you select a good CSA match for your family. Shop around if you are more interested in a split share, half share, mini share, etc--each CSA is different and there are others with these offerings.


If you choose to join the CSA, please contact us at 301-607-4048 first (9am to 9pm) or by email to receive confirmation that there is space for you. This is also an opportunity to have any questions answered and to make sure our program is a good match for you. I will send you a form to complete and mail in with a deposit check. I can hold a space for you for one week while I await your check in the mail.


If you are interested in joining the CSA, please contact me at or 301-607-4048. We look forward to hearing from you!

Ilene and Phil Freedman
House in the Woods CSA Farm
Please contact us if you would like to be added or deleted from our email list for farm information.