Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Local Harvest Video

Pretty interesting short video Here from the Local Harvest newsletter.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Supermarkets Tout Fresh, Local Offerings

Great National Public Radio story Here about supermarkets picking up on local produce and the expanded interest in farmers markets. Well worth a listen. Thanks to Kim Sykes, WV Dept of Agriculture for recommending it. Typical high quality and timely reporting from NPR.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Washington Post Local Foods Article

Yet another good article in today's Washington Post about the local foods movement. Front Page coverage. This time focusing on the suburbs, in Loudoun County. The local foods movement has really taken hold in 2007. Its likely a combination of a lot of factors lining up. The high fuel cost, some good books coming out on the topic, as well as the scandals involving imported food, all seem to have really brought a focus to local foods. And we are right in the middle of this. At the farmer's market yesterday, we had a conversation with one of the other vendors about the increased interest and traffic at our local Romney Farmers Market. It has been interesting seeing this grow in 2007.

A Shorter Link Between the Farm And Dinner Plate
Some Restaurants, Grocers Prefer Food Grown Locally

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, July 29, 2007; Page A01

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nutrition Action Article

You may not be able to see the numbers on the article below unless you enlarge the page. Its from the latest Nutrition Action Health Letter which we get in the mail. You can go to www.cspinet.org to read it on line, or to get on their mailing list. Also, a link to the data is Here. As we head into peach, apple and pear season its important to remember that they have the highest pesticide levels of any fruit and vegetables. This is because they have to be sprayed so many times. Basically you should avoid the top block, the "Dirty Dozen" unless you can verify that they have been grown organically without pesticides. You can be sure that anything imported is loaded with these toxic substances. It will be interesting to see if there is any follow-up at all to the latest China import problems beyond a few reporters going over to have a look around. The small fruits are not quite as bad, they mostly require fungicides after harvest to preserve them during shipment. Needless to say, none of our fruits and vegetables have any pesticides or fungicides on them. Thus they are not as "ornamental" as you might see in the grocery store. For ex, a few spots on sweet peppers. But for the informed consumer, a couple of marks on a tomato or pepper is far better than ingesting pesticides, the full effect of which can not even be pinned down. Its just better to avoid them altogether. Hope to see you at the market Sat AM. All varieties of tomatoes are in now. If you are interested in larger quantities for canning or preserving, now is the time. Advance orders can be packaged up and waiting for you at the market. We've gotten a little rain, about 1/2 inch the other day so tomato and pepper sizes are near normal. Some nice slicing tomatoes will be available.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Romney Farmers Market Photos - July 21, 2007

We had our busiest day ever at the Romney Farmers Market today. During a lull in the action Ruth snapped a few photos of our area as well as a few other vendors and the view down the sidewalk. The weather was great, mid 70's during most of the morning after a chilly 57 degree start. Great to see all of those that came out today. The beautiful weather had everyone in good spirits. Just like the past few weeks, blackberries and raspberries sold out in the first hour. Our busiest time seems to be from 9 AM until 10:30 AM. Tomatoes were very popular as again we were the only vendor that had any tomatoes. That was because we planted most of our tomatoes in mid May on some cold rainy days. And we were lucky enough to not have a late May frost this year. Many people were very interested in trying the Cherokee Purple tomatoes. Since the tomato sizes were small we were doing 4 of anything for $1 today. We joked that were were like the Dollar Store for vegetables which got a few laughs. July is definitely the peak month for the farmers market. The Romney market seems to be gaining some popularity for the listing I posted at localharvest.com and some other local advertising such as the Community Calendar in the Hampshire Review. Hope to see you next Saturday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Update for 7/21/07 Farmers Market

Wow, its been a busy week. We still haven't had any significant rainfall but tomatoes and peppers are still bearing very nicely. Salad greens are gone until the fall planting. They actually lasted longer than I thought. Targeting September for more salad mix. We'll have lots of tomatoes and peppers for the market. Cherokee Purple tomatoes are in. This is a much sought after heirloom. Mild tasting, often requested by chefs. We'll have may other varieties also. Sweet peppers are decent size and very crisp and sweet. We'll have blackberries and red raspberries again. They will likely sell out early again. They were gone in the first hour last week. We will also have more of Richard Cutter's blueberries. They sold like gangbusters last week. These blueberries won the blue ribbon and best of show at the Allegheny County MD fair this week. We were at Richard's berry yard on Tuesday picking and eating right from the bush. Just like the birds do. Awesome and heavenly blueberry flavor. As with almost everything this year, fruit size is smaller due to the lack of rainfall but the flavor and sweetness is enhanced. I was also lucky enough to have blueberry pancakes several times this week courtesy of Ruth. Speaking of the Allegheny fair, Ruth and I helped man the Allegheny beekeepers booth. It was quite a joy to show people the observation bee hive. Children delighted in finding the queen and in seeing honey in the comb. It also gave us numerous opportunities to explain the difference between wasps, that sting aggressively, and honey bees which do not. It also allowed us a chance to clear the air about the more aggressive Africanized bees. They can't survive our cold winters so they are pretty much confined to the dry southern states such as Texas and Arizona. Seems like we spent most of our time trying to clear up the misconceptions spread by the popular media. Tree fruits are a total bust this year. This week's Hampshire Review had an article about the local tree fruits. Gary Shanholtz was quoted as saying that the peach crop is 10% of normal and the apple crop is about 30% of normal yields. And of that, the fruit quality is not up to par because of the spring fronts, the cold month of May and the recent drought conditions. Looks like is a berry year, not a year for tree fruits. One last thing, if you are interested in the pastured poultry please be sure to get your order in, the first batch is gone. Batch 2 will be available the last week of July but only 25 birds. Batch 3 will be about Sep 1st. That will be about 100 birds. We don't want to disappoint anyone, but its first come first served, so get your reservations/orders in ASAP. Long post, but lots to cover! Hope to see you at the market on Saturday.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Taylor's Excellent Church View Farm Photos

We recently met Taylor Kuykendall at the Romney Farmer's Market. Somehow we got to talking about photography and his web site, I guess because he had his camera along with him. Later that week he came out to the farm for a visit to shoot some photos which you can see at his blog site and the link is Here. He obviously has a very keen eye for detail and snapped these photos during a very short visit and walk around the farm. We see these things every day, but his photos somehow manage to bring out detail which we can overlook simply because of their familiarity.
Its all a reminder to simply slow down and see the detail. Not many people have ever noticed the perfect whorls of a sunflower. The photos are very well done. Inspiring in fact. When Taylor emailed and said he be out around sunrise for the best light, I felt I was not dealing with a typical college age young person but instead a very motivated and focused young person continuing to learn by pursuing their interests and passions on summer break. Its enough to restore your faith in Generation Next.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Berries Galore - July 14th Romney Farmer's Market

Hello everyone,
Well this is Thursday AM which is a bit more notice than last week when I didn't get a pot done until Friday. We'll have blackberries and red raspberries at the Romney Farmer's Market tomorrow. Prices are $2.50/half pint and $4 per pint. Our friend, Richard Cutter, has some blueberries that will be available at our market stand. Richard is from Midland, MD which is near Frostburg, MD. Pricing is the same as raspberries. Our blueberry plants are still small and will hopefully bear next year. Richard's blueberries are chemical free. He gave us some to try last year and they were really good. These berries will sell quick and will probably be gone by 10 AM. The early birds have been getting all the berries. We'll also have plenty of tomatoes. We were the only vendor to have tomatoes last week and we clearly didn't bring enough. We'll bring two or three crates this week to meet the demand. We have some real nice green peppers, very tender, sweet and flavorful. These are not the boxy green peppers you see at the grocery store. They mature with more of a point at the bottom. Much better tasting. And we'll have green beans also. We'll be doing the mix and match quarts again which was very popular last week. Your choice of beans, squash, tomatoes, etc for $3/quart. Hope to see you there. Just direct anyone else you know that might have an interest to our blog, http://churchviewfarm.blogspot.com They can then subscribe via the blog to get notified by email.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Farmer's Market - July 7th - Tomatoes In

Sorry for the late notice post. Its about 8 PM but we just got finished doing the picking for tomorrow's farmer's market. Produce is in! We'll have ripe tomatoes, sweet peppers, summer squash, green beans, some berries, etc, etc. at the market tomorrow morning in Romney. The market is supposed to start at 9AM but folks have been asking about the raspberries so we'll likely have some early birds. We got some rain yesterday which really helped. Starting Sunday, we are supposed to have 5-6 days in the mid 90's which will really ripen the tomatoes. We'll have an avalanche of them starting this week. So if you are contemplating a large order, now is the time to get your order in. Hope to see you at the market.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

True Blue Coffee Roasters

We like a nice high quality cup of coffee. We found out last week that there is a world class coffee roaster right in Moorefield, WV, True Blue Coffee Roasters. See www.trueblueroasters.com Their speciality is organic, fair trade coffees and they have a wide selection available. We were able to stop by their location for a quick view of the process. The upshot of this is that we will offer their products at the Romney Farmers Market, via our web site, or by special order. They have a nice sampler pack available which has 8 different selections. This also makes a very nice gift. Individual 2 oz. sampler packets are just $2 each. The complete sampler pack is $12. 12 oz. and 16 oz packages are also available at $9 and $12 respectively. The packages are a nice royal blue with the True Blue label and it identifies the company location in Old Fields, WV. A very nice WV discovery and something which will make a nice addition for the farmer's markets.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Early Girl Tomatoes

The early girl variety tomatoes are in! This is the earliest bearing variety that we planted this year. We've been picking small quantities for a few days now and will likely be picking daily from now on. We could still use more rainfall, but they seem to be doing OK with as little as we've had. Next variety to come in will probably be Celebrity and Glamour. All varieties have green tomatoes on the plants at this point. The Romas are looking particularly bushy and vigorous. So with fresh tomatoes the height of summer is definitely here! With as cold as May was, the tomatoes have done well but conditions are still not optimal, for example last night it was only 52 degrees. What that means is that with a week or so of warm weather in the next few weeks, and a few warm nights, we'll likely have a deluge of fresh tomatoes. Beat the rush and let us know your requirements early. We'll have half bushel boxes available. Or we can transfer them to your own containers, whatever works for you.