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Sept. 16 ,2014

Posted 11/15/2014 10:56am by Don Kretschmann.

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   Sunday, we got a call from one of our neighbors, who farm very low lying land, saying they were covering their green beans and pepper because they expected a frost in the morning. Yikes! How had we been lulled into complacency, trusting the long range forecast Saturday night predicting lows in the 40's? But we always have a little "frost grace" up on our hilltop. The growing season here is easily 2-3 weeks longer here than two miles away, down in the Brush Creek valley. But it was a wakeup call nonetheless, to get mature tender crops picked now lest there be a big rush the last minute before a frost, or worse, that they are frozen. We remember picking tomatoes once in mid-September in a snow squall; also picking them in November. The range can be quite substantial, but generally averages early October. So it's off to nab more San Marzanos before ole Jack (Frost) does it for us...

   Many subscribers have asked what is the status of the compressor station proposed to be located about half a mile from us. Last Friday, we formally appealed the approval by the township Board of Supervisors to the Court of Common Pleas. We feel siting in an actively farmed and agriculturally zoned area is inappropriate. A further statement of our thoughts was published a week ago in the Post-Gazette. We will keep you posted. Curiously in the legal wranglings , you who eat from this piece of PA farmland, have no standing before the court, yet anyone who simply owns property on the road does. We would like to convince otherwise. If environmental rights mean anything at all, they mean a right to the environment of one's food.

   We hope the beans worked out well last week for you. It was touch and go all week bagging them up because there was quite a bit of mold in some of their plants and a good bit of dirt and leaf trash or stems to pick around. The final planting of the season looks wonderful right now and we should have them for you the next week and the following.    As fields have become available after harvesting earlier crops, we've replanted with frost hearty things for the late fall: Turnips, mesclun greens, lettuce, and radishes are all germinating well. We've got great looking greens as well.

   We'll gladly reuse any of the plastic pints from the blueberries and the boxes from the canning tomatoes. No other types please.

Enjoying the cooler temps and more manageable work hours, we are                                          ---Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew  

For Extra Purchase: Green tomatoes: $10/peck basket--about 10# (subject: tomatoes) Potatoes: half bushel @$30 Butternut or Acorn Squash--$40/bushel.  Rhubarb: 5#-$15 Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers: $25/half bushel Always our favorite for canning year in and year out as pickled Italian hot pepper rings.

Suzie's Chunky Salsa (small batch): Oil baking pans and spread 2# tomatoes cut into small pieces. Roast @350 deg. until they are cooked well and start to dry on the top and brown slightly. Place in tomatoes in pot and mash until they look saucy. Add 1 chopped tomato, 1/2c. diced onions, 1 diced pepper, maybe 1/4 finely diced jalapeno, 1clove minced garlic, dash black pepper, 1/4 tsp paprika, teaspoon sugar, 1/4 tsp chili powder, tsp. vinegar, dash salt, and 1 tbs. tomato paste. Mix and bring to boil. Simmer until onions and peppers are cooked, then put in pint jars or just allow to cool and refrigerate. You should have salsa for a while...

Tomato, Carrot & Rice Soup: Saute 1 chopped onion & 2 cloves diced garlic until soft. Then add 2 c. diced carrots, 1# chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp honey, 4 c. vegetable stock or water 1 bay leaf and simmer about 1 hr. Discard bay leaf and blend until smooth. Return to pot, add 1 c. cooked brown rice, 2 tbs chopped dill, salt and pepper to taste. Warm over med. heat 5 min. or until hot. Mix in 1/4 c. sour cream. If you haven't tried it, another heavenly carrot soup is with dill pesto. Click here.