Kehr Family Farm

  (Littlestown, Pennsylvania)
fresh from our family farm to your home...
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Winter on the farm

During the cold winter months, we enjoy some much needed rest from the busy planting and harvesting.  However, with it now being the middle of January, a little bit of hot sun and some fresh blueberries sound incredibly wonderful right now.

Even though we aren't in the fields, we are thinking about this upcoming growing season.  We are taking time to look through seed catalogs for just the right varieties of pumpkins, gourds, and corn.  We are looking forward to expanding our blueberry patch with at least one more row of blueberry plants.  We would like to add a fifth type of berry to extend the harvest season for berry picking and offer yet another size & taste.

Heather Anne still has a wagon full of cooking pumpkins to enjoy.  In fact, tomorrow morning, she will be cooking off two pumpkins to make some pumpkin muffins and a pumpkin pie.  The pumpkins last amazingly well in the cool garage.  She is also considering making a stew with pumpkin.  Sounds very tasty!

We just filled out information to go into our Adams County Local Foods Resource Guide.  If you live in the area, be sure to get a copy of this valuable resource.  It is packed with information on local producers who offer farm fresh produce grown right here in Adams County!  You can also find out the season to harvest many vegetables and fruits as well as local restaurants that feature locally grown foods.  We should have some copies on hand to share with you during blueberry season.

For now, keep bundled up during the upcoming snow and pull out a few frozen blueberries to make a blueberry cobbler or some warm blueberry muffins.

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beautiful fall

The weather has been so beautiful on these October weekends!  We are happy to share that the pumpkin crop is still plentiful even though we've seen a big increase in our number of customers and sales.  We are thankful to those who return season after season to support our farm and family.  We are also very thankful for those who are new to visiting our farm and allowing us to share the harvest of the season!

I'd love to share with you a great pumpkin recipe that you can use with fresh pumpkin.  I prefer to use the neck pumpkins but there are many other tasty varities of pumpkins that bake up tasty!

Pumpkin Gingerbread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large mixing, combine sugar, oil and eggs; beat until smooth. Add water and beat until well blended. Stir in pumpkin, ginger, allspice cinnamon, and clove.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture and blend just until all ingredients are mixed. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour.

This recipe makes two large loaves and two - three mini loaves.  (Originally from www.allrecipes.com)

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Autumn Harvest

With our summer blueberry season over, we are now into our autumn pumpkin harvest.  Again this year we have planted three acres of pumpkins and gourds.  We have some really neat pumpkin varieties that give color, texture, and shape options.  While cutting a few pumpkins for our "store front" display, we have found amazing gourds.  Huge winged gourds with brilliant colors and wild shapes.  We have some amazing jack-be-littles.

Today was our opening day and we were blessed with a beautiful crisp autumn day.  We welcomed quite a few families who took our John Deere pull wagons into the field to select the pumpkins just right for their families.  We always enjoy watching the little ones point out all the pumpkins. 

Despite having over six inches of rain this past week, out patch isn't too bad.  We have some paths mowed into the patch to provide easy walking.  We hope that there isn't much rain and that the weather stays cool.  A lot of rain could mean the harvest time is cut shorter than what we hope.  Our plan at this time is to remain open through the last weekend in October.  If you want to visit, please feel free to call us to check on field conditions and availability.

Our hours during the month of October: Saturday 9AM - 5PM and Sunday 1PM - 5PM.  For groups, please contact us about additional details.

We hope that you are enjoying this beautiful fall!  Bake up a batch of pumpkin muffins or savor a creamy pumpkin pie.  Enjoy some fresh sliced apples and some warm mulled cider.

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Picking schedule

We are so excited that the blueberries are ripening.  This is very early as most crops are running about 2 weeks earlier than typical years.

We would love to have you visit our farm to enjoy some fresh picked blueberries.  Please feel free to call our farm for picking schedules and information.

A few tips to make your visit to the blueberry patch successful and fun:

1.  Wear sneakers or light boots.  You will be in a working blueberry patch with grass walkways between the rows.  These shoes will protect your feet from any scratches or sunburn and provide you with comfort as you pick.

2.  Call to schedule a time for picking.  We are still growing in our farm production, so it would be helpful to know what time you might be coming and how much you'd like to pick.  Plus we can update you on the current picking schedule for the week.  If you drop by during picking hours, we'd still be happy to open our patch to you.

**Opening week schedule**

Monday, June 14 8AM - 11AM

Wednesday, June 16 7AM - 10AM

Friday, June 18 7AM - 10AM

Most other weeks will be Monday & Wednesday & Saturday 8AM - 11AM

3.  Bring containers to take your blueberries home with you.  We have picking buckets for you to use in the field.  However, it is best to bring some empty ice cream pails, Rubbermaid/Tupperware style containers or even empty berry boxes from the store to take your berries home.

We hope that you enjoy all the bounty that summer has to offer and that includes our fresh blueberries straight from the patch to your home!

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Start of a new growing season

Spring is here!  Although the recent days have been a bit wet and cool, the end of this week should be sunny and warm!  We've been out in the blueberry patch preparing things for this growing season.  We've been inspecting the bushes and planning on what is trimming is necessary.  We have been getting on top of the weeds that are quick to try to take over and so far, feel very positive about the upcoming growing season.

We are working on our pickers packet filled with blueberry facts, a tasty blueberry recipe, coloring page/activites for children and a letter about our farm.  With that in mind, we encourage you to share your favorite recipe made with fresh blueberries.  We would love to put one or two of our pickers' favorites in the packet to share with others.  Feel free to email your favorite blueberry recipe to us at hak971@yahoo.com for consideration.

Our hope is to write more about the preparation and life on the farm as things are really starting to take off now! 

 

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Unseasonable weather...

This weekend has been pretty wet and chilly in the pumpkin patch.  We still have a lot of great pumpkins but due to the rain and fridgid temperatures, we decided to close our pumpkin patch for today.  Hopefully we will be open again tomorrow.  However, that doesn't look too promising.

Next weekend October 24 and 25, we will be in full swing again.  Ready to offer our harvest of pumpkins and gourds.  I will once again be baking sweet pumpkin treats for you to enjoy.

We encourage each of our guests to wear sneakers or boots as you will be walking in an active pumpkin field.  It isn't super muddy because of the grasses on the ground but the pumpkins are still growing on the vines in the field.

Today we had two brave souls who came to get pumpkins.  They have been here every year since we have opened and have a great knack for creating beautiful pumkpin designs that are fun and very unique.  We are thankful for their loyalty to our pumpkin patch and look forward to seeing their new creations.

If you have any question if we are open, please call our phone number as we try to update our message frequently.  Of course if you have questions or would like to order a fresh pumpkin pie or pumpkin whoopie pies, please call to let us know.

We hope to see you next weekend as we look forward to the weather being a beautiful autumn day once again.

Sincerely,

Ken & Heather Anne Kehr

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Preparing the patch

It is that time of year again that we are busy getting ready for our patch to open.  We have been monitoring the patch for the growth of our pumpkins and are pleased to see many big fruits out there.  However, quite a few are still green since we ended up having to replant this spring.  So we are choosing to open up the first weekend in October this year.  Hopefully that will give the fruit a bit more time to ripen for the best harvest possible!

We are looking forward to this season with anticipation and excitement.  Yes, there is work being a farmer but there is great joy when others are pleased with your produce and learn something about farming in the process.

I was surprised to find lots of birdhouse gourds in the field.  Honestly, harvest time is kind of fun as you are surprised by what you find.  We plant and we monitor the patch but it is really fall time that things start to come together!

This year I can't wait to harvest the Indian corn with all the delightful colors!  We also have popcorn which is fun!  Well, I guess it is time to head back out to the fields to get things ready.  Enjoy these early days of fall!

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summer time on the farm

Our blueberry crop was very good for the first year of production.  We enjoyed quite a few families that picked in our patch.  They were delighted with the size and flavor of the berries.  Several came back for more throughout the picking weeks.

We are now enjoying some delcious cherry tomatoes in both red & orange.  They are quite tasty and make such a beautiful addition to a salad.  We are hopeful for the bigger size tomatoes to ripen soon.  I have found a handful of roma tomatoes and will look forward to making them into sauce.  With over 70 plants, we are excited to add these to our farm's produce for sale.

This evening Ken brought in our first harvest of sweet corn.  Oh it is so good!  We enjoyed some bi-color corn and some yellow.  We are also selling sweet corn by the dozen.  We pick each order fresh on the morning it is to be picked up by the consumer.  If you are interested in some, please let us know through email or phone call and we will be sure to set up a good day and time for your fresh sweet corn!  ($3.50/dozen or $3.25/dozen for orders of 10 dozen or more)  The ears are long and filled out!

We are sad to say that we have no peppers to offer this summer.  Hopefully next year we can add that to our produce list again.  The spinach and lettuce are finished also.

This is a great time of year to enjoy the bountiful harvest of gardens and farms in your area.  Be sure to visit your local farmer's market or visit those little honor stands along country roads to pick up some tasty vegetables and fruits fresh from the field!

We look forward to seeing you soon!  Enjoy the harvest of summer flavors!

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the joys of summer

Ovet he past few days we have enjoyed seeing our plants burst forth delcious blueberries.  Our Northland berries have come on strong with berries that are great for baking and eating.  They are sweet yet filled with the familiar blueberry tang.  We have also begun to see the Bluecrop berries coming on big and bright!  They really make a beautiful and delcious fruit salad when combined with strawberries and other fresh fruits.

Being our first year open as a pick your own patch, we are learning quite a bit.  We enjoy seeing our customers come with anticipation and the hopes of picking just the right berries for their snacking and baking.  We put together small packet of information for our customers, including a wonderful berries & cream coffee cake recipe, a coloring page for children, blueberry facts and some very helpful preservation information.

We hope to see you at our farm for some fresh blueberries!  Contact us for picking times and availability! 

Ken & Heather Anne

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Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins

Pumpkin Doughnut Muffins – makes 24 muffins

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ cup mashed pumpkin
¼ cup buttermilk
3 cups whole wheat/unbleached flour
1 Tbsp. Baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Topping:
½ cup sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter, melted

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in pumpkin and buttermilk.

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg into the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth. The batter will be stiff.

4. Spray two 12-cup muffin pans with butter-flavored spray. Divide the batter among the 24 cups and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and tester comes out clean. Cool the muffins for a few minutes on a wire rack.

5. For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, generously brush the tops with butter and roll in the cinnamon and sugar. Cook on the wire rack and serve.
 
 
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