September Color

This is such a beautiful and exciting time of year! Summer and Fall merge, in a glorious display of color.

You can find pumpkins, strawbales, gourds, apples, and apple cider at Kirby's. A great start to the Fall season!

 We love growing a variety of pumpkins and gourds...

This giant gourd variety grows into some very interesting shapes and colors.

 

Little orange and white pumpkins are adorable, in just as many shapes and sizes.


Our large Mums are exploding with color!

And there are a lot of colors to choose from. Complement your mums with some interesting foliage plants from our perennial area. Perennials are all 25% off!

Produce Update

Tomatoes are at their peak, while peaches are beginning to come to a close. Right now we have Cresthaven peaches, which are a freestone variety that's excellent for baking, eating, freezing, and canning. We also Babygold, a clingstone variety that is our personal favorite for canning. They have excellent flavor, you don't have to peel them, and their firm flesh holds up well in a jar.

matas
peaches
applecrates
applecrates

Apple Varieties Available now:

Honeycrisp, Autumn Crisp, Gingergold, McIntosh, Paula Red, and Jonamac

Other homegrown produce in season:

Sweet and Hot Peppers, Eggplant, Lettuce, Kale, Beets, Broccoli, Garlic, Cauliflower, Plums, Pluots, and Nectarines.

Locally grown produce in season:

Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Parsnips, and Shiitake Mushrooms

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apples
peppe

End of the Season Produce

The end of the season is nearly here! Stock up on produce while these quality homegrown fruits and vegetables are still available.

TREE
TREE

APPLE UPDATE:

  • We'll have Jonagold, Empire, McIntosh, Macoun, Cortland and Twenty Ounce apples until we close on December 24th.
  • Varities we're getting low on: Red Delicious, Crispin, and Northern Spy.

To store apples for a long period of time, it's important to keep them around 33-35 degrees F. Because of their sugar content, apples won't freeze at 32 degrees. If freezing does occur, it will have an affect on the quality so be sure to keep them from temperatures below 30 degrees.

You could also enjoy the flavor and nutrition of apples throughout the winter, preserved as applesauce, dried apples, apple butter or apple juice. Click here for safe, simple recipes from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Over the years our customers have told us about storing their apples in large coolers, like the kind you would take to a picnic or on a camping trip. Storing apples in an insulated container like a cooler will help to maintain an even temperature, and keep the apples from freezing. In a cooler, your apples could be kept in a place where they might freeze otherwise, (in a garage, shed, or on a porch). I've also heard of people wrapping each apple in newspaper to keep them from bruising or spreading rot. It is important to make sure all of your apples are free of rot, because it will eventually spread in long term storage.

romanesco
romanesco

VEGETABLE UPDATE

With the mild weather we've had this December, cold season vegetables have lasted quite awhile. As temperatures finally drop into the appropriate December range, crops are experiencing one freeze too many. What we have now is it for fresh vegetables!

As of December 17th, we have a good stock of Romanesco, Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale and Brussel Sprouts, Butternut and Acorn Squash.

To enjoy these healthy veggies throughout the winter, check out the website of the National Center for Food Preservation. They have some great articles on freezing vegetables (like broccoli) and the proper way to blanch.

Locally grown potatoes are another great item to stock up on at this time of year. Right now we have seven 50 lb bags of red potatoes, as well as one 50lb bag and two 10lb bags of white. potatoes.  To properly store potatoes, keep them in a well ventilated, dark place

While your here, be sure to check out our selection of locally made gifts, stocking stuffers, and unusual gift-giving ideas! It's always worth a stroll through the greenhouse to enjoy some holiday color from the poinsettias too.

Peaches at Kirby's!

Several new peach orchards were planted on our farm within the last five years. All of that patience and hard work has paid off this season with one of the biggest peach crops we've ever seen! We have bushels of beautiful orange-gold fruits available until the end of September for canning, freezing, baking, making jam or just eating fresh.

Peach Varieties

Glohaven: A midseason variety, Glohaven is a freestone peach that's excellent for canning (or jam), fresh eating, freezing, and desserts. Great peach flavor and plenty of juice!

Babygold: A unique peach, very popular for canning. It has excellent flavor, with a firm almost 'rubbery' texture. The upside is that you don't have to remove the skin when you can them and the firm flesh doesn't become stringy like so many other peach varieties when they've been in the jar for a little while. The only downside: they're clingstone, so you usually have to cut them off the pit. Babygold is the Kirby family's peach of choice for canning and we think the extra work is well worth it.

Gloria: A new variety this year, Gloria is another unique peach. This freestone, low- acid peach is nice and sweet with plenty of juice. It stays firm (almost crisp)  even as it ripens, so you don't have to worry about bruising! We've never had a peach quite like it. Gloria is excellent for baking and fresh eating.

Raritan Rose: A  low-acid, freestone, White Peach.  Many of our customers wait for the white peaches to come out every year because they prize the distinctive, aromatic qualities. It's one of those fruits that create instant memories the moment you bite into it, and you'll never forget that first bite.  Have you ever tried one? You really should, (especially if you're a fan of fresh peach daiquiris! They make the best I've ever had.) they are unusual and delicious... and they won't be here for long!

Cresthaven: Our last peach variety of the season. Freestone, excellent for desserts, canning (and jam) fresh eating, and freezing.

Donut Peaches: I'm sure you've heard of these odd looking stone fruits by now. If you haven't, hurry in and try some because they're almost gone! Each squished little peach is packed with flavor.

Tip: Freezing peaches for the first time?

It's super easy, here's how I do it. Slice up the peaches and toss them in a large bowl with 1/2  cup of sugar per 4 quarts  (about 12 peaches).  Scoop them into freezer bags, 2 cups each, seal and lay flat in the freezer (be sure to spread them out instead of stacking them right on top of each other). Take out whenever you need a nice taste of summer during the long NY winter.

Since I use most of my frozen peaches for smoothies and other delicious beverages, I leave the skin on. If you plan to bake with them and would prefer to do so without the skins, dunk the peaches in boiling water for about two minutes. Allow to cool and remove the skin before continuing on with the rest of the process.

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RECIPE: Healthy Peach Smoothie

Vanilla gives this delicious smoothie the effect of creaminess without any dairy, while hints of cinnamon and orange complement the peaches perfectly.

1/4 Cup Orange Juice

2 Ripe Peaches, cut into chunks

1 Cup of Ice

Dash Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Vanilla

Put all ingredients into a blender, beginning with the orange juice. Blend until frothy and smooth, then pour into glasses and garnish with a peach slice. A refreshing, fat-free beverage!

And remember... it's always nice to share!

 

The Last Fruits (and Vegetables) of Summer

September is such a beautiful month! Gorgeous skies, brilliant greens and golds, and so much beautiful produce. It is a month that contains the slow blending of summer into Autumn and we see the signs everywhere we look. Fresh sweet corn is piled next to dewy cauliflower and cabbage. The last pecks of Cresthaven peaches fill a table beside rows and rows of apples. Bushels of tomatoes disappear one by one, transformed into jars of brilliantly red sauces and salsas, while pumpkins and gourds appear up on every table.

Today is definitely part of that transition, on the cusp of a new season. Growing up on a farm, I've lived with the urgency of the seasons all my life: savor every bite, and then put it up before it's gone! Because, before too long those cardboard greenhouse tomatoes are all we'll have.

Therefore, I consider it my personal obligation to make sure our customers understand - that this is your final warning. Snow! Sleet! Ice! I would be the last person to disparage winter (I love it!), but there is one thing that winter doesn't have: fresh produce.

Don't miss your last chance on all of these delicious fruits and vegetables: sweet corn, eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers and of course, peaches (there are only about fifteen pecks left!).

But hey, if you've missed out on a crop or two (I only have about two bags of frozen strawberries to look forward to this winter) don't worry yourself too much. They all come right back around again.

The Great Pickle Debate

Arguments may not be as fierce as cat vs dog, superman vs spiderman, or chocolate vs vanilla, but I know more then a few people that get pretty passionate about their pickles.

Sweet or dill?

In my opinion, it's best if sweet pickles are kept very far away to save plenty of room for dill. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been notorious for my love of dill pickles. And there are always plenty around since the Kirby family puts up dozens of jars every year (in fact I'm eating one right now, from this very jar).

However you like your pickles, this is the year to try making them yourself! As with everything else, the season started early and we already have bushels of pickles ready to be partnered with garlic, vinegar and salt. The Ball "Fresh Preserving" website has a great variety of recipes. Instructions are clear and straight forward enough to take all the intimidation out of the process.

Call ahead to place your order for 3-4" pickles or 5-6" pickles. We pick on Wednesday and Friday, so they're available to pick up those days after 3pm or the following day. (585)637-2600

If you're as anxious as I am to bite into a refreshing pickle, here's a recipe that only takes a day or so.

Garlic Fridge Pickles

  • 8-10 Kirby pickles, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup of Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • Put everything but the pickles into a clean, shiny, quart  canning jar. Swirl it all around until the salt melts and everything is nicely combined. Add the pickles. Pack 'em in there (but gently) til the jar is full with an inch to half inch of head space. If the liquid does not cover all of the sliced pickles, top it off with enough cider vinegar to do so. Cover tightly and store in the fridge. Now you have to wait at least four hours to enjoy your pickles, but 12 hours would be better.

Tossing in some other ingredients like a handful of chopped fresh dill leaves, red pepper flakes or a 1/2 tsp of mustard seed would be fun too. This is a pretty loose recipe, so you might find that you have an extra pickle, but when is that a problem? Let us know if you try it out!

Not into pickles? Cucumber salads are a great hot summer day dish (the 90 degree weather this weekend definitely does not motivate us to turn on the stove). Here are a few dozen recipes from tastespotting to inspire you!