July Field Update

Early sour cherry variety.
Early sour cherry variety.

Hello from the farm! The persistent rain this Spring is a continuing challenge. It slowed things down and delayed the harvest on Spring crops like peas, lettuce, and beets. And then, it shortened the strawberry crop! I don't mind waiting for peas, but I am disappointed that strawberries are already done here.

We've said good bye to Spring crops of Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Spinach - it's time to embrace Summer!

To help you keep up with the changing seasons, here's a loose prediction of what the next month or so will look like.

Peas, Regular and Edible Pod

: Right now we're in our third planting with one more to go. We should have peas for two more weeks (mid-July)!

Lettuce: Our fresh lettuce will be available until mid-July.

Zucchini and Summer Squash are here now and will be until at least the end of July.

Sour Cherries showed up at the end of June. There isn't a lot of the first variety, so they won't be around too long. Later varieties will be here in mid July, and should last about 2 weeks.

Sweet Cherries arrived on June 28th, and they'll be around just into the beginning of August.


Fresh broccoli crowns, available by the pound.
Fresh broccoli crowns, available by the pound.

: our broccoli plantings are shaping up to be pretty epic this year, with a total of about 400,000 broccoli plants in the field.  We're in the first harvest right now! 


Broccoli SoupBroccoli Salad, and Roasted Broccoli


Coming Up:


will start showing up in about two weeks.  We're doing a planting each week for the entire month of July, with the last one going in on August 1st. This means we should have a steady supply for all of August and well into September, if Mother Nature cooperates.

3,000 feet of Beets were planted two weeks ago. We're looking forward to having lots to pick in about six weeks!

In our next update, we'll have news on tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, and peaches.

Ode to a Busy Saturday Morning

Five bushels of edible pod peas, still warm from the sun.

Twelve flats of strawberries, surrounded by a cloud of sweet perfume.

Crisp lettuce, like huge, ruffled, green roses, lined up patiently in a crate.

A pile of curling garlic scapes, like the discarded jewelry of faeries, ready to add garlicky flavor to anything cooking in the kitchen.

A wagon loaded with forty pounds of strawberries, picked by three generations!

The last of the asparagus: short, tender and sweet, like a final good bye from Spring.

They all disappear one by one, in the hands of a steady stream of fruit and vegetable lovers. Our customers!


Baked Goods from Greg'ry's, Bergen, NY

Aside from the beautiful produce coming in on this beautiful day, I am excited to share the news with you that we are once again carrying baked goods from Greg'ry's Bakery in Bergen. For years we sold rows of their delicious fruit-filled pies, stacks of cookies and plenty of loaves of bread. Once again our display is full of their high quality treats. (I have spent the entire morning resisting the urge to try one of everything! Now I just have to make the choice between giant cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, scone or a little strawberry rhubarb pies...what to pick...).  Stop by on any Friday, Saturday or Sunday and savor a treat from Greg'ry's!

Delicious Days of June: Field Update & Recipe

Things are really picking up speed on the farm! You can practically watch the crops grow with the sunshine and warm temperatures we've been enjoying.

Kirbygrown produce available in the market right now:

  • Strawberries
  • Edible Pod (Sugar Snap) Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Peppers (field grown in our high tunnel)
  • MacIntosh, Empire and Crispin Apples (last years, from CA storage)

We also have locally grown gourmet mixed field greens (that's a delicious mouth full!),  and hothouse tomatoes.

We are expecting regular peas to be here by the weekend in about ten days if the temperatures stay above seventy, and we'll start Pick Your Own peas and strawberries in the next week or so. If you're interested in pick your own, give us a call at (585)637-2600 to check on picking conditions.


Strawberry Spinach Salad

Last week, Betty, one of our market salespeople, brought this salad in for us to try. It features two of our favorite early summer ingredients, and was so refreshing that we had to share it with you!

For the Salad

  • 1 lb fresh, washed Spinach
  • 2 cups sliced Strawberries
  • ¼ cup slivered Almonds

For the Dressing

  • ½ cup Miracle Whip
  • ½ cup Orange Juice concentrate
  • 1 Tbsp Honey


Combine Miracle Whip, honey, and orange juice in a small bowl. Set aside.

Tear the spinach into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl or on individual salad plates. Arrange strawberries on top of spinach. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with Almonds. Enjoy!

Asparagus Season!

History and Nutrition

The brief season of our first vegetable is full of enthusiastic fans, and for good reason! Asparagus has been enjoyed as far back as 3000 B.C, as documented in an Egyptian frieze. Beloved by kings, early physicians, and ancient epicureans alike, asparagus has a lot to offer the modern vegetable eater! 4-5 grams protein and 3 grams of fiber per cup, an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6, not to mention it's high rating on a scale of deliciousness. Grilled, satueed, steamed, boiled, roasted, or broiled asparagus is delicious with just about anything. Beef, chicken, eggs, salads, pasta... The flavor of asparagus pairs especially well with garlic, rosemary, tarragon, thyme and lemon.

Try this simple recipe!

  • Cut 1 pound of fresh, rinsed, Kirbygrown asparagus into even pieces.
  • Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium.
  • Add one clove of fresh, minced garlic and saute briefly, then toss in your asparagus.
  • Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the asparagus is crisp tender. (My asparagus of medium thickness was done in 8 minutes.)
  • Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt or to taste, and serve! I recommend a garnish of chive flowers or purple violas.

Variation: Toss with the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Storage and Peparation Tips:

  1. It's best to use asparagus within a few days of purchasing to get full flavor and nutritional benefits.
  2. To store asaparagus, wrap the ends in wet paper towel and then put the entire bunch in a plastic bag. You want to contain a little moisture so the stalks don't get dried out.
  3. Asparagus loves growing in the sandy soil of our Ridge Road farm, so make sure you rinse it well to avoid crunching on grains of sand.
  4. Break off the white woody end before cooking to remove the fibrous part of the plant that grows under the soil.

More recipes to come!

Field Update 5/9/11

Peaches - Our early peach varieties are in full bloom right now! When you drive by the farm you'll see rows of cloudy pink - those are the peaches and they smell fantastic. Peaches won't be ready until July, but Spring is still a crucial time of year for our peach crop.  A hard frost wiping out thousands of peaches is a very real danger through the month of May, which would mean the end to delicious Kirbygrown peaches for 2011. How can you tell if it gets too cold? The morning after a cold break Mr. Kirby will go out to the orchard and open up a blossom. If the center is black, the fruit has been killed. This is also true of strawberry blossoms. As of this moment our peach crop is looking great - let's hope Mother Nature is kind this season!

Asparagus - On a hot day you can practically watch the asparagus grow. This cold wet Spring we've had so far has slowed it down. Our first picking came in last week but it will be a few days before we pick again. If you're planning to come by for asparagus before the weekend, call ahead to be sure we have it in. We also take orders by phone, which is always a good idea for large quantities (asparagus freezes and pickles well). Check our facebook page for updates!

Rhubarb - we'll be picking some nice big stalks this weekend. Rhubarb pie anyone? Or sauce! Yum.

Spinach & Beets - if we continue to get warm sunshine for a while (cross your fingers!) we'll have spinach and beets in two weeks.

Simple Sauteed Asparagus

Growing up on the farm, asparagus was always boiled until tender, and then served with butter, salt, and pepper. Simple, pretty healthy, and nutritious! But I have to say, I didn't gain an appreciation for asparagus until I got older, and I think finding other ways to serve it helped. Even though boiled asparagus will always be the stand-by, my favorite way to cook it at the moment is tossed in a pan with some fresh garlic (or garlic scapes) and olive oil. Sometimes I'll add parmasean cheese, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar or soy sauce to switch it up. Ingredients:

  • About 2 tsps Olive Oil or Butter
  • 1 pound Asparagus
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced, or 2 Tbsp Garlic Scapes, minced
  • Salt to taste

1. Rinse the asparagus thoroughly (it grows in the sandy soil by our farm market, and often grains of sand cling to it), then cut into one inch pieces.

2. In a large frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat.

3. Add minced garlic and asparagus. Stir to keep the garlic from sticking and cover with a lid. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tip: I've found that the water clinging to the asparagus helps to keep everything from drying out and sticking to the pan- sometimes I'll add a little more water and cover it with a lid as it cooks, to create steam.


  • At the end, toss with 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice and  1/2 tsp of lemon zest.
  • Sprinkle with chopped walnuts or grated parmasean cheese.
  • Stir 2 tsps of soy sauce or balsamic vinegar into the cooked asparagus. 

If you have a favorite asparagus recipe, send it our way. We would love to try it out and share it!