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

pruneplum
apples
peppe

May 1st Farm Update!

 

On a drive around the farm today, beautiful signs of Spring were everywhere. The apricot trees are the first to flower!

 

 

peas

Peas

We had a cold start to the season this year and there will be a slight delay because of it. Even for cool weather crops like peas, you have to wait for the soil to warm up enough before you can put seeds in the ground.

For the past two years, peas were planted in the first week of April, but for 2014 they weren't in the ground until the third week. Although this is closer to normal, it does mean that we'll have to wait a little longer for those delicious green pods to make an appearance.

strawberry

 

Strawberries

When the forsythia blooms, we know it's time to rake the insulating layer of straw off of the strawberry plants. The sooner their green leaves can bask in the warm Spring sunshine, the sooner we can bite into a sweet, red, strawberry.

 

 

 

broccolies

Broccoli

This is the earliest broccoli has ever been planted at Kirby's. Thousands and thousands of plants were seeded. Starting in June, broccoli will be harvested every week until cold temperatures kill the plants. We're in for another epic year of broccoli!

 

Peaches

Last year we all enjoyed a phenomenal peach crop - we just about had more peaches then we knew what to do with! Unfortunately, it looks like this year we'll be lucky to find a peck basket in the entire orchard. It’s sad news for us, and our customers. Luckily many of our other stone fruits weren’t hit as hard; it looks like the plums, prunes, and apricots will be bearing a normal crop!

 You might remember a few days this past winter, when the temperature dropped to -11F.  That was too cold for the tender young growth of the peach trees to survive. The trees themselves weathered the winter, but those young buds are the source of this season's peaches.

barn
barn

If you're wondering how we can predict the yield for a crop that won't fruit for months, there is a simple way to find out if your blossoms will turn into fruit.

Sometime in April when the buds on the trees are just beginning to break out, Tim Kirby cuts a handful of small branches. He sticks them in a bucket or jar and keeps them in a warm place. The buds will open enough to reveal the flower. With the help of a magnifying glass and a small knife, you can see whether the inside of the pistil is black or green. A black heart is a sure sign that the fruit doesn't have a chance.


 Thanks for reading! We know our customers like to stay informed of how the weather is effecting the crops, and how the season is coming along. For the rest of the year, we 'll  post a Field Update on the first and third week of the month. See you soon!

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Field Update: September at Kirby's

Here's a collection  of snapshots from the farm market yesterday. So many beautiful Fall colors to enjoy! Click the thumbnails to enjoy the full image.

Fresh homegrown Swiss Chard

 

Summer is blending into Autumn, as you can see on our produce tables! Sweet corn is coming to a close soon, and peaches are almost done. We have tons of prunes and tomatoes right now, but we're coming up on the last week of pickles. Sweet peppers are going strong, we just started our last planting of beets (they're beautiful!), our yard is filling with pumpkins and we're getting more squash and gourds every day! Stop by to enjoy those last tastes of Summer. Before you know it, they'll be gone until next year!

 

August Field Update

Castleton Prunes (a type of plum) will be ready to harvest in about a week.
Castleton Prunes (a type of plum) will be ready to harvest in about a week.

This is the peak of summer, and our farm market is filled with an amazing variety of Kirbygrown fresh fruits and vegetables! 

A bin full of green peppers waits in the shade.
A bin full of green peppers waits in the shade.
  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Eggplant
  • Cantaloupe
Gingergold apples are one of the first varieties we pick. In just a few more days they'll be ready!
Gingergold apples are one of the first varieties we pick. In just a few more days they'll be ready!
  • Pickles
  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Corn
  • Red Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Watermelon
  • Hot Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Locally Grown Potatoes
  • Locally Grown Blueberries

Peaches: Red Haven peaches came in on Saturday. Available by the quart, four quart, peck, or bushel, they're great for baking, eating, and freezing.

Cantaloupe: The first variety of cantaloupe in our market is a small, single-serving variety. It's supers sweet, and so delicious!

Watermelon: It's been a while since we grew watermelon, but it was worth the wait! We have smaller yellow watermelons, and traditional red, both with seeds. They're incredibly flavorful, crisp, and juicy.

Tomatoes: Coming on slowly because of the cool weather, we're hoping to have tomatoes by the bushel by 8/22.

Apples: Jerseymac is our first variety, and Gingergold are close behind.

A full load of apples for the 2013 harvest.
A full load of apples for the 2013 harvest.
60 bushels of fresh green peppers wait to be taken to our short-term storage facility.
60 bushels of fresh green peppers wait to be taken to our short-term storage facility.
Fruit harvests are shaping up to be fantastic this year!
Fruit harvests are shaping up to be fantastic this year!
The weight of ripe fruit will often stress or break a small tree.
The weight of ripe fruit will often stress or break a small tree.
Peaches are always picked tree-ripened: firm to the touch but fully colored.
Peaches are always picked tree-ripened: firm to the touch but fully colored.

Meanwhile, in our Garden Center, our beautiful Mums are just beginning to show color. We have dozens of varieties to chose from!

All of our Perennials are still 25% off! Find some amazing deals on clearance.

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!

 

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.