Antietam Valley Farmers and Artists Market

A very lovely friend of mine recently moved to the Antietam area. She discovered and shared with me that they have an awesome farmers market on Saturday mornings. Their grand grand opening for the season was earlier this summer. The event is usually all outdoors but because of the rain they moved it into the rec center there at the park. This alone was super awesome.

We first did a circle to see everything. The worst thing to do at a farmers market is to buy at the first stand you see. You must walk around, see what everyone has and THEN go around and purchase.

My first purchase came from Conebella Farm. They are a dairy farm that has been owned by the same family since 1923, a whopping 5 generations. They have AMAZING cheese. After trying a few samples I was HOOKED and left with a 10oz block of Hickory Smoked Colby Jack. I purchased the Old Bay cheese  spread the last time I was there. It’s so good with pretzels. The prices are great for a local, fresh cheese!

Next came HONEY! Griesemer Beekeeping has fresh honey made out of Wernersville. I did not buy a jar of honey this time, but couldn’t resist a few honey sticks 5/$1. They have a variety of flavors and it was hard to pick just a few! Fun fact- buying local honey is also great for allergies!

Grow Your Own Freedom was my next stop. I am addicted to this stand. I’m just going to leave their website right HERE! I’ve been using their bug sprays all summer. At least once a year like this because of bites-IMG_7001

I usually swell and hurt and throb, it’s a nightmare. This year, I got ONE bug bite on my hand because I forgot to spray once. Even with working in the garden. Even in the middle of a swamp in North Carolina on vacation. NO BUG BITES. Seriously. This stuff is MIRACLE spray. The last time I was at the market I got their Vanilla Mocha chapstick. Uh. Holy. Moly. I can’t even. Or odd. So yummy. It leaves my lips nice and soft without being sticky. I am in LOVE. They make soaps, salves, scrubs- tons of all natural and locally grown/made stuff. Garden care is also a service that they provide and help with. Seriously. I think I’m in LOVE. 

We bought a few other goodies, but I will write about those in a later post. For now, enjoy this picture of me with a purple tongue from eating a pint of black raspberries all by myself.

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Crepes with Strawberries

Yes, more strawberries. They’re still coming in and will be the rest of the summer. I HAVE to eat them!!!

Crepes:

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup COLD water

1/2 cup COLD milk/cream

2 teaspoons coco powder

BUTTER

Cinnamon

Filling stuff of your choosing

I want to take a minute to adore these BEAUTIFUL brown eggs from Eric’s grandparents. Their red sexlinks have been supplying us while we are waiting for our girls to start producing!

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SIFT the flour, and if you so choose, the cinnamon and coco powder. This removes a lot of lumps and makes a nice smooth batter.

1.Whisk all ingredients together. I added a dash of cinnamon and coco powder because, WHY NOT!? It will all be the consistency of really thick chocolate milk, or a runny milk shake. You will have the urge to add more flour. DON’T DO IT!

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2. Chill in fridge for at least one hour.

3. I used fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup. You can use berries, bananas, peanut butter, whipped cream, caramel, chocolate- think of this as like a dessert/brunch taco. Go ham. HAHA get it, ham? Regardless of what you choose to fill your crepes with, you should prepare it while the batter is chilling.

4. Use BUTTER to grease the pan. Because crepes are French. Butter+French=all things good. In all honesty, I used a non-stick pan and you really don’t need that much butter. Slather it on afterwards though!

5. They are thin so they cook super fast. Add a dollop to the center of the pan, grab the handle and swirl around to spread the batter. The sides will begin to pull away.

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6. Flip once to finish cooking/brown the other side.

7. Slide out and fill til your little heart’s content.

8. YUM!

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Totally should have dusted with powdered sugar and coco powder! Oh for hindsight!

And even though crepes are French, I listened to the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack because Jean-Yves Thibaudet is breath-taking.

Pocket Pork, Cheesy Bacon Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans

After spending my afternoon floating around reading “The Jane Austen Handbook,” and drinking my favorite Summer Tea, I got to make dinner!

Ingredients

1 cup chopped onion

4-6 Boneless/Skinless pork chops

1 clove garlic

Salt/Pepper

1/2 cup EVOO

Fresh Green Beans

3 tablespoons butter

8-10 red potatoes (as many or as little as you need really)

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Marble Jack

Worcestershire Sauce

Garlic Powder

REAL Bacon bits

1. Mince the onion and clove of garlic. We had a little baby onion from our garden that was the perfect size! Add almost all of them too a bowl. You’ll need about a tablespoon of the onion/garlic for the potatoes.

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2. Add the EVOO, salt and pepper, and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce to the onion and garlic in the bowl. Add in the thawed pork chops. Shake around to distribute the marinade.

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3. Pre-heat your oven to 400. Start a pot on the stove to pre-boil the potatoes.

4. Dirty peel and chop your potatoes. Add them to the water with the remainder onion and garlic. Boil until soft NOT mushy.

5. Create a foil pocket, spray with non-stick spray. Dump the pork chops and marinade into the pocket. Wrap up, and place on a baking sheet with sides.

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6. Grease a baking dish. Add half of your potatoes. Cover with half of the cheese and bacon. Dump rest of potatoes on top. Cover with remaining cheese and bacon. Cut up 2 tablespoons of butter to add on top. Cover with foil.

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7. Add potatoes to the oven with the pork chops. The pork should be in for a total of 30-45 minutes depending on how thick the chops are. The potatoes really just need to melt and have the flavors meld together and should be in for about 20-30 minutes.

8. As everything finishes cooking, boil your green beans until soft and strain. Toss in your last tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with garlic powder.

9. Pull everything out, make a plate and ENJOY!

 

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Rad Radishes

So this has nothing to do with the gardens that Eric and I have. My parents also have a little garden! They have green beans, peppers, heirloom and roma tomatoes, broccoli, carrots and radishes. They started all of their plants from little baby seeds. We had a whole green house kinda thing set up in our four-season room on the table. My dad was the official waterer.

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“I feel like the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding with his bottle of Windex spraying everything.”

From there they transferred their little seedlings to the big garden out back. My parents had been adding coffee grounds, dried and powdered egg shells to the soil along with some miracle grow.

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The past few weeks the carrots, green beans, broccoli and radishes have been growing and growing. The tomatoes have been a bit slow on the whole growing thing. I’m sure they’ll catch up though. 🙂

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Carrots

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Green Beans

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Broccoli

Yesterday I stopped by to take a look at the growth. The rashes were literally EXPLODING out of the ground. Ok, no veggies were harmed in the taking of these pictures. They were really popping out though.

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After some serious debate at dinner, it was decided to go out and pull the few that seemed to be done. Though we ended up leaving most of the radishes in the ground to keep growing, we were able to pluck 4! And they were BEAUTIFUL!

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Mom was SO EXCITED to get her radishes; being that she’s the only one in the house that eats them….until I mentioned that I had never tried a radish. Of course it was such a joy for her to give me one of the little bulbs.

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Completely anti-climactic. I would eat them again. I didn’t hate them. I’d rather continue to take pretty pictures of them and leave them for my mom to put in her salads.

Blooms Away!

The plants are a blooming! A few weeks ago Eric and I got our plants and seeds in the ground!

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Back when the maters, onion, taters, and peppers were just wittle baby sprouts!

The beds had been thoroughly limed, sanded, peat mossed and turned. We tilled and limed the beds in the fall so that the lime could soak into the ground. We limed again in March so that it could get into the ground enough that it wouldn’t burn the plants. PA soil is naturally not very acidic and needs some help. We added in the peat moss and sand at this time as well. It keeps the ground loose for the roots to grow into and adds nutrients. After we planted the tomatoes we added epsom salt around the bases to help them out a bit. They LOVE it. Once they really get going Eric found a natural pesticide somewhere that worked wonderfully last year.

We lay down a breathable, water penetrating plastic between and around the plants so we don’t have to weed. We hate weeding.

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The strawberry patch kicking butt! The big bright huge green one in the center is our all-star from last season.

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So. Many. Green Bean. Plants.

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Wide view of the first garden. The far section is a few rows of corn.

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Onions….not quite sure what we’re going to do with all of them but they’re coming in tall and strong! New addition from last year.

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Our potato plants have exploded and done way better than we could have hoped and expected. These are another new addition and I’m praying the taters under ground are just as big and awesome as the plants above.

Eric and I are in competition this year as to who can grow the better tomato plant and the better tomatoes. I post mine and he puts his in cages. Obviously my way is better. I will keep you updated as to who is in the lead and the most successful throughout the summer.

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Mater plants. The ones with the white are Eric’s. The ones in the back are mine.

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Wide view of the second garden with the pumpkin, watermelon plants and pepper plants.

The potatoes have just started blooming so hopefully by the end of next week we’ll be digging them up! Our strawberry plants have been producing like crazy already this year. Everything else will take most of the summer to maturate.