News of Seasonal Produce Offerings, Auctions, Events, Agritourism and Farmers in Casey County, Kentucky ~ and the Old Order Mennonite & Amish Communities ~ located in the scenic Knobs Region and agricultural heart of Kentucky.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall is In Full Season at Hillside Greenhouse and Produce

Hillside Greenhouse and Produce, in the large red-roofed log cabin tucked up on the hill behind Sunny Valley Country Store, is now bustling with visitors from around the state and county––and even tourists from further away.

Paul and Verna Hoover built the log cabin showroom several years ago and now offer produce year round––much of it locally grown––in addition to their other plants and greenhouse items in season. 

Currently there are many local pumpkins, squash and gourds available and over fourteen varieties of apples (mostly imported from New York state) including Cameo, Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Golden Supreme, Granny Smith, Jonagold, MacIntosh, Mutzu, Red Delicious, Rome, Stayman WinesapWolf River and Yellow Delicious. Verna told us today that another large shipment of apples is due into the store on Saturday, October 1st.

The Stayman Winesap apple is one of the very best apples for anything and also a good keeping apple.

There is always a changing array of colorful––and affordable––mums outside of the store. Big pots of vibrant mums are a sure sign of fall and the lingering colors that they offer, 
long after seasonal frosts, are a delight to many.

Local Jack-be-Little pumpkins, 2 for $1 (any size): you can stuff them to eat or decorate with them!
You can't beat local sugar "pie" pumpkins for baking, canning and decorations, especially at that price.

Hillside Greenhouse and Produce is open year round, Monday-Saturday, from 8am-5pm, and is located on South Fork Creek Road, within three miles from route 910 in southern Casey County. [606-787-4509]

Hillside Greenhouse is conveniently located on the hill above Sunny Valley Country Store, also open Monday-Saturday, featuring an in-store deli and bakery, many locally made items and an extensive offering of bulk foods.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

September Song

Tomorrow is the first official day of autumn and it seems to have arrived here in south-central Kentucky with all of its delights and offerings. This following was shared by Joberta Wells, a regular columnist for The Casey County News and a regular 'hoot.' She returned to Casey County in 1994 after being away for over three decades. It's a great place to come back to, or to move to, that's for certain. Joberta writes:

'Years ago every little community in Casey County, Kentucky had a correspondent for The Casey County News. They collected tidbits of happenings from their areas and submitted these news items. You knew who got married, who had a baby, who died, who went to Lexington to see a specialist (a doctor with more training and education than the local general practitioner), whose cow broke through the fence into a neighbor's corn field, etc.

The correspondents for Yosemite, KY were sisters named **Wauda Coffey and Jesse Anderson. These ladies engaged in rather florid prose but occasionally they got it just right. In the September 22, 1949 edition of The Casey County News they reported the following':
The countryside is taking on the richness of autumn. Almost all the tobacco is in the barns where one sees the long leaves turning to pale gold. September has been perfect for curing the crop and for making the fall hay. Mowing machines are busy and fields are dotted with green bales, or bordered with stacks, and barns are being filled. Cornfields are brown and look a month later than the calendar says. Nature's flower garden is bright with goldenrod, purple ironweed, and many other blossoms. Buds of the summer farewell are opening instead of waiting for October to call them on the stage. It's a lovely time to be living.'

**Yes, she really was a woman named 'Wauda' –– I had changed it to Wanda, thinking it a type-o and Joberta nicely reminded me not to do that!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Glorious Garlic Grows in Casey County!

Garlic at the Hopkinton State Fair,
September 2007, Hopkinton, NH
I have yet to make a visit to Bobbett's Naturally Grown Garlic farm in Liberty but did want to mention here that they are having a special offer for the month of September only:

  • If you place an order for $25 or more, not including shipping, she will include $5 in free garlic. Place an order for $50 or more, and she will include $12 in free garlic.

Click on the above link that will take you to Bobbett Jascor's Facebook page for additional information. You can also email her at or call at 606-787-0926. If you live locally you might be able to avoid shipping by arranging to stop at her farm [located at 106 Country Way in Liberty, KY]. Currently she offers three varieties––Elephant, Cherokee and Inchelium––but is excited to report that she will have 15-18 total varieties next year.

Bobbett says that for long-term use the 'Elephant' garlic stores the longest (and it is is the biggest). Ranked second is the soft neck 'Inchelium' variety, followed by 'Cherokee.' A $25 order, with the September special, would give you, for example, 4-5 bulbs of 'Elephant' and about 10 each of the other two varieties (or any combo of 20 bulbs).

Preserving and Planting Tips from Bobbett:
'For LONG term use (throughout the entire winter) we usually preserve our garlic in one of two ways: you can peel, pickle and can the individual cloves and then rinse them before use if you don't want them so vinegary. Otherwise, if you like to cook with garlic, we peel and mince all of the cloves and then mix them with oil. We pack them into ice cube trays and put the solidified cubes into a Ziplock freezer bag. We use one or two whenever we want to cook, sauté or fry with oil and garlic.
For long term FRESH storage, you need to provide temps around 50 degrees and high humidity. Most fridges are too cold, and root cellars tend to be too warm (in KY). But if you can find some place with those conditions, most garlic will last 7-10 months. Our 'Elephant' garlic lasts through the winter just being left alone in an unheated room.'
For PLANTING: Plant in Kentucky in October for a summer harvest the next year. Here is more detailed information on-line about planting garlic. If you want to plant them in containers like I do (such as using the galvanized cattle tanks made by Tarter Gate in Liberty, KY), Bobbett adds: 'Give them at least 6" spacing and good drainage. They'll require at least 1" of water a week during the growing season.'
We've also learned that Bobbett's Naturally Grown also sells sunchokes (aka Jerusalem Artichoke tubers) in October either for planting or eating and in the summer many different kinds of berries: black, red, purple, and yellow raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, gooseberries, and currants, as well as small quantities of fresh seasonal vegetables. [I've been looking for a currant grower, as well as more gooseberries, so this is great news.]

More information is available on our 'Places to Buy Local' page, above, or click here. This is an area of the blog that could always use your input and updating, too, so if you know of a Casey County farmer who sells produce or other agricultural or animal-related products to the public, please let us know! We'll be happy to include them, and/or in the 'Bulletin Board' section, free of charge.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Local Fall Festivals and Events

Among many fall offerings at the Casey County Produce Auction.

There is so much to do in and within an easy drive of Casey County––in fact, all of Kentucky––in the autumn months. So many offerings celebrate the season and agricultural bounty of Kentucky while others are fun, historical or just a great reason to be outside with your family. September and October provide a perfect opportunity to enjoy the region in the cooler, more temperate, months, before a quieter winter. With higher gas prices, too, what better way to 'get away' than by doing something in your own backyard?

An early autumn scene along South Fork Creek in Casey County.

Here are some highlights of several fall festivals and events, with links where available. Make sure you click on those for additional information or ways you can help [If you know of other related agritourism events or activities in the next few months, please let me know and I'll include them here]:

The annual Galilean Children's Home Benefit Quilt Auction brings
in handmade quilts from around the country and region each year.
Penn's Store is undergoing an extensive restoration after the
devastating May 2010 flood which impacted much of Casey County.

All manner of livestock are auctioned each year
at the 501 Casey County Benefit Auction and Sale.
Some of the many homemade Mennonite baked goods that are always available
at the 501 Casey County Benefit Auction and Sale, held this year October 29th.

Additional events and happenings are listed at the Liberty-Casey County Chamber of Commerce website. You can also check the excellent Tour Southern and Eastern Kentucky calendar for more information on fun things to do not too far from home.

We will also be updating our GROW Casey County Facebook page with other events as they might come up. If you're on Facebook, consider Friending GROW Casey County for more regular updates, links and interesting bits of agricultural and local food-related information.

~ Also, a note that the Casey County Produce Auction has returned to their regular Monday, Wednesday and Thursday schedule through September: 2pm on Monday and Wednesday and 5pm on Thursday October will have a further altered auction schedule: please check above link.