Twin Springs Fruit Farm
Growing better since 1979
Our grandson Aubrey picking some Pink Lady back in November
For what's at market this week see the bottom section.
For farmers' markets' times and locations please

For a history of the farm and a write-up on our Green Practices please 

Our guys took the day off on Thursday for "Day Without  Immigrants";
 in support we have decided to pay them for the day.
 You don't have to convince Michael, Jesse and I of how lost we would be without their fantastic help.

Update on Canned Goods: 

We now have at least a bit of everything on all of the trucks, meaning that you should see, finally, our Hot Pepper Jelly, for the first time in many, too many, months. 

In addition we have a new supply of both pint and quart sizes of our Marinara Sauce, our Chipotle Ketchup, which you must try as many customers are truly hooked on it. My wife, who looks down her nose at regular commercial ketchup, wouldn't be without it. Being british, originally, she is always liable to just open a can of beans and scarf some down for lunch; she invariably adds some of our ketchup. She's my editor, so she is likely to delete this.

Of course we always have our Apple Butter, made with no added sugar or preservatives, but does have some spices; as well as our Apple Sauce, which is purely cooked apple, Red Cortland, and has nothing at all added. 

In addition we have, new this year, our seedless Blackberry Jelly, and Red Raspberry Jelly.

Fresh Spinach

Something new at the Bethesda United Church of Christ and the Maret School markets, both our own markets on Saturday, as well as the two Central Markets we attend in winter, Bethesda Central and Mosaic. Click above for times and locations.

Joe, after weeks of problems in the greenhouse, will be harvesting some of his wonderful baby Spinach for us, to be sent exclusively to the four above markets. I'm afraid that the other "public" markets preclude our carrying it, as we don't raise it, though we do have a nice fall planting of field Spinach, it just isn't yet ready for us to cut. 

The Incas and their purple potatoes

Suzanne sent me the picture below, as well as what's written within the quotes, and a link to the web site where there is a fine explication of the Inca exhibit at the Museum, as well as lots of fine photos and an exploration of the extent, Yuuuge!, of the empire.

She sent it very quickly, on Friday, after my newsletter would have arrived, with my article on the Magic Molly purple potato and its health benefits. Perhaps she actually works at the Museum?

You'll see that either you are breaking Inca law, or are perhaps an Incan emperor if you eat our purple potatoes.

"Dear Aubrey - 

Purple potatoes are just one part of an exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian entitled " The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire

Purple potatoes were reserved for Inka rulers only."


This is all reminding me of the fact that we often have only a handful of people responsible for certain worldwide food phenomena, or perhaps "fashions" is more apt.

Someone decided, probably a king or  emperor, that white flour was better than brown whole grain flour, and the people followed the new fashion; the same is true of white "denatured" rice, somehow seen as preferable over whole brown rice. Of course, last week, along with a bit more you'll find down below, I've written about purple potatoes vs. white or yellow.

Perhaps we should all look for the food prejudices which  culture has foisted upon us as a result of some whim a few hundred years ago. What follows is an example I often recount to customers who look doubtfully at either our purple or red carrots, both of which we have about sold out of. Red being truly gone, and purple not far behind, which hopefully shows their increased popularity, being as both are more nutritious than the orange. (Boy, great salesman, huh? Elevating what we are running out of, demeaning what we'll still be selling for weeks to come.) For long term readers of this newsletter, sorry if this is redundant. Nonetheless:

From Jo Robinson's great food book "Eating on the Wild Side"
"You might have noticed that orange carrots have yet to be mentioned. In fact, orange carrots did not exist until four hundred years ago, when two plant breeders in the Netherlands crossed a yellow mutant carrot from Africa with a local red carrot. The impetus for this botanical merger is that the men wanted to honor the House of Orange, the princely dynasty that had spearheaded the Netherland's revolt against Spain in the mid-sixteenth century.

The new designer vegetable was first referred to as "the long orange Dutch carrot." It became so popular that Dutch entrepreneurs began promoting it outside the country, along with their wildly popular tulip bulbs. Over the span of two hundred years, orange carrots became the most common variety in the Western world. Although purple carrots still appear in folk markets in Egypt, India, Japan, and China, most stores in the United States carry only the orange varieties.

Too bad for us that the House of Orange was not called the House of Purple. A fit of patriotism hundreds of years ago gave us the short end of the carrot stick. As is the case with most vegetables, the color of carrots is a good indicator of the amount and kinds of bionutrients they contain. Purple carrots are a concentrated source of anthocyanins, which have more antioxidant activity and potentially more health benefits than the beta-carotene in orange carrots...The green, yellow, orange, and white varieties of produce that predominate in our supermarkets do not come close to the healing properties of their purple-hued and red-hued ancestors."

Never having read about "Chlorogenic Acid, seen on the sign in the above photo, I googled it and found this synopsis, in the form of a handy dandy graphic, at the end of a very informative discussion of the nutritional, and other benefits of purple potatoes (natural dye???). Linked to  HERE .

Cooking Light's Sweet Potato recipe

The next two recipes, both from Cooking Light, take the same form - what they are calling "Hasselback". I've also pulled the photos from the two online recipes. So thanks, and I hope this simple attribution is sufficient acknowledgement.

I like that in both of the recipes one may leave the nutritious skin in place, as well as leave the vegetable/fruit relatively whole.

I suggest trying both the traditional orange "Orleans" as well as the Japanese "Murasaki", which is a bit sweeter, drier, and white inside; a good opportunity to compare the two varieties.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 (8-ounce) TSFF sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro



  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Scrub potatoes. Cut most of the way through each potato at 1/8-inch intervals so that potatoes look like an accordion. Brush potatoes with oil, getting oil between slices as much as possible. Place potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with salt.
  3. Combine crema and adobo sauce; drizzle evenly over potatoes. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Last week I mentioned finding the information I wrote, about eating purple potatoes, in a Consumer Reports advertisement issue of "On Health; well they also ran a small blurb about apples:

"An apple a day really may keep the doctor away! 
Stroke risk was 52% lower among people who ate lots of fruit with a white edible portion. Apples and pears were the most commonly consumed "white" produce."
I remember writing, a couple of years ago, about the anti-inflammatory effects of Quercetin, which is a phytonutrient primarily found in white fleshed fruits. This runs a bit counter to much of what I've written about deeply colored fruits and vegetables, but there is more to food than meets the eye, and while perhaps counter-intuitive, the following remains true.

Perhaps it is simply as the Whole Foods movement teaches, as well as Jo Robinson, as close to nature's whole foods, and as close to the early wild strains of foods that we can get the better off we are.

I decided to learn a bit more about this natural high powered nutrient, quercetin, as well as where it is to be found in our diet. To this end I read and have here copied some quite interesting facts from an article by  LIVESTRONG.COM:
" Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant found in pigmented fruits and vegetables. Berries, onions, grapes and apples all provide good dietary sources of quercetin. Lab studies have shown that quercetin may benefit heart health and may also help to prevent allergy symptoms as well as cancer (UMMC). Talk to your doctor or dietician to learn more about how quercetin-containing foods may help you to maintain optimal health.

The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties that may help to reduce allergy symptoms. Quercetin may also help to prevent cancer, and it may provide benefits for the heart and circulatory system, as the antioxidant properties of quercetin may help to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. Quercetin supplements have also been shown to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension."

Apple Quercetin:

Apples supply a significant dietary source of quercetin, according to a report in Psychology Today. The U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that fresh, whole apples supply about 4.4 milligrams of quercetin for every 100 grams of apple.

As a medium-sized apple is typically about 150 grams, apples may contain up to about 10 milligrams of quercetin each. To optimize quercetin content, it is important to also eat their pigment-rich skin. 

Apples without skin contain less than half the amout of quercetin as whole apples. Apple juice typically contains less than one-tenth the amount of quercetin in a whole apple."

Cooking Light's "Hasselback" Goldrush* Baked Apples

  • 2 large TSFF Goldrush* apples, cored, and halved vertically
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 2½ tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups low-fat** vanilla ice cream
*FYI Cooking Light calls for peeling the apples; you decide.
**Hmmm? I've yet to purchase low fat anything, but then you can tell that by looking at me. You decide.

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Starting at the outermost edges, cut most (but not all) of the way through each apple half at 1/8-inch intervals. Place apple halves, cut sides down, in an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon butter, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon; brush mixture evenly over apple.

3. Cover pan with f oil; bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove pan from oven; cool 10 minutes.

4. Combine remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, remaining 1½ tablespoons butter, remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, oats, flour, and salt. Carefully fan open apple halves. Spoon oat mixture evenly over apples. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Turn broiler to high (leave pan in oven); broil 2 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

* O.K., I inserted "TSFF GoldRush".

I don't know that I've ever put in a recipe for using Sprouts in the raw, so to speak. A customer kindly sent me a link, HERE, to the following recipe. Why not give it a try while we are picking them fresh every couple of days.

You will need a mandoline to be really quick and efficient at making sprouts into slaw, but most certainly can use a sharp knife should you not have one. Just be sure to be extra careful in either case, as you will be working pretty close to the sharp edge. Those of you who have and are adept at using a shredding attachment for a food processor are welcome to try that.

It should take only about 15 minutes if all the ingredients are at hand, and you are pretty good with a knife. I recommend picking out large ones with which to work; safer it seems. The recipe will make about 4 servings.

In looking over various versions of sprout slaw on the internet is seems there are a lot of good sounding variations. Substitute maple syrup for the sugar, shred some apple, perhaps 1/2 of a GoldRush, and add it, perhaps try lemon juice for the vinegar; if you love garlic, put some pressed garlic in. By all means experiment and come up with your own favorite version. Perhaps, like me, you love mayonnaise, try substituting some for a portion, or all, of the olive oil.

Heck, you may certainly finely chop or shred our Kalettes and use them for this recipe. The world's your oyster! (Sorry, I just came back from having lunch at the Shamrock on Rte. 15, above Thurmont, and had their fried oysters - to die for!) Lyn and I went to a meeting, which had required training for all those who wish to accept Md and DC WIC, FMNP and senior FMNP checks, and FVC program checks. 

Zesty Brussels Sprout Slaw


1/2 lb. TSFF Brussels Sprouts
7 Tbs. Mustard, whole grain
7 Tbs. Apple cider vinegar 
5 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. Sugar, granulated
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Caraway seed

Wash the sprouts well, chop off the stem end. Pull off any yellow or wilted outer leaves. Finely slice/shred the sprouts, holding the stem end to do so - take care! Transfer shredded sprouts to a large bowl.

Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and olive oil, then pour over shredded sprouts, and sprinkle on the sugar, salt, and caraway seeds.Toss thoroughly, serve or refrigerate. 

It looks like a fine weekend and week ahead, 
so we all hope to see you out and about.
Aubrey, Michael and Jesse King
 and the fantastic and dedicated 
community of  Twin Springs Fruit Farm


Here is a list of what we expect to carry at

Green ButterCrunch Lettuce  - A good supply again this week.
Spring Mix  - A very small cutting.
Watercress  - A moderate number of freshly harvested plants, with the roots left in place.
Arugula  - Very little this week, but Arturo assures me that next week should see a good increase.
Kalettes - Picked on Thursday and Friday, fresh ones will be available.
Brussels Sprouts - Also picked today and tomorrow, plenty available. 
Manar Cucumbers - Still in short supply.
Patty's Apple Cider Caramels - These must be experienced to be properly appreciated. Intensely flavored, real caramels, made in small batches by Patty Audia. Patty, obviously, gets some of our cider from me at Takoma each week from which she makes the caramels. It is actually pretty tricky, and worth every penny. Takoma is actually the only market where we won't sell them as Patty sells them there, along with her own selection of superb baked goods; all pastry made from scratch, please give them a try; she is up awfully late every Friday to get them made in time for market.
Twin Springs Carrots:
Purple Carrots - This is liable to be your final opportunity to get these 'till mid summer.
Orange Carrots - The carrots are now "Sugar Snax", a quite sweet variety, rather long and thin.
Sweet Potatoes
Orleans - This strain is comparable to our Beauregard, and is the traditional orange skinned, and orange fleshed variety.
Murasaki - A dark purple skinned variety, often referred to as a Japanese sweet potato, which has white flesh, and cooks up sweet and a bit drier than Orleans.
Winter Squash
We will have plenty of these for many months, Priced to move at .99 per pound, a lower price than in years past; a bountiful harvest assures a good supply.
Sunshine, a wonderful sweet Kabocha variety, deep orange flesh, with a bright orange skin.
Bon Bon, an equally delicious Buttercup squash, green skinned, but also with a deep orange, sweet flesh.
Butternut, the old fashioned favorite, tan skin, orange flesh, and sweet. All three are interchangeable in recipes, and if you are unfamiliar with the first two give them a try; you won't be sorry.
Spaghetti squash, See above for a great recipe. It is a big seller, us ed by many as a low glycemic, and delicious, substitute for pasta. The squash are long and yellow.
Current Apple varieties:
GoldRush, Fuji, Stayman, Nittany, Golden Delicious,  and Buckeye Gala .
For cooking purposes I recommend GoldRush as first choice, but as I usually recommend mixing two or three varieties I would consider adding some of the following: Pink Lady, Stayman, Nittany or Golds.
Pure Apple Cider - Pressed weekly, our cider is lightly pasteurized and minimally filtered; nothing is added, neither sugar nor preservatives. 
Garlic - We continue send down our German Hardneck garlic; it is white, crisp and full of juice. It also happens to be pretty easy to peel.
Keep in mind Jo Robinson's advice to crush, press, mince or otherwise smash your garlic at least five or ten minutes before introducing it to any heat. The Allicin, an important beneficial nutrient and antibiotic you get from garlic, actually develops, for the most part, after being treated in that manner. 
Onions  - Our yellow onions are named  Stanley , a firm and slightly hot variety, but they still sweeten up well when cooked. The red onions are called  Red Devil  and are hot, but not all that hot.
We have decided to lower the price for "loose" potatoes from $2.49/lb. to $1.99/lb. as we has such a good harvest that we would like to run out before their quality declines. You will see that we have also lowered the price of larger Vivaldi to $5.00 for a 5 lb. bag; formerly $7.00.
"Magic Molly" are available; deep purple on the skin, as well as all through the flesh; they are more nutritious, at least from the standpoint of the anti-inflammatory anthocyanins, than white, or even yellow potatoes.
"Vivaldi" - the yellow fleshed/white skinned ones we have grown for a few years. These fine potatoes, developed in Holland, are considered "low glycemic" and are therefore a Weight Watcher's pick. We also think that their taste and texture beats that of Yukon Gold.
Bagged Potatoes - Medium and large Vivaldi, the 5 pound bags are priced at $5, which makes them a bargain at $1.40/lb. 
Twin Spring's Own Products:
Hot Pepper Jelly has returned!
Jellies: Both s eedless  Red Raspberry  and seedless  Blackberry  
Apple Butter and Apple Sauce are always available.
Marinara Sauce and Chipotle Ketchup are back.
All canned goods may be purchased individually, or by the 12 jar case at 10% off. 


In addition, we will offer the following products at 
OUR OWN  Markets, where we are the sole vendor, all of which are open to the general public, with the exception of Goddard Space Flight Center.

Joe's Spinach - As mentioned in the opening, Joe Brubaker, of sweet corn fame, will be harvesting some Spinach for us on Friday. 
It will only be sent to BUCC, Maret, Bethesda Central and Mosaic, due to market rules.
Tart Cherry Juice  - Full of antioxidants this tangy, pure fruit juice, no sugar or preservatives added, is great at taming aches and pains from conditions such as arthritis. It also helps extend your sleep time by perhaps 15 to 20 minutes; to this end I always drink about 8 ounces two or three hours before going to bed.
Allen's fresh local eggs - Brought to Twin Springs weekly, both white and brown eggs from happy "free walking" hens, raised just outside of Gettysburg.
Elizabeth's Breakfast Loaves - A number of these small cakes are home baked the day before market, and are often seasonally matched to what is available.
Pure Local Honey - Jim Small continues to keep us supplied with his honey, much of which is gathered on our farm. 
Michele's Granola - Baked locally, this granola has been a mainstay at these locations for a few years. I can remember when Michelle set up a card table to sell her product at the Takoma market, in the dead of winter.
Fresh Hard Pretzels - Locally made, coming in both regular and Honey Whole Wheat. Hand made and freshly baked in the D.C. area.
Artisanal Cheeses - Ed's locally produced cheeses: sharp cheddar, cheddar, Conall's lava cheddar, smoked cheddar, as well as smoked Jalapeño; also available are goat gouda and goat cheddar.
Maple Syrup and Maple Sugar - tapped and bottled on the Patterson Farm in Pennsylvania. Did you know that a jug of syrup may be frozen to keep it fresh; it will still flow, though a bit slowly, when brought out of the freezer. Unlike honey, which simply won't go bad, other than crystallizing, maple syrup should at least be refrigerated; it can develop mold.
McCutcheon's Products - We carry an extensive line of their jams, some fruit sweetened, ie. no cane sugar or corn syrup, and jellies, as well as many other great products created right in Frederick Maryland.
Baked Goods - From Stonehearth Bakery, also in Frederick; all items are baked "that" morning: Baguettes, innumerable kinds of fresh breads, both sliced and unsliced, as well as croissants, scones and cookies.

 Twin Springs Fruit Farm            717-334-4582