Today, Julie Alano of Harker Farms joined us to share her recipes for Peach Batter Cake and Caprese Salad with Peaches.
How to peel peaches
Bring a large pot of water to full boil. Dip peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. (I use a wire basket.) Remove from boiling water and cool in cold water. Peel should slip off easily of ripe peaches.
Caprese Salad with Peaches
Harker Family Farms and Orchard is a small orchard and vegetable farm just 3 miles from I-74 between Greensburg, IN and Shelbyville, IN. Owners Joe and Debbie Harker have lived at this location for over 45 years. As soon as they moved to the current farm, they planted their first sweet corn patch and garden. Continuing to raise sweet corn to this day, the varieties planted are continually re-evaluated to find the sweetest corn we can find available. Dinner table conversations focus on which variety at that meal is the best and should be planted again. They have also sold sweet corn and other produce at the Shelbyville Farmer’s Market and the house since 1976.
While raising their 4 children, Jeff, Brian, Julie, and Michelle, the farm was a 200-sow hog operation. In 2009 the first part of the orchard was planted and in early 2010 the hogs were all sold. More fruit trees have been planted every year since 2009, which now totals over 2000 fruit trees in the orchard. 60% of the trees in the orchard are peach trees, which represents over 90 different varieties. The orchard is also home to over 70 varieties of apples as well as plum, cherry, nectarine, and apricot trees.
It is a difficult business, and the family strives to provide fresh produce at all times without compromising taste. With all the varieties of fruit it is hard to keep up, but the family attempts to try all varieties before selling them. If you ask members of the family, each will have their own favorite variety of peaches. We have a passion for sweet, fresh produce and will work to bring that to our customers on a daily basis.
In addition to the fruit trees and sweet corn, the family works to plant their vegetable garden at the earliest time possible to provide a full fresh produce experience at the farm stand. The garden varies each year, but usually includes tomatoes, green beans, onions, zucchini, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, lettuce, asparagus, and broccoli. The farm is also home to a large strawberry patch as well as black raspberry, red raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, and grape vines.
All members of the family help at the farm at some point during the year, truly making it Harker Family Farms. Some of the grandkids are old enough to drive and work at markets on their own now. So, when you see us at a farmer’s market or when you stop at the farm stand, you will be talking to at least one member of the family.
You can find us regularly at several farmers markets including Binford Farmers Market, Greenwood Farmers Market, 38th & Meridian Farmers Market, Irvington Garden Club Market (2nd Sunday of the month) and sometimes Shelbyville Farmers Market. Watch for updates about the markets on our Facebook page.
For more information visit, harkerfamilyfarms.com.