North Star Orchard Blog

Hello!  My name is Zoe Yost—and some of you may remember or know me! I am a fifteen-year-old musician, writer, and painter who has been involved with North Star Orchard since I was six (my family belongs to the CSA).  

“How do I keep my carrots from getting wobbly and my lettuce from wilting when I get it home?”

If you’ve spent any time driving around Chester County, then you’ve seen them on the side of the road: these spindly red machines that look exactly like what a five-year old would draw if you gave them some crayons and said, ‘draw me a tractor.’ That is, unless they’ve already been indoctrinated to think John Deere is where it’s at, the poor things.

I’m enjoying a beautiful day thinning fruit in the organic plot at North Star Orchard when a gentle breeze exposes a “coworker" hanging out on the underside of a leaf.

Growing apples organically in Eastern Pennsylvania poses many challenges. Luckily, we’ve got a little help from our friends! A sharp eye will catch three examples of organic orchard stewardship in this photograph. Do you see them all?

It’s only a slight overstatement to say that there are a million things to pay attention to when you’re growing vegetable, grasses, fruit, flowers, or whatever green growing thing that gets you excited enough to head outside and dig your hands into the soil when the weather is right. These variables include temperature, humidity, precipitation, bugs, pollinators, pests, wildlife, weeds, and on and on and on.

Spring on the farm means welcoming back warm weather, rain (sigh...), growing and blooming plants, and a bunch of great helpers to work with!

Every year, we welcome back returning helpers, but we are also excited to meet and work with a number of new (in many cases) wannabe farmers.

Looking for a fun and/or educational event for your group? Now's the time to get the thinking caps on and the conversation started and line up some great new experiences to share!

Enjoy a private tasting, workshop or tour. From flavorful to fun to educational, we can tailor a special outing suited to your group’s interests.

Are we organic?

For some folks the word “organic” brings to mind much-despised college classes (think organic chemistry and shudder…).

Then also, this friendly reminder….

Yes, you and I and all fruits and veggies are technically organic organisms composed of many molecules including carbon atoms, which are required to be deemd an “organic organism”

Apple geek or apple snob? Which one are you?

Let’s back up a bit, shall we….What exactly IS an apple geek?

As farmers and consumers, why do we need to worry about pollination at all? Easy answer: because one third of the crops we eat rely on it! Any fruiting bodies that we eat, with a few exceptions, rely on pollination and proper fertilization to be recognized as edible. Apples, peaches, plums, zucchini, walnuts, melons, tomatoes, peppers, almonds, and pears all begin as blossoms, and if those flowers aren’t pollinated correctly, it might form a tiny, shriveled, or improperly developed fruit, which no one would want to eat.

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