North Star Orchard Blog

With names like Cherokee Purple and Malachite Box, heirloom tomatoes certainly fit the bill for being true weirdos. Plus, check out that skin! Those aren’t unripe tomatoes folks, but the natural hue for these funky fruits. Some of those purpley red Cherokees do have some slightly unripe green shoulders, but they catch up with the rest of the ripe tomato in nearly no time.

There are lots of different potato varieties that we grow, and they come in blue/purple, red, and white! There are also two different categories of potatoes we grow — new potatoes and storage potatoes. New potatoes are the kinds that come in early summer, that have skins that taste really good and are super-tender, and that you eat right away. Storage potatoes are the kind that you can keep in your pantry for a long time, like when it’s cold out. I didn’t know there was a difference!

‘Round here we love our cabbage. The humble cousin to showy kale and versatile broccoli, cabbage is mega good for you, and delicious to boot. Not weird enough you say? Cabbage is higher in vitamin C content than oranges, how’s that for weird! So no need to fear a deficiency in the form of scurvy next time you head out for a months-long pirate adventure. Just pack some sauerkraut and you’ll be golden!

Now, we know you have some familiarity with dill. Dill pickles, right? Or that dried green stuff you throw on potatoes to make ‘em look fancy. Fresh dill however, is an entirely different animal. It’s often described as “feathery” looking, and really it is a character with its distinct scent and showy greenery.

Last year, I spent a LOT of time thinning Asian pears (if you’ve ever come to one of our market stands, you’ll see why!).

“What on Earth are those weird pig tail shaped green things?” you might very well be asking this week. Those pig tails are garlic scapes, the stalks of undeveloped flowers that are emerging from each growing garlic bulb.

Do you ever feel like you’re all thumbs? Me too!

Well, that is, I feel like I’m all hooves sometimes…I don’t have thumbs!

Today I’m going to tell you all about growing carrots. I learned all about it this season. I learned that it’s really easy to do, and that it’s much simpler than you think it’s going to be, and that it’s really fun. I also learned that there are five steps to growing carrots. Do you want to know what they are? I hope you do! Because I’m going to tell you!

Last night I got to go to an apple tasting! Farmer Ike and Farmer Lisa had one here on the farm. What is an apple tasting, you ask? Good question!

I got to go to market on Saturday!

Saturday market days start really early. We start loading the trucks at six o’clock, before the sun is even up! We have three Saturday markets we go to, which means we have three trucks to load in the morning before we head out. Everybody helps to load up all the trucks, because there are a lot of things that need to go on! We take tons of food to some of the markets . . . crates and crates of fruit and vegetables! You have to pack the trucks carefully, so that nothing slides around on the long drive to market . . . and you have to make sure that you don’t forget anything important!