North Star Orchard Blog

"How to pick a peach" depends upon who’s picking it: the commercial farmer, the grocery store shopper, the local small farmer, and the farmers’ market shopper. Let’s take a look at all of them!

When you walk up to the farm store at North Star Orchard, you are first greeted by some beautiful scenery here in Chester County, PA.  A gorgeous blue barn from the 1860’s with large white stars high on the end walls stands, proud and welcoming.

Thinning fruit was a difficult process for me to get behind. For some reason, we have to cut fruit off of our trees? It seems like a waste, if you ask me. We only have so many, so shouldn’t we be trying to milk them for all they’ve got? Had we just left them alone, every peach you see on the ground there could have been food…right?

I recently had the opportunity to talk with my good friend Larken about her work with the Chester County Food Bank. The food bank was founded in 2009, and provides food for residents in Chester County who are food insecure.

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.