North Star Orchard Blog

You know that stuff you drink in fall that's made of apples? What IS that stuff? Cider? Juice? What's the difference? Ah, welcome, my friend, to the wonderful and wacky world of history, the English language, and modern technology.

Every school child learns the romanticized story of Johnny Appleseed. Every adult (should) know the real story of Johnny Appleseed. That all those seeds he planted were for pressing cider, not eating fresh out-of-hand, and of course, that cider was the hard, alcoholic stuff.

So, back in the day, "cider" meant an alcoholic beverage (there's your truncated history). And in many countries of the world today (here's where the English language comes in), "cider" still means an alcoholic beverage. Which is why we get some mighty interesting questions from time to time from foreigners when they visit our stand and purchase our cider.

There may not be much more to be said about Gold Rush that you don’t know already, but we’ll give it a try with a bit of interesting apple history...

With more than 300 apple varieties to choose from, it's pretty clear that NSO is passionate about all things APPLE! Applesauce, apple butter, apple cider, and apple information. We know how to grow them, how to pick them, how to store them, and how to get them to you.

Now we have a few more interesting tidbits to add to YOUR apple knowledge:

As you have probably noticed by now, NSO does not have many (if any) apple varieties that you have ever seen in the grocery store or even at most other farm stands! We want our apples to not only look great but taste even better, so we spend lots of time selecting (and by that I mean tasting lots of apples - good and bad) which apples to grow for you.
 
Here is a break down of the top ten highest selling apples in the U.S. compared to our top ten best sellers:
 

Just when you were thinking "Darn it, there's no fun holiday on the horizon until Halloween...", here's some great news: THIS SATURDAY (September 17th) is International Eat An Apple Day! Yes...it is a real thing

Oh...how to celebrate, is the question? And on such short notice, too! Well, easy peasy; here's a list of SIX easy and delicious ideas!

You know how you should "Just say No" to grocery store tomatoes and rather buy fresh from a farmer or grow your own? Turns out, the same phrase applies to processed tomatoes as well.

I know a lot of folks freeze or can their own sauce from fresh tomatoes. Sadly, for most of us (this farmer included!), we either don't have the time or the enegy or the know-how (or maybe all 3!) to DIY, so we end up purchasing tomato products in cans or jars from the store all winter. Now we can enjoy a way better alternative.

Seedy snotballs of goo with thick unchewable skin. Sounds gross, eh? Well, that, if you think about it, is how you might describe the texture of a Concord grape. Oh my, yuck. Sure, the flavor can be outstanding, but I'd rather it in juice or jelly form, thank you. For those of us who grew up eating Thompson or Flame grapes from the grocery store, those Concords are rather unappealing for fresh eating. But there are more selections of grapes around here than those...and they're out of this world!

When are apples like fine wine? Why, when they are the stars of a curated tasting event of course!

If you enjoy wine, beer, and cheese tastings, you'll love coming to one of this year's Apple Explorer Tasting Events - and no designated driver is required!

Apple fans (or “Apple Geeks” if you will) and explorers of all ages are welcome. Over 3 special days this fall, we'll explore with you some of the most rare and unique apple varieties from the 350 or so we grow here at the farm.

Have you ever put fruit in a paper bag to let it get a bit more ripe? Or been told to place an apple or a banana with an avocado to make it ripen faster? These are not “old wives tales” but rather tried and true ripening tricks caused by ethylene gas.

Does the heat of summer give you the blues? Then try listening to some of the blues or re-watch The Blues Brothers for a few laughs to lighten things up. But whether you send blues to your ears or your eyes, now you can also send blues to your tastebuds and turn ho-hum into hip-hip-hooray!

Adirondack Blue potatoes are a super-fun inside-and-out brilliant blue, tending towards purple. While they make for some rather odd-looking mashed potatoes, they do make drop-dead gorgeous roasted potates, home fries, 'real' fries, and are a fun color addition to potato salad. Sam-I-Am from Green Eggs and Ham would probably love these if he ever goes for another color!

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