North Star Orchard Blog

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! is a real thing 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.

If the closest you'll ever get to Olympic Gold is by handling your TV remote, then here's an easier way to feel you've won that special crunching into a Golden Supreme apple!

This bright apple is a delight to the tastebuds at this time of year, when you're still thinking peaches, but there's (finally) starting to be a little bit of chill in the air overnight to ease you into true apple season.

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!

Chard is amazingly resilient. Long after the arugula has given up and long before the spinach can thrive in the cooler temperatures of Fall, chard keeps our greens needs covered. Plus, due to their weird ways, each plant gives us multiple harvests, so we can have a steady supply of the green stuff with fewer plantings than you might think!

Now, innumerable sources say “saute swiss chard in olive oil with garlic”. That’s all well and good; a fine way of cooking most any greens really! However, I think we can look for something a bit more interesting, don’t you think? 

Sansa is a delightfully fruity and sweet early apple. Not commercially ‘pretty’, perhaps, with its non-solid pinkishyellowish/lightly russet-y color scheme, but it certainly looks beautiful to us! And you know we at North Star do not care much about looks anyway – it’s flavor that counts! Every year when the Sansa start coming in, I am reminded of how lovely they are. And then, as I cut them up for eating, I remember that they also don’t turn brown. Sensational!

This is Kelly’s third year at NSO and she does a bit of everything. She packs shares for the Vegetable and Fruit CSA, she harvests, weeds, and plants vegetables, she thins fruit, she makes deliveries, and she goes to school!  She is currently attending St. Joseph’s University where she is working towards an Environmental Science degree.  (Fun Fact: Kelly and her two daughters are all attending college at the same different schools, thankfully!)  When she does have a free moment, she enjoys kayaking and finding fun places to hike with her new dog, Sadie.