North Star Orchard Blog

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!

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.

Who determines what is 'ugly'? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, certainly, but the perceptions of the beholder can be strongly influenced by outside forces.

Garlic has the reputation of keeping vampires at bay. I wonder if that's because WE love it so much we can't bear the notion that vampires would. Or maybe it's all an excuse to drape ourselves in ropes of amazing garlic? Or maybe vampires are really sensitive to garlic breath?

Do you love bright colors and awesome flavors as much as we do? Well, then, how fitting that on the heels of this year's crop of Purple Tiger eggplant ripening up, here come the Rainbow beets as well!

These super-colorful and super-sweet beauties were developed right here on the farm by our own Farmer Ike, using regular good old-fashioned hand-crosses, not GMOs. So these babies you’ll find nowhere else – like in the world! How cool is that?