North Star Orchard Blog

It’s about this time of year when cans of cranberry sauce and pumpkin puree start gracing the ends of grocery store aisles. Do you know what’s really in many of those cans of pumpkin though? Butternut squash! It’s true; the USDA is pretty lax on their definition of pumpkin, and so long as the veg inside falls under the same genus as the orange jack-o-lantern type, it’s technically pumpkin.

Boy, oh boy, I am so excited we finally get to talk about leeks! I have got some serious love for these mouth watering alliums. These beauties may seem intimidating, but I promise you, they are no harder to prepare than their onion cousins.

I’ll be honest, one of my favorite broccoli recipes involves cheese, mayo and Pillsbury crescent dough. I said it! “Dough” from a can. There are no redeeming health benefits to this dish, despite broccoli’s high fiber and vitamin C content, but man, does it taste good. “Broccoli stuff”, as we call it, begins with the aforementioned dough triangles pinched together to form one sheet. Then just pile on broccoli, onions, cheese and maybe some tomatoes (don’t forget some mayo in there), roll or wrap it together and bake until it’s crispy golden brown. It’s weird, yet satisfying.

We get the question all of the time: “What is your favorite apple?”

So I must live under a rock, or I wouldn’t have missed potatostock 2014. This guy asked kickstarter for $10 to make potato salad and raised nearly $56,000! That’s a lot of potato salad. What sounded like a joke ended up as a huge assist for Central Ohio non-profits working to end hunger and homelessness, a great cause!

It’s been a very wet summer here on the farm. In June, it seemed like it rained almost every single day! All this water makes it really hard to be a farmer. It hasn’t hurt the fruit much (thank goodness!) but it isn’t good for the vegetables. Everything that touches the ground can’t get dry, and so it rots — even the cucumbers and the squash! Some of our lettuce plantings have been a mess, and it was terrible for the arugula and the spinach in spring. I don’t know who’s had it worse, the people in the field who have to pick it, or the people in the washroom who have to clean it up and sort it!

Can you find me in the picture above? I feel like my friend Waldo, except I don’t have as colorful a shirt as he does, just a white wool coat.

Summer squash, so called due to their short (relative to winter squash) shelf life and delicate skins, always seem to boom ‘till we’re almost up to our necks in them, then poof! No more zucchini and yellow squash. How to keep that bounty interesting, you ask? Here we go!

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.

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