North Star Orchard Blog

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.

There are lots of different potato varieties that we grow, and they come in blue/purple, red, and white! There are also two different categories of potatoes we grow — new potatoes and storage potatoes. New potatoes are the kinds that come in early summer, that have skins that taste really good and are super-tender, and that you eat right away. Storage potatoes are the kind that you can keep in your pantry for a long time, like when it’s cold out. I didn’t know there was a difference!

‘Round here we love our cabbage. The humble cousin to showy kale and versatile broccoli, cabbage is mega good for you, and delicious to boot. Not weird enough you say? Cabbage is higher in vitamin C content than oranges, how’s that for weird! So no need to fear a deficiency in the form of scurvy next time you head out for a months-long pirate adventure. Just pack some sauerkraut and you’ll be golden!

Now, we know you have some familiarity with dill. Dill pickles, right? Or that dried green stuff you throw on potatoes to make ‘em look fancy. Fresh dill however, is an entirely different animal. It’s often described as “feathery” looking, and really it is a character with its distinct scent and showy greenery.