Lancaster Farming (September 2016): "House Varieties Add Unique Taste to Chester County Orchard" A nice article with some behind-the-scenes looks at some of the fruit and vegetable breeding projects Farmer Ike has going on here at NSO. This was the featured topic of a PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) Field Day put on at the farm in mid-September.
The Reading Eagle (July 2016): "Rodale offers a program it hope will put more bats in the sky..." We are happy to be a test site for this bat house project. The more insect-eating bats we have around here, the better!
GROW Magazine (Fall 2015): "Breeding a Better Apple". An excellent feature about the farm and Ike's apple breeding projects in this high-quality quarterly magazine put out by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. Both the writing and photography are excellent. Photographer Rob Cardillo won honors for his photography in this piece. Photo to the right courtesy of Rob Cardillo Photography.
West Chester Life Magazine (October 2015): "Q&A: Lisa Kerschner". A nice article primarily about the West Chester Growers' Market and the involvement North Star Orchard has had with it since the market was founded in 1995.
Grid Magazine (January 2015): "Research in the Field". Did you know what kinda fun scienc-y stuff Farmer Ike is up to at NSO? Sometimes his wild and crazy willy-nilly hair looks appropriately scientific as he goes about his fruit and vegetable breeding projects. Learn more about some of the unusual goings-on here at NSO on page 39.
Educational Video (January 2012): "Growing Your Future in Agriculture" A video aimed for middle school students which was produced by a partnership of the Chester County Economic Development Council and the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Farmers Lisa, Ike, and former farm helper Rachel are featured in the segment which covers North Star Orchard.
Lancaster Farming (March 2011): "Couple Takes on Challenges of a Fruit CSA". Lancaster Farming's special insert, "Rural Ventures" published a very nice article about the farm and CSA. There are a few errors in it, but overall it's a lovely article, especially considering writer Chris had to figure out what we're about in a short amount of time. We're still trying to figure us out and we've been at this project for nearly 25 years! The article is available to view as two .pdf pages, page 1 and page 2.
Grid Farmbook (March 2011): "North Star Orchard". The Grid Farmbook each year features a number of small local farms. The 2011 issue focused on Chester County (and surrounding area) farms. See page 9 for the feature about North Star Orchard.
Newsweek (April 2008): "Farming as a Labor of Love". This little farmer went to market. This little farmer stayed home. This little farmer wrote an essay. This little farmer waited by the phone. This little farmer said, “wee, wee, wee….I’m published in Newsweek!” Ok, it doesn't rhyme - but you get the idea. Lisa was excited to be published!
Philadelphia Inquirer: Thanks go to the Inquirer for some publishing some great articles by Rick Nichols, Craig LeBan, and Lisa herself, about NSO between 2000 and 2004. Sadly, these are not available for online viewing.
Our favorite passages from one of those articles is:
"Ike Kerschner admits he is a member of a cult.
"The cult's adherents may be irrational. Their god is demanding and finicky and exacts many sacrifices - in time and money. But Kerschner's belief is unshakable.
"Kerschner, who runs Coatesville's North Star Orchard with his wife, Lisa, is a member of what he calls "the apple cult."
"There is a cult of fruit-growing that preserves the old varieties," he explained. Though "antique," or heirloom, varieties of apples may be hard to find, there are ways and channels "if you get connected with those people," as Kerschner put it."
...."I think the world would be a better place if all apples were grown on 10-acre orchards rather than 1,000-acre orchards," Kerschner said. "There's a scale to all things that's an appropriate human scale. Instead we have...encouraged a nonhuman scale of agriculture - a business model."
"Kerschner realizes that not everyone will agree with his views and passions. Not everyone worships the same god he does.
"After all, he said, "The apple cult isn't something you join, it's just something you belong to."
How very true. Thank YOU for belonging!