Workshops & Tours

Have fun and learn new skills by attending some workshops and themed tours!

We are currently planning more programs for 2018; please check back for additional opportunities.

Reservations for all workshops and tours are required.

You may also be interested in our DIY Classes and signature Tasting Events.

 

The Blue Star Barn at NSO:
3232 Limestone Rd. Cochranville, PA 19330

Call 484-502-7360 if you need help finding us

Please arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled starting time

Parking, walkways, buildings, and restrooms are all handicapped-accessible.

The farm itself is not handicapped accessible, so keep that in mind as it may affect certain activities.
If you are unsure, please contact us.

Late arrivals: We will try to accomodate you as best we can, but you'll basically just have to jump in at whatever point the activity is at already.

 

Basic Guidelines: This is a working farm and orchard which makes it a very busy place. Your activity instructor/guide and the farm staff are committed to presenting a great experience for the activity you have chosen. We appreciate you maintaining a "good student" attitude, in order to make the activity enjoyable by all. If children are in attendance, their accompanying adults must maintain control and ensure proper behavior of the children during the entire activity, in order to maintain a safe environment. Activities are planned to ensure your safety and to provide you with an educational and fun experience. 

Things to bring with you:

Snacks appropriate for your needs. We will have samples of seasonal farm produce and/or other snacks like pretzels for your enjoyment. However, if you have dietary restrictions, you are welcome to bring a snack you know you can eat. 

Beverages: Plentiful water refills are free (please bring your own water bottle or travel mug), and other beverages may be available for purchase or for sampling as part of your activity.

Other gear: If anything specific is required for your particular activity, it'll be mentioned in the description above. You can certainly bring a camera, note-taking materials, etc., as you so desire.

More Guests?: If you wish to add additional attendees after you have registered, please contact us ahead of time, so we can plan accordingly.

Please do not bring animals/pets on your visit.

 

Most workshops and tours involve both an indoor and outdoor component.

Weather conditions can vary and change quickly. Please check the forecast and make sure you are prepared with the proper attire for the projected weather and outdoor conditions. Be prepared for changes in temperature, wind, or a surprise rain shower by bringing a light jacket.

Sensible enclosed shoes or sturdy sandals (like Keens or Tevo types) are recommended as the dirt and grass paths may be uneven, damp, and/or muddy. Stay safe and leave your fancy footwear at home.

Some other weather-related items you may want to bring are sunscreen, bug spray, and sunglasses or a hat. 

Some workshops and tours take place entirely indoors, but most have both and outdoor and indoor component. In case of inclement conditions, we will cancel due to weather only if we feel the conditions would make your visit unsafe or valueless. A threat of a shower or light rain will not neccesarily cancel your event. If we decide to cancel due to the weather, we'll contact you the day before your scheduled event.

If your plans change, you may modify/cancel your plans up to 7 days prior to the date booked and receive a full refund. Any cancellations that occur less than 7 days prior to your scheduled event date will be refunded at 50%. Cancellations initiated by you less than 48 hours prior to the event are not refundable.

We will cancel an activity if there are not a minimum number of reservations made. We'll be in touch with you at least 3 days in advance of your activity in that case, to either reschedule or refund your registration fee.

If we must cancel your activity for any reason, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible to either come up with an alternative date or will refund your registration fee in full. 

 

Classes vary in price (see class descriptions for details)

All reservations require full payment via credit card at the time of booking the reservation online. 

NSO is a working and busy farm, and while we strive to provide as safe an environment as possible, we require your help in maintaining the safety of your activity and other farm visitors. Please:

  • Adhere to all instructions and/or warnings your instructor/guide, farm staff, or farm signage provide.
  • Review above suggestions on this webpage about what to wear and bring so you remain comfortable and safe.
  • Be pro-actively mindful and involved with the instructor/guide and others in your group to make sure all follow farm safety protocols.

Your instructor/guide and the North Star Orchard farm staff reserve the right to cancel/stop your activity in progress if the above guidelines on this webpage are not adhered to. Our concern is for the safety of your group, our staff, and the farm itself. Refunds will not be issued if a class is stopped in this manner.

The person making the reservation for an activity will be required to read and agree to our "Release of Liability" document when signing up, and will be representing all of those attendees he/she is signing up for in doing so.

Kevin Booth: Kevin has been the Garden Manager for NSO for three seasons, and previously worked in ornamental horticulture and tropical agriculture. Kevin is interested in breeding vegetable plants for better production in a market garden setting by generating interesting and delicious plants well adapted to local conditions and disease pressure. He holds a BS in plant biology from Penn State and a MS from Cornell where he studied the physiology of cassava, the tropical staple crop.

Lena Dati: Lena is an avid home gardener and greenhouse manager at NSO. In her freetime, she participates in seed-exchange networks, collecting heirlooms both edible and ornamental. A self-described, "homestead-hopeful," Lena seeks to learn everything she needs to start her own farm-based business. Having been mostly self-taught, she's eager to share what she's learned thus far!

Ike Kerschner: One of the farm owners, Ike has been growing fruit and vegetables since he was a child. He graduated from Penn State with a BS in Agricultural Sciences, and has since been teaching and consulting in both fruit and vegetable topics in addition to starting NSO in 1992. He is most interested in fruit and vegetable breeding and is an apple explorer extraordinaire.

Josh Fitzgerald: An orchardist at NSO for several years now, Josh holds two BS degrees in forestry and has worked for several farms since graduating. He has recently started doing consulting pruning for homeowners and keeps even more busy with projects such as homebrew and raising chickens.

 

Please contact us if you have any questions