Fruits & Berries
All of the apple trees in our pick-your-own orchard are fully-dwarfed and trained to a 4-wire trellis. This means you can reach apples for picking from just above the ground up to a height of about 6 feet. Everyone -- from the tallest to the smallest -- can pick their own apples at our orchard !
We offer about 20 varieties of apples -- many well-known traditional varieties, and some you won't find elsewhere. The different varieties ripen at different times, from late August through the end of October. Come see us often during apple season, and you'll find something new and tasty each time you visit !
Here's a link to a # detailed guide to our apple varieties.
Asian pears are rounded in shape; they are native to Korea, Japan and China, where they grow in cool, hilly regions. When ripe, they are hard and crisp, sweet and juicy, they taste similar but not identical to European pears. Always store Asian pears in the refrigerator; don't let them soften, as you might do with European pears (such as Bartlett, Bosc or Anjou).
Delicious as a snack or dessert, Asian pears are excellent in salads, with greens or other fruits. Their flavor goes well with cheeses and nuts. You can use them to make tarts or pies, alone or with apples; they can also be stuffed and baked just like apples. Asian pears also make delicious sauce or butter, similar to applesauce and butter.
Our Asian pear varieties are:
* Chojuro: Our early variety, ripening in September. Golden russet in color, small to medium in size.
* Arirang: Later-ripening, ready in October or late September. Bronze with tiny golden flecks, medium to large size.
Our Blueberries start to ripen in early to mid-July. We grow 8 different varieties of blueberries in order to extend our harvest season to the middle of September. Our berry patch is watered & fertilized by an underground irrigation system. It’s also covered by a net, to keep the feathered friends from enjoying more berries than we do ! By having nets over the field we can allow our berries to grow to their full size and flavor. This really makes a difference for ease of picking and for taste. We have just over 1-1/2 acres of blueberry bushes; they get pruned every year to keep them in good shape for producing an abundant, easy-topick blueberry harvest. Our blueberry varieties, in order of ripening, are Duke, Bluejay, Bluerae, Bluecrop, Coville, Berkeley, Late Blue, & Elliott. (above, l. to r.: so many blueberries, so little time ... did you pick all these ??)
We're on the northern fringe of peach-growing country; our cold winters and harsh early springs sometimes damage our peach buds so we lose part or all of our crop. But we still grow peaches because they're just so good when we do get them. Sweet, juicy, flavorful -- there's nothing like a peach (or peach shortcake !) on a warm summer day.
We grow 7 varieties of peaches, which ripen throughout August.
* Our 4 yellow peach varieties, in order of ripening: Garnet Beauty, New Haven, Salem, & Ernie's Choice.
* Our 3 white peach varieties: Earli-Redfire, Raritan Rose, & White Hale.
We are also experimenting with nectarines -- just as delicate and temperamental as peaches, but when we have them you'll love them, too !
We grow 2 types: Japanese plums, and Italian prune plums. Both are sweet, delicious and versatile.
Our 3 varieties of Japanese plums are all very juicy:
* Methley: "sugar plums" ready in July; deep red-purple inside-&-out. Small, round, perfect for snacking.
* Shiro: slightly later in July; a yellow plum with a different, tangy sweetness.
* Ozark Premier: late July to early August; slightly larger, oval shape. Rosy-colored skin, yellow-gold flesh; meatier and mellower than the earlier plums.
Italian prune plums are bluish-purple, with pale golden flesh. They have a more solid texture than Japanese plums. This means that besides being great for snacking, they're excellent for baking, and make delicious plum sauce and butter. And you can dry them to make -- prunes ! These plums begin to arrive in early September.
* Our 3 varieties, in order of ripening and increasing size, are: Stanley, Bluefre and President.
Our raspberry season starts with 6 varieties of red summer raspberries, ripening from the beginning of July and continuing throughout the month ! In order of ripening, these varieties are Prelude, Reveille, Killarney, Lauren, Taylor, & Encore.
In August our fall raspberries begin to ripen. We have 5 varieties of red fall raspberries that give us fruit until a hard freeze, usually in October. These varieties, in order of ripening, are Polana, Autumn Britten, Autumn Bliss, Caroline, & Heritage.
The raspberry “canes” (bushes) are pruned each year to thin out older growth & winter frost-damage, and to encourage new shoots to flourish. Fall raspberries are often mowed down completely and allowed to grow back “from the ground up” so that the entire berry patch will be young & vigorous. (above, l. to r.: the raspberry patch on a sunny afternoon, ripe berries close at hand ... and at market !)
We grow our strawberries on raised beds that are protected by plastic. The plants are watered & fertilized through our irrigation system. Berries ripen in the month of June through early July. Varieties presently grown include Wendy, L’Amour, Brunswick, Seneca, Darselect, Jewel, Eros, & Ovation. Strawberry plants have a lifespan of about 2-3 years, so we cover them with straw for the winter, and wait for them to come back to life in the spring. This also means that each season we have to remove the oldest strawberry beds and put in new ones. We’ve also had good luck recently growing “ever-bearing” strawberries. These varieties produce fruit during the traditional June strawberry season, and *again* in the fall. We’re enjoying taking these autumn berries to farmer’s markets & selling them at our stand -- and we know you’re enjoying this extra-berry treat ! (above: the closer you get ... the better they look -- and taste ! )