Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hello from the farm, 

We're excited to have a fruit share available to pick up at the farm from North Star Orchard this season, and want to give you more information and links for learning more and signing up. 

 North Star Orchard Fruit

North Star Orchard has been growing heirloom and unique varieties of tree fruits for twenty years, and has offered a very popular CSA Fruit Share for 9 years. The Fruit Share consists of an 8.5 pound bag of unique and high-quality varieties of fruit each week for 12 or 15 weeks, whichever you choose when you become a member. Fruit selections include peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, Asian pears, and apples, starting the first week of August.

You can learn about the Fruit Share and sign up for membership directly on the North Star Orchard website:
Members of the Fruit Share will receive their bag of fruit each week (starting in August) when you come to the Goodwill at Homefields farm to get your vegetables, and will receive an email from North Star Orchard each week detailing the varieties which are in the share.  A slide show of their fruit is at:

A bit about North Star Orchard: 

North Star Orchard, owned by Ike and Lisa Kerschner, is a small diversified farm in Chester County specializing in unique varieties of high-quality fruit. Ike and Lisa sell the farm's produce directly to consumers at area producer-only farmers' markets and through their CSA; they do not sell through wholesale channels. Their farm is best known for its abundance of apple varieties (now numbering in the hundreds!), unique Asian pears, and the high standard of quality in all of its fruits and vegetables.
Ike and Lisa have always been interested in both growing unusual varieties of fruit and vegetables and in using the newest ideas in production, training and trellising. They are highly concerned about the environment, and work hard to farm in a manner as sustainable and safe as possible.

Fruit Share members have said:
"On behalf of our family, I just wanted to say thank you. My 5-year-old has never eaten as many plums as he has this year. The quality of the fruit from your farm is outstanding." -2010 Member Stephanie
"Your fruits are wicked good!" -2005 Member Shelly R.
"Our family would like to thank NSO for the phenomenal Fruit Share this summer. It gets better every year. My son asked me what was 'wrong' with the apples we got from the store....priceless!" - 2010 Member Anna C.
"I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful season of delicious fruit! Our whole family is in the habit of eating fresh fruit now, it's so wonderful! My four young kids inhaled your pears, peaches, apples and plums like you wouldn't believe (well, maybe you would believe). So many thanks to YOU and your wonderful crew who made all of this possible. We'll definitely be back next year!!" -2006 Member Carrie E.

Looking forward to a great harvest season.  Fresh salads, berries and veggies will be here before we know it.


Friday, February 3, 2012

February Farm update: what's happening, King Corn, and what you Love about the farm

Hello from the farm,

The planting season is quickly approaching and we've got a bunch of new ideas and inspiration for it in part thanks to the farm conference this week at Hershey.  The sessions on organic growing used to be few and sparsely attended, but now all are pretty much packed.  Look for us to be experimenting with fabric for weed suppression in the pick your own field and possibly unrolling round bales for weed suppressing mulch between the vegetable beds.

Free Farming Movie:  King Corn

Can a farming movie be fascinating?  Yes.  As of last check, when my wife and I watched it two weeks ago,  King Corn is available to watch for free at  It follows the adventures of two city boys who head to Iowa to grow an acre of corn and find out what modern corn farming is like.  Funny, sobering and educational all in one, it makes you appreciate local and sustainable all the more.

What you Love about the farm:

(as we prepare for the new season, these are the things that shareholder wrote about last season--it's a great encouragement to us)

  • Exposed me to veggies I don't normally eat. Discovered how much better fresh veggies are than frozen.
  • Having my children experience a farm, knowing that their food does not come from Giant, and that someone is working hard to produce this food.
  • Being connected with the land and the people who grow our food feels natural and reassuring, more like how I grew up. Providing meaningful work for people, growing more food and PRESERVING Lancaster County farmland makes me a shareholder for life. Think about selling lifeshares...
  • Great people, fantastic food that is free of chemicals & pesticides, pleasant surroundings
  • Friendly staff
  • Truly enjoyed the experience of coming out to Millersville once a week, especially enjoyed picking the flowers and other pick your own.
  • bringing the kids out to see, harvest, eat, and enjoy  picking stuff ourselves
  • My kids experience visiting a farm each week
  • Having a sense of community with the farm staff and families participating in the CSA. The hands-on family friendly atmosphere is admirable and refreshing!
  • Well, you all just rock.
  • The fact that I don't have to go shopping as often and don't have to decide what to buy. :-)
  • Forces variety in our diet and teaches us to be satisfied and creative with what we get. I grew up with a garden, and now that I live in the city, it gives me the benefit of having a garden without having to have the land for it. I also like that it keeps me in touch with the seasons, the weather, and what's going on. In a strange way I like it when we get too much eggplant or too few potatoes, because then I get to ask why, and find out what's going on at the farm and in the county.
  • Recipes and serving suggestions for unfamiliar things like Napa cabbage, bok choy, and garlic scapes (I really LOVED the pesto).
  • Knowing my food is grown locally and sustainably, and by the world's most comprehensively amazing Farmer!
  • We love the "iron chef" challenge to find tasty ways to clean out the crisper bins!
  • The physical beauty of the farm, especially berry-picking on cool summer mornings.
  • Showing my daughter how important it is to eat well and know where our food comes from. The FLOWERS! Oh, how I LOVED picking my own flowers!
  • great variety!
  • Friendly farmers and workers ready to answer questions.
  • I like going out into the PYO fields. 

Soon the little sprouts will be popping up by the thousands, as we anticipate sun-warmed strawberries and tomatoes, green beans and edamame and farm fresh salads once again.

See you soon,

Your farmers