Raw organic apples on wooden background

It’s that time of year again when the air starts getting crisp, and the apples aren’t far behind! Apples are an autumn staple, so check out below for some fun apple activities to get you in the spirit of the coming season.


Of course, you could buy apple butter in the store, but where’s the fun in that? There’s nothing more satisfying than spending an afternoon lovingly creating something that you can enjoy for the rest of the season. Apple butter has limitless potential for spicing up any boring breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Give this recipe from Baked by Rachel a chance!

Stovetop Cinnamon Apple Butter

  • 2 ½ lb apples (roughly 8 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
  1. Peel, core, and slice apples. Add to 5-6 quart Dutch oven or extra-large saucepan. Toss apples with lemon juice to prevent browning. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over apples. Toss to coat well. Stir in apple juice (or apple cider) and vanilla.
  2. Cook over medium heat until apples are tender. Use an immersion to puree apples. Alternatively, transfer batches of apple mixture to a blender to process until smooth.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally for between 1 ½ and 2 hours. Apple butter is done when it is thick and jam like. It should hold its shape on a spoon and not slide off immediately. You can also test by creating a straight line through the mixture with a spatula. If the mixture holds its shape and does not immediately close the gap, it is done.

Check out the large batch recipe and canning instructions here!


Wondering what to do with all the apple scraps you just created? Take a look at this homemade apple cider vinegar recipe from Wellness Mama. Apple cider vinegar has so many health benefits, including weight loss, reduced cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and even improved diabetes symptoms. It is an ancient folk remedy that people have been using for generations!

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipe

  • apple scraps
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 2 cups filtered water
  1. Clean a quart jar very well and let air dry. Fill the jar ¾ full with apple scraps.
  2. Dissolve the cane sugar into the cup of water. Pour sugar water over the apples until they are completely submerged. Add a little additional water if needed to make sure the apples are covered.
  3. Weigh down the apples with a fermentation weight or with a small glass jar. Any apples that are exposed to the air could mold.
  4. Cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark place at room temperature. Leave it for approximately 3 weeks. Check on it every few days to make sure the apples are staying under the water and to make sure no mold is growing.
  5. After 3 weeks, it will still smell fairly sweet. Strain the apple pieces out and return the liquid to the jar. Recover and put the jar back in a dark spot for 3-4 weeks, stirring every few days. When the vinegar has reached the “tartness” you like, you can put a lid on it!

Obviously, both of these recipes are a little bit sweeter when made with one of our many varieties of apples here at Orr’s. Come down this season and see for yourself! We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Summer is almost over, and that means we at Orr’s are gearing up for our Fall Farm Fun Days!

This annual festival is the perfect way to combat the back-to-school blues. We’ll have plenty of fun activities, live music and good food to ring in the fall. Join us on Saturday, September 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday the 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

There’ll be plenty of family-friendly activities to keep the kids entertained. They can take a hayride and explore Orr’s pumpkin patch, play on the moon bounce and try their hand at pumpkin painting. Tony M. Music will also be returning to the kid’s activity area this year.

Star of Disney Junior’s The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin, Spookley is the “official spokes-pumpkin” for National Bullying Month in October, but he’ll be greeting children during Fall Fun Days too! Spookley the Square Pumpkin will also be making visit between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on both days.

There’s plenty of fun for adults, too! Local bluegrass bands, The Hazards and Stoney Creek Bluegrass will perform on Saturday, and Copper Canyon Bluegrass and Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge Band perform Sunday. Over 40 craft vendors will be at Orr’s, making this the perfect time to do some early Christmas shopping.

Along with our produce and baked goods, plan to enjoy delicious food truck fare like Almost Heaven’s butterfly potatoes and funnel cakes or the pizzas, sliders and salads from Jill’s Mobile Kitchen. Parking is limited, so plan accordingly—carpooling with friends is a great (and fun!) option. Fall Farm Fun Days happens rain or shine, unless the weather is dangerous to our staff and guests.

To see a complete schedule for Fall Farm Fun days, visit their event page. We invite you to come celebrate with us!


If you can’t make it to Fall Farm Fun Days, we still encourage you to come visit us and we’ll help you get in the fall spirit! We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Autumn pears on wood

Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of opportunities to celebrate the sunshine and the food it brings us. Although pears are often skipped over for more famous fruits, they have a rich history and a variety of yummy uses today.

According to Top Food Facts, the Chinese consider the pear to be a symbol of immortality. The pear was also sacred to two goddesses in Greek mythology, and was used as a remedy against nausea during that time.

Pears also contain important antioxidants, flavonoids, and fiber. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and only contain about 100 calories, according to Medical News Today. Eating pears can help you lose weight, and even reduces the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. Clearly, there are so many reasons to not forget about pears this season!

Below are a couple of recipes to ensure that you make use of the fresh pears that are growing in the orchard. Currently we have Bartlett, Magness and some Asian pears!


Although most people are familiar with berry preserves, pear preserves are just as delicious and versatile as their midsummer counterparts. Try this recipe from Taste of Home over ice cream, waffles, pork roast…the list goes on!

Pear Preserves

  • 16 cups peeled, sliced fresh pears (about 16 medium)
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. In a stockpot, combine pears, sugar, water and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until mixture reaches a thick, spreadable consistency.
  2. Remove from heat. Ladle hot mixture into seven hot half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims.
  3. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  4. Place jars into canner, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Sweets aren’t really your style? Instead, try this humble salad from The New York Times that promises crisp deliciousness.

Spinach, Apple, and Pear Salad

  • 2 unripe pears
  • 2 crisp apples
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup raisins
  1. Thinly slice the pears and apples; put on a bed of spinach. Sprinkle with raisins and drizzle with a simple vinaigrette.

Run, don’t walk, to Orr’s to get some fresh pears this season. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There’s nothing like sweet corn on the cob. As we get into prime corn season, we’re reminded that corn can be used in a variety of ways.

Although boiling is the easiest, grilling always adds a smoky depth of flavor. Pro tip: Before you grill, soak the still-husked corn in salted water for 10 minutes, then grill the corn while it’s still in the husk. It brings out the flavor of the corn!

Here are three ways to turn corn into something even more delicious:

Have you had Mexican street corn? If not, you’re missing out!  Want to make it picnic-friendly? Soak kabob skewers in water for a few minutes, then put the corn on the skewer. Try this recipe below:

 

Mexican Street Corn

  • 6 to 8 medium ears of sweet corn, husks removed
  • ½ cup of Mexican crema, or substitute with sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice from one line
  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  1. Grill sweet corn.
  2. While the corn is grilling, in a medium bowl mix crema, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, chipotle pepper, lime zest and juice and cotija cheese. Set aside.
  3. Once the corn is finished, place on a plate. Brush the mixture on top of the corn. Serve immediately.

Another corny idea…

Ina Garten, aka “The Barefoot Contessa,” has a great way to use corn in a Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread recipe. But we tweaked it by adding in fresh corn. Although fresh is always best, you can actually grill some corn now and use it at a later date. Cut it off the cob and put it in a freezer bag. Be sure to allow the corn to cool before moving it to the freezer.

 

Jalapeno Cheddar Extra Corn Cornbread

  • 3 medium ears of corn, prepared and removed from the cob
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
  • 8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated and divided
  • ⅓ cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.
  2. Prepare corn as you like. Remove from corncob. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine milk, eggs, and butter.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix.
  6. Mix in 2 cups of the grated cheddar, scallions, jalapeno, and corn. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

And here is our last corny idea if you want something quick to make for a side…

This is a great go-to recipe that’s light and refreshing. Pro tip: Although it’s tempting to not add salt, it’s needed to help elevate the flavors of the ingredients.

 

Corn Tomatoes and Avocado Salad

  • 3 medium-sized ears of corn, cooked and cut from the cub
  • 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, diced into ¼ inches
  • ½ cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 medium green pepper, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime zest
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  1. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients. Mix together and serve. This dip pairs extra well with corn chips.

Just think–there are thousands of other ways to use corn! Visit our market to see all types of corn we have, including non-GMO Mirai bi-color corn. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In a matter of weeks, the kids will be back in school. That means you need to start thinking of ways to give them a healthy afterschool snack to keep them occupied while you get dinner ready.

Sure there are the easy snacks like apple slices with peanut butter or grapes and cheese, but how about something with slightly more substance? This recipe packs enough protein and fiber to keep the kids going until dinner is ready. And, this recipe can not only be made ahead of time, but the kids can help you prepare it.

The beauty of zucchini is that it can be frozen. Shred the zucchini, squeeze out the extra water, divide it by pounds and add it to a zipped freezer bag. When you need to make your snacks for the week, you can just grab a bag and get going.

Or you can make muffins ahead of time and freeze them. Before serving, pop one in the microwave for a few minutes (time fluctuates with microwaves brands).

For this recipe, we found one that sounded simply delicious at SimplyRecipes.com.

 

Dried Cranberry and Walnut Muffins

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups, grated zucchini, paced
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar and vanilla. Stir in zucchini and butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Slowly combine dry ingredients to wet. Do not overmix. When the mixture is fully combined, stir in walnuts and cranberries.
  5. Coat muffin paper with nonstick spray or butter. Using a medium-sized scoop, add the mixture to the pan, making sure to distribute evenly.
  6. Bake on the middle rack for about 25 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure the center is done. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins to cool for an additional 20 minutes.

Come on down and get some zucchini. It’s yours for the picking. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Who can forget when, in “Dirty Dancing,” Baby says “I carried a watermelon” to Johnny at the dance? Boy, was she embarrassed.

We can’t promise you that you’ll meet the person of your dreams or learn how to dance the cha-cha when you visit us for watermelon, but we promise you won’t be embarrassed to show off these watermelon dishes at your summer soiree.

Of course, the easiest thing to do with a watermelon is to chill it in the fridge and then slice it up. But why be boring? Here are some ways to jazz up the fruit.

 

Grilled Watermelon

Looking for a simple way to use up the last of the watermelon? This recipe is perfect when you just need one last little bit of smoky sweetness.

  •  9 slices of watermelon, preferably seedless
  • Kabob skewers, soaked and prepared
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped mint (optional)
  1. Prepare grill at high heat. Push a skewer through slice at an angle.
  2. Lightly brush watermelon slices with olive oil on both sides.
  3. Place on grill, and flip when you see grill marks.
  4. After marks are on both sides or about five minutes total, set aside on a plate and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Add mint. Serve.

 

Watermelon Granita

Granita is really just a super simple version of Italian ice. The upside to this dessert is that the longer you wait, the more juicy and sweet it becomes. The downside is that it’s going to take three hours until it can be served. We found this recipe at momadvice.com blog.

  • 1 large watermelon, preferably seedless, cubed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Juice of 2 limes
  1. In a blender combine watermelon, sugar and lime juice.
  2. Add to a metal pan and freeze for about an hour.
  3. With a fork, scrape the watermelon to loosen it, and return to freezer.
  4. Wait for another hour. After this process has been repeated for three hours, remove from pan and serve in cups or a hollowed out watermelon.

 

Grilled Chicken-Watermelon Tacos

Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays, and this dish will add a little sweetness to the same-old chicken taco.

  • 4 pounds sliced grilled chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • ½ small red onion, minced
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Tortilla shells, heated
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
  1. Salt and pepper chicken. Over medium heat, grill chicken. When chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 F, remove from heat and set aside. Let rest for a few minutes. Slice into strips.
  2. In a large bowl, add watermelon, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt.
  3. On a warm tortilla shell, add chicken and watermelon mixture. Top with cheese. Serve.
  4. Makes 4 servings.

Come on down to get your watermelon. All we ask is that you don’t put Baby in the corner. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The week of August 4-10 is National Farmers Market Week, so let’s celebrate all that we do here at Orr’s Farm Market!

By definition, a farmers market is a location where farmers can sell their wares to customers. The beauty about our farm market is that customers don’t only get to put a face with the product we sell, but they also have the advantage of coming onto the farm itself to see where we produce the food they buy.

We are not alone in our endeavor to bring fresh, quality food to the masses. According to the United States Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Directory, there are at least 8,000 farmers markets across the U.S. Here in the Eastern Panhandle there are nearly 10!

What we love about having our own farm market is that while people shop in the farm market, they can look out into the fields where some of the crops grow. Other than for the pretty cool view, we put together five reasons why you should shop at a farmers market.

  1. It’s fresh.  Actually, the only way you’ll get fresher food is if you pick it yourself (which you can do here at Orr’s!). Our food isn’t put into a truck that drives hundreds of miles to be sold at a grocery store, but is grown right here.
  2. Face to face. When you purchase food from a farmers market, you’re most likely going to be interacting with the farmer or the farmer’s family. They are the ones who nurtured the food from a sprout to that zucchini you’re holding. So when you ask a question about how it’s grown or what is used to grow it, you’re asking the people who actually know.
  3. Support local. Putting money into the pockets of local farmers means no middleman. According to the Farmers Market Coalition, for every dollar of food spent in 2017 in America, the American farmer only received 17.4 cents. But when food is purchased directly from the farmer, he or she can make up to 90 cents on the dollar. In turn, that helps to boost the local economy and continues the legacy of generational farmers.
  4. Great place to meet up. It’s a good place to run into friends, family and neighbors. That’s because a farmers market is more than a destination–it’s the community hub of like-minded individuals.
  5. Learn something new. Farmers markets give you the ability to learn to prepare food that you serve all the time in a new and exciting way. At a farmers market, you can pick something up, give it a sniff, and ask anyone near you: “Any ideas on how I should prepare this?” You’re bound to get some good advice.

Come see how many of these five things you can experience at our market. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those who love to cook know that nothing adds a layer of flavor to dishes than fresh herbs. In July, one of the more versatile herbs, basil, is ready to be harvested.

What can you do with basil? Really, you should be asking what can’t you do with basil?

Basil can be found in two types, sweet and Thai. We’re going to focus on the peppery, minty, sweetness of sweet basil for this blog.

The thing that all basil enthusiasts love is a good basic pesto sauce. Pesto is probably one of the easiest ways to transform basil.

What’s great about pesto is that it’s so versatile.

Add it to fettuccine for a lighter dish for the summer months. Or make your favorite grilled chicken salad and instead of mayo, slather pesto on the bread. Yum!

Oh, and we forgot to mention how super easy it is to make, too?

Once you’re done, you can store the pesto in the fridge. One tip is to freeze your pesto by pouring it into ice cube trays and just popping each one out when you need it.

So for this pesto sauce, we found this great recipe from Spruce Eats.

Classic Basic Pesto Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated hard cheese (such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano cheese, or a combo of the two)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt (to taste)

In a food processor, add basil, garlic, pine nuts and pulse into it becomes a green slightly coarse paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and with a spatula or spoon add cheese, olive oil and salt. Serve. Refrigerate.
Share with us your best basil recipes! And come down and see the fresh herbs we have for sale. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Fire up the grill — it’s National Grilling Month!

We have plenty of items that are great for grilling — meats, veggies, even fruits.

However, this is a good time to remind everyone that safety should always come first, especially when you are grilling.

Before You Start

Between 2011 and 2015, the National Fire Protection Association said there was an average of 9,600 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year, with July being the peak month for such fires.

A fire is guaranteed to put a damper on your summer festivities. That’s why we found some great tips from Nationwide Insurance on grill safety. Click here to find a complete list of safety tips.

Here are just a few:

• Make sure your grill is away from structures or overhanging branches.
• Set up your grill on a flat, even surface and make sure it’s stable. Protect your patio or deck with a splatter mat.
• Keep your grill clean. Be sure to dump the trays that contain grease. If using charcoal, make sure that the coals are completely cool before discarding.
• Check for propane leaks.
• Be careful with lighter fluid.
• And always be ready to put out a fire.

Grilling Guide

Did you know that undercooked chicken is the number 1 food cause of food poisoning?

FoodSafety.gov has plenty of information on how to keep everyone safe during this grilling season.

So the most important tool you have is a meat thermometer as your best line of defense against undercooked food. To properly use a thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the meat. For something thinner such as a chicken breast or hamburger, insert it from the side.

Wait about 10 seconds for accurate temperature readings; follow the instructions with the specific thermometer.

Before serving, the thermometer must reach the following:
• Beef, pork, lamb, and veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 degrees F with a 3-minute rest time
• Ground meats: 160 degrees F
• Whole poultry, poultry breasts and ground poultry: 165 degrees F

Once it has reached its temperature, place the cooked food on a clean plate. Do not place it on the same plate that held raw meat or poultry.

Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or visit AskKaren.gov to chat with a food safety specialist. Follow @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter to receive daily tips and information on recalled food.

Stop by Orr’s Farm Market for all of your grilling needs. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.