Maybe The Beatles had it right when they sang “Strawberry fields forever.”

Because if it’s June, it’s strawberry time here at Orr’s Farm Market.

Here are some random strawberry facts:

  • Did you know there is an average of 200 seeds per strawberry?
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • The average American eats 3.4 pounds of fresh strawberries every year, according to the Department of Agriculture
  • Pregnant women should eat a lot of strawberries because studies show that birth defects, like spina bifida, can be significantly reduced
  • In France, it’s a tradition that newlywed couples consume a strawberry soup for their morning meal.

The strawberry is a pretty versatile fruit. It can be used, of course, in desserts, but it can also find its way into savory dishes. Just google strawberry recipes and you’ll have so many to choose from that you won’t know what to do. We did the same thing and we found this one from Southern Living Magazine that made our mouths water.

Strawberry-Pretzel Icebox Pie

Serves 8

For crust:

  • 2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

For filling:

  • 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 (14-ounces) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon strawberry gelatin (1/2 (3 oz) package)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the crust, in a bowl, stir together first 3 ingredients. Dump into a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Press firmly press on bottom, up sides and onto the lip of the dish. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
  4. To make the filling, in a food processor, process strawberries until finely chopped. Stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add condensed milk, cream cheese, and gelatin. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add strawberries, beat at low speed just until blended.
  6. In a separate bowl, beat ¾ cup whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form; gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture.
  7. Spoon into prepared crust. Cover and freeze 8 to 12 hours or until firm
  8. After firm, in a mixing bowl, Beat the remaining 1 ¼ cups whipping cream at high speed until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over pie. Freeze 1 hour or until whipped cream is firm.

Is that recipe not reason enough to come down and buy a couple pints of strawberries?

We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As temperatures start to soar, it’s a good reminder to think of ways to keep hydrated.

Water is always the best way to keep yourself healthy out in the heat. But what if you just want something a little extra? A cool drink with a little flavor but not too sweet?

The best way is to add fresh fruit to your drinks and to ditch adding alcohol. Experts tell us that when it gets hotter alcohol only makes us more dehydrated.

So why not try something that is more water-based? These also are some fun drinks that will encourage your kids to not only eat more fruit but to also drink more water.

Here are just a few ideas to keep you happy and hydrated this summer:

Infused water

Once thought of being served in fancy hotel lobbies or at yoga studies, infused water become the new water trend. These are super easy to make and something the kids can help with you, too.

Strawberry, Basil and Lemon Infused Water
Ingredients: 1⁄2 cup of strawberries stemmed, sliced; 5 large basil leaves torn; 1 lemon thinly sliced; 5 cups of water; 1 cup of ice;
Instructions: In a large pitcher, add strawberries, basil, lemon. Add water and ice. Stir and let infuse for a few minutes. Serve. Be sure to include pieces of the fruit and basil in individual glasses.
— from TaylorBradford.com

Flavored Iced Tea

I know this might seem like a sacrilege to us Southerners, but iced tea doesn’t need to have two cups of sugar in it in order for it to taste good. Instead, use fresh fruits to add that sweetness. This time of year strawberries and rhubarb are a perfect combination, usually in pies. But they taste just as delicious together combined with a flowery tea.

Hibiscus, Strawberry, & Rhubarb Tea
Ingredients: 1 liter (1 quart) of water; 4 stalks of rhubarb, thinly sliced; 2 to 3 hibiscus tea bags; 2 tablespoons of wildflower honey; 1 cup of cold water; 1 pint of strawberries, stemmed and sliced, set some aside for garnish
Instructions: In a small saucepan combine water and rhubarb. Simmer on low between 15 and 20 minutes until rhubarb is extremely tender. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover and seep for about 8 minutes. Remove tea bags and strain rhubarb while adding water to a pitcher. Stir in honey. Add a cup of cold water. Refrigerate until completed chilled. Add strawberries to a pitcher. Muddle gently. Pour into glasses filled with ice. Garnish with strawberries.
— Recipe from GourmandeInTheKitchen.com

Mocktail

These are the perfect type of drinks for a hot day. You can look fancy but don’t have to worry about nursing a bad headache the next day. You might have to wait another month before you can enjoy this with fresh blueberries, but you can try it with frozen blueberries.

Rosemary Blueberry Smash
Ingredients: 1-pint blueberries (use about 8 per glass); 1 rosemary sprig, stripped; 1 ounce of honey syrup; 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, strained; 7 ounces of 7UP; ice
Instructions: Make honey syrup (see recipe below). In the bottom of a cocktail shaker muddle gently blueberries, rosemary leaves and honey syrup. Add lemon juice and ice to shaker, cover and shake for 10 seconds. Strain through a mesh strainer into a tall glass of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir. To make it even fancier, add blueberries onto a cocktail skewer and sit on top of the glass. — recipe from 7UP

Honey Syrup
Ingredients: Favorite honey; water
Instructions: In a saucepan add equal parts honey and water. Bring to a boil. Let it cool. It can be stored in an airtight container.

Cheers everyone! Come down and see what other fresh fruits or herbs we might have for your next drink. We’re open Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ernie Bradley
Ernie Bradley

Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge

After dealing with months of snow, sleet and cold temperatures, Memorial Day weekend gives us three days to celebrate the impending summertime with family and friends.

For Memorial Day weekend we are kicking off our popular Live Bluegrass Weekends. The concert series is always on the last Saturday and Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m, plus the weekend after Independence Day. Bring your own lawn chairs and enjoy the FREE show! The schedule is always subject to change.

Live Bluegrass Weekends schedule:

  • May 25: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge
  • May 26: Stoney Creek Bluegrass
  • June 29: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge
  • June 30: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge
  • July 6: Stoney Creek Bluegrass
  • July 7: Copper Canyon
  • July 27: Copper Canyon
  • July 28: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge
  • Aug. 24: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge
  • Aug. 25: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge
  • Sept. 28: Copper Canyon
  • Sept. 29: Copper Canyon
  • Oct. 26: Stoney Creek Bluegrass
  • Oct. 27: Ernie Bradley & The Grassy Ridge

While you’re here for Memorial Day, be sure to shop at our Farm Market where we have plenty of items to help you with your weekend festivities. We have fresh meat, fruits and more to add to any picnic spread.

Looking for that perfect dessert for your picnic? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Order your pie early by calling us at 304-263-1168. Click here for a list of pies.

Thank you for your service

Let’s also not forget what Memorial Day is about — remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. We would like to salute veterans both past and present for their service.

Here in Berkeley County, W.Va., the Martinsburg Rotary offers a traditional free pancake breakfast to benefit charitable donations from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at War Memorial Park, off Tennessee Avenue in Martinsburg. At 11 a.m. the Traditional Memorial Day Service will be at 11 a.m. at the park. This year it’s sponsored by the American Legion Post 14.

So stop in, enjoy some music and make sure to get those picnic supplies. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rich soil has a distinctive smell. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never smelled dirt before but it’s like smelling the Earth and everything that came before it.

In order to really smell the dirt, you need to get down close to it, close your eyes and inhale. That’s what life smells like in its purest sense. It’s what makes the plants grow that feed us.

That smell of soil also reminds us that we know exactly where our food is coming from. And when you come to Orr’s Farm Market, you know more than where your food is coming from — you see some of the faces behind it as well.

It’s that personal connection with our customers we love so much, and pick-your-own is about as personal experience as you can get. As you bend down to pick a berry, it’s you and nature at work.

We’ve done the hard work (with a little help from Mother Nature) for you so that you can enjoy knowing exactly how long it’s been since those berries were picked.

The experience, though, is different for everyone.

Some like to take their baskets out into the fields and go it alone, taking their time with each berry before plucking it from the bush or vine. They examine it carefully before placing into the basket before finding the next one that’s lucky enough to be taken home and put into the person’s famous pie.

There are some who think it’s an Olympic sport to see how many berries can be put into the basket in 10 minutes or less and race back to the counter.

Then there are some — usually families with young children — who see it as an adventure and on the hunt for some tasty berries.

Although we don’t encourage eating in the fields (because there would be a lot of empty baskets!), there is something about eating a berry right off the vine. Yum!

So if you’re looking to pick-your-own, come out to the market, we’ll give you a basket and set you free into our fields.

  • Strawberries – May 25 – June 14
  • Cherries — June – Mid-July
  • Blueberries — June – July
  • Blackberries — August through Mid-September
  • Black raspberries — Late June – Mid-July
  • Table grapes — August through September

So come and grab a basket and start 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.

Orrs Asparagus

Orrs Asparagus

British horticulturist and writer Gertrude Jekyll once wrote, “A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

Isn’t that true too of a relationship between a mother and her children? With some constant care and tending it blooms into something wonderful.

This month we celebrate Mother’s Day, which lands on Sunday, May 12. We also celebrate the bounty the land has blessed us with.

If you’re looking for a gift for your mom, come to Orr’s Farm Market and shop from some of our wonderful products. We have plenty of things to put a smile on her face.

Is Mom a foodie? We have a variety of premade items that she’s bound to like — and better yet — something she doesn’t have to cook herself.

By late May, we’re expecting a crop of fresh strawberries grown here in Berkeley County. You can eat them plain, in a pie, or as strawberry shortcake. Strawberries are the perfect treat for these spring days.

Thinking of other fresh-from-the-garden items to try? How about:

  • Asparagus now through mid-June
  • Rhubarb now through mid-June
  • Large selection of fresh herbs
  • Hydroponic lettuce year-round

Stop by every week throughout the spring and summer for fresh from the garden goodness. We’re open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We’re rolling in Clover here at Orr’s Farm Market — and we’re not talking about the plant. 

As a way to make the entire experience even more enjoyable at the farm, we have added new Clover POS (Point of Sale) Systems at check-out. We have already included the new system at two registers and by summer all of the registers will be using the Clover system.

So what does that mean for you as a customer? 

This new system allows us to take all forms of payment including chip cards and debit cards, which makes shopping easier. We will be able to continue to offer gift cards (a friendly reminder about gifts for birthdays or Mother’s Day coming up!).

What’s best for both our customers and for us is that Clover’s inventory system allows us to keep track of our biggest sellers so that we make sure to have the product you want in stock. It will also tell us what you aren’t buying, which allows us to make room in our market for the items you want more of!

As customers, you’ll be even more connected to us through knowing what specials and sales we’re having more often. The new Clover system allows us to add new coupons and even do multiple discounts. And isn’t that a win-win?

But here’s the secret about these discounts: They are only offered to our e-newsletter readers! To sign up, CLICK HERE, scroll down to Stay in Touch, enter your email address and hit submit. You’ll be instantly connected to us!

The new difference with the coupons is that you need to bring your coupon with you or show it to us on your smartphone in order to receive the discount. However, while we wait to launch our barcode coupons, we will give you a new code word to use for savings at the register. But you can only find that code in the newsletter!  

And because we love the interaction with our customers, Clover gives us just one more way to receive feedback. 

So that’s just another reason to come out and visit Orr’s Farm Market today! Our hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Orr's Reuseable Bag

Farm life can be hard, but for all the blood, sweat and tears we put into the land, it rewards us with its bounty. As farmers, it’s our job to take care of the land, but we can’t do it alone.

Monday, April 22, is Earth Day, which reminds us to be kind to Mother Nature and she will be kind to us. In celebration of all what Earth has given us, we’ve come up with some tips to be a little greener this year. Don’t be overwhelmed. Just start out with one suggestion at a time.

Try at least one of these this year:

• Reduce, reuse, recycle. Try opting for a reusable water bottle instead of buying a plastic bottle. Recycle plastics so they don’t get into the landfill. Think creatively on re-using something instead of throwing it away.

• Bring a reusable bag when you shop. Looking for a cute bag? We have options at the market.

• Change your lightbulb. Make sure you have a more energy-efficient bulb that will last longer and not be a strain on your energy bill.

• Conserve water. On a farm, we know how valuable water can be for our crops, flowers and animals. Don’t let the faucet run while you’re doing dishes. Only do full loads of wash. Limit your time in the shower. And those leaky faucets? Fix them. 

• Plant a tree. Trees are good for the environment. They help clean the air and save energy.

 Go paperless. It only take a few minutes to change your bills into e-bills, which will reduce the cost of using paper — and save some trees.

•  Start a garden. Learn how important it is to get our hands into the dirt, and watch something grow from a seed. Encourage your children to help in order to make the next generation love the Earth as much as we do.

• Take a hike. Fall in love with nature again. Take a hike or bike on a trail. Plan a family day at a nearby park.

Be sure to come visit us, learn about what we do and shop a little. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail …”

How many of you remember that song from your childhood? It’s one that makes you immediately think of Easter, the Easter Bunny, colored eggs, chocolate and grass-filled baskets.

This year we will be hosting the Easter Bunny & Spring ScavengORR Hunt from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 14, here at Orr’s Farm Market.

Bring the kids to meet our Easter Bunny for pictures, as well as participate in a FREE kids craft that they can make, then take home.

Also, make sure to get your ScavengORR hunt card. Prizes for completed hunt cards will include a coupon egg (which will get you 10%, 20% or 30% off) or prize eggs with a toy inside for the kids. 

While you’re here, be sure to shop for items to decorate your home for spring and Easter. We have plenty of decorative bunnies to choose from as well as spring wreaths. 

Looking for something to add to the Easter baskets? We can help you with that, as well. We have Easter candy and homemade peanut butter and coconut chocolate Easter eggs to add to any basket. 

Looking for more surprises for the baskets? Choose items from our market: Karen’s Candy Kitchen Fudge and Chocolate Candy, Mountaineer Popcorn, Black Dog Coffee beans and even our homemade Orr’s Jams.

Those who are looking for an alternative to sweets for the Easter basket, we have plenty of items available at the market. Try something nonfood items to add that special touch such as Hickory Homestead Handmade Soaps, Rocky Bottom Goats Milk Lotion or Primitive Glow WV Made Candles.

This year, Easter will be Sunday, April 21. So hop right into Orr’s Farm Market and help make the Easter Bunny’s life a little easier. We’ll be closed Easter Sunday to spend time with our family. But our normal hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The Orr’s Farm Market venture into Bison farming comes to an end.

Owner Mark Orr had always found bison herds intriguing. He said “You always remember the field where you saw a bison herd grazing.” He was definitely correct that the bison would be a big customer draw. People came from distances such as Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. just to catch a glimpse of our bison herd. What began as a group of 6 bison, has materialized into a herd of over 20 animals. Most of the females cows are pregnant with this spring’s babies…due to be born any day now.

Throughout the years we have offered many hayrides down to view the bison herds and customers have enjoyed feeding them apples. We also have processed bison meat products for our customers to purchase. It’s a very lean and healthy meat and has been extremely popular. Our animal attraction has been a nice addition to our farm.

When we purchased the bison we knew that they had an aggressive temperament, which is part of their breed. We’ve always been extremely careful when feeding them and taking wagons of guests down to our barnyard areas. However, as our farm grows more and more we’d like to remove the chance of anyone ever getting injured by these animals. The possibility is always in the back of our minds as we take the safety of our guests very seriously. Our family has made the decision to sell our herd and transform our barnyard into a more people-friendly animal experience. In order to bring in new animals, we have to sell the bison as they don’t take kindly to other creatures in their vicinity.

By April, the bison herd will be heading to a new home where the owner already has a thriving bison business. This farm has agreed to purchase the entire herd, which is another factor we felt was important. We wanted to see them leave as a group and not be separated from animals they have been with since birth.

National Pi Day, which combines the mathematical constant of π — or 3.14 — with a slice of delicious pie, is celebrated on March 14.

Although the concept has been around since 1988, Pi Day wasn’t officially recognized until 2009. So that means it’s been 10 years of ‘Pi-tastic’ eating, and we’re always looking for a good excuse to celebrate pie!

There’s something about pie that is nostalgic. It’s a dessert that’s eaten for all kinds of celebrations. It’s also versatile. It can be eaten cold or hot. It can be served with coffee, tea or milk. It can be topped with ice cream or whipped cream. It can be served on a plate or even in a bowl.

Pies are a favorite here at Orr’s Farm Market. Throughout the year we offer fresh seasonal fruits to make a scrumptious pie. Although it might be a couple of months before we get any fresh crops, we still have apples we picked this fall that have been waiting in cold storage and are perfectly ideal for a good apple pie.

If you’re too busy to make your own pie, we offer a variety of pies you can purchase at our market.

We make fresh deep dish 10-inch pies daily here. The varieties are blueberry; strawberry rhubarb; apple; caramel apple nut pie; blackberry; cherry; Dutch apple; caramel nut; pecan; peach; chocolate cream and lemon crunch. We offer coconut cream pie by pre-order only.

Those of you who must watch your extra sugar intake, we offer three types of sugar-free 9-inch pies: peach; apple and cherry. Each are sweetened with Xylitol.

On March 14 we’ll be offering 15% off pies, so on Pi Day grab a slice of your favorite pie and raise your fork in salute to the beauty of the endless pi and the eating of delicious pie. Order online at https://orrsfarmmarket.com/product-category/order-pies-for-pickup.

At Orr’s Farm Market, every day is Pie Day! Stop by our market to pick up your favorite pie or try one of our flavors. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday from 10am to 4 pm. We look forward to seeing you on the farm!