Summer Veggies

Summer Veggies

Did you know that we put months of planning into our gardens each year? It’s not as easy as just picking out some seeds, and throwing them in the ground for us. We plant multiple gardens every season, full of lively vigorous plants. Starting in January every year, we have a Garden Planning Meeting as a team. In February we order the seeds from some trusted seed companies.Happily seeds were a bit easier to purchase in 2021 than last year! Some of the plants are started as garden transplants at locally operated Colonial Farms Nursery. Other items we just start from seed in the ground. We depend on our garden produce to source our veggies for the farm market and our new CSA delivery program. We strive to have as much homegrown produce as possible in our market and try to offer bulk discounts on items in bushel amounts. You’ll notice we put the location each item is from in the bottom right corner of our price sign. That’s how you know if it’s Orr’s or Locally grown.

Harvest has begun and is gradually increasing by the day. Once the gardens start producing, we pick them every other day. Asparagus is our first crop we pick, and lasts about 4 weeks. A few weeks later, the other plants start producing, and things get crazy for the remainder of the season. Peppers, eggplant, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are just some of the things we grow. Once the gardens have been picked, we take the produce into the market, and prepare it to sell. All of the veggies we pick get washed prior to going on the sales floor. As we wash, we also sort through everything to ensure we’ve got the best of the best. Produce also has to be entered into our inventory so that you can purchase it online for curbside delivery.

There are several ways to get your fix of our delicious veggies. Simply stop in the market, browse the rainbow of colors, and find what’s best for your appetite. You can also be put on our waiting list if you’re looking for a specific variety or a large amount of an item. Once you’re on the list, you get called as soon as we pick the crop, and have enough to fulfil your order. Larger quantities are nice for canning, or freezing. Preserving your favorite veggie is a good way to have that fresh treat, all year long. Who doesn’t love to pull out some frozen peppers in the middle of winter and make a fresh meal?

We’ve started to pick the gardens for the year. If you stop in the market now, you’ll find eggplant, green bell peppers, jalapenos, yellow squash, zucchini, and green cabbage. Does eggplant sound interesting, but, afraid to try it, or don’t know how to make it? Here’s a great article with photos and video called “How to prepare eggplant for cooking” by Good Housekeeping. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be elaborate. My favorite thing to do with fresh garden veggies is so easy, anyone can do it. Cut up all your ingredients, season to taste, add some EVOO, and throw it on the grill until tender. Pair with some local steak from our freezer section, and you’ve got yourself a simple summer time meal.

Here’s to keeping it fresh and delicious this summer!

Orrs Strawberries

Orrs Strawberries

We’ve invited the public out year after year, since the 1980’s, for pick your own strawberries.  That’s over 40 years of planting, tending, and harvesting this tasty fruit.  We usually plant our strawberries in late summer or early fall as bare root plants.  In November or December, we cover them with plant covers to help protect them from the elements.  In March, we uncover the plants, to allow the blooming plants to be pollinated by the bees.    Once pollinated, the flower petals fall off, and start to grow the berry.  This is where the fun starts!  Did you know we have 5 different strawberry patches?  With over 45,000 plants, producing more than 20,000 pounds of berries per year, this is our biggest pick your own crop we grow. Next year we’re replanting our 3 oldest patches into high-density plantings. We’ll be doubling the amount of berry rows in each patch! We can already imagine the booming double portions we’ll receive from these plants.

Strawberry season this year looks a little different than previous years.  We are still doing pick your own, by reservation only, just like 2020.   We decided to change our pricing structure to be by container, versus per pound.  By prepaying for containers…you don’t have to return to the booth to weigh your buckets when you’re done. This makes the checkout process much less frustrating, as you are often hot and tired from picking and just want to head to your air conditioned car right away!  You can make your reservations here, and, get more tips, pricing, and schedules.

Prefer pre-picked instead?  Call the store at 304-263-1168, and we’d be happy to put an order in for you to pick up.  We are so excited for the 2021 picking season, and can’t wait to see you, and your family!

You’ve picked your berries, now, what to do with them?

• Freeze them for smoothies
• Make jam, jelly, or even butter
• Top off your summer salad
• Make cake, cobbler, or cupcakes
• Grind them up for strawberry ice cream
• Garnish your beverage with them

Once you’ve picked all your berries, follow this link for a strawberry cupcake recipe.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day

 

Every year, on the second Sunday of May, we celebrate the special women in our life. Did you know that more calls are made on Mother’s Day, than any other day of the year? Personally, my mom and I talk just about every day. I recognize the fact that one day, she won’t be here any longer. That’s why it’s so important to take a second now, and tell your mom, mother figure, female role model, that you love them.  

Want to do something different for Mother’s Day? How about a trip to the farm market? This time of year, it’s so pretty here. As you drive in, you’ll see the apple and peach trees with some beautiful mountain panoramic views as the background. Once at the market, there are colorful flowers and plants as far as the eye can see.  We’ll also have fresh Carolina strawberries, homegrown asparagus, and local apples. Once you’ve browsed through the market and gift shop, walk across the road to our beautiful field.  Our famous Orr’s Market old truck is awaiting all your photography ventures. It makes the perfect back drop for any family photo. Make sure to take a picture with mom while you’re here!  Share your photos with us on Facebook if you like, we get excited to see what you’ve captured on our farm.  

Finish off your visit by visiting The Barnyard at Orr’s. Book your reservation today, to ensure your spot for this busy customer weekend.  Visit Our Barnyard Page to see what is included in our Barnyard packages and check availability for your families visit. If you got “littles” with you, we’ve got a Farmer Fun Playground, which is new this year. Get up close to cute baby animals, like, bunnies, lambs, and goats. Don’t forget to visit with the mini horse, and mini donkeys while you’re here. Take this moment to create a memory with your beloved family members.

After your visit, click here for a link with 15 of the most popular Mother’s Day brunch ideas to make your life easier.  

One final note on this blog. We know many of you have recently lost your mothers or may not have a mother. Some of you may want to be mothers and are unable to be. Take a moment to brighten the day of a widow, child, or another female in your life who could benefit from that special outreach in their life. As someone who’s just experience the loss of a family member we know holidays are tough…and brightening the day for someone else always makes it better.

Orrs Asparagus

Orrs Asparagus

Calling all asparagus lovers, the time is here!  We just picked the first batch of homegrown asparagus from our gardens.  We grow both green, and purple asparagus.  What’s the difference you may ask?  Purple asparagus tends to taste a tad bit sweeter than the green.  Some people say they can’t tell the difference between the flavors of the two.  I personally like the green best, but, to each their own.  We usually pick asparagus through May.  

We harvest our asparagus spears when they reach about 8 to 10 inches in height.  You also want them to be at least a half inch thick.  When they’ve reached the perfect height, we hand cut each spear.  Once brought into the farm market, we cut them all to be about the same size, and bundle them by weight.  We’ve found it’s best to keep asparagus in water to help preserve it.  Once you take it home, simply place it in a measuring cup, or bowl, and fill about a half inch of water for it to sit in.  It can last up to a week this way.  Asparagus is both low in calories, and a great source of nutrients.  Research shows that it may make the best food for preventing osteoporosis, as it’s high in vitamin K.    

Ready to cook that bundle you just brought home?  Here are a few ideas of things to do with your asparagus. You can find a wealth of recipes on our Pinterest page»

  • Oven roasted 
  • Steamed 
  • Bacon wrapped 
  • Pan fried 
  • Add to stir fries, scrambled eggs, or pasta dishes
  • Try it on your Blackstone Grill!

Follow this link for a tasty recipe of baked asparagus fries.

Orrs Flowers

Can you believe it’s already April? Seems like just yesterday we were saying farewell to the crazy year of 2020.  A new year means new projects here on the farm. Did you know that the big building you see when you pull up to the market on the right is our packing shed? It operates just 6 months out of the year, but is such a crucial part of our farm when it comes to getting apples ready for our customers. If you were to drive up right now, you’d notice tons of construction workers. What’s happening to the packing shed, you may ask? We are adding on new front offices, as well as building a new bakery. The new bakery is the most exciting addition as it will allow us to expand our baked goods section – yum!  

Orrs Flowers

Over on the market side, our first outside flowers and herbs of the year arrived and I couldn’t be happier. There is something about fresh flowers that just make the store feel inviting. It’s getting warmer out by the day and flowers are the perfect addition to make the front of your home spring-ready! Fresh potted herbs like basil, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, and chives are a refreshing option to jazz up your meal.  Click this link to see a recipe for Lime Basil Pie!

The Barnyard at Orr's

The Barnyard at Orr’s is starting back up this month with lots of new features!  The hayride is included in your package and you will enjoy the beautiful blossoms as you ride to the Spring Barnyard. Upon arrival, you will get to see all the animals, including the goats and bunnies.  Did I mention we’re getting a brand new playground on Monday? Make sure you pack a lunch; you’ll want to stay awhile.  Forgot your lunch?  No worries, we’ve got a snack shack set up to curb your needs.  Make sure you bring your camera — there will be lots of photo opportunities! Click here to book your reservation for The Barnyard. 

Halloween is looking a little different this year, but there are still tons of fun ways to celebrate! Whether your favorite part of Halloween is the candy, costumes, or movies we wanted to make sure you wouldn’t miss out on that spooky feeling this Halloween. Here are a few ideas to make Halloween special.

  • Have a zoom costume contest. Zoom is a great way to connect with other friends who you can’t celebrate Halloween with. Schedule a meeting when everyone can get together and show off your costumes. You can get real fancy and have judges and prizes!
  • Have a game night with Halloween themed games. Take your average game night up to the next level with the Halloween edition. Play games like candy jenga or wrap the mummy, where you see who can wrap the mummy in toilet paper first (be sure to keep the toilet paper, we do not want to wasteit!) Or bring back a classic like bobbing for apples. There are so many at-home Halloween games to try!
  • Carve or paint pumpkins. A classic way to get in the Halloween spirit is to carve pumpkins. Or for something a little less messy (maybe) painting pumpkins! Decorate your house and give everyone the opportunity to be creative.
  • Bake cookies and other spooky treats. Even though trick or treating may not be happening in a lot of neighborhoods you can still make sure you and your family get that sugar fix. Try making a new sweet that your whole family will love! Like Reece’s bats, candy corn cobs, or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Find the recipes for all these treats here with Delish’s 50 Halloween treats.
  • Watch a Halloween themed tv show or movie. Ending the night with a Halloween movie or tv show will put a cherry on top of the whole evening. Pick a classic like the Charlie Brown’s Halloween Special or the Adamms Family!

Halloween can still be spooky during the pandemic! Take a few of our ideas and make this Halloween one your family will remember!

If you’re short on ingredients, pumpkins or treats for this Halloween, check out our online ordering system and see what we have in stock. Please remember that you do need to make a reservation before coming to the pumpkin patch. We’re open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Happy Halloween!

October is pumpkin season! From pies, decorating, to plucking them straight from the patch. Carving might be the staple of all of those activities, but what to do with all of the gooey pumpkin insides? We have the solution! And it’s a recipe! After you have successfully removed the pulp, clean off those seeds and throw them in the oven for a nice snack.  Check out this recipe we found from Taste of Home.

Roasted Pumpkins Seeds

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 250°. Toss seeds with remaining ingredients; spread evenly into a greased foil-lined 15x10x1-in. pan.
  2. Bake 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase oven setting to 325°. Bake until dry and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

This pumpkin seeds recipe is a great way to use your pumpkin guts! If you still haven’t gotten your pumpkin’s yet stop on by to pick your own! Go to our website for more information about our pumpkin patch and stop by Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and between 10am and 4pm on Sunday. We hope to see you soon. Happiness grows here!

orrs-crates-pumpkins

Coming up with social distancing dates this fall may not be easy, but we are here to help. We came up with some of our favorite activities that you can do while staying safe.

Here are 5 fall date ideas:

  1. Go to a pumpkin patch and then carve the pumpkins. Going to a pumpkin patch gives you a great opportunity to take cute couple pictures and find the perfect pumpkin! Or maybe you already found them? Then once you get home nothing says I love you like a handful of pumpkin guts.
  2. Go on a nice fall day hike. As the leaves begin to change and the weather gets cooler there will be opportunities to go on hikes where you won’t get sweaty and will have great fall foliage pictures to share.
  3. Have a scary movie marathon. Get the popcorn and candy ready then cuddle under a cozy blanket while having a scary movie marathon! Or if your partner does not like scary movies go for a fall aesthetic movie like When Harry Met Sally.
  4. Go on a picnic and jump in some leaves. Picnic under the changing leaves will make for a perfect date. Even if you are just in your backyard this date can be memorable. Grab a rack and make the biggest pile of leaves you can and then jump in just like you are kids!
  5. Bake a pie. Every fall day has a great opportunity to stay inside and bake! Harvest season offers many different opportunities for unique flavors.

If your fall date needs a pumpkin patch or fall-themed treats, we’re open Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 10am to 4pm. Please remember that you do need to make a reservation before coming to the pumpkin patch. Stop by and we can help make your fall date special!

Apples, Apples, Apples! What to do with all of those apples! They do say an apple a day keeps the doctor away… but they never specified exactly how to eat that apple! You could bite right into it, cut it up, drink it in a smoothie, or make it into a sweet dish. We have a great apple crisp recipe for you from Taste of Home.

Winning Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups chopped peeled apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the first 4 ingredients. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half into a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish or a 9-in. square baking pan. Cover with apples.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thick and clear. Pour over apples. Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes or until apples are tender. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 426 calories, 12g fat (7g saturated fat), 31mg cholesterol, 127mg sodium, 79g carbohydrate (58g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein.

If you’ve already eaten all of your apples or need some fresh ones, we have plenty to go around! Go to our website to use our online ordering system and have your apples ready for pick up! We’re open from 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Happiness grows here!

 

School has been out for much longer than usual and this fall is going to be anything but ordinary. We love our kids, but let’s face it, sometimes we need a little bit of quiet to focus on work, cleaning, and even ourselves. Here are 5 different nature-inspired craft ideas to keep your kids busy so you don’t have to be!

  1. I remember loving making a bird feeder as a kid. I used the classic pinecone and peanut butter method, but here’s a great list of ideas from Non-Toy Gifts that involve repurposing common household items.
  2. Try out these DIY Twig Triangle Wreaths from A Pretty Fix if you’re looking for a new seasonal decoration. They’re cute, easy, and only take a few minutes to make!
  3. These DIY Dreamcatchers from The Upcycled Family are a great way to make art from nature. You can find most of the supplies right in your backyard. This would be a great  craft idea to share with young kids or college students looking for dorm decor.
  4. Everybody loves playdough! Instead of using artificial colorings, try using dandelions to dye the dough. We learned how to make this nature-inspired playdough from Parenting Chaos. Click here to try it out!
  5. Sustain My Craft Habit shared this gorgeous idea for a maple leaf paperweight! This project doesn’t seem too hard, but you might want to supervise the kids in case it gets messy. Once you’re finished, the kids won’t be able to walk by without picking it up!

Here at Orr’s we feel lucky to spend so much time outdoors. We’re inspired by nature every day and, whether it’s a recipe or a craft, we love to see what you come up with. If you don’t have time to make a craft, check out our online ordering system and see what nature-inspired gifts we have at the market. We’re open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. Happiness grows here!