Meet The Farmer

October 15, 2012

Meet The Farmer: The Erovicks (CherryShack Orchard)

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Meet Brad and Jackie Erovick of CherryShack Orchard!

CherryShack Orchard is located just down the road from my house and boasts more apple varieties than you've probably ever heard of. More than 30 in all.

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McIntosh, Spartan, Golden Delicious, Ida Red, Green Gravenstein, Red Gravenstein, Ginger Gold (My favorite!), Early Gold, and many many more.

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CherryShack is truly a family run orchard, with everything they sell coming straight from their farm. Brad keeps busy year round managing the orchard, pruning trees, maintaining the land, pressing cider and so on. Brad's dad, Bill, runs the orchard store:

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Brad's mom, Marilyn, makes all the jams, syrups, pies, caramel apples, and helps Brad with the cider pressing:

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Recently I was so excited to discover they sell a huge variety of vintage potato sacks! You can do so many great things with them. I stuffed one full of straw, stapled the open end closed, and use it for a cushion on a straw bale. The perfect fall porch seating! We also took one and covered a cork board for a great message board at their store.

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Fresh-pressed cider is in high demand here and during the fall, they press about four times a week, producing hundreds of gallons of cider. Did you know it takes about 14 pounds of apples to make one gallon of cider? I really like that they pasturize using UV light, rather than through a heating process. I think more nutrients are retained that way. Here is what the pulp looks like after pressing:

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The pulp is used for things like chicken feed and compost. Nothing goes to waste here.

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In addition to the more than 30 varieties of apples that are grown here, they also grow apricots, cherries, pears, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and other assorted vegetables.

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Jackie and Brad Erovick

You can find contact information for CherryShack Orchard by clicking here.

You can find them on facebook by clicking here.

God bless the farmers - the men and women who work the land to make our country the beautiful and fertile place it is today. You can read more on my Meet the Farmer series by clicking here.

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July 23, 2012

Meet The Farmer: The Bosmas (Cherry Hill)

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I headed over to Cherry Hill to load up on some pie cherries. I love how some of their pie cherry trees mark the entrance to their farm where they can't help to just lure you in.

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Pie cherries tend to be smaller than other varieties, and a lighter, brighter red as well.

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They also tend to very juicy. My hands and arms are always left dripping in cherry juice when I'm done.

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Ronda and Jeff Bosma (and their children as well) have been running their orchard for over 12 years now. When they acquired the farm, many of the trees were dead or dieing and they were forced to remove all that couldn't be saved. And in the process, they planted hundreds of new ones. Their farm is host to hundreds of cherry and peach trees as well as raspberries.

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Two years ago they build their beautiful new barn that now houses their seasonal fruit store and antiques corner.

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Ronda Bosma (pictured)

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A few notes about pie cherries:

I find that the pie cherries tend to easily pull off of their stems when I'm picking them, which means one less step for me when I go to make my pies.

I use a handheld pitter to pit the cherries.

Due to the juiciness of the pie cherries, Cherry Hill lines their boxes with paper to soak up some of the juice. Even so, after a few hours, the juice will make its way through the box. It's a good idea to process your cherries soon after picking. (And don't worry, there's still plenty of juice in there to make your pies deliciously juicy).

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When you support your local farmer, your supporting your community as well. God bless the farmers who work the land and provide us with the food we eat.

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Ronda Bosma, (pictured)

You can find out more about Cherry Hill by visiting their website here.

My Meet The Farmer series is my way of shining a light on the wonderful farmers that work the land all around our home. Watch for more features in the series here on my blog.

July 11, 2012

Meet The Farmer: Roening's

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Today I went cherry picking at Roening's Orchard, just a few minutes from our home on Green Bluff. Rick and Claire Roening operate the orchard, which has been around since the 1800s.

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Rick Roening (right) and grandson, Nathan (left)

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The original farmstead barn, dating back to the 1800s.

Today I was on the hunt for the very first cherries of the season on the Bluff: Cavaliers. They'll soon be followed by Rainiers, Bings, and many more varieties. I really love them all.

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When Rick and Claire took over the ownership of the orchard nearly ten years ago, they promised to keep the original Royal Ann cherry tree - a favorite of the family. The orchard now boasts about 200 peach trees and 400 cherry trees.

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As is with all of the farms here on the Bluff, it's a family affair at Roening's. And there's just something very special about being able to buy your fruit from the family that produced it.

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You can find more information about Roening's Orchard here.

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My Meet The Farmer series is my way of shining a light on the wonderful farmers that work the land all around our home. Watch for more features in the series here on my blog.

 



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