One of the advantages of living in Pennsylvania is the plentiful fresh fruit and produce available through local orchards and farms. People can even pick what they eat during the growing season.
As we get further into fall, it’s no longer possible to pick your own produce but local orchards are still great resources to use during the cold months. Locally sourced foods can be purchased at farm markets all year long. In many cases, the orchards also offer community activities such as farm tours and cooking classes.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, orchards will have holiday items available such as fresh turkeys and unique baked goods. Below is a sampling of orchards available throughout the region and an overview of the resources provided at each.
Brecknock Orchard of Brecknock Township, Lancaster County
The family-owned orchard has been growing fruit for more than 75 years. The 65-acre farm produces several varieties of fruit and vegetables that are even available for customers to pick themselves when in season. Although the season has ended for “pick your own” opportunities, the orchard offers fall and winter tours of the property. Fall tours are available until November 8 while winter tours are available until April.
Customers can continue to shop for local produce at the farm market for items such as apples, berries, peppers, tomatoes and more. The fresh fruits grown in the orchard are used to create jams, homemade baked goods and even customizable fruit baskets which can be used as gifts during the holiday season. The orchard also provides recipes and tips on their website for people needing ideas on how to use the fresh produce they purchase. From how to use spaghetti squash to full instructions for an apple, kale and Brussels salad; the website offers many printable recipes and tips.
For more about Brecknock Orchard, visit the website www.brecknockorchard.com or call 717-445-5704.
Frecon Farms of Boyertown Borough, Berks County
The farm started as a wholesale fruit operation in 1944. The orchard produces cherries, blueberries, peaches, pears and more. The market sells the produce from the orchard as well as food items from other local providers such as honey, meats and cheeses. The market has a full line of sweet and savory pies perfect for holiday gatherings. Fresh, never frozen Thanksgiving turkeys are currently available for purchase and can be ordered online. Throughout the winter, the farm market often offers culinary classes for both adults and children.
For more about Frecon Farms, visit the website freconfarms.com or visit 610-367-6200.
Linvilla Orchards of Middletown Township, Delaware County
The 300-acre family farm not only has fresh produce but is also a center for education and entertainment. A garden center provides plants, accessories for growing and home décor. A whole family fun section on the orchard website list attractions and activities families can enjoy throughout the year. Pumpkinland is open at the orchard until November 10. The interactive outdoor amusement includes cornfield mazes, scarecrows and a huge pumpkin display. Indoor mini golf is available at the orchard beginning in November. Through the 18-hole course, participants learn about environmental issues.
The farm market has fresh produce from the orchard when it’s in season. After the year’s harvest, the orchard gets food from neighboring farms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The farm market also has specialty items for sale including sauces, pickled vegetables and soups. Thanksgiving turkeys from a Chester County family farm will be available at the orchard until November 16, or while supplies last.
For more about Linvilla Orchards, visit the website www.linvilla.com or call 610-876-7116.
Highland Orchards of West Bradford Township, Chester County
The 200-acre farm has apples, peaches and strawberries as the primary crops. The orchard also produces rhubarb, cherries, nectarines and sweet corn. The farm market features produce from the orchard, fresh baked goods and firewood. The locally sourced market stocks food items from growers in Chester County, Lancaster County and Delaware. In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables, customers can purchase local honey, eggs, dairy, preserves and more.
For more about Highland Orchards, visit the website highlandorchards.net or call 610-269-3494.
These are just a few of the places in the region that provide local produce throughout the year. Several other farms and grocery stores make it their mission to provide customers with quality, locally sourced options. For a list of Pennsylvania orchards, visit www.orangepippin.com/orchards/united-states/pennsylvania.