The last peach variety now in the market in Utica

Peach season goes fast in Ohio! We picked the last variety that we grow on Tuesday and will have it in the market for the next five or six days. It is called Victoria and it’s a yellow flesh, freestone variety. It’s sweet and juicy and great for cobblers.

We are in our second month of apples already! In our market here in Utica we have Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, McIntosh, Crimson Crisp, Crimson Gold, Cox’s Orange Pippen, Swiss Gourmet, and starting today, Pixie Crunch and Rubinette! There is an apple for every taste here at Branstool Orchards! Pick your own for apples is open seven days a week (M-Sat 9-5 & Sun 10-4). Today we have Gala, Crimson Crisp, Crimson Gold, Cortland and Bartlett & Red Bartlett Pears. Pixie Crunch & Rubinette pick your own opens up this weekend. Rubinettes will also be made into Caramel Apples by Goumas Confections in Newark. They are so yummy and speak to the heart of the fall season. We expect to have them next weekend, September 22nd. We will start making cider as soon as the peaches are finished and will have apple cider donuts on the weekends as well.

Speaking of fall, we have everything you need to decorate your home this year! Pumkpins, Mums, Indian corn, pie pumpkins, etc. We have a nice selection of breads, cookies, cobblers, and pancake mixes along with syrup and honey. Urban Spreads will be here on Friday sampling their 20+ flavors of homemade jams including several made from our fruit: apple butter, Karmel Apple, Peach Cobbler, Just Peachy, etc. They also will have pumpkin spice cookies!

We are having another painting party in the orchard on Saturday, October 6th from 4-6PM. This time we are having a ‘plein air’ art lesson on how to paint apple trees. The cost is $40 and includes your canvas and all painting materials, apple foods and drinks, and 1/4 peck of apples to take home with you. No artistic experience required! This will be a fun, creative evening. Sign up here.

We appreciate everyone who has come out to visit us this year and hope to see you again soon!

Red Havens now in the market!

  • The peaches may be a little later than last year but they are truly worth the wait, so sweet and juicy. Thank you to everyone who has come out to Utica since we opened on July 12. We started U-pick on Friday, July 27 and had such an enormous response the we have finished pick your own until the Contender peaches ripen up in about two weeks. We suspect that sometime around August 10-15 we will open U-Pick back up since there will be so many Contenders.
  • In the meantime, we do have our peaches in the market in Utica. Until the end of the week we will have Red Haven and John Boy, both freestone peaches, as well as white and yellow flesh Donut peaches that are very sweet and the perfect snack size peach.
  • Zestar apples will be ready in about 7-10 days. Pears will be ready about late August and after that we will have U-Pick for peaches, apples, and pears. Oh, my! 
  • Due to the very wet April, the peaches are behind schedule and this has prevented us from getting to any Farmers' Markets. We hope to be there in two weeks or so. Fruit farming can be unpredictable and this is definitely one of those years.
  • Our first CSA deliveries start this week. Thank you to everyone who signed up and thank you for your patience. 
  • We would love to see you in Utica! Our market is stocked with local produce including sweet corn that is picked and delivered daily as well as onions, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, garlic, green beans, etc. We have a larger assortment of local and gourmet food items, gifts, snacks, organic milk and yogurt, local pasture-raised eggs and Velvet single serve ice cream. 
  • Our website www.branstoolorchards.com is updated daily as well as our Facebook page. Follow us on Instagram to see the latest photos from the orchard, our market, our dog Jack, and our customers. Follow us on Twitter.
  • Feel free to take a book from our Little Free Library. We could also use your book donations to help keep our library stocked.
  • We now have an events page and a recipe page on our website. We would love to feature your recipe. Please email us at branstoolorchards@gmail.com to submit one.
  • Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns you may have or to check on the variety of peaches we have in the market that day: 740-892-3989.
  • Lastly, we invite you to join us on Saturday, August 18, from 5-7PM for a 'Plein Air' Painting Party. We will take a short walk into the orchard, sit between rows of peach trees and paint a still life of peaches with the step by step guidance of Lori from Lori's Art Studio in Granville. Your $40 registration includes the canvas and all painting materials, refreshments, and a 1/4 peck of peaches to take home with you and your new peach painting. Register here or at the market in Utica.
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The Market is open for the season!

Our farm market in Utica is open for the season! We waited patiently for the peaches and now they are here. We are starting with Desiree (a cling peach) and Early Star (a semi-cling) and expect Red Havens (our first freestone peach) by the end of the month. We have plenty of peaches in the market but U-Pick will not start until the Red Havens are ready. This means we will not be at any farmers' markets until late July or Early August as well. For those who signed up for the CSA's, we expect those to start only one week late instead of the two we predicted only a few days ago. We are at the mercy of mother nature and she dictates when we can deliver to you. Thank you for your patience.

The farm market in Utica is fully stocked with a multitude of items you might want to take home with you: fresh, local sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, cabbage, blueberries, and garlic. We also have Bonhomie Acres maple syrup in a variety of sizes delivered to us from the Brown family who are fifth generation syrup makers from Fredricktown, Ohio. Harv's Honey from right here in Utica is also available in a variety of sizes. We have a plethora of flavors of jams from Urban Spreads including Strawberry Rhubarb, White Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon Blueberry, Cherry Haberno, and dozens more! We expect a delivery of jams made with our peaches from the ladies in Columbus next week. Speaking of which, Unkle Timz Gourmet Salsa is also back in stock in the market and he will be bringing his peach salsas by in a few days since he just picked up peaches for that purpose yesterday. We have a new baker, Huckleberry Homestead, bringing us mouthwatering cobblers, breads, pies and crisps all made from our fruit. You can buy entire pies or breads or buy by the slice. Yum!

We still carry our traditional cobbler and crisp mixes, hard candies, licorices, trail mixes, gourmet popcorns, dilled vegetables, and apple, peach, and pumpkin butters. We've added some new items this year, too, including:

  • Copia Pasture-Raised Eggs
  • Trader’s Point Organic Yogurt
  • Nehi Peach Soda
  • Granville Gourmet Whoopie Pies
  • Gourmet Farm Girl chilis and soups
  • Shagbark Tortilla Chips
  • OH! Chips
  • Gujju Guys No-Bake Cookies
  • Rustbelt Pepper Relish
  • Randy’s Pickles
  • Cleveland Kraut
  • JB’s BBQ Sauce (made from Jackie O’s Ale)
  • Green Magic Apothecary Salves & Such
  • Crazy Monkey Granola
  • Gourmet Peanut Butter Snack Mixes
  • Handmade Peach & Apple earrings, magnets, & keychains 
  • Unkle Timz Gourmet Salsa
  • Huckleberry Homestead baked goods

We look forward to seeing you in Utica. It's a great country village to visit with Velvet Ice Cream located just a few miles away. After U-Pick starts you can bring the family, pick some peaches and apples, have a picnic, play some corn hole on our new boards, take a picture with Doodles our giant rooster, and take a book home from our new Little Free Library. Life moves fast, be sure to slow down long enough to enjoy it! Life is as peachy as YOU make it :)

June is here! Almost time for peaches!

It seems that just yesterday we were complaining about the cold days of April. Now the 80 degree temperatures have arrived and there are thousands and thousands of baby fruits maturing before our eyes here in Utica. It is truly a beautiful sight to see mother nature working away while we all carry on with our busy lives. Marshall expects the peaches to begin to ripen around mid-July, a little later than last year, but he says the crop looks great! The apples and pears appear to be doing very good as well.

Here are some updates from our last newsletter that was emailed on May 30th:

1. We've added two more CSA pick-up locations! Deliveries will now include Wednesday Westerville Farmers' Market and Grandview at The Butcher and Grocer, where you can buy meats from Ohio. You should see the sausages they make in-house! And they are going to make a peach and basil breakfast sausage out of our peaches! Yum! This means you can now pick up CSA subscriptions at six locations. Go HERE to sign up.

2. Love books? So do we! Our market in Utica will soon have a Little Free Library. Our goal is to stock the library with books about apples, peaches, sustainability, gardening and farming. When you visit to pick your own this year, stop by the Little Free Library and grab a book to read or bring one to donate for others to read. Learn more about Little Free Libraries HERE.

3. We now have 4'x4'x3' boxes of apple wood for smoking foods for sale for $35 each or fill up the bed of a truck for $75. There are also small piles for $5. If we aren't around when you visit you can pay at the Honor System Box. The wood has already aged for about a month. 

4. The owner and quality control manager from Columbus Brewing Company visited the orchard on Tuesday May 29th. They bought 1,000 pounds of our peaches last year and made a sour beer that they aged in wine barrels. It’s not available to the public yet (they’re thinking fall) but we know it’s good because they’ve already won a bronze medal at World Beer Cup with the yet to be named peach sour! They brought us samples of their award-winning beer and we think it's delicious and refreshing! We will let you know when the peach beer is bottled because CBC expects to sell out quickly. See photos from their visit on Facebook HERE.

5. We are busy getting the market in Utica ready to open around mid-July. Our crew is busy thinning peach trees and tidying up for the 2018 season. 

6. We will be at the following farmers' markets beginning mid-July:

-Westerville on Wednesday

-New Albany on Thursday

-GranvilleClintonvilleWorthington and the NEW Westerville market at Otterbein on Saturdays.

 

Spring is slowly raising her sleepy head!

Yes, it seems that winter overstayed her welcome and the cold weather has us all scratching our heads wondering what mother nature is thinking. But, alas, this week, April 16th to be exact, we witnessed the first peach blossoms on the farm. Victoria peaches are the first to blossom here in Utica and oddly enough, the last to harvest. Marshall says the blooms are about two weeks later than last year so he expects that the early harvest of 2017 will be delayed until at least mid-July. Victoria's beautiful pink blooms remind us that no matter how long the winter might be, warmth and sunshine are on their way. Now that's exciting!

We are also excited to announce the addition of two more CSA's this year. Last year we delivered to our subscribers in Clintonville and Upper Arlington on Mondays and this year we will be delivering to Bexley and Newark on Tuesdays. You can sign up for a bi-weekly delivery of fresh fruit here on our site now.

Also, for the second year, we are partnering with Bird's Haven Farm to offer a half peck of peaches and apples as an addition to their delicious produce CSA. Sign up here.

We will also be adding the Uptown Westerville SATURDAY 9am-Noon Farmers' Market. We already attend the Wednesday Westerville market but are looking forward to the Saturday market as well. You can see who else is attending here

More updates are coming soon. Marshall and the field crew are busy pruning trees and planting a few new peach varieties. We look forward to seeing all of you at the farmers' markets, CSA pick ups, and of course, here in the market and out in the orchard in Utica!

Thanksgiving Greetings

Dear Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving! We know you are all busy baking, cooking, welcoming and catching up, yet many of you have taken the time to send photos of your pies, cobblers and sauces. It means so much to us, as we sit down to our meals, to know that we are a small part of your celebration. In between all the slicing, dicing and mixing a thought came to mind: that apples are perfect on their own, a centerpiece, a simple and true reflection of life on the orchard. We planted, tended, pruned and picked thousands of pieces of fruit this year, but in case we forgot to say so, we are thankful for Mother Nature.

We are also thankful for our healthy (and growing!) families, our tireless crew, who always laugh, sing and work hard, no matter the weather. We are thankful for our staff, dedicated and caring folks who make the extra effort that makes all the difference. We are thankful for the families who spend their weekends at the orchard, the adorable little kids that make us smile, the dogs who come to play with Jack, the customers who take the time to bring us pies and jams, and all the new people we met this year.

With continued thanks,

All of us at Branstool Orchards

Heading Towards Winter Apples ...

Dear Friends and Subscribers,

We are excited to tell you that today we opened up CAMEO, FLORINA, FUJI, SUNCRISP & WINESAP for U-Pick. They all taste fantastic and are gorgeous -- these trees are perfect backdrops for fall photos. 

We are still making fresh cider and have it for sale in Utica. While fresh peaches are a distant dream, you can get your peach fix from Urban Spreads' jams. They delivered peach and cranberry flavors today and we find ourselves thinking back to the amazing peach season and forward to (gulp!) Thanksgiving!

This HEAT!

Okay, so we haven't posted in FOR-ever! But we have a good reason -- PEACHES! What an amazing peach season we had. Thank you to all of our customers, old and new!

It has been unseasonably warm (okay, it is HOT!), but that didn't stop apple pickers from coming out this past weekend. We welcomed a lot of new visitors to the orchard -- thanks for spreading the word to your friends.

We're excited that Mother Nature is sending cool, dry weather this weekend. We're going to fill the market with all sorts of squash, pumpkins, mums and other fun fall goodies. And cider. Lots of cider. Still lots of apples to pick this year: Cameo, Florina (Querina), Idared, Melrose, Suncrisp, Goldrush, Winesap ... to name a few! Let the fall fun begin!

The apples are ripening early in this heat, but that's no problem for our amazing field crew. The number of apples they bring in daily is really quite something. They also press the cider and will be back at it tomorrow.  Early cider is heavy on Honeycrisp and you can taste it. It's all apples, nothing else, and we so enjoy seeing our repeat customers. (You know who you are, the folks who walk straight back to the cooler, eyes focused on the gallons of cider ...)

We've had so much fun this season and owe it to you. Make sure you say hi when you're out next time.

 

Red Havens!

Best crop in years! We are picking Red Havens all day today. Weather looks great this week so we'll get a lot done in the orchard. Great time to come and pick your own as well because it won't be so hot.

Sweet corn has arrived -- our local farmer delivers regularly. The corn is grown a few miles from here. You really can taste the freshness.

Lots of other produce as well as plants in the Utica farm market. And we are going strong at all the farmers markets throughout the week. 

Busy season is the most fun season!

Summer is here!

We had a busy spring and are excited to move into the summer harvest season. Desiree, our earliest peach, will be ready in early July.  

But first, the big news is that we finally finished thinning all the peach trees! It was a huge job and everyone pitched in. We are happy that the peaches we left on the branches are ripening up beautifully. We'll have peaches for sale in the Utica farm market by mid-July.

We'll be at the following farmers' markets starting in early July: 

  • Tuesday: Newark 4-7
  • Wednesday: Westerville 3-6
  • Thursday: New Albany 4-7
  • Friday: Newark 4-7
  • Saturday: Clintonville 9-12, Granville 8:30-12, Worthington 8:00-12

What started as a few friends asking us to bring peaches home to Columbus is now a thriving CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. We will deliver fruit to Clintonville and Upper Arlington on Monday afternoons and are hoping to expand to other towns as well. Let us know if you and a group of friends are interested in starting a drop-off in your area. The good folks at Bird's Haven Farms in Granville are including our peaches and apples in their CSA this year. Contact them for more information if you live in that area.

Stay tuned for regular updates as summer gets underway,

Marshall and the Staff of Branstool Orchards

NEW FOR 2017 - Peach and Apple CSA

Don’t  worry about rushing to the farmers’ market for hand-picked peaches and apples this summer and fall! This year, for the first time, we are partnering with The Seasoned Farmhouse to offer a peach and apple CSA. Tricia Wheeler, the owner of the Farmhouse will include recipes and suggestions for using your fruit in delicious ways throughout the season.

What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a way for farmers to get their food directly to consumers. You join by buying a share (box) and get food from the farm throughout the growing season. In our case it is a peck of peaches or apples delivered every two weeks.

How it works:

You prepay $144 ($18 per peck) for 8 weeks of fruit. We will deliver to The Seasoned Farmhouse every other Monday during the summer and fall. Deliveries start in mid-July, depending on the weather. We will keep you updated as the season approaches. You arrive between 4:30 and 6:30 to pick up your peaches or apples. It’s that simple. Because you prepay you don’t have to worry about bringing money.

If you can't pick up before 6:30 we'll leave your share on the back porch. If you have a neighbor or friend pick up please make sure they check your name off. We'll send an email the morning of the delivery letting you know what varieties are included. We’re sorry, but we cannot offer partial shares, only the full eight.

Tentative Delivery Dates (all Mondays):

July 17

July 31

Aug 14

Aug 28

Sept 11

Sept 25

Oct 9

Oct 23

If a natural disaster (such as a severe hail or wind storm) damages the crop we will do our best to provide peaches and apples. We hope that you will understand if we cannot bring the expected delivery. We will notify you beforehand and will substitute other types of our fruit if possible.

Space is limited to how many pecks we can fit on a truck. If you would like to participate send an email to branstoolorchards@gmail.com and we’ll get back in touch with you to confirm details and to arrange payment. Make sure to include how many pecks you’d like every delivery; one share = one peck = $144. NO NEED TO PAY NOW.

Please contact us with any questions. And, thanks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We're hiring for the summer and fall.

As summer approaches Branstool Orchards is hiring some seasonal employees. We’re looking for hard-working people who can handle potentially long shifts (6-10 hours) standing on a cement floor. It's equally important to be able to provide friendly and engaging customer service. Retail experience is a plus, but is not required. We need people who are available a minimum of two days a week, during the following days and hours: Sunday 9a.m-5p.m, Monday-Saturday 8a.m.-6p.m.  You do not need to be available for the entire day, but the longer you’re available, the better.

What is it like working at Branstool Orchards? We love having our share of fun at the orchard, but it’s very important that we stay focused and work hard. It can be fast-paced, especially on the weekends, but it is never boring. We are looking for people who are enthusiastic, friendly and genuinely enjoy working with the public. There is always plenty of work to go around, from sorting peaches and making boxes to unloading and displaying produce from auctions.

Interested? Great! Send an email to Marshall at branstoolorchards@gmail.com and provide your name, your general availability between April and October, and a brief paragraph explaining who you are and why you're interested in working for us. We will then reply to your e-mail should we decide we’d like to further discuss bringing you on board.

We are located 35 miles east of Columbus, about 30 minutes from the intersection of Routes 161 & 62. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

It's April and we are busy!

The orchard is definitely waking up. We had a great winter are ready to get back to work on the farm. The first week of the season flew by! We planted, pruned, organized and solidified farmers' market schedules. We planted 600 apple trees: Crimson Topaz, Goldrush & Pixie Crunch and three new peach varieties. Their names alone are beautiful: Red Globe, Roza & Veteran. Can you imagine what the blossoms and fruit will look like? We're looking forward to seeing how they will do. We are planting 1400 more apple and peach trees in the coming weeks.

While we've been able to get a lot done in the warm weather we are still hoping for seasonal, cooler temperatures to close out March. The peach crop looks good so far, but we still have some cold nights and mornings to get through. We will let you know as soon as we have more news. 

Jack, our resident farm dog, is going to celebrate his first birthday soon. He chases nonstop after birds, tractors and Marshall unless he is digging, digging, digging! If only we could get him to dig consistently-spaced holes in straight lines ... he would be such a great addition to the crew. Check out this short video of how we dig and plant.

We post often on Facebook and Instagramemail us if you can't find what you're looking for and we'll get right back to you.

 Looking forward to a great 2017 season! Get in touch; we love to hear from you!

getting ready for spring ...

It's March! That means that warmer weather is on the way.

Winter in the orchard is the time to take a deep breath, go on long-anticipated vacations, catch up on sleep and enjoy the snow. It's also the time for vehicle maintenance, ordering trees, prepping fields, clearing branches and apples from the grass, and attending meetings with other growers. Of course, these jobs are made all the more fun with the help of Jack! He's almost one and he has been a great help digging holes, chasing deer and always being at Marshall's side. Well, except for when he is running laps around the orchard.

Once April gets here we'll be busy pruning, planting and getting the market ready for the 2017 season. Watch for lots of news then!

 

 

 

Honeycrisp Weekend

That's right, it's finally a Honeycrisp weekend!

We will have them in the market and for U-Pick starting Saturday morning, and we will have a lot of them at Saturday morning's farmers markets in Clintonville, Granville and Worthington.

Also ready this weekend for U-Pick are Gala, Tsugaru, Zestar and Cortland.

These varieties will be available in the market too, along with Ginger Gold, Blondee and Swiss Gourmet.

We will have a combination of these apples at the farmers markets with the Honeycrisp.

We are in between varieties with the peaches, but the season isn't quite over yet. But because they aren't quite ripe enough, we're going to let them hang a few more days. It's looking like it will be mid-week before they're ready to be picked. That means we should have more U-Pick peaches ready within the next week - fingers crossed!

In the meantime, we will likely sell out every day so please call ahead the day you plan on coming out if you're coming specifically for peaches.

Don't forget - we're going to be closed on Labor Day to give our hardworking staff a much-deserved day off. 

We're also going to be closed on Mondays for the rest of the season. Our hours will remain the same for the rest of the days.

Enjoy your holiday weekend! 

Help Wanted

It’s that time of year again when our summer kids head back to school and we’re looking for some extra hands to step in and fill their shoes.

Who are we looking for? We’re looking for hard-working people who can handle potentially long shifts  (6-10 hours) standing on a cement floor. It's equally important to be able to provide friendly and engaging customer service. Retail experience is a BIG plus, but not required. We need people who are available a minimum of 2 days a week, during the following days and hours: Sunday 9a.m-5p.m, Monday-Saturday 8a.m.-6p.m.  You do not need to be available for the entire day, but the longer you’re available, the better.

What is it like working at Branstool Orchards? We love having our share of fun at the orchard, but it’s very important that we stay focused and work hard. It can be very fast-paced, especially on the weekends, but that just makes the day fly by faster! There is always plenty of work to go around, from sorting peaches and making boxes to unloading and displaying produce from auctions – you won’t get bored!

Interested? Great! Send an email to Tessa at branstoolorchards@gmail.com (do not reply to this e-mail) and provide your name, your general availability between now and the end of October, and a brief paragraph explaining who you are and why you're interested in working for us. We will then reply to your e-mail should we decide we’d like to further discuss bringing you on board. 

We look forward to hearing from you! 

 

 

 

Are YOU ready for U-Pick?

It's been two long years since the last time we've had enough peaches for U-Pick. Our orchard will officially be open for picking for the 2016 season on July 26. The peaches will be $1.50 per pound, with a $10 minimum. Picking hours will be 10am-4pm on Sunday and 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday. We will have boxes on hand for you to pick in, but you're more than welcome to bring your own containers. Below, Marshall has a picking tip for you to make sure you're choosing the best peaches:

It's almost time...

It's been a very busy spring for us here at the orchard, and we've got some pretty exciting bits of news to share with you.

First and foremost, the peaches are lookin' gooood. We've had our hands full thinning them all - a very good problem to have and one we've certainly missed. But all this thinning will allow the peaches to size up to fist-size, just how we like 'em!

At this point it looks like we'll be opening in just about a month. Woo hoo! Our first peach variety, Early Red Haven, should be ready to pick the middle of July. We'll have more updates coming your way as we get closer to opening.

In the meantime, check out these very exciting updates:


Please meet our newest (and cutest) employee, Jack:

Jack is about three months old now, and he's getting very used to hanging around Marshall's feet out in the orchard. We're going to try to have him down at the market as much as we can for you all to see, but being situated so close to such a busy highway means we're going to be very cautious about when and how often we have him down there. 


We're getting a facelift...

We're going to have a new look this season, as we're adding on and renovating our market. You'll see a slightly new design, some more natural lighting, and a few new colors. We're very excited to reveal our new and improved market to you in just about a month.


Hopefully you're as ready as we are to finally enjoy some sweet, delicious, home-grown peaches again, because we're gearing up for an excellent season! We'll be in touch again soon, and it won't be much longer before we get to see all your smiling faces again. 

 

New for 2016

We're very excited to announce the addition of two new farmers markets to our schedule this summer: Canal Market District in Newark and the Worthington Farmers Market. The Canal Market District farmers market is held on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Worthington is Saturday mornings. Here's what our weekly lineup looks like:

We are really looking forward to meeting lots of new customers at our newest markets, and of course seeing the familiar faces at all the others!