GEARING UP FOR AN APPLE-FILLED SUMMER

We're back! Almost...

Hopefully you've missed the orchard just as much as the orchard has missed you.

It was a long, enjoyable offseason for all of us at the orchard. Except for that little glitch when we lost our peach crop to those nasty, cold temperatures at the beginning of the year. Ooops.. you hadn't heard yet? Well then maybe you should head on over to our Facebook page and like us so you can get your info a wee bit sooner. Or maybe I need to do a better job of maintaining the blog in the offseason? Let's compromise; you like us on Facebook, and I'll make a better effort to give this blog more attention between seasons. Deal? Deal. (Trust me, you'll thank me later for guiding you to our Facebook.)

But in the meantime, I'll fill you in on what you've missed so far...

So. Our peaches aren't going to be here this summer...

That doesn't mean you shouldn't be. Even though those bitter temperatures wiped out our peaches, we still have plenty of excitement planned for the 2014 season. 

I know you're all going to miss the summer staple of sinfully-sweet peach juice dripping down your chin. Believe me, so am I. But there are some pretty awesome apples that ripen in August that can easily be overlooked when there's a big 'ole spotlight on the peaches. "But apples are the fruit of fall and peaches are the summer fruit.." Blah, blah, blah. Yes, peaches are spectacular and we're all going to miss them dearly this summer. But give the summer apples a chance. Zestar and Tsugaru are two summer apples that top many customers' favorites list. Mollie's Delicious is a traditional flavor that is frequently requested, and Initial and Blondee are two newer varieties that are easy to fall in love with. Don't count the apples out just because they ripen in August; they can be just as refreshing, sticky and delightfully tasty as peaches. 

For those of you who just. can't. bear. the thought of walking into the market and not smelling peaches, rest assured. Marshall is working diligently to make connections with a couple of out-of-state orchards who may be able to supply us with peaches. We are also very grateful that all of our trees survived the brutal temperatures, so we still have another shot in 2015.

Fall festivities in the works...

In regards to whether or not there should be a special Branstool Orchards festival in the fall, our Facebook fans all seem to agree that it should happen. So, I guess that means we hafta, huh? Good! We're really excited about how enthusiastic everyone was about this idea, and we have already begun planning a fantastic event, just for you. Picture games, face painting, hayrides and more! There are still a lot of details to work out, but we're off to an exciting start. Feel free to e-mail us,  leave us a comment on Facebook, or tweet using #BranstoolFestival with any suggestions you may have that will help make the festival a blast for everyone. 

We threw even more social media into the mix...

Juuust in case you can't get enough of our tweets, blogs, e-newsletters and Facebook posts, you can now connect with us on Pinterest, too. Make sure you follow us on Pinterest to keep up with our favorite recipes, decor suggestions and fall festival possibilities. If you follow us, we'll follow you back and, who knows? Maybe one of your pins will inspire a great event at the festival or a new display in the market.

That's a wrap...

So, I believe you are all caught up now. Stay tuned for more updates, and again.. follow us on social media for the most frequent updates.

See you all soon!

The end is near, just in time for a beginning.

We are picking the last of our peaches this week, and do not anticipating having any peaches left for the weekend.  It is also unlikely that we will have any peaches at the Westerville farmers market on Wednesday. We will be there with apples, though.  

Even though peaches are finishing up, our season is still going strong. We have an excellent apple crop, and still plenty of tasty varieties to come! Honeycrisp has finished up, be Rubinette is still being picked. We also have Grimes Golden and Cortland is large supply, and a few other fantastic varieties in the market. It looks like we are going to get some Pinova picked this week, another one of our more popular apples. 

Also coming up this week is our apple cider! If everything goes according to plan, we will have our first batch of freshly-pressed cider ready for this coming weekend. 

We are making regular trips to the auctions about three times a week to stock up on lots of fall items. Stop on out for mums, pumpkins, corn stalk bunches, squash, and gourds of all shapes and sizes!

Labor Day Weekend

Pick Your Own: The only thing available this weekend for U-Pick is Gala apples. There aren't going to be any peaches available for U-Pick for the next 5-7 days - we are waiting for the Encores to get ripe. 

Farmers Markets: Clintonville and Granville will each be getting tuckloads of Flamin' Fury peaches as well as apples. Granville runs from 8:30-noon, and Clintonville is 9-noon. 

Utica Store: In Utica, we will have more Flamin' Furies. Also available will be Gala, Zestar, Tsugaru, Mollie's Delicious, and Ginger Gold apples.  

Pear Update: Pears have officially been picked. It is still going to be a week to 10 days until they are for sale, though, as we have to keep them in cold storage for a little while to finish their ripening process. 

Honeycrisp Update:  We look to begin picking the Honeycrisp towards the end of this next week. There will be a few in the market this weekend, but come early - one the word gets out they won't be here long. 

Labor Day: We will be open on Labor Day, rain or shine, so come on out and see us! 

Welcome to the new and, we hope, improved Branstool Orchards website!

We hope everybody enjoys our new look, we are very excited about the changes. Over the next couple of months, we hope to build from this platform, and add more pages for you to explore and engage in. 

A couple of things we would like to draw your attention to:

  • We now have our Twitter account linked to our website (see left-hand column), and will post a daily Tweet for quick updates on our daily ripe varieties.
  • This blog is also receiving a bit of a makeover - we will not only post more detailed and more specific updates than our Twitter feed, but we are going to try to add in some fun posts as well, such as recipes, or articles about us from the web. 
  • There is now a specific page for Farmers Markets, so you can see where and when they each take place. 

Keep an eye out for new additions as we continue to create the best interactive Branstool Orchards possible!