Nourishing the soil is one of our guiding principles at Miller's Orchards. We believe that by focusing on increasing the health of our soil, it will produce bountiful harvests of nutrient-dense crops.
We love apples at Miller's! More than 125 years ago, our Miller's ancestors planted the first apple tree on the farm, and over the decades each generation has worked to enhance the orchards. Like a birthright, the orchardist alchemy (it's both a science and an art) has been passed from one Miller scion to the next. Despite our myriad other priorities on the farm, the orchards have remained a centerpiece.
In an effort to balance our commitment to sustainable agriculture and nutrient-density, we employ a low-spray orchard management program. We are diligently working to nourish the soil in our orchards (sometimes even by partnering with our chicken and pigs!) so that our trees are strong enough to resist disease, pests and environmental harshness. And at Miller's, we don't believe in picking apples early in their life-cycle simply so that we can ship them thousands of miles away to supermarket customers. First off, we think apples always taste better if they're eaten locally! But more than that, we like to say that we "mimic nature" as much as possible. When it comes to harvesting apples, that means we wait until the apples are ripe and mature before we harvest, and not a moment earlier.
We do not wax our apples before sale nor do we dip them in post-harvest fungicides. Waxing exposes the apples to extreme heat which softens the skin and flesh, reducing both the apple's natural crispiness and its storage life. And it's simply not necessary; like putting make-up on a beautiful girl! As for post-harvest fungicides? Well, we simply think that sounds like a bad idea, don't you? Not only can you find apples at Miller's, but we press our own apple cider throughout the Fall season!
Our apples are available at our Farm Market either by the pound or by the half bushel. Mixing and matching is encouraged! What kind of apples can you get at Miller's? Part of eating locally means weathering the ups and downs of local weather and environmental patterns. Not all varieties are available every year simply because of frosts, droughts, pest invaders, etc. In general, these varieties can be found at Miller's during the Summer and Fall. (Please note, harvest dates are approximate and highly reliant on environmental forces far outside our control!)
Mid to Late August
Early Mac The Mac's early, tarty cousin; good for snacking and pies
Transparent Slightly tart early apple; good for snacking and baking
Early to Mid September
Paula Red Tart-sweet with a bright white, juicy flesh; good for snacking
Ginger Gold Somewhat tart and firm; good for snacking, baking and cooking
Ida Red White-fleshed, bright red-skinned with a mild flavor; excellent for applesauce and snacking
Mid to Late September
MacIntosh Slightly tart and juicy; best for snacking and applesauce
Cortland Slightly tart with a white flesh and pink skin; excellent for snacking, baking and cooking
Empire Sweet and crunchy; excellent for snacking, baking and applesauce
Macoun Extremely crispy, slightly tart; excellent for snacking and baking
Gala Juicy and sweet; excellent for snacking
Pippen Firm, green-skinned, and very tart; excellent for baking and salads
Early to Mid October
Jonagold Mellow sweet-tart flavor with a honey-colored flesh; excellent for snacking, baking and cooking
Red Delicious Mild flavor with a firm, white flesh; best for snacking and salads
Crispin/Mutsu Firm, crispy and with a spicy sweet- tart flavor; excellent for snacking, baking and cooking
Golden Delicious Sweet, somewhat crispy with a mellow finish; good for snacking
Mid to Late October
Northern Spy A Northeast PA standard! Slightly tart and crunchy; good for snacking and baking
Granny Smith Very tart, crispy and juicy; excellent in baking and cooking (or with cheese!)
Rome Slightly tart and crispy; best for snacking and sauces
Cameo Somewhat tart with a sweet finish, very crunchy (May be available mid to late October)
Fuji Extremely sweet and crunchy with a firm white flesh (May be available mid to late October)
Honey Crisp Popular newer hybrid that is sweet and very crunchy (may be available late September)
Small Fruits and Vegetables
Nourishing the soil is one of our guiding principles at Miller's Orchards. We believe that by focusing on increasing the health of our soil, it will produce bountiful harvests of nutrient-dense crops. We use several practices to help us achieve optimum soil health. We believe it is essential to use our Pigs, Chickens, and Beef to fertilize and manage the earth in preparation for field crops that follow. Our animals play a vital role in eliminating pest pressure and building organic matter in the soil. We also preform soil test regularly and apply appropriate amendments to the soil, like calcium and magnesium, as needed. Overall, our goal is to grow our produce as naturally and organically as possible. So, we also we work diligently to avoid using chemicals on our crops by planting multiple species in close proximity instead of mono-cropping large stretches of land. We truly desire our produce to be not only tasty but nourishing to all who enjoy it!
The quantity of vegetables, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries we grow at Miller's Orchards varies from year to year. It simply depends on what we as a family can manage based on our available labor. Because we know our customers love variety when it comes to fresh produce, we have partnered with other local, like-minded farmers to help supply the produce we currently do not grow on our own Farm. Look at our PRODUCE CSA order form to sign up for discounted prices on amazing food!