FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
At Birnam Orchards, we are dedicated to providing our customers with variety. We have planted many new fruits and vegetables over the years, and continue to test new types of produce each year. Our market strives to offer the tastiest varieties of fruits and vegetables to our patrons.
Please browse through the list of our produce below (sorted alphabetically). This list is updated regularly based on what is for sale at our market, but we advise you to call ahead if you are making a special trip or if you are interested in large quantities. We are happy to receive feedback on any of our produce, and we welcome suggestions regarding what you would like to see in the coming seasons.
What's Growing at Birnam Orchards
CANTALOUPE / MUSKMELON
Available early August. Cantaloupes have an extremely sweet flavour and are very juicy. This orange-fleshed melon is a popular choice for eating alone or in fruit salads. Cantaloupes vary in size, but generally weigh several pounds each. To judge the ripeness of a cantaloupe, the netting on the melon should be dense and yellowish (not green). Store ripe melons in the refrigerator, and unripe melons on the counter.
Available late July. As one of the newest additions to our crop, garlic has a wide variety of uses in the kitchen. Garlic is planted in the fall and remains underground through the winter. When warm weather arrives, stalks sprout upwards and give off garlic's strong signature scent. When stored unpeeled in a dark, dry area, garlic can keep for several months.
Available late July. Birnam Orchards currently harvests fifteen fruit-bearing acres of peaches, and four additional acres that will bear fruit in a few years. We grow over ten different freestone varieties including Harrow Diamond, Harrow Dawn, Harrow Beauty, Garnet Beauty, Red Haven, Harcrest, Loring, Coral Star, and Harson. Each variety differs slightly in taste and texture, but virtually all types are great for eating, canning, baking, or cooking.
Available early August. Green peppers are the first to ripen and have the most powerful flavour. Coloured peppers are sweeter, and arise when a green pepper is left to grow on the pepper plant for a longer period of time. Interestingly, each colour differs in their nutritional value even though they arise from the same plant. We also sell jalapeño (very hot) and poblano (medium) peppers.
Available late July. Plums are a seasonal favourite of many customers. Birnam Orchards currently owns approximately four acres of plum trees. With yellow (Early Golden, Shiro), red (Ozark Premier, Vanier), and blue (Valerie, Vanet, Stanley) varieties available, plums are a sweet treat for all ages. Sweetness varies between varieties. Blue plums are generally better for canning than red or yellow plums.
Available third week of July. Our sweet corn is hand-picked daily to provide the highest quality cobs for our customers. Like sweet cherries, we have many varieties of sweet corn for sale throughout the season. Most varieties are variations of the succulent Peaches and Cream variety, and are usually available until Thanksgiving. Sold by the dozen or half-dozen, we welcome orders of all quantities.
TOMATOES (BEEFSTEAK, ROMA, GRAPE)
Available early August. Whether they are used for cooking, canning, or eating, nothing tastes better than a fresh field tomato. Beefsteak tomatoes are large and juicy, while Roma tomatoes are smaller and meatier. We also offer red and yellow grape tomatoes that are perfect in salads or as bite-sized healthy snacks. Avoid refrigeration, as tomatoes will tend to lose their flavour.