Yesterday I went to the Orchard (Barnard) with Mike, Greg, and Katie. We got some apples, non-pastuerized apple cider, small white and lavender eggplants, zucchini, soup mixes, and honey sticks. On the way back we stopped at Northbrook Market for meringues and cake. Usually we get apple cider doughnuts, but they were mysteriously out of them. My family goes to the orchard almost every weekend in the fall for apples and cider. We get our pumpkins, mums, and gourds there. The Barnard family owns and runs it. We’ve been going there since I was four years old, which means we’ve been making the 40 minute drive for 20 years come October. Incredible. The drive there is inspiring. Homes on hills, tucked in groves of trees, the Brandywine river, breathtaking colors in the foliage, horses roaming on farms; it all has me longing to move out there and start my homestead.
This past year was particularly rough for Barnard Orchard. They were closed often in the warmer months. For a long time this treasure was like a secret to us, but like so much of my childhood destinations I’m afraid, terrified, of it disappearing. It wasn’t a place we kept secret, but we didn’t exactly tell people they should go there. Another problem is that people that did go would see Northbrook Market and then stop driving. They stopped there and didn’t go the extra half mile to Barnard. I want the world to know about places like these. I want people to go there and buy produce, pick apples and pumpkins with their kids, drink nonpasteurized cider (the best), and make memories. In the heart of autumn this place isn’t just something to do on the weekend, it is like a pilgrimage. I feel better, stronger, happier when I’m there. This weekend was Katie’s first time there, but she’ll be back with us. We’ll be picking apples for sure and gulping cider on the drive home. Mike has taken to the experience like he’s been doing it all his life.
So, if you hear the call of an autumn journey head over to Kennett Square and check out Barnard Orchards. Be sure to pick your own apples, grab a pumpkin, and remember the cider- nonpasteurized is the best.
Barnard’s Orchard: 1079 Wawaset Road, Kennett Square, PA 19348-1018 (610) 347-2151