Page 38 - The Hunt - Fall 2019
P. 38

                  It was mid June, and already customers at Barnard’s Orchard
were inquiring about the Lodi, which ripens in July. Last year, Lewis Barnard’s crop of the sauce apple overbore, so he expected there would be too few this year. Scientifically speaking, such
an abundance steals the carbohydrates that start nourishing production the following year. It’s the nature of farming, which has its ups and downs—even at Barnard’s, a Kennett Square, Pa., institution that’s a few years shy of celebrating a third century.
Barnard grew up with the orchard. Back then, its operation was handled by his father, Richard, who lived to 94, and his uncle, Sam, who was 97 when he recently passed. “You hear of century farms, but there aren’t many three-century farms,” says Barnard.
Barnard’s offers pick-your-own pears, pumpkins and apples. The ancient orchard’s mainstay is the 30-some varieties of the latter that ripen in rotation from mid-summer through Thanksgiving. Apples are sold steadily from August through May.
Increasingly diversified, Barnard’s also grows 20 varieties of peaches, along with plums, blueberries, blackberries, sweet corn, peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables. There are also flowers—snapdragons and freesias in the greenhouse and zinnias in the ground all summer. “People appreciate us being here,” Barnard says. “Even if they come once a year, they’ve been doing that for 30 or 35 years.”
(This page and
previous page) fourth-generation picker Lewis Barnard and his orchard and farm.
fall 2019

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