Christ Orchard

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I care for my mums so they will grow back next year?
A: We recommend planting your mum as soon as possible. The sooner it gets in the ground the better. Be sure to keep it watered in the fall. Mulch it good with leaves for winter. Leave the old foliage until new growth starts the next spring.

Q: Will my pumpkins and gourds keep all fall?
A: Once you choose your perfect fall decor and take it home, clean the pumpkins and gourds with a basic bleach water solution (about a Tablespoon per gallon of water). This helps to kill any bacteria that could cause your pumpkin to rot. Dry well and enjoy all fall long!

Q: How do I freeze my cider so that I can drink it throughout the off season?
A: Pour about a cup full of cider out of a gallon and put the jug in the freezer. When you want to drink it, thaw it overnight in the sink, or on the counter, until a ball of ice remains. Shake vigorously before drinking. Do not drink as thawing. Contents settle! Cider stays good in freezer for a year.

Q: Do you pasteurize your cider?
A: No, our cider is raw and unheated. We are certified and inspected by the health department, but people with a weakened immune system may heat our cider to 160 degrees, cool, and then enjoy. We add a small amount of potassium sorbate to preserve freshness and prevent fermentation.

Q: What exactly is cider?
A: We like to call it “Liquid Apples.” The basic procedure of cider making is to grind the apples to a mushy pulp and then our hydraulic powered cider press squeezes every last drop of the apple juices out for you to enjoy. No sugar or water is added. Fresh apple cider should be stored in the fridge and enjoyed within 2-3 weeks. If it is going to be longer than that, it can be frozen.

Q: What is the best way to store apples?
A: When you purchase apples, taste one immediately. If you are satisfied with the ripeness of the apple, then you need to refrigerate them. Apples ripen rapidly at room temperature. If you would like the apples riper, leave them at room temperature, but check them frequently. When they are how you like to eat them, then you need to refrigerate them.

Q: What is the best way to refrigerate apples?
A:  Put about a dozen apples in a plastic grocery bag. Sprinkle less than a tablespoon of water in the bag, and loosely tie the bag. (They need ventilation.) Place bag in fridge at 33-38°. Check on them periodically.

Q: What is the best way to store honey?
A: Honey should be stored at room temperature. It is not necessary to refrigerate it.

Q: What should I do if my honey crystallizes over time?
A: Place honey in microwave safe container and heat for short periods of time, stirring in between. You may also warm a pan of water on the stove and place the jar of honey in it to heat the honey.

Q: Is your honey pure/unprocessed?
A: Our beekeeper strives to bring your honey to you in the purest form. Being a natural product, there is some straining necessary before bottling, however, it is not heated in this process.

Q: Do you offer tours of your orchard?
A: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer tours at this time. Being a small family business, we keep busy enough with day to day operations of the orchard, without adding the time commitment of offering tours.

Q: Do you charge admission?
A: There are no admission charges. For information on our U-Pick procedures, click here.

Q: What do you have for the kids to do?
A: Kids love to visit us to pick their own apples and pumpkins, some for the first time! They can check out our farm animals or swing on the tree swing. We are not an agri-tourism farm, but there is plenty of fun to be had with the simple pleasures of life.

Q: When is the best time to visit your orchard?
A: Since we are closed on Sundays, Saturdays (especially in September and October) can become rather crowded. We encourage visiting us Monday through Friday if you want to avoid the crowds. Consider an evening visit to the orchard, as we are open until 8:00 pm in September and October. Please note: U-Pick closes at dark.

Q: I am a professional photographer. May I bring my clients to your orchard for a photo session?
A: Yes. Please adhere to the following Photography Guidelines: Schedule your session with us at least 2 weeks in advance. Check in with an employee upon arrival. A $10 fee will be charged per session. If you will utilize the U-Pick orchard, you must purchase a U-Pick bag. Christ Orchard welcomes all photo submissions! If you’d like to share your photos with us, with your permission and credit, we may use them in print or online.

Q: Are we an organic operation?
A: Not quite. We practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) which is a combination of organic and conventional farming practices. Research shows that several factors, including our humid climate, make raising organic apples here nearly impossible. However, this modern IPM method has allowed us to greatly reduce our pesticide usage and move toward a more sustainable practice. IPM involves extensive monitoring and evaluating of pest populations, weather conditions, and disease pressure. This data is then used to determine if action is needed. For more information, please visit https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/integrated-pest-management-ipm-principles

Q: Are your crops GMO (genetically modified)?
A: No. Our fruit trees are developed and propagated using the century-old method of grafting. Our sweet corn and other vegetables are also non-GMO.