Fall is finally here, and apples and pumpkins are everywhere!
We’re happy to report that our pumpkin patch is a tremendous success. This is the first year we grew pumpkins, and we ended up with dozens of large, healthy ones. You’ll notice that some of the pumpkins are slightly different colors, and that’s because we planted several varieties, including Jack Be Littles, Big Maxes, Owl’s Eyes, Red Warty Things and Spartans. Who knew there were so many different types of pumpkins? For a (more or less) complete list check out Pumpkin Patches and More.
And, believe it or not pumpkins and cacao actually have some things in common! Pumpkins were grown throughout Latin America dating back to at least 7,500 B.P. These pre-Colombian pumpkins were smaller and more bitter than the ones we know today – Native Americans cultivated them to be sweeter. And, much like cacao seeds, early explorers brought pumpkins back to Europe to be enjoyed – although in this case they were able to actually grow the pumpkins in the old world. For a fascinating history of the pumpkin check out this article from our local public radio station, WGBH.
Check out the various stages of our pumpkin journey on our Instagram – be sure to join for all kinds of updates from the farm.
Our apple trees have also had a great year. Our trees are Macouns, which is a cross between the McIntosh and Jersey Black cultivars. They aren’t typically available in stores – most orchards don’t plant them since they don’t produce a reliable crop every year (typically a good year
is followed by one with very few apples). They’re sweet but also tart, and are the apples Tom remembers eating when he was growing up in Western Massachusetts (it helped that his neighborhood was an old apple orchard).
If you can get your hands on some Macouns they’re great for making apple pies since they doesn’t break down during cooking.
In chocolate news, we’re also busy making new bars, new hot cocoa, and some exciting new cacao offerings that we’ll be announcing shortly – be sure to sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know when new products are released!