Black Rock Orchard
Black Rock Orchard is a family farm located in Carroll County in Maryland on the PA border. Our claim to local fame is an original Mason Dixon mile marker located in the plums. We work hard to offer a wide variety of tree fruit and berries, including raspberries, sour cherries, gooseberries, blueberries, pluots, apricots, peaches plums, pears, gooseberries, currents,and an insane number of apples varieties, including both traditional and modern cultivars.
Our wide range of produce starts with summer raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, apricots, nectarines and peaches and ends with fall pluots, Italian prune plums, fall raspberries, apples, pears and Cider. We are proud of the wide selection of apples we grow, starting with summer varieties such as Lodi, Summer Rambo and Ginger Gold, early fall favorites like Honey Crisp and Jonagold and ending with old favorites like Stayman Winesap and Ida Red and newer varieties like Pink Lady and Gold Rush. We offer a wide selection of pears including Asian Pears, Bartlett, Magness, Seckel and Bosc. We store some of these apples and pears to sell at markets all winter.
Specialty greenhouse tomatoes help us extend our season. We have 3 greenhouses, each 30 x 96 feet. We grow a variety of specialty greenhouse and heirloom tomatoes. The excellent quality and interesting flavors of the heirloom tomatoes adds to our selection during the early and late parts of the market season. This year we will pick our second crop of figs in a high tunnel s built 2 years ago with the help of a USDA agricultural grant.
We spray our fruit as little as possible, using I.P.M. (Integrated Pest Management) practices. This means we spray for those insects and fungus diseases which seriously threaten our crop and trees, using an IPM scout who comes weekly to count bugs and levels of fungus disease. Because it is so humid here on the East coast, we are not able to grow our fruit organically. We use organic methods and good cultivation practices first before using chemicals. The IPM scout has helped significantly reduce our chemical use by monitoring spray effectiveness and avoiding resistance. Because we sell all our fruit at fresh markets, we do not have to meet any supermarket or shipping standards for size or appearance. We have chosen to avoid selling certain crops, like strawberries, which have higher chemical use requirements. Ten years ago, we pushed out all our strawberries and starting putting up our heirloom tomato greenhouses for this reason.
The owners, David Hochheimer and Emily Zaas, support one family and employ 6 additional full time workers all year. Thanks for shopping at Black Rock Orchard. Thanks for supporting local farmers.