The Orchard

Norman’s Orchard began production in 1958. The orchard was founded by Robert K. and Sara Norman, who purchased the farm in 1947 with a farm house and a Sweitzer-style log bank barn. The farm was part of a Revolutionary War land grant to John Corman, later owned for many years by the Clark family, and was adjacent to the Norman homestead owned by Squire Thomas Norman, Jr. Crawford Run Road was originally known as Normantown Road, and the village along Crawford Run Creek was known as Normantown. (It is now part of Creighton.)

Most of the orchard lies on a westerly and southern slope, which is ideal for a northern orchard, as it receives warm sun in the winter and the prevailing westerly breezes moderate temperatures all year long.

In the beginning, Norman’s Orchard sold all types of fruit, berries and vegetables from a roadside stand. The orchard also sold Christmas trees and firewood in the wintertime.

Jeff and Leslie Norman are the current owners of the orchard. They assumed operation of the orchard in 2012 after Jeff's father, Robert (Ken), passed away. Jeff grew up on the orchard and enjoys all aspects of orchard management. Jeff spent his work career as a chief executive officer in hospitals and is still a partner in a health care consulting firm. Jeff and Leslie add a few varieties of heirloom apples and cherries each year to ensure continued vitality of the available fruit.

In the last few decades the importance of heirloom varieties has grown as consumers desire a greater variety of flavor and freshness in their fruit. We consider it a blessing from God to be able to provide our customers with fresh fruit, apples ,pears, grapes, cherries and berries.

Heirloom Fruit

Most of the apples and pears that we grow are considered heirloom, or antique, fruit. These varieties have existed for hundreds of years and have a distinctive look and flavor not found in the fruit generally available in stores. Most heirloom fruit are not bred for durability and appearance, but are bred for flavor. You will not find many of our apples in a store because they have more fragile skin and flesh and thus cannot be stored for long periods. Heirloom apples are best when picked ripe and used fresh, rather than being picked before they are fully ripe, shipped, and held in storage.

Our customers are able to appreciate the subtle and distinctive taste heirloom apples offer. Great-tasting apples have a balance of sweetness and tartness and a distinct aroma. We offer you - pick fruit as well as pre-picked fruit. This allows you to have the freshest, best ripened fruit possible.

Season and Hours

Open June 1 to October 31

Tuesday to Friday: 11am – 6 pm*
Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Sunday: 1pm – 5pm

Call or email in advance to be sure that we have the fruit you want: 724-224-9491, 480-220-8228, or normansorchard@gmail.com

*earlier hours can be arranged by appointment

Location (Map)

2318 Butler Logan Road
Tarentum, PA 15084
Frazer Township

About 20 miles north of Pittsburgh off the Pittsburgh Mills exit (#12A) of Route 28
Northwest on Butler Logan Road for about 2 miles

Quantities

You can pick your own fruit directly from the tree or bush or vine, or select from pre-picked fruit.

We sell our beautiful and delicious fruit by the pound, peck (chip), half-bushel and bushel.

We offer a 15% discount on a half-bushel and a 25% discount on a bushel of apples or pears. A peck, or chip basket, of apples weighs approximately 10 pounds. A half-bushel is about 21 pounds of apples, while a bushel weighs about 45 pounds. There are about 28 apples in a peck or ¼ bushel.

Pears are denser fruit: a peck weighs approximately 14 pounds, a half-bushel is about 28 pounds and a bushel about 56 pounds.

Our prices are very competitive with stores and other farm markets.

It is important to remember that apples come in various forms. Some are sweet, others tart. Some have firm flesh and others soft. Therefore, there is no exact recipe for anything involving apples. With that said, use the following to judge your needs:

It takes about 7 or 8 apples to make a pie, more if the apples are small, for a regular pie pan. For a deep dish pie, 10-12 apples are needed. Keep in mind that apples do lose juice, therefore during baking there will be shrinkage; always mound apples up nicely before putting on your top crust.
Approximately 6 large apples yielding 6 cups of fruit are needed to make 4 servings of applesauce. If you combine sweeter and tarter apples, you will need to add little or no sugar – just a touch of cinnamon.

We also grow 6 different varieties of sweet cherries sold by the pound. We are one of the few orchards in western PA that have tart cherries, delicious for pies and preserves. We have eight varieties of blueberries which are also sold by the pound.

Plan on using approximately 4 cups of tart cherries or blueberries to make a regular pie, and about 5 cups for a deep dish pie. To really enjoy the taste of the fruit, we recommend using less sugar than most recipes call for.

For more information on quantities, as well as directions for canning and freezing fruit and many other tidbits, we suggest you visit pickyourown.org.

The Rhythm of the Orchard

Springtime, of course, is when orchards spring to life with buds forming as the weather warms in March and April.

Spraying of organic oils takes place before blossoms explode. The organic oils used are for both fungus and insect prevention and control.

The fruit trees will all bloom between mid-April and mid-May, with tart cherries the first to bloom, followed by sweet cherries, peaches, pears and all of the apple varieties.

After the blossom petals drop, the fruit starts to form (or “set”) and leaves begin to come out. Over the growing season, a good deal of time is spent mowing the orchard grass, monitoring and treating insect and fungus infestations with various means.

Tart and sweet cherries and peaches ripen in the early part of the summer, during June and July. Blueberries and grapes ripen in mid- to late-summer, from late June to late August. Pears ripen in late August to September, and apples begin to ripen in late August and continue through October.

At the end of the harvest, we spray organic oil on the trees and nitrogen under the trees to prevent overwintering insects and fungi.

Late fall and winter are the times when most major pruning of the trees and bushes takes place. It is important to prune trees every year to promote vigorous growth of fruit-bearing wood.

"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God...." Colossians 1:10

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