Thunder at Collegeville Farmers’ Market? Don’t miss it!

(Previously published in The Market Beet)

Lisa Kerschner of North Star Orchard reported this week that we can expect Thunder at our market this Saturday. But leave your raincoat at home.

Thunder grapes at Collegeville Farmers' Market
Thunder grapes at Collegeville Farmers’ Market

Big, Dark and Impressive

Thunder is a grape variety that is big, dark and impressive in many ways – but don’t expect it to boom. Instead, you can expect a rich, juicy burst of grape flavor. Lisa says some folks think this unique grape variety looks like a Concord, but one taste blows that notion out of the water.

“Thunder is a taste explosion!” she says. The fruit does have tiny seeds, but according to Lisa, folks at the farm usually just eat them right along with the grape.

Not in Supermarkets

Like so many of the varieties of fresh fruit and veggies at North Star Orchard, you can’t get Thunder at a local supermarket. North Star Orchard specializes in growing unique and heritage varieties of tree fruits and a wide variety of vegetables.

Last week, I brought home North Star’s beets to share with my family. They were unlike any other I’ve seen or tasted – brilliant orange and red in color, as big as a softball and sweet and meaty. Lisa said they were bred right at North Star Orchard. (I planned to take a picture, but they disappeared too fast!)

According to Lisa, Thunder was acquired by the farm many years ago. It was part of a table grape breeding program but faced extinction after the breeder died. Since then, this beauty has had a new home just down the road from us on Lisa and Ike Kerscher’s farm in Chester County, PA.

Passing Storm

Just like a summer storm, however, Thunder will pass by quickly. It will only be at our market this Saturday, so stop by to see why this grape is destined to take the fruit world by storm.

While you are there, talk to the folks from North Star about their work, developing and growing a rainbow of unusually delicious produce on their farm in Cochranville, PA.

They plan to “flavor the future” one tree, vine or plant at a time.


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