Philadelphia, PA - Highland Orchards is a fabulous foodie destination in the Western Philadelphia Suburbs. Their award-winning apple cider donuts are legendary and their newly renovated farm market is focused on sustainability and providing the best of their own seasonal produce as well as products from other local growers and producers. It has been a long time favorite destination of mine which is evidenced by their frequent appearance in my Instagram feed.
There are lots of fun orchard activities to do on their 200+ acre grounds in addition to taking full advantage of the farm market and bakery, including fruit picking, hayrides, story time, and a children’s playground right next to their fenced in goat yard with feed for purchase by the handful to add to the fun. They also book private hayrides, parties, and other fun activities for groups, including field trips.
The orchard also hosts a wide variety of food events and workshops that include collaborations with local restaurants and businesses. Last month I attended the Infusions Workshop they hosted given by Small Batch Kitchen, a local business that specializes in low sugar spreads, using all natural and locally sourced products.
In the workshop, Sheila from Small Batch shared some of her vast experience with farm and homestead life and her passion for preserving fruits, vegetables, and herbs while they are in season to have available in the pantry year round. We learned the basics on making infusions like simple syrups, vinegar infusions, and my personal favorite, vodka infusions. She kept the workshop light and engaging by sharing some of her stories and gave clear, easy instructions and some great tips about preserving fruits and herbs when they have their best flavor.
I found the experience to be a fun and relaxed weeknight activity where we enjoyed snacking on samples (including a variety of yummy spreads, strawberry vodka with rhubarb simple syrup, and those amazing apple cider donuts!) and talked about our love of food, passion for making delicious things, and obsession with collecting empty glass jars and bottles! I came away from the experience with more knowledge about preserving, recipes that put what I learned into practice, and the jar of strawberry infused vodka that I made to further experiment with at home!
My finished strawberry infused vodka
Workshops and events like these hosted by local businesses are a great way to support local, eat seasonal, and enjoy more delicious food! You can find more information about Highland Orchards: www.highlandorchards.net/index.html