Eat Drink Local Profile #3: Red Jacket Orchards

Photo montage courtesy Red Jacket Orchards; www.redjacketorchards.com

From September 26th to October 6th Edible Manhattan, Edible East End and Edible Brooklyn — in conjunction with Edibles statewide and GrowNYC — present Eat Drink Local week, our celebration of the local food chain through heirloom vegetable auctions, wine tastings, DIY challenges, lectures, garden tours, farm to table dinners and countless other events. Over the next few weeks we’re highlighting a few of the restaurants, wine shops and wineries, breweries and beer bars, farms and food artisans and cultural institutions that the week is meant to celebrate.

The Company:

Red Jacket Orchards

What They Do:

Located four hours from Manhattan, in the über-fertile region of the Finger Lakes, the third generation-run  Red Jacket Orchards grows seasonal fruit on seven different farms in an eight-mile radius, a total of over 600 producing acres. This includes sustainably produced plums, apricots and prunes, as well as cherries, berries, peaches and, of course, apples, which are also used to make their own pressed cider and juices. You may also recognize them from their many Greenmarket stands, which are found literally around the city.

Why We Love Them:

Red Jacket has been bringing fresh organic fruit and juices into the city since 1992, but we love them even more now that they’ve signed onto the Healthy Bodegas Initiative. The new project, originally formed in 2005, works to tighten gaps among the city’s food “deserts,” which are defined as communities where fresh produce isn’t so accessible. Plus, their ciders have always been amazing, produced using traditional pressing methods and with no added fruit concentrates for the past 40 years.

Where to Find Them:

If you can’t take a drive to visit their roadside stand in the Finger Lakes, you can head to the city’s Greenmarkets to pick up a bottle of juice or a sack of whichever fruit is in season. And if you really like thier stuff, sign up for their new CSA (full share, $22/week; half share, $13/week) with pickups at Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain and Jimmy’s No. 43. But hurry: Next season’s membership closes August 5! You may also find them soon in a local bodega—you can help the Healthy Bodegas Initiative by giving a donation on Kickstarter till Tuesday; go to the site for more info and a video.

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