|Blue Moon Orchard|
Blue Moon Orchard is located about 35 miles south of Missoula in the Bitterroot Valley. The orchard was started in 2005 with 100 trees. Trees and raspberries have slowly been added over the last five years to bring the total to 489 trees on 4.5 acres. The orchard has two varieties of pie cherries, four varieties of plums, five varieties of pears, two varieties of apricots, and seven varieties of apples. Since the orchard has been planted over a period of time, not all of the trees are currently producing. However, production is steadily increasing.
When planting the orchard we tried to plant varieties that we personally enjoy, but also to plant multiple varieties to increase diversity. Below is a list of the varieties we offer and a bit about them.
your visit. Please call first
|Philosophically, we believe and support sustainable farming principles. When available we planted organically grown trees and berries. Our pest management strategy has been to monitor for problems and treat only when necessary. We have incorporated beneficial insects and products approved for organic use when addressing problems. We are still experimenting and learning different approaches based on organic, biodynamic, and integrated pest management concepts. We also try to utilize local inputs, such as straw for mulching young trees, whenever possible. In addition, we are working to improve the soil by planting legumes, mulching and supplementation as necessary.|
Pears - late July, early August or September
Bartlet: Large fruit with yellow color. Good for fresh eating, deserts, and canning.
Hudar: Yellow fruit with juicy flesh that is slightly smaller than a Bartlet. Good for fresh eating.
Nova: This is our personal favorite and most versatile pear. This pear is very juicy and can be used green or ripe. It is wonderful on salads, tarts, cakes, and just to eat.
Savignac: Very sweet pear that can be used in deserts, pear butter, etc… (September)
Waterville: Currently unavailable.
Apples - mid August through October
Alexander: Large and juicy apple that is good for making pies and sauces.
Cortland: A Macintosh cross that is a good all around apple for eating, baking, and cider.
Golden Russett: A firm apple that makes excellent cider. Currently unavailable.
Honeycrisp: Our personal favorite. A flavorful apple with a crisp texture that is excellent for fresh eating. Also makes wonderful apple cakes, pies, and baked apples.
Norland: An early apple available at the end of August. It has a nice red color and is good for fresh eating, sauces and pies.
Red Baron: A golden delicious cross that has crisp yellow color that is good for fresh eating, pies and sauces.
Spencer: A cross between a Macintosh and a Golden Delicious. The fruit is excellent for eating.
Boyne Raspberries - mid July to early August
Direct sales are available from the orchard, please call first.
Pie Cherries - available in July
Bali: These are our personal favorite, and our son loves to eat these straight from the basket or in pies. They are approximately an inch in size and good for pies, sauce, jams, and fresh eating.
Meoter: These are nice large cherries good for pies, sauce, juicing, and compotes.
Plums - available late August and September depending on variety
Mt. Royal: Round blue prune type of plum with yellow-green flesh. Freestone. Good for fresh eating. Easy to work with for tarts, salads, and other deserts.
Pipestone: Large fruit with red skin and yellow flesh. Good for fresh eating.
Todd: Oblong prune plum. Good for fresh eating, canning, sauces, jams, chutney, etc…
Underwood: Large fruit with red and golden skin. Fruit is sweet and juicy. In the first couple years that these set light fruit crops they were eaten straight from the tree and never made it into the house.
Apricots - late July or early August if late frost doesn’t kill the blossoms
Hargrave: Rounded apricots with sweet orange flesh.
Perfection: Oval fruit with orange flesh. Currently unavailable.