MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — In a year punctuated by the pandemic and the loss of one of its patriarchs, Orr’s Farm Market is seeing a surprise bumper crop.
“We’re seeing unexplained double crops everywhere I look. It’s just blowing my mind. The strawberry crop this year was unbelievable and the blueberries are doing the same thing. And the cherries — even though we did have some frost that cut the number of cherries back that were on the trees, it just felt like they kept coming,” according to Katy Orr-Dove, who now manages the market in the orchards of Berkeley County.
The farm market underwent a lot of changes to accommodate business during the pandemic, then late last year, her father, Mark, who had inherited the family business from his father, passed away.
She says researchers from the USDA who came out to inspect for damage from cicadas have told her Mark Orr likely did a lot of things right 17 years ago to minimize damage from this year’s emergence of the Brood X cicadas, which don’t typically destroy much except small trees. For Katy, “I feel like it’s a blessing. We’re just rolling with it and trying to keep up.”
The Orr Family started its orchard business in the Panhandle back in 1954.
These days in addition to wholesale fruit sales and a bustling farm market, they have a brisk agritourism arm with pumpkin patches, pick-your-own fruit sales, and even a barnyard that folks can visit.
Orr-Dove was a guest on Monday’s Panhandle Live, which can be heard weekdays beginning at 9 a.m. on the Panhandle News Network.