Kauffman’s Fruit Farm: Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania

Kauffman's OrchardAfter 100 years, Kauffman’s Fruit Farm and Market has family members from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations working in the business. Picking apples together in the orchard, making cider, assisting in the retail store, and managing the sales departments have all been strong Kauffman family traditions for the past century of business, and the family intends to continue this into the future.

Kauffman’s Fruit Farm owns and operates about 100 acres of prime Lancaster County cropland – 50 acres of apples, 35 acres of peaches, 7 acres of cherries, pears, and plums, and a few acres of fallow ground (which rotates as they plant new trees). This combination of fruits provides a lengthy harvest season from early June (cherries) through late October (apples).

When Kauffman’s was founded, healthy and nutritious food wasn’t as much of a priority as it is now. People have begun to tune into health, and at Kauffman’s, they make the choice to not only continue growing food responsibly and sustainably, but also healthfully. This is a special priority in the foods processed on the farm and in the market.

Kauffman’s offers complimentary tours of their market, fruit processing areas, and orchard. Tours are especially suited for students and teachers interested in orcharding, tree and soil health, food preparation, and control systems for food handling equipment. Learn more and schedule your visit here.

Kauffman SchnitzWhat’s in Store?

Harvest Market carries Kauffman’s fresh apples, Apple Schnitz in Tart and Sweet varieties, as well as fresh Apple Cider when it is in season. Watch how their fresh apple cider is made in this video.

Apple Schnitz

Kauffman’s apple schnitz is made from fresh apples and air-dried with no preservatives. It is a tasty, healthy, all-natural snack, and is well known as an ingredient in PA Dutch specialties like Schnitz & Knepp and Schnitz Pie. Apple schnitz is available in sweet and tart variations by using different varieties of apples. Try some apple schnitz in this Crafty Cooking Mama recipe for Sausage, Sweet Potato and Apple Schnitz Stew.

Land Management

Caring for the land is important to the three generations currently working the land at Kauffman’s Orchard. It provides their livelihood, feeds families and customer throughout the region, and contains valuable life-sustaining natural resources. The Kauffman family has been stewards of the land now for over 100 years. The following list is a small picture of what they are doing to care for the land and to make use of its resources:

  1. Conserve. The Kauffmans conserve a significant amount of water, soil, and nutrients by planting perennial food crops (tree fruit) and tilling the land for planting only every decade or two. No overhead irrigation is used. Additionally, they are working with Xerces Society and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to protect and utilize native pollinators and to implement a whole-farm, ongoing conservation plan.
  2. Utilize. IPM practices are strategically utilized to control pests. (Learn more about Integrated Pest Management).
  3. Experiment. The Kauffmans are continually experimenting with new farming practices to reduce the use of pesticides, enhance ecosystem function, and improve the nutritional quality of the fruit they raise.
  4. Collaborate. Their primary partners are Lancaster Ag Products and Penn State University’s Fruit Research and Extension Center, working to implement best orchard management practices.

Kauffman Apples