Event continues through October
By William K. Alcorn
Blueberry doughnuts won an informal “my favorite thing to take home” poll of visitors at White House Fruit Farm’s Fall Celebration on Sunday.
But, there is plenty else to pick from among White House’s sliced-to-order deli, with 40 cheeses and 40 meats, homemade fudge, 3,000 specialty foods and freshly-pressed apple cider.
Apples are the farm’s signature crop.
“We grow 30 varieties of apples. Among those in season now are Honey Crisp, Gala, Macintosh, Cortland and Jonathan,” said Debbie Hull Pifer, a member of the Hull family which has owned the farm for seven generations.
The farm also grows strawberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, sweet corn, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers, squash, onions, cucumbers, eggplant and pumpkins, all of which are sold in the farm’s renovated 1881 barn, Pifer said.
Types of squash include orange, buttercup, spaghetti and the farm’s own acorn.
While preparing for the throngs of guests who visit White House Fruit Farm, especially during the Fall Festival season, there is a lot of work by the family and a crew of about 100 directing traffic and ferrying around grocery carts, Pifer said her greatest satisfaction is “making people happy and making memories for their families.”
“We are a working farm that supplies fresh local food to people. We were a local market before local markets became popular,” she said.
White House Farm is a destination for all seasons, but there are six more weekends of the Fall Celebration, Pifer said.
“I come here every year,” said Allyson Waterbeck of Boardman, who was visiting White House Farm with Tyler George of Howland, who voted for the blueberry doughnuts, and his mother, Aggie George, who took home some Honey Crisp apples.
Another blueberry-doughnut fan is Eric Bouslough of Boardman, who said he hadn’t been to White House Farm since he was 5.
With him was Leslie Mauro of Boardman, who also favors the blueberry doughnuts and plans to come back another time to get pumpkins.
Ron and Beth Schutz of Canfield visit the farm several times a year.
Besides the ubiquitous blueberry doughnuts, Beth said she likes the home-grown tomatoes and the rhubarb pie, which she said is hard to find.
“We’ll probably come back again this year and bring the grandkids,” she said.
Brad and Debbie Bender of Poland, also blueberry- doughnut lovers, were sitting at a picnic table under a tree enjoying ribs and fries.
They said they like the peaceful country setting and praised the staff for the friendliness and helpfulness.
Also, said Debbie, “the deli is very affordable, and everything is fresh, and it offers sharp Swiss cheese like no one else has.”