The unusual summer weather pattern has brought a different look than normal to the market for Labor Day. Many of the summer fruits and vegetables have already finished for the year, such as sweet corn, green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, peaches, plums and pears. It is starting to look and feel like fall with apples coming in. Here is what we have available this weekend:
- Apples: Jon-A-Mac’s, Cortland, Molly’s Delicious and Honey Crisp
- White Niagra Grapes
- October or “shell out” beans
- Lots and lots of beautiful tomatoes, already picked or for you to pick
Homemade Baked Goods: We have pies, cookies, cinnamon rolls and apple dumplings available on Saturday and Sunday and since it is a holiday, we will have them on Monday too. My recommendation for this weekend is the pear pie, it is a once a year exclusive using our Barlett pears; it is amazing!
U-Pick Apples: An estimate on when U-Pick apples might be available is the 2nd week of September. Of course it depends on the weather and how they ripen. We will post the opening date and send an email as soon as we know. They will be $12/bushel, the same price as last year.
U-Pick Grapes: We have plenty of white Niagra and blue Concord grapes this year. However, for those of you who have picked grapes in previous years, you will notice there are fewer than in previous years due to early frost and some hail damage. We have a total of 120 acres of grapes.
- White Niagra grapes: We are going to go open the white Niagra grapes for picking this weekend for those who just want to get a few to eat. If you pick carefully, you can find some bunches that are ready, but most are not. If you want larger quantities for grape jelly, juice or wine, you need to wait for them to ripen more. Since the weather has cooled down, I would recommend waiting to pick larger quantities the week of September 13th.
- Blue/Purple Concord grapes: Our best estimate is these will be open for U-Pick the week of September 13th.
- If you want both color grapes, you should wait to come when the Concord picking opens. There will still be plenty of white grapes available then.
- U-Pick Grape Pricing: Will remain the same as last year which is 20 cents/lb. If you pick over 100 pounds, it is 15 cent/pound. A bushel of grapes weighs approximately 50 pounds
- As most of you know, once we open the U-Pick grapes, they will be available up until Welch’s comes to harvest them. Preliminary information from Welch’s says they will probably harvest our grapes the week of September 20th. However, this can change, so we will keep you posted with the latest. I would also encourage you to check back on the website or call to confirm since we are only able to give estimates right now. 269-244-5690.
- Picking Instructions for U-Pick Grapes
- Please bring containers to pick your grapes in such as buckets, baskets, tubs, etc.
- Please check in with the market clerk when you arrive and make sure your containers are weighed before you pick.
- Please bring garden clippers/scissors/knife or a similar tool to cut the grapes, this makes it easier.
- Dress appropriately for a vineyard setting where natural hazards exist: Bees/hornets/wasps/poison ivy or poison oak and places where the ground is not level, etc. You might want to wear enclosed shoes/socks and pants due to the tall grass. (We cannot mow the grass this close to harvesting….)
Brandy House Tours and Tasting: Since we are embarking upon cider season, we will not be able to have our Brandy house open on Saturdays from 1 – 4. We apologize for this and will advise you when we will offer this again.
Labor Day Weekend Remembrance: Labor Day marks the 5th year of the passing of Allene Hubbard, who was the owner and creator of this beautiful farm market, and of course, my mother. Her spirit and our wonderful memories of her remain strong as the family works to carry on her legacy.
We thank you again for your support of our farm and for buying locally grown produce and goods. Have a great weekend,