While we have had beautiful summer-like weather this week, the market is definitely beginning to look like fall. It is a great time just to stand in the middle of it all, take in the wonderful aroma of grapes and apples, and enjoy the bright colors of fall on mums, squash, pumpkins and more.
Conventionally-grown produce available at the market:
- Apples (more info below)
- Beans: Black Beans and Pinto Beans
- Brussels Sprouts
- Grapes: Fredonia Grapes are available in 1 quart and 2 quart quantities (favor and sweetness similar to a Concord grape)
- Mums: Large decorative ones to small ones, all colors
- Onions: Sweet red, white and yellow varieties (more info below)
- Onions: Specialty Red Tropea, Red and Yellow Cippolini
- Pears, Bartlett (only a few left for the year), Sugar pears and Bosc Winter pears
- Peppers! A rainbow of Bell Peppers. Sweet Red Mini Peppers. Sweet Banana Peppers and Hot Hungarian Peppers. Available by the bushel if you need them
- Plums- Stanley Prune (only a few left for the year)
- Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland (bushels available)
- Pumpkins: Large, small, odd shaped, pie pumpkins and tan ones to paint!
- Squash: Yellow Summer Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Butternut squash, Acorn squash, Buttercup squash, Delicatas and zucchini
- Tomatoes, red, yellow and green and mini-tomatoes
Apples are here!
- Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time.
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
- Jon-A-Mac: This is a good cooking or eating apple. It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan apple and a McIntosh. Great for apple sauce
- Macintosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce.
- Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. Sold by the pound only.($2)
- Early Fuji: Available now in 1/2 pecks and 1/4 pecks only, bushels later
Apple Pricing for the year: Our apple pricing will be the same as last year, and is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $4 a half-peck, $2 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound. **When we have bushels available. Please see apple forecast on our apple page, which we’ll update throughout the season.
U-Pick apples: We will open for U-Pick apples on Saturday, September 26th. The apples ready to be picked then will be: Cameo, Cortland, Gala, Golden (yellow) Delicious, Ida Red, Jonathan, Mutsu, Northern Spies and Red Delicious. Romes and Fuji will be ready until around the middle of October.
U-Pick grapes: We will open for U-Pick on Saturday, September 26th, for both the white Niagara and the purple Concord.
- Picking hours: Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6, except for Tuesday and Thursdays, where we will stay open until 8 pm (must be checked into the market by 6pm).
- Please check in at the main market on Corey Lake Road before you start. You will be directed to the vineyard in which we are picking that day and be given rows to pick on.
- Pricing: U-Pick Pricing for both color grapes is the following, please note we sell them by the pound, and consider a five-gallon pail or a 1/2 bushel basket to be 20 pounds.
- 40 cents a pound for 20 pounds or less, 1 five-gallon bucket or a ½ bushel= $8
- 21 to 100 pounds: 35 cents pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel = $7
- Over 100 pounds; 25 cents pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel=$5
When you come to pick grapes, please bring the following if you have them:
- Five gallon buckets to pick in, this is how we measure: One five gallon bucket, filled level, is considered 20 pounds. If you don’t have these, you can borrow ours, but bring containers to take them home in. You can also purchase pails from us for $5.00.
- Scissors or clippers to cut them with. We only have a few clippers that we can loan out for a $20 deposit while you use them.
- Small wagons to help you get them out of the vineyard (our rows are very long!)
Grape availability: The last two winters have been extremely hard on our grape vineyards, we have a good crop of White Niagara and an average crop of Blue Concords. So, if you have picked here before, the picking may not be as good as in previous years for Concord. If you don’t get enough Concord, we would really encourage you to try the white Niagara if you have not. These are wonderful juice grapes (which is why we grow them for Welch’s) and many customers have switched and will not go back to blue! The white are easier to pick, sweeter, and don’t stain!
Depending on how many customers come out, it could be a short grape season (like a few weeks long), but it is really hard to tell until we start going through the long grape rows. So we would suggest you call back before you come out to see what the grape availability situation is, especially if you are coming from a distance.
Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes both white Niagara and purple Concord, they are $25 a bushel, $13 half bushel, please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them.
Cider: We plan to make cider on Thursday, September 17th, and if all goes well (like no major breakdowns) we will have cider available after we jug it Friday morning. $6 a gallon this year, the same as last year.
Tomatoes: We are working to fill the many tomato orders we still have. You are welcome to call us to see where you are on the list if you have not been called. There are a few people we have not been able to reach.
Naturally grown produce from Becca: As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you as often we sell out fast – 269 244 5690. The hoophouse is now cleaned out for fall/winter planting so some of my produce will be disappearing soon.
- Sweet Peppers: Bell, Round of Hungary, Shishito, Poblano, and maybe a few other varieties.
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Big Beef Slicer Tomatoes ($2.50/lb.), and a few Heirloom Tomatoes. I also have boxes of Plum Tomatoes which are sort of like a cross between a Roma and a Slicer…slicer flavor and texture but smaller and with few seeds.
- Red Russian, Curly, Siberian and Tuscan Kale, $3/half lb. bag.
- Basil from the field, $1/bag or loose for $1/oz.
- Sage bundles. I made sage bundles like last year…they’re great for savory soups and stews as fall rolls in. They should be hung up to dry properly. $2/small bundle (1/4 lb. fresh weight) or $3/large bundle (1/2 lb. fresh weight).
The u-pick herb garden is open for u-pick at $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh! Some of the herbs are waning at the end of the summer, so ask if you can’t find something. We know some of you just want to get your herbs already picked, so we are going to try to have some of the more popular herbs available picked and ready.
Brandy is available as is Mellifluous Blueberry Mead and Kaiser Cyser (the traditional name for an apple-honey wine). Our blueberry mead is very sweet with oak, blueberry, and honey notes. Kaiser Cyser is a dry, very strong-bodied wine, best served chilled.We will have open tasting at the market from 1pm-3pm on Saturday for people who would like to sample.
We will also have cherry wine starting this weekend. It is a sweet table wine. We actually don’t make this on-site; it is made at Fenn Valley Vineyards in Fennville. They’re really great people and were even friendly enough to invite Becca up to help make it, and we picked theirs to sell at the market because we think it’s an exceptional cherry wine.
Other Local Products:
- Thick Greek-style yogurt
- Eggs & Cheese
- Pecan and Cashew Brittle
- Honey and Maple Syrup
- Gift Items
From the Bakery: Today we began our two- day apple dumpling making process. We begin day one by peeling, coring, filling, and wrapping the Cortland apples in dough. After that they are escorted into our -15 degree freezer overnight to tighten up. On day two, we take them out, pour our special sauce on them, and then bake them. Then they are packaged and go out for sale to all of our wonderful customers who have long awaited the taste of a fresh apple dumpling. With this being said, we will have them this weekend, but please wait until next weekend for any large orders for them. It will take a little time for us to get a good supply of them in stock! We even had to send a special apple picker out to pick two bushel of these early so we could have them for you, (thanks, Tom). Please feel free to call ahead and order 269-244-5690.
- Donuts: Friday, Saturday, Sunday: Apple cider, Pumpkin, Buttermilk.
- Fruit Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Chocolate Cream, Cherry, Cherry Berry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
- Apple Dumplings
- “Take and Bake” Pies available in our freezer
- Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, Triple Berry, and Chocolate Crinkles
- Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
- Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
- Muffins: Apple, Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry-Almond, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran, and Lemon-Poppy Seed
- Dessert Bars: Chocolate Chip Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
- Frozen Slushies: Welch’s White Grape or our own Apple Cider
Another parking reminder: We realize our parking lot’s distance from the market makes it a little more “challenging” when you are carrying out bushels of tomatoes, pears, potatoes or apples. You are welcome to park close to the market if there is room when you arrive or you can park in the lot, do your shopping, then when finished, drive up by the market and we will help you get all of your things to your vehicle. And just a reminder, there is disabled parking available right by the market, and for anyone who feels like they just can’t make the trip up the hill that day, you are welcome to park closer.
Onion update: We are beginning to bag the onions into the mesh bags like we do each year. However, we did not harvest many onions this year due to several growing issues, so not only are the onions smaller than normal, we won’t have as many.
Happenings on the Farm This Week: We didn’t harvest any apples this week, so we got a chance to get back to our ever-long to-do list of farm projects that never seems to get smaller. We finished the onion harvest, the black bean harvest, the winter pear harvest, irrigation line clean up, and its making me tired to even list it all! A big task this week was getting the cider mill (a very old one–but goodie!) ready for another year….
We also worked really, really hard on getting our two new mazes ready for you, we had hoped to open them this weekend, but we may not quite be there! A little more work than we had expected! We will be offering a tall grass maze for smaller children which incorporates the Spookley the Pumpkin story and pumpkin activities, and a regular corn maze for older children, which will contain riddles that you must solve to get successfully through it. More to come, stay tuned.
From Becca: Did lots of cider bottling this weekend so that we can supply you with hard cider this fall. Since we let our hard cider carbonate naturally, it takes a little bit of time after we bottle it to be ready for sale. We also don’t fine filter it, which we think leaves a lot of good flavor. I’ve been busy working on fall crop planting in the hoophouse as well as all my other “normal” farm activities (which I’m definitely falling behind on, but alas, next year is another chance to get it all right). Autumn truly is the busiest time of year for us.