While there is rain forecast on and off for the weekend, we still have lots going on here at the farm. For those coming to pick apples or grapes this weekend, we’ll hope that the rain showers will be brief so you can still enjoy the u-pick. The brief rain today didn’t deter this group of moms and children from having fun doing “u-pick” donuts!
Mark your calendars for the Three Rivers Area Fall Color Tour which is Sunday, October 14th. We are one of many stops and hope you will be able to be out to enjoy the area. Click here for more information. https://www.facebook.com/events/731427820303749/
Our special activities for fall color tour include:
- Local artists and specialty vendors: 11 to 5
- Local musicians/bands playing
- Camzies Pizza Food Truck: 11 to 5
- Live Birds of Prey exhibit: 1 to 3 (weather permitting)
- Brandy and Wine Tasting: 1 to 3
- Hard Cider Happy Hour: 1 to 3
- and of course….our market and bakery will be open our normal hours of 8 to 6.
Update posted 6pm on Monday October 8th. Please do not come to pick purple Concord grapes without calling first to check on availability. We had so many picked out over the past few days and we are assessing how many are left. However, there are plenty of white grapes! 269-244-5690
Both the white Niagara and purple Concord vineyards are open for you to come pick. These are both seeded grapes used for making juice, jelly and for those who know them—for fresh eating! We are moving quickly through the Concord vineyards due to the number of people coming to pick them and not all the clusters being ready yet (still after all these weeks!). We have plenty of white grapes and will have those up until the first frost.
We have so many white grapes that this is the year we are asking everyone to try the Niagara grapes. Here’s why:
- They are sweeter than the Concord
- They are easier to pick (larger clusters, less foliage and double wire trellis make them that way)
- They don’t stain like the purple Concords do
Those who have tried them have not gone back to Concord. Many are also mixing the two colors, especially into juice. It makes a nice pink juice and the white grapes sweeten it up.
To encourage all of you serious Concord juice makers into trying these, we are offering this incentive. If you pick 5 or more 20-pound buckets of Concords (100 pounds or over) you can pick one 20-pound bucket of white Niagaras for free! Take them home and try them out.
Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: We have pumpkins of all shapes and colors now, gourds, and mums for your fall decorating. We also have lots of squash. Remember, you can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!
Sweet Cider: We are pressing sweet cider now. Each week is a different mix and tastes a bit different….we work hard to blend the apples to make a nice sweet apple taste.
2018 Apple Update: We have a smaller crop of apples this year due to spring weather issues. Also, as you are in the u-pick apple orchard you will notice some of the other effects of the spring frost which left some scars on the apples.
Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.
- Apple Special: In order to make room for later varieties coming in, we have three varieties (Northern Spies, Gala, and Cortland) on special. Buy two half bushels (or one bushel) for $24, and get an additional half bushel for free. So this is a $12 savings. You can mix and match.
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
- Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
- Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, a descendent of the McIntosh, this variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor. Juices really well.
- 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).
- Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
- Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
- Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
- Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snaking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
- U-Pick Apples are open now for most varieties. Picking is available during our business hours of 8 until 6. We need everyone checked out by 6, so you must be in the apple orchard by 5:30 to be able to pick. Please check in at the market first for directions. You will be driving to the orchard, so send someone to the market to get directions before getting everyone (especially excited children) out of the car!
- Starting Saturday, 10-6, the following can be picked: Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathan, Ida Reds, Cameo, Fuji and Northern Spies.
- Apple pricing for the year: Our apple pricing is the same as last year. The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples are: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7.50 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $5 a half-peck, $3 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound. **When we have bushels available.
What else is on the market:
- Onions, including Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting. Our large sweet onions are now cleaned and bagged (10 pounds) for you to take and have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.
- Bosc Pears. This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear.)
Organics! Shiitake mushrooms, Bunching onions, leeks, sweet peppers, hot peppers, kale, swiss chard, baby ginger (half off this week!), and sweet potatoes!
This is our only weekend for apple dumplings (October 5-7th). They are available in a 2 count package. If you preordered them, you should have received a call to pick them up. If you didn’t pre-order, they made a few extra. An apple dumpling is one of our Cortland apples, filled with cinnamon and sugar, and wrapped in our famous pie dough. Then it is baked with a sauce of butter, cinnamon and sugar. Quite the process as you can see, but look at the stacks that came out of the oven!
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Apple Caramel, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate Chip, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
- Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns, and Sunflower Seed Bread!
- Cinnamon Rolls, New Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
- Pumpkin Cake Rolls
- Assorted Muffins and Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. Good news, these will be available every day now for the next several weeks while so many of you are out picking.
- Caramel Apples — made with JonaGold apples
- Gluten Free Sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
- Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
- In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode!
Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: Hometown Hero is back! We won a silver award for this blackberry, elderberry, rose hip cider, and we hope you like it too. Find Hard Cider Happy Hour in the onion barn. This is the building on top of the hill overlooking the playground and herb garden. Come find us 4-6pm Friday, 3-6pm Saturday and sample cider or get a growler filled. If you bring growlers from home and we’ll put our sticker over them, or buy one from us! We have Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Strawberry, Hopped, Afternoon (Strawberry/Chamomile), Sour Cherry/Sage, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, Cortabella (pure cortland apple cider) and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles. Several of our ciders are about sold out until next year so make sure you ask if there’s anything you want to stock up on.
If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Dussel’s in Cassopolis, Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers!
Brandy tasting and tours are this Saturday from 1-3. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy as well as Double Cherry Wine available behind the shelf at the market.
We thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon!