12147 Corey Lake Road, Three Rivers, Michigan (269) 244-5690

The Frost is on the Pumpkin…

The frost is on the pumpkin and it truly feels like fall. The staff is still loving excuses to go into the walk-in coolers, because now they are warmer than the market! It’s that “feel good” time of year when you can bundle up in thick sweaters and high top boots as your feet crunch on autumn leaves as you pick apples or pick out a pumpkin. And for those of you not familiar with this poem, “The Frost is on the Pumpkin” it was a favorite of my Dad’s, as you can tell with him being a farmer and born in the south! (Virginia)  It’s at the bottom for your reading pleasure.**

We have had two good frosts now, with last night’s being the hardest.  It has not hurt the grapes yet as they were protected by leaf cover until today.  The frost zapped most of the leaves, which actually makes it easier to pick the grapes now because the leaves are out of the way.  If you are not coming soon for grapes, call before you come as another frost could hurt the grapes.  Apples are okay unless we have several days below 28 degrees which we have not.

Grapes leaves were hit by frost

Much easier to find the grapes now!

Closing Date Information: It’s hard to believe that closing is upon us when the farm is in such a high fall gear, but we are a seasonal business and those temperatures will be dropping before we know it. Our last day for the year will be Sunday, November 4th. We will be open that final day until our normal closing time of 6pm. In the past few years we have opened on some additional weekends in November, but this year we won’t be able to do that. So….you have about 2 weeks to stock up on your winter needs of apples, winter squash, onions, take and bake pies, hard ciders, wine and brandies! After that we may be available by appointment for hard ciders, brandies, and wines, but won’t have much produce to sell.  We have several varieties of apples which keep extremely well:  Fuji, Cameo and Pink Lady.

Grapes:

Our purple Concord grapes are for the most part gone for the year. If you really want to try picking some, you are welcome to go see what you can find, particularly in the middle of the rows where some might have been missed. We have plenty of white grapes left to pick  and will have them up until another hard frost.

Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: We have a nice selection of pumpkins left as we just finished harvesting them yesterday.  We also have gourds and mums for your fall decorating. 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.  You can freezer cider by taking out enough for expansion when it freezes (typically one cup in a gallon) and enjoy it all year. If you are trying to get lots of cider (10 plus gallons) please call ahead and order it.

2018 Apple Update: We have a smaller crop of apples this year due to spring weather issues.

Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.

  • Apple Special:  We have three varieties (Northern Spies, Jonathan, 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.
    • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
    • 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. (Almost gone for the year)
  • 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).
  • 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 snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
  • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.
  • PInk Lady:  We have only picked a few of the Pink Lady and will be picking the rest soon. If you don’t know a Pink lady, you need to meet her! It is a cross between a Lady William and Golden Delicious apple. It has bright white flesh that resists browning when cut. Pink Lady apples are very firm and dense, with a tart flavor and effervescent finish. Very unique apple!  Brenda’s favorite!

Pink Lady apples

Regular U-Pick Apples is still open to pick Red Romes.  As you can see below, these trees are loaded and beautiful and make a perfect picture opportunity.  The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. $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.

Apple Gleaning started on Tuesday, October 16th:  In several of the orchards, you may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc.  There are apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them.  Please check in at the market first so we can show you which orchards are open.  If you don’t have containers, we have drawstring half bushel bags you can purchase for 35 cents each.  The apples will be here until a hard freeze  hurts them or they are all picked.  As of today (Thursday 10-17 5pm) there was still a good supply left, despite  many customers coming out.

Bernadette helps 91 year old Bernard glean apples …they brought the right tool!

Apple gleaning means one here, one there and persistence!

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 $9) 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!

Bakery:

As we near the end of our baking season, we would like to remind everyone to order their holiday or winter stock of “take and bake” pies. Over the past years, we have found that this is the best way for you to have pies on your holiday table or get you through the winter until our bakery reopens in May! And it moves the wonderful aroma of a pie baking to your own home.  We will be accepting orders thru October 31st and pies will be available for pickup until we close on November 4th. When ordering your pies, please order at least 3 days in advance of when you would like to pick up your order so our bakers will be able to make and freeze them fresh for you!  All our “take and bake” pies are large 9” pies, the available flavors are: apple, dutch apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb. Call us at 269-244-5690 to order, or stop at the market or bakery and fill out an order form.

You can also order frozen gluten free cinnamon rolls, pies and dinner rolls for your holiday needs that we carry from Gluten Free Sensations in Three Rivers.  We have an order form for these you can pick up, or call to order.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies:  M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, 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!
  • Yeast Donuts
  • Pumpkin Cake Rolls
  • Assorted Muffins 
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only until we close for the year.
  • 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: Kalamazoo customers, you can now get us at Salut Market on Westnedge Hill. Many of you had asked where oh where you could get our hard cider closer to home. If you’ve never been into this amazing bottle shop, we seriously recommend it. Lots of specialty wines, cheeses, and other foods, and now our hard cider 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 Hometown Hero (Blackberry/Elderberry/Rose Hip), Blueberry, Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Hopped, Ginger, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, Cortabella (pure Cortland apple cider) and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles. We’ve sold out of some ciders and a few more are close to sold out so be sure to get what you love while you still can.

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, Salut in Kalamazoo, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.

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 processed lots of apples this week into “pulp mash” for Bruce to make apple brandy for future years.

Marci and Brenda feeding the apple grinder.

Yep, this is what mashed up apples look like! Now they need to ferment.

We thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon!

**When The Frost Is On The Punkin – Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey cock
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below the clover over-head!
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ‘s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too!
I don’t know how to tell it but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
I’d want to ‘commodate ’em all the whole-indurin’ flock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!