We hope you will be able to make it to the farm to enjoy all of our fall activities, especially the the Three Rivers Area Fall Color Tour which is Sunday, October 14th. We are one of many stops in the area. Click here for more information. https://www.facebook.com/events/731427820303749/
Our special activities for fall color tour here at the farm 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.
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 neglected. However, we would discourage you from coming if you are trying to pick a lot or traveling far to get them. This is the first year EVER we have run out of Concord grape picking before the frost, and we had a very good crop this year! We thank the many customers who came for weeks and picked them!
We have plenty of white grapes left to pick and will have them up until the first hard frost. Here’s why we think they are so good:
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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! We only have Red Romes available to pick now. 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 Update on Tuesday, October 16th: We will open several of the orchards for gleaning on Tuesday October 16th. 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 frost hurts them or they are all picked.
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!
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.
This will be the last weekend we are making cinnamon rolls, as we shift our baking to making all of the holiday pies. Better come get your fill!
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, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
- Pumpkin Cake Rolls
- Assorted Muffins and Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. After this week, we will only have cake donuts available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until we close for the year.
- 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! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.
Brandy Tasting andTours 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.
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 3 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. Below we have put some information about the best way to store apples.
We thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon!
Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.
For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.
If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.
There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.
Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring. FALL