We are in that transitional stage between seasons – we still have warm days and summer produce – but cooler nights and the start of fall produce. The cooler nights are giving color to the apples and grapes. And we know we are in that transitional period when we pick the Bartlett Pears and the late Summer/early Fall apples. Maybe our field tomatoes will decide to ripen, too!
Sweet corn, green beans, and blueberries are gone. The market décor is changing to fall; see the colorful mums we added today.
The onions and shallots are harvested and hanging in the market areas to cure for keeping this winter.
It won’t be long before Fall is here – along with apples, cider, pumpkins, grapes, squash, and more! And jackets and hoodies will emerge though it is hard to believe we will need them soon considering how warm it has been.
We have several fun activities this Saturday morning – Yoga and a special flower picking experience – both are from 9-10am. The weather should be nice – come and join us and grab a donut or other treat from the bakery afterwards. Fall is our busiest time of the year, and we look forward to seeing you on the farm!
Below, two of our customers are enjoying a hard cider and watching the world go by …
Reminder, our hours this year are 9 am to 6 pm daily, including holidays, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You can reach us at (269) 244-5690.
Last Yoga Class this Saturday!
This Saturday is our last Yoga class for the year. The class is from 9 to 10 am and the cost is $10. All ages and yoga abilities are welcome. Special thanks to our instructor, Cynthia Hoss, for leading us in fun Yoga sessions all summer. We are very appreciative of her hard work and talents! See website for more details.
Join Us for a special U-Pick Flower Experience this Saturday!
Due to popular demand, we are offering two more U-Pick Flower Experiences.
When: Saturday, Aug. 27 and Sept. 3
Time: Anytime between 9 and 10 am (walk in)
Cost: No admission – cut flowers are 50 cents a stem
Our terrace garden’s flowers are at their peak right now with so many different kinds, from perennials to annuals. Join Sue at the Terrace Garden to learn:
- The proper way to pick a flower
- How to care for fresh cut flowers
- Ideas for choosing flowers for a bouquet
- Ideas for types of flowers to plant in your own garden
- Answers to your flower gardening questions
Please bring a vase and scissors if you can.
Sue is a flower enthusiast, manages all our spring plant ordering, creates the flower arrangements planted in pots and antiques around the market areas, and is a member of the Three Rivers Garden Club.
Come Get Bartlett Pears to Enjoy
Pears on the Market. We have pears for sale in various sizes from quart boxes to bushels. We also have samples if you would like to try one. They are very sweet once ripe.
How to Ripen. Pears are picked green and ripen from the inside out in about 7 to 10 days. Just lay them out in a single layer preferably in a cool, dark place (at least get them out of direct sunshine). They will turn from green to yellow and get juicier as they get riper.
Ways to Use Pears. There are many ways to use pears. Many pears are just eaten fresh for snacks, lunches, smoothies, and more. Try using fresh pears for other ways such as cutting up and adding to a fresh salad, Fresh Pear Crisp, Pear Pie, or Pear Butter. We have compiled some pear recipes for you on our website.
Also think about preserving pears to enjoy during the off-season. You can dehydrate pears using an air fryer, food dehydrator, or your oven on a low temp. Another common way to preserve pears is to can them. If you can other produce but haven’t tried pears, this might be a good year to try it. If you like pears, you won’t regret it!
What about Grapes?
We anticipate having a good crop of Niagara and Concord grapes this year, which are both juice grapes. They did receive some minor damage from the hailstorm in June.
Typically, the grapes are not ready until mid to late September and the harvest season lasts 3 to 4 weeks, depending on the weather. Usually the Niagara (white) grapes will ripen a week ahead of the Concord (blue) grapes.
We will be offering them for U-pick. Keep checking our weekly newsletter or check back with us mid-September for an update.
We will have a u-pick grape reservation system again this year and will open it for booking as soon as we know when the grapes will be ready. Prices are TBD.
What about U-Pick Apples?
Normally we open our orchard for u-pick apples starting Labor Day weekend. We are sorry to tell you that there will be no u-pick apples this year.
As many of you know, our farm experienced a severe hailstorm in June which damaged all our crops. Because of that, there are very few first quality apples on our trees, most of the apples have hail marks. Due to the extent of the damage, we feel we cannot provide the quality apple picking experience that you want and expect. Despite not having U-Pick apples, we still welcome you to the farm this fall for many other great farm experiences.
Already picked apples for Fall: The damage to the crop has made us realize we will need to change the way we sell our picked apples on the market. Next week we will provide information on approximately when your favorite varieties of apples will be ready this year and how they will be available for purchase. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, we have a number of great summer apples on the market right now for cooking and eating. Come try them!
We no longer grow peaches but are getting them from local farms. Currently we have Flamin’ Fury and Crest Haven, both are freestone peaches (comes off the pit). Many of you may remember these varieties from our own peach orchard. They are available in sizes from quarts up to a half bushel. The peaches were picked “firm” so they won’t be damaged when handled. Just lay them out on your kitchen counter in a single layer and they will soften and be ripe in a few days.
We are finally picking a few tomatoes from the field and have a limited supply coming in from our greenhouse. We will continue to supplement with tomatoes from Indiana for a while longer.
We are not picking canning tomatoes yet. Due to having to replant our tomato field after storm damage, our crop is a month behind. We are calling everyone who signed up earlier on our tomato list to update you on the situation. We are anticipating early September. We understand if you don’t want to wait that long. If you find them somewhere else, please just drop us an email or call us so we can take your name off the pre-order list.
What is Available on the Market this Week
From our fields
- Spaghetti squash
- Summer squash
Below are the beautiful cauliflower we picked today!
From our greenhouse
- Tomatoes, regular and mini
From our orchards
- A variety of late summer apples
- Bartlett Pears
From Bankson Lake Farms
- Lettuce blends
- Swiss Chard
Cut Flowers and Herbs
Floral Bouquets. On weekends we have floral bouquets made by Faye, from Faith in Flora. She grows her own flowers and makes gorgeous ready to go bouquets.
U-Pick Flowers. Make your own bouquet using flowers from our terrace garden by the parking lot. Keep in mind that it is best to pick flowers when it is cool, like early in the morning if it is a hot day. Please see clerk for scissors and cutting instructions.
All the herbs in our herb garden are ready to pick! Price is $1.50 for a snack size bag. Scissors and bags are on the market, see clerk for assistance.
Local Grocery Items
Fresh products from our local suppliers – honey, maple syrup products, jams and jellies, salsa, eggs, and Jake’s meats.
We have a nice selection of hard ciders, wine, and fruit brandy perfect for summer relaxing.
- 8 total wines from red, white, dry to sweet
- 8 total hard ciders from dry to sweet, made onsite
- Various fruit brandies made onsite from various fruits
Stop by the market this Saturday and sample some of our great alcohol products!
Sampling hours this Saturday are 9 am to 2 pm.
From the Bakery
Baked Goods Available
- Yeast donut rings – Saturday and Sunday only
- Muffins: many varieties to choose from
- Cookies: Monster and other varieties
- Homemade Cinnamon bread – Saturday and Sunday only
- Breads: Italian, hot dog and hamburger buns
- Focaccia breads: Olive and Rosemary and Tomato and Basil – Saturday and Sunday only
- Bagels: various kinds
- Fruit pies: our signature “take and bake” fruit pies are a must have; find them in the freezer section
Strombolis: Take and bake from our freezer, plus find Marinara sauce in the grocery section. We have the pizza type and a quiche type for breakfast eating.
- Pizzamoli – pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese
- Sausage Pizzamoli – pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sausage
- Pepperoni Pizzamoli – pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni
- Moe’s Specialty – garlic Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, hint of oregano
- Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese
- Sausage Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese, sausage
- Ham Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese, shaved ham
- Veggie Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese, and either kale or spinach added
Keep in mind that you can call ahead to order any of your favorites and we will have them ready for you to pick up.
Our bakery crew will be making donuts on Saturdays and Sundays. We are currently in our summer flavors of Buttermilk, Blueberry and Cherry, either plain or sugared!
Happenings on the Farm
We did not grow sunflowers this year, but this lovely sunflower didn’t get the message. We thank the bird that dropped the seed there for us! It brightens our day to see it growing by the barn.