Each note is a labor of love and determination, a dance of effort and reward.  The late summer harvest is our warmup act for the fall harvest.  Bushels of tomatoes, squash, peaches, green beans, sweet corn, apples, and the large onions (see end of newsletter) must be lifted, moved, and packed for our customers on a daily basis.  From the worker who climbs a ladder for peaches or apples with a picking bucket strapped on their back; to our market staff who sorts, packs, and often carries them to your car.  It’s a team effort and thank goodness we have such a great team!

Two of our team members, Blake and Seth, have left to go to MSU and we will surely miss them.  Our two high school students, Ally and Brady, will be returning to school next week so you will see them less on weekends with their sports and school commitments.  Kate starts at Western next week.  These young staff members, some who have been with us for 3 years now, have been a huge part of what makes this place hum.  We wish them all the best with their ongoing education!

Our Days and Hours
Our Days and Hours
–Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm
–Open Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm
–Open Tuesdays from 9 am to 1 pm
–Closed Mondays and Wednesdays

Now open Tuesdays, limited hours.  Many of you have told us that you wish we were open more on weekdays.  We listened and with our current supply of fresh, perishable produce we have decided to open on Tuesdays, from 9 am to 1 pm, for an indefinite period of time.  This gives many of you a chance to pick up your bulk orders to get working on canning and freezing!

Watch our website homepage for updates or call us.  (269) 244-5690.

Looking Ahead ….
–Sunflowers – probably close to the end of August
–Fall apples – most likely starting early September
–Apple cider – usually starting mid-September
–Grapes – typically starting late September

World Honey Bee Day
Saturday, August 19 is World Honey Bee Day – a day to “Bee engaged in pollinator-friendly agricultural production”.  This is the day to support our pollinators and be reminded of the value of bees.  Do you know there are 20,000 different species of bees all around the world?

Bees play a critical role in our farming operation.  Without them, we would not have any fruits or vegetables.  Our trees, vineyards, and fields are full of lovely blooms that develop once pollinated.  So, Bee nice to Bees!  Just keep your distance and let them do their thing!  Below, a bee is busy pollinating blossoms in our orchard.

This short video produced by the Michigan Dept of Agriculture & Rural Development is designed to educate children (and everyone else) on the importance of pollinators to growing the food we eat.
Why Pollinators are so Important

Sunflower Paint and Sip 
Speaking of bees and flowers, thanks to those who attended our Sunflower Paint and Sip class last Friday.  Below are a few of our painters at work!

Stay tuned for information on our next sunflower painting class – Sunday, September 3 from 1 to 3 pm.

We are finishing up the Red Haven peach harvest so don’t delay if that is the variety you like.  Call us to reserve and hold your bushels or half bushels.  We will be starting Crest Haven next.  Both varieties are excellent for fresh eating, cooking, canning, and freezing.  The Hubbard family has used the Crest Haven variety in processing for over 25 years.

We should have peaches available by the bushel, half bushel, peck, half peck, and quart, weather permitting for the next week to ten days.  If you are interested in bushels or half bushels, it helps if you can call us in advance (269-244-5690) so we can be sure to have them ready and held for you.  Also, please bring containers like boxes, tubs, etc. to get the peaches home in.

Keep in mind that peaches are picked firm to not damage them.  Just lay them out on your counter until they are soft.  As soon as they are soft, please refrigerate.

Sweet Corn
Our prime sweet corn variety is now in season, and we are receiving many compliments on how good it is this year.  It is a very sweet, bi-color corn, perfect for fresh eating, canning, and freezing.

Sweet corn is available on the market by the ear, half dozen (white bags), and dozen (clear bags).  We also have bushel bags (5 doz.) available with advance notice.  Please call 269-244-5690 if you’d like us to make one up for you.

Summer Produce
Summer Apples
Our Jersey Mac apples are the first good eating apple of the summer; they have the best characteristics of a MacIntosh apple and pack a tart/sweet punch.  Great to have on hand but keep refrigerated; summer apples will only keep for 1-2 weeks.  We have samples to try!

Earlilblaze apples are now ready.  We are one of the few farms that grow this great summer apple.  It is firm and tart, and great for eating, baking and applesauce.  It is one of only two apples that we use in our bakery because it makes such a great pie.  (The second variety is a fall apple – Northern Spy.)

Already Picked.  We have already picked blueberries from Brookside Farms (our long-term blueberry supplier).  We sell them in pints and quarts as well as 5- and 10-pound bulk boxes.  Blueberry season is beginning to wind down so be sure to get them before the season ends!

U-Pick. Our blueberries are gone for the year.  If you want to pick blueberries, we recommend going to Brookside Farms in Paw Paw, (269) 657-3500.

Bulk Quantities for Canning and Freezing
We have contacted the people on our sign-up lists for canning tomatoes, sweet corn, and green beans.  If we did not reach you in person and you still want some, please give us a call at 269-244-5690.

  • Green beans (half bu. minimum) –
  • Sweet corn (bushel minimum, 5 doz.)
  • Canning tomatoes (half bushel minimum)
  • Roma tomatoes (half bushel minimum) – still contacting people
  • Bell peppers (half bushel minimum) – still contacting people
  • Specialty peppers (quarter bushel minimum)
  • Pickling cukes (peck minimum) – still contacting people

Have food preservation questions?
As canning season gets underway, the Food Safety and Preservation hotline from Oregon State University Extension Service is taking calls.  The toll-free hotline, 800-354-7319, runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Pacific time), Monday through Friday, until Oct. 13.  The hotline is staffed by certified Master Food Preserver volunteers.

The OSU Extension also offers publications and guides that we have listed on our website.  They also have a free app – Canning Timer & Checklist – that provides reminders of essential steps in the canning process.  Let us know what you think of their resources.

Alcohol Products 
No Wine and Hard Cider Sampling on Saturdays
We will no longer be offering our wine and hard cider sampling event on the market.  We are transitioning to the fall season and our breezeway is now home to bulk produce orders and upcoming apple storage.  We thank you for stopping by to try out, ask questions, and learn more about our various alcohol products.  Watch the newsletters for when we may have another sampling event.

Alcohol Products
We have 8 different wines, 8 different hard ciders, and assorted fruit brandies.  Our products are made on-site in small batches.  We distill the brandies on the farm and use our fresh apple cider as the basis for fermenting our hard ciders.

Currently we only have 5 of our hard ciders in stock – Dry, Sweet, Semi-Sweet, Blueberry, and Maple.  If you like dry cider with a tinge of tartness, try our Dry Apple Hard Cider.

Enjoy our Spaces!
We invite you to sit and relax during our business hours at one of our areas by the market.  The spaces may vary at times depending on our space needs around produce harvest.  For years, people have been stopping by with friends and family to enjoy hanging out together at our vintage tables and chairs or picnic tables.  It is an ideal spot to enjoy a beverage or our many easy-to-grab food items on the market.  We have disposable table service available for your convenience.

This time of year with so much produce coming in you may have to share the space with buckets of produce!  Just part of the ambiance!

We can reserve table space for you upon request – just contact us.  If you are coming with a group, letting us know in advance is helpful.  Bring your friends, family, weekend visitors, and come on over!

Join us for ‘Yoga at the Orchard’ – just 2 Saturdays left!
We offer classes on Saturday mornings starting at 10:30 am throughout the summer, $15 per person, all ages and yoga abilities welcome.  You will receive a check-out slip to take to the market at the end of class that is also good for a free small slushie ($3 value).

Bring bottled water, a beach-size towel, sunscreen, yoga mat, and shoes for walking to the class.  Insect repellant as necessary.  See webpage for details.

What is on the Market this Week

  • Fruit: apples, blueberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and watermelon
  • Tomatoes: red and green
  • Mini tomatoes: various shapes and colors
  • Vegetables: Zucchini, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow squash, kohlrabi, and onions
  • Peppers: various types, hot and mild
  • Sweet corn
  • From Bankson Lake Farms: lettuce mixes, spinach, kale, arugula, mushrooms, carrots, radishes, herbs, and garlic bulbs
  • U-pick herbs

These are seeded mini watermelon called Mini Love.  Just picked.

Faith in Flora will be here with fresh floral bouquets.

U-Pick Flowers
Flowers from our terrace garden are ready to be picked and taken to brighten up a room!  There are lots of lovely ones to choose from to make up your own bouquet.

Check in at the market for a container and directions.  U-pick bouquets are $10 each and include flowers and fillers (greenery).  We recommend that you pick your flowers in the morning when it is cooler; they will keep longer.

Baked Goods
Enjoy these treats from our bakery!
Saturdays and Sundays only:

  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Donuts – Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry
  • Yeast Ring donuts – assorted sprinkles and googly eyes

Anytime we are open:

  • Blueberry-Zucchini bread – one of our signature items, seasonal, and very popular!
  • Strombolis (frozen, ready to bake) – assorted flavors in breakfast, traditional, and pizza styles
  • Cookies – Assorted flavors you will surely enjoy!
  • Muffins – A nice selection of flavors perfect for any time of the day
  • Breads – assorted types plus hamburger and hotdog buns
  • Fruit pies (frozen, ready to bake) – Apple, Dutch Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Pumpkin, and Strawberry Rhubarb.

Please contact us if you want to preorder any of our baked goods.

Maple syrup products, honey, jams and jellies, salsas, yogurt, and Jake’s meats.  We also have assorted cheeses, cheese crumbles, crackers, chips, hummus, mustard, eggs, milk, granola, salad dressings, and more.

Sorry, but we are unable to offer ground beef this year like we had hoped.

Sunday, August 20 is National Bacon Lover’s Day, and what’s not to love about eating bacon!  It is the perfect day to have one of our new Bacon Breakfastmolis, a BLT sandwich with bacon from Jake’s Country Meats for lunch and pasta carbonara with bacon for dinner!

Yoder’s fry pies in your favorite flavors: Apple, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Red Raspberry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.

Happenings on the Farm
Pull.  Tie.  Hang to dry.  Enjoy all winter!
Onions.  This week we are busy harvesting our sweet onions.  We start in the field by pulling them up.  We gather a bunch together and tie them.  Each bunch has 5 to 7 of these large onions, which makes them 10 pounds or more to lift!
The onions are hauled in to hang in our “onion barn” and in the market.  It takes about 6 weeks of drying to “cure” them so that they will keep over the winter.
Once they are sufficiently cured, we will take them down and bag them into mesh bags to sell.  You can hang these bags in your garage or basement to store your onions.  You can also buy the onions on the string and rehang them at home for your use (but need to continue to let them dry.)
We got some of our onions hung up on the market to dry.  While we did give them a “haircut,” you still may get a stray onion stalk that may fall on you while you shop!

We sell the onions individually, too, both colors, now and once cured.  Harvesting the onions signals the transition to Fall.  We have been growing sweet onions for several decades.  If you haven’t tried them, stop by and get one.

The Signs of Fall
Apples.  While it may not feel like fall, there are signs all around us that it’s not too far away. School shopping is well underway, with some kids starting next week and the weeks thereafter.  Apples are coming onto the market just in time for school lunches.

Our apples are finishing up their sizing and coloring, and most important their flavor, to make their fall debut in September!

Pumpkins.  And the famous great pumpkins that are here each fall grown locally by Keith Whitford are moving toward their finish line.  The white one measures 105 inches around and is already over 300 pounds.  The big orange one measures 130 inches around and weighs 550-600 pounds.  And they are still growing 10 to 20 pounds per day!