Category Archives: Science/Technology

Tuesday, December 15, 2015: Mild, perhaps even a partly sunny day today!

While we might see a few snow flurries on Friday and Saturday, the exceptionally mild December will continue to roll on after that.  In fact, temperatures relative to normal, will actually be increasing at least until Christmas and it really looks like when you wake up on Christmas morning you won’t see any snow.  The weather on Christmas Eve now looks like it might just set a record high with temperatures well into the 50s.  To be honest, this weather is so unusual it gets me a bit worried.  However, while global warming is likely taking place that doesn’t mean the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere has anything to do with it.  The one thing definite about an increase in CO2 is that it has increased crop yields and if we did not get an increase in CO2 food prices would be significantly higher and there would be a great increase in hungry people across the globe! As I indicated in my December 1st blog post, the sun seems to have gotten hotter, the past 30 years or so and this could be the sole cause of global warming. Please Click on the report  Trends in Solar Radiation

for information you won’t see in most news reports.

Keep in mind that we will be closed when there is snow in our parking lot or when the daytime temperature stays below 32F.  It looks like this may happen on Friday and Saturday but then warm right up on Monday.  So, we may close for Friday and Saturday and open up again on Monday.  I will let you know on Friday morning our plans.

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What we will be having today:

Many varieties of APPLES including Honeycrisp, Fuji, Jonagold, Northern Spy, Idared, Granny Smith, Roman Beauty, Blushing Golden, Splendor, Calville Blanc, Surprise, Red Gold, Northwest Greening, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Crispin/Mutsu, Empire, Hawaii, and Kandil Sinap.

Want to know what apples keep the longest? Here is a list of our best keeping apples we still have available, starting with the best keeper (and descriptions of each):

Fuji Fuji has firm, fine-grained sweet flesh. However, the outstanding characteristic of Fuji is that it keeps so well. Unlike most apples, you can put Fuji in a fruit bowl on your table and leave it there for up to two or three weeks and it still is nice and crisp. Another interesting thing about the tree itself is that the leaves stay nice and green well into November. I remember one sunny and mild November day when I was out picking Fuji and it seemed like it was the middle of summer with the sun glistening off the shiny green leaves! On the same day the Mac trees were practically bare and the few remaining leaves on the Jonathan trees were mostly yellowish-green. Fuji was developed in Japan and originally named Tohoko #7. Its parents are Red Delicious and Ralls Janet—both American apples

Idared A great keeping, good sized apple with a strong apple flavor. Idared is a Jonathan and Wagner cross that is great for sauce and pies. We especially favor this apple in late winter and early spring since it usually is still in great shape.

Honeycrisp Widely publicized, Honeycrisp is a cross between Keepsake and an unknown apple variety. Originally thought to be a cross of Honeygold and Macoun, DNA testing has eliminated those apples as parents. This apple was developed by fruit breeders at the University of Minnesota. Until 2009, the university received royalties for every apple tree sold by any and every nursery in the US. This apple reaches its sweet, crisp perfection when grown in central and northern Michigan.

Splendor A New Zealand apple that is a cross between Red Dougherty and Golden Delicious. It is very sweet with good flavor. It is a dark pink apple with crisp, breaking, white flesh. The skin is thin and it can be fairly easily bruised, so is no longer available in food markets, but it does store quite well. You may well find Splendor included in fancy gift packs.

Blushing GoldenDiscovered by R Griffith of Cobden, Illinois and introduced in 1968 by Stark Brothers Nursery. It is believed to be a Jonathan and Golden Delicious cross, Blushing Golden has firm flesh and tastes similar to a Golden Delicious. It is, however, tarter than Golden Delicious AND keeps a lot, lot better. In fact, if you bite into a Blushing Golden in January, you’d swear it was just picked!

Granny SmithGranny Smith comes to us from “Down Under.” According to tradition, this apple originated in a pile of discarded apples Mrs. Smith threw into a pile. Since the original Granny Smith takes so long to ripen, we grow an early strain of the original Granny Smith called Granspur. The primary feature of Granny Smith is that it keeps unbelievably well. Of course, one simple reason for this is that it is usually picked in November, at least in Michigan. Many recipes in magazines, on TV shows and contemporary cookbooks often call for Granny Smith apples because, I believe, they find it really difficult to find Spy apples which are actually better for baking.

I first heard about the Granny Smith apple from my sister when she was living with her husband in England in the mid 60s. It was her recommendation that led us to plant our first Granny Smith apple. She told me that was the crispest and best tasting apple she could buy there. Apparently they received most of their Granny Smith apples from Australia and no doubt that during England’s spring and summer they are the freshest apples available (remember England’s and Australia’s seasons are reversed).

Here is a link to our info sheet that includes descriptions of all our fall and winter apples!

REMEMBER you can mix and match any apples for only $4 a 2-qt box or $10 a 1/2 bushel!

AND OUR HONEYCRISP are so delicious right now! (We have one every day, they are so good!) Honeycrisp are $5 a 2-qt box, larger quantities while supplies last.

WE ALSO HAVE WINTER SQUASH: Buttercup (sweet and rich and can be substituted for pumpkin puree for your pumpkin pies!), Heart of Gold (a sweet dumpling hybrid), and Celebration (an acorn hybrid that is much sweeter than your normal green acorn). KEEP IN MIND that winter squash only get sweeter the longer they sit around. Their starches continue to turn to sugar and is one of the reasons why some squash can be stored well into the winter months. They are only 50 cents each/ 5 for $2 right now or if you are looking for larger quantities they are $7 a half bushel.

Here is a great info sheet from Michigan State University on storing and preserving winter squash!

Popcorn: By Christmas our popcorn on the ear should be ready to pop! See this link HERE for an interesting article on Michigan popcorn.

Here is another article from MSU with lots of interesting facts about popcorn!

FRESHLY DUG POTATOES: Red Norland potatoes (red skin with white flesh): We have them in quarts, quarter pecks, 1/2 pecks, and 1/2 bushels. The 1/2 bushels are only $10 each or $18 a bushel. Kennecbec (white skin, white flesh) are $6 a peck backet. Yukon Gold (yellow skin, gold flesh) are $6 a 1/2 peck. (See bottom of this post for potato salad recipe!)

Here is a great info sheet from Michigan State University on storing and preserving potatoes!

Fresh stiff-neck garlic

Here is a great info sheet from Michigan State University on storing GARLIC!

Dried Gourds for crafting and birdhouses: more added to pile yesterday!

Check out Bernadette’s website where she shares many tips and techniques on gourd crafting, including how-to videos!

Handcrafted Christmas Gifts:


Find unique home decor, watercolor paintings, and knitted items by Rebekah online at ArtandNeedlework.com/shop or on Etsy: artandneedlework.etsy.com


Gourd art and ornaments by Bernadette can be found in downtown Fremont at the Arts Place as well as on Etsy: bfgourdcreations.etsy.com.

Both Rebekah and Bernadette do custom orders! Contact them through their Etsy shop or email them.

Rebekah: artandneedlework@gmail.com
Bernadette: bernadettesgourdcreations@gmail.com

Check out the ArtsPlace in downtown Fremont today! Hours today are 9AM to 5:30PM. Directions HERE.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015: Showers likely today then a long, beautiful stretch of mild, sunny December weather! Also, beautiful, excellent quality HoneyCrisp apples for sale today!

First keep in mind we will be open today and everyday this week from 10AM to 5PM!  Also, we still have free apple samples available of Mutsu (Crispin), Jonagold and Red Delicious. Plus, our HoneyCrisp are still just as sweet and crisp and good as ever and are $5 a 2-qt box or only $10 a peck basket! Many other eating and baking apples still available as well!

Why are we still open in December when we have told people we plan on closing the day before Thanksgiving?  It’s the weather–the unusual very mild and sunny weather that we are experiencing this early part of the winter season (December 1 starts the official meteorologic winter season).  While I thought this winter was going to be on the mild side I had little idea that we would be going thru not only pleasantly mild temperatures but copious sunshine as well.  By the way, please look at my December 1st (yesterday’s) blog post for my comments on what I think is the real cause of recent global warming.

HoneyCrisp apples

HoneyCrisp apples

 Honeycrisp apples

More Honeycrisp apples! :)

What we will be having today:

APPLES! Honeycrisp, Fuji, Jonagold, Northern Spy, Idared, Granny Smith, Roman Beauty, Blushing Golden, Splendor, Calville Blanc, Surprise, Red Gold, Northwest Greening, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Crispin/Mutsu, Empire, Jonathan, Hawaii, Kandil Sinap, and King David.

SPECIAL: Mix and match any apples for only $4 a 2-qt box or $10 a 1/2 bushel!

SPECIAL: Honeycrisp are also sold in larger quantities starting at $10 a peck.

Winter Squash: Buttercup (sweet and rich and can be substituted for pumpkin puree for your pumpkin pies!), Heart of Gold (a sweet dumpling hybrid), and Celebration (an acorn hybrid that is much sweeter than your normal green acorn).
SPECIAL: $7 a 1/2 bushel or $12 a bushel

Popcorn on the ear

Red Norland potatoes (red skin with white flesh)

SPECIAL: Red potatoes are $10 a 1/2 bushel or $18 a bushel (field run)

Fresh garlic

 Handcrafted Christmas Gifts:


Find unique home decor, watercolor paintings, and knitted items by Rebekah online at shop.ArtandNeedlework.com or on Etsy: artandneedlework.etsy.com


Gourd art and ornaments by Bernadette can be found in downtown Fremont at the Arts Place as well as on Etsy: bfgourdcreations.etsy.com.

Both Rebekah and Bernadette do custom orders! Contact them through their Etsy shop or email them.

Rebekah: artandneedlework@gmail.com
Bernadette: bernadettesgourdcreations@gmail.com

Thursday, July 9, 2015: What We Are Picking Today also more on El Nino

NOTE: SOMEHOW THIS POST DIDN’T GET ON FACEBOOK THIS MORNING.  PROBABLY BECAUSE I FORGOT TO HIT THE PUBLISH BUTTON, BUT I’M NOT SURE.

Is it going to be the mildest winter on record this year for northern states?  Sure is possible IF and that’s a big IF, the developing EL NINO develops like it is now forecast.  Here is a news report from down under issued yesterday:

Changing course from what some scientists said was initially set to be a weak phenomenon, the El Nino climate pattern building in the Pacific is now seen as track to be one of the strongest on record, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, citing the Bureau of Meteorolog

If it is such a strong El Nino develops as forecast, in all likelihood the northern states will have a winter shockingly different from the last two–perhaps even warmer than the 2011/2012 winter, although that one is hard to believe.  The problem is the El Nino forecast, it is just a forecast and like all forecasts is subject to major errors even though the forecast is based on so-called solid computer models.  Here we go again talking about models.  For more on my view of the reliability of models see yesterday’s blog post.

What we are having today:

Young and tender green beans by the bag and peck. Ask about larger quantities! 231-924-2761 or 231-303-0412

Freshly pulled Crunchy Crimson red radishes that are sweet and mildly spicy.

Garlic scapes, which can be chopped up and used in any dish where you want a mild garlic flavor or roasted with just a little olive oil and salt to taste. 

Freshly dug Red Norland potatoes (red skin with white flesh), RedGold potatoes (red skin with yellow flesh) and Yukon Gold (yellow skin with golden flesh).

Freshly pulled sweet and mild Newaygo Newaygo sweet onions with tops.

Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash

And you may find some broccoli and cherry tomatoes. These are coming along slowly so some days we won’t have any.

Fruit trees and shrubs, perennial and annual flowers and ornamental plants and many kinds of herbs! Plant sales include: $20 each for any fruit tree, only $6 per rhubarb plant, 3 Angel Trumpets for only $20, and purchase 4 or more of any 1-year-old blueberry bush for only $7 each or purchase 4 or more of any 2-year-old blueberry bush for only $10 each.

Also, we have lots dried gourds for crafting and making birdhouses! Browse through our pile near the side of the greenhouse!

Take note that we now accept all the following:

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Thursday, May 14, 2015: Another beautiful day today! The sun doesn’t set today until 9:00PM!

Click on photo to learn more about growing rhubarb!

Good News: No frost last night!  It didn’t even come close! 

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful–mild temperatures, bright sun and light winds!  Today is also starting out beautiful and is quickly warming up!  It looks like this weekend will feel more like the middle of July than the middle of May!  By the way, today the sun doesn’t set until 9:00PM and it will continue to set after 9PM until August 7th!

RHUBARB PLANT SALE TODAY!!

Buy 3 pots for only $20! (Originally $12 each!)

 

WHAT WE ARE SELLING TODAY:

We will be having trees, shrubs, and perennial and annual plants including:

Apple trees: Honeycrisp, Jonafree, Jonagold, Liberty, Gala, etc.

Peach trees: Early Red Haven

Blueberries: Bluecrop, Jersey, Elliot, and Aurora

Red Raspberries: Latham

Seedless Grapes: Reliance

Rhubarb: Victoria — SALE!! — 3 pots for $20 — SALE!!

Everbearing strawberries: Fresca (white flowers), Frisan (pink flowers!)

Tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, yellow and red sweet onions

Pawpaw trees

Ostrich ferns

Redbud trees

White pine trees

Lilac bushes

Beauty bushes

Hydrangea

Hollyhocks: O’Hara, Chater’s Double, and Queeny Mix

Foxglove: Excelsior

Coral Bells/Heuchera

Sedum Groundcovers

Sempervivum

Vinca Minor

Cactus (thornless houseplants)

Morning Glory

Angel Trumpets

Dianthus

AND MORE!

Sunset today May 14 is 9:00PM  Sunrise tomorrow is 6:20AM

Magicland Farms, Monday, December 22, 2014–Also, the Earth has been getting closer to the sun for over 5 months now!

Right now it is raining–that’s right RAINING–thru much of Minnesota even some northern parts of that state!  Despite this there is still a fair chance of having a white Christmas here since it looks like our rain will turn to snow late on Christmas Eve.  While we will likely then have a couple of weeks of typical cold January weather, it seems like we will have an early January thaw starting in mid-January instead of the end of January which is more typical.  Those who have been calling for a severely cold winter should think of revising their forecast soon.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, tomorrow Tuesday December 23 will be the last day we will be open all day until next spring sometime.  Right now we plan on closing things up on Wednesday unless the weather looks too bad on Wednesday and then we will likely close up for the season tomorrow!  Right now we still have a good supply of a variety of nice crisp, naturally chilled apples as well as sweet onions and red potatoes.

Oh yes, that headline teaser…while the average distance from the earth to the sun is 93.24 million miles, on January 3 this distance is only 91.65 million miles.  On July 4 the distance increases to 94.82 million miles!

Thursday, October 31, 2013: Rain today, more off than on.

Although there certainly will be some rain today, according to the radar, it looks like there will also be several long dry spells at least in Newaygo County. Though, there might not be any real dry spells to our south (southern Ottawa or Kent counties, where I know we have several readers of the blog.)  It will also be quite mild for Halloween (although we have had many relatively warm Halloweens in the past,  last year was quite chilly.)

Keep in mind that we will be closed tomorrow, November 1, for the Feast of All Saints, which is a Holy Day.

Another thing to keep in mind is that TODAY, October 31 is the last day we will accept 2013 Project Fresh(WIC) coupons and 2013 Senior/Market Fresh Coupons.  Of course we will continue to welcome the Bridge Card!

Unsettled weather isn’t limited to the earth today, the sun a few hours ago sent out an X2 flare and NOAA forecasters are expecting a G1 class magnetic storm to hit the earth shortly.  G1 storms are usually quite mild and often the only thing they usually cause is some northern lights further south than normal.  G5 storms are something to worry about since they have the potential of knocking out huge power grids across the world along with their associated transformers –they even can cause problems with long pipelines!  If you must worry about things don’t worry about asteroids hitting earth, but rather about strong magnetic storms.  Their existence is a reason to have a generator handy along with keeping paper records of your financial assets since a G5 magnetic storm will likely evaporate “The Cloud.”  The good news is that NOAA and NASA should be able to provide at least a days warning for a G5 storm since the charged particles from the sun that trigger it travel much slower than light waves, X-rays and HV radio waves.  These electromagnetic waves let solar researchers know that something really major has happened on the sun.

When we open at 10AM (hopefully without it raining) we will have:

  • Free samples of Jonathan and Red Delicious apples
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers
  • Sweet onions
  • Winter Squash: Acorn, Heart of Gold, Celebration, Butternut, Blue Hubbard
  • Freshly dug Carrots (by the pound, 1/2 peck, and 1/2 bushel)
  • Pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper)
  • Asian pears and Royal Riviera Pears
  • MANY varieties of apples including:  Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Fuji, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii, Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel.
  • pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot. Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!

SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10, whole bushel $18 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples 1/2 bushel $6

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) – Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

Freshly Dug Carrots — half bushel $8

Tuesday, October 29, 2013: “An Apple a Day May Really Keep the Doctor Away.”

Years ago I read a story on some research which showed people who ate an apple a day made significantly fewer visits to a doctor.  Recently I read an online article on  WebMd titled “An Apple a Day May Really Keep the Doctor Away. This article is full of information.  One bit of information that stood out since I have had a feeling about it all the time, can be summed up by a related quote from Shakespeare: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Hamlet (1.5.166-7).  I LOVE that quote and think of it often when I hear doubters who seem to imply that the only things that are real are what we can see, feel and measure.  For those doubters with scientific bents I must ask them this question “What about dark matter?  It can’t be seen, felt or measured, only inferred.”

Getting back to apples here is an original quote from moi (Tom Fox): “There are many more health providing compounds than Vitamin C and Fiber in apples!”  While, as you will find out if you read the article (click here to read it) Dr. Rui Hai Liu, MD, PhD says something similar: “Over the years, no single compound has been proven to have a protective effect by itself. An apple could have hundreds of phytochemicals. We think the combination is the important thing.”

An interesting personal note here.  In the spring of last year (2012) after we were sure we wouldn’t have any apples due to the strange late winter/early spring weather (March heat wave), my daughter looked rather serious and commented “we are going to be sick this winter…”  Sad to say we were.

This year we have a real nice crop of apples.  At our stand right now we have around 30 different varieties of apples.  We have very, very sweet apples such as Gala, Tolman Sweet, Splendor, RedGold, Fuji and others and we have nice tart apples like Calville Blanc d’ Hiver, Idared, Northwest Greening, Northern Spy, and others.  We also have, apples that are both sweet and tart like Jonagold, Jonagored, Crispin/Mutsu, Hawaii (some of which have a pineapple flavor) and others.  One variety, King David, has an intense flavor (intensely sweet, intensely tart) with a wine-like flavor that reminds one of the Winesap apple, which may have been one of its parents. Our exceptionally rare apples include King David, Court Pendu Platt, Senator, Kandil Sinap, Tolman Sweet, SunCrisp, Ashmead’s Kernel and Splendor.  While most of our apples are nice and crisp right now (this includes our Red Delicious and Golden Delicious), we do have a few varieties, such as Cortland, that are soft in texture.  Personally, when I eat an apple fresh I eat it with the aid of a knife.  To get the full health benefits of eating fresh apples eat the skin along with the apple’s flesh.

When we open at 10AM we will have:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • Green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers
  • Sweet onions
  • Beets without tops
  • Winter Squash: Acorn, Heart of Gold, Celebration, Butternut, Blue Hubbard
  • Freshly dug Carrots (by the pound, 1/2 peck, and 1/2 bushel)
  • Pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper)
  • Asian pears and Royal Riviera Pears
  • MANY varieties of apples including:  Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Fuji, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii, Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel.
  • LARGE selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot. Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!

SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10, whole bushel $18 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples 1/2 bushel $6

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) – Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

Freshly Dug Carrots — half bushel $8

 

Saturday, October 26, 2013: Many more huge explosions on sun–shortwave reception blacked out on earth!

It wasn’t really that long ago, say just a month or so, some solar scientists were saying they believed the sun’s 11 year sunspot cycle was over and they were wondering why the sun was so inactive when, according to past cycles, it should be quite active.  What does this show?  Don’t rely on any long range (earth or solar) weather forecast!  It’s hard enough to forecast what’s coming up tomorrow!  The forecast of a month from today is nearly worthless.  Right now the sun has become so active so fast one wonders what is going on.  Solar scientists think right now huge rumblings are taking place deep, deep within the sun since huge flares have shot up from the sun in areas  100,000 of miles apart–at the same time!

Getting back to earth…we have been asked numerous times when we will be closing.  Our policy, which has been in effect for several years, is to state we are committed to being open through Halloween, October 31.  Then how long we stay open depends upon the weather.  We close any day there is enough snow to make the roads hazardous and we close any day the temperature isn’t expected to rise above 34F.  This year, no matter how nice the weather is, we will be closing for the season on November 27, which is the day before Thanksgiving.  However, we may close earlier because of weather, low supplies of produce or for any other reason we decide upon.  We plan on notifying the readers of this blog, at least the day before we close for the season.

As many of you know, while we have an excellent crop of apples this year, our winter squash crop, except for the spaghetti squash, was rather poor. (We had an exceptional spaghetti squash crop–both in quantity and quality).  Our acorn, Heart-of-Gold and our Celebration squash was less than half of last year, our butternut was poor and our buttercup was basically a crop failure–we didn’t get enough buttercup to pay for the seed! As you would expect, our supply right now, compared to other recent years, is low.  However, at present we are continuing to sell our acorn, Heart-Of-Gold and Celebration squash at the special price of $6 a half bushel. We might withdraw this special price after Halloween and only sell the squash at individual prices of (50 cents each for small, 75 cents each for medium and $1 each for large.)

While we have had a killing frost, we are still picking our cherry tomatoes that are in our high-tunnel (which is basically an unheated greenhouse with 12 foot high ceiling).  Also, we have very limited supplies of slicing tomatoes since we picked them green and are ripening them on our special ripening bench.

 

When we open at 10AM we will still have slicing and cherry tomatoes, green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, acorn squash, Heart of Gold Squash, Celebration squash (see Special 1/2 bushel price for selected squash types and green peppers below), spaghetti squash, butternut squash, blue Hubbard squash, broccoli, carrots, pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper), Asian pears, Royal Riviera Pears, and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel. Large selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot.

Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!
SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples 1/2 bushel $6

Limited Time Special — three pints of cherry tomatoes (red Jasper and/or SunSugar) for $6.

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Spaghetti Squash– half bushel $5, whole bushel $8 (that’s about 16 cents a pound!)

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) – Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash for a year by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

Freshly Dug Carrots — half bushel $8

 

Thursday, October 24, 2013: Warmer weather ahead, massive explosions on the sun and more..

While it still didn’t reach 32F near Pickerel Lake, it did obviously freeze last night at Magicland Farms since it dropped to the upper 20s at the Fremont airport. While I didn’t notice any snow at Pickerel Lake, the usual suspects got some (perhaps an inch or more) such as in the Holland area. Today will likely be the coldest day for some time–perhaps even for at least 10 days! Whether it will get warm enough to call it Indian Summer is a question I do not have a definite answer for.

The big weather news right now is what is happening on the sun.  At around 8:30 last night the sun exploded with a M9 class X-ray flare.  This is just a shade short of the big ones– the X class flares.  Since the explosion happened when the sun was facing earth this means the earth might have an intense magnetic storm in a day or so which can cause real problems (on the funner side it also means we might have a fantastic display of the aurora borealis (northern lights) showing up in a day or so!)  The sun seems more active right now than it has been for quite some time and so we can expect more solar explosions to occur in the weeks, perhaps even months, ahead.

When we open at 10AM we will still have slicing tomatoes, green and colored bell peppers, Ancho and Jalapeno peppers, sweet onions, acorn squash, Heart of Gold Squash, Celebration squash (see Special 1/2 bushel price for selected squash types and green peppers below), spaghetti squash, butternut squash, blue Hubbard squash, broccoli, carrots, pie pumpkins (Learn how to make your own pumpkin puree for pies and all sorts of baked goodies HERE: How to Make Pumpkin Puree Info Paper), Asian pears, Royal Riviera Pears, and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, Splendor, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, Jonagold, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Idared, Roman Beauty, Calville Blanc D’Hiver, Hawaii and samplings of Jonalicious, King David, Court Pendu Plat, SunCrisp, and Ashmead’s Kernel. Large selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, tan, yellow, green, and of course orange! A large, colorful selection of Indian Corn, dried corn stalks, as well as nice quality straw bales made from oat straw for $5 each and dried corn stalks. Find all three in our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot.

Watch our newest YouTube video about Fall and Giant Pumpkin harvesting!

SPECIALS (WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!)

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10 (that’s about 79 cents a pound). Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Limited Time Special — Jonathan 

Limited Time Special — three pints of cherry tomatoes (red Jasper and/or SunSugar) for $6.

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Spaghetti Squash– half bushel $5, whole bushel $8 (that’s about 16 cents a pound!)

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) — Watch our YouTube video to learn how to cook squash then read our info paper by clicking the link below!

Learn how to keep winter squash for a year by reading our info paper: “How to Freeze Winter Squash.”

 

 

Microclimates and Inland Lakes

I live on a 360 acre lake and there is another lake just to my west.  There are many nice things about living on a lake including the effect the lake has on the surrounding microclimate.  During the heat of the summer, there is a cooling effect and on cold, calm and clear winter nights, with the lake completely covered with ice there is also a cooling effect.  However, the autumn nights by the lake are measurable warmer than the land just a quarter mile away.  So warm in fact that frosts are uncommon before October 20, while away from the lake frost seems to hit on average around the first of October.  This allows a long season for tomato and other tender crop harvest AND it is nearly perfect for late grapes to reach their maximum sugar content.  The lake also provides warmer spring nights, but this effect isn’t as pronounced as the fall warming simply because the water is warmer in October than in April.  Despite this, the few apple trees we have at the lake made it through last years disastrous apple season.

Right now we are raising vegetable plants which we are going to transplant to our farm located to the east of Briar Hill Golf Course across Gordon Avenue.  We have around 67 acres and our roadside farm market is located in the southwest part of the farm.  Since we are raising the plants at our home on the lake, we don’t have to worry as much about our plants freezing — at least not after all the ice is gone from the lake.  Right now there is still ice on the lake and the warming effect is near zero.  Very soon, however, the ice will be gone and we then we won’t have to watch the thermometer as much!  Of course we still will keep them in our two small unheated greenhouses at least until the end of April, but we won’t have to bring the plants in to our basement nearly every night like we are doing right now.