Category Archives: Spiritual

Fog early then the sun will (likely?) make its presence known! AND we are open today with apples!

Out on Pickerel Lake yesterday.

Out on Pickerel Lake yesterday.

Today is starting out with fog, but will likely clear up around noon time when the sun will start to come through and warm things up quickly, getting up close to 60F! Looks to be one of those beautiful March days! By the way, another BIG warm-up looks to arrive for Holy Week!

The market will be open with a nice selection of apples starting at only $3.00. Varieties include Idared, Northern Spy, Fuji, Granny Smith, Crispin/Mutsu, Red Delicious, Splendor, and more. We will be on self-serve so please bring correct change or checkbook.

Today also happens to be the last day of Pike season until it reopens on the last Saturday in April. Hopefully my son Matt will be taking advantage of the good weather and get in some fishing today!

https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10364_53405-214036–,00.html

http://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/fishing/more-freshwater/where-fish/2006/04/basic-guide-catching-northern-pike

http://www.outdoorlife.com/articles/hunting/2015/03/fishing-skills-20-tips-walleyes

Monday, August 17, 2015: What’s happening at Magicland Farms today

Today looks to be sunny and hot.  Starting tonight and continuing into Wednesday, we have a fair chance of some much needed rain.  This time of the year rain usually comes in the form of TStorms which carry a double edged sword–produce much needed rain but sometimes also produce some unneeded problems.  Happily, most of the time the problems aren’t serious while the rain produces very positive results.  Earlier in the summer the cold waters of Lake Michigan retard storm development which not only reduces the severity of storms but also the amount of rain we receive.  Right now, in mid-August, Lake Michigan surface waters are mostly in the 70s which means there is little if any retardation of TStorms as they cross over the lake.

Muskmelon are just starting to ripen!

Muskmelon are just starting to ripen!

This week is the week, I think, we will find many deliciously ripe muskmelons out in the field.  Since it takes time to pick them (there are so many things to pick, especially on Mondays when we often start the week with practically nothing left over from the weekend since we don’t pick on Sundays) we probably won’t have a good supply of muskmelons until late afternoon today.

muskmeloncut

As usual, our picking priority in the morning is sweet corn and beans, although we do hope to pick small quantities of other produce as well, especially our peaches. This is also the week we are starting new patches of beans and cucumbers.  Since we plant nearly 40 patches of sweet corn WE SEEM TO BE ALWAYS GOING INTO A NEW PATCH OF CORN!

skies

Excerpts from our weekly e-newsletter:

One of my great grandfathers bought property on Pickerel Lake and my mother wound up inheriting part of the property he purchased.  My maternal grandfather constructed a cottage on the lake in the 1920s and he just loved to come up in the summer with his family.  Among other things he loved to fish and he…READ MORE While my grandfather lived in Chicago he had several friends who lived on Pickerel Lake.  These friends told him that Pickerel Lake had not only Northern Pike but Walleyed Pike (Walleye) as well.  Since he never caught one he doubted them.  To find out if his friends were pulling his leg, he did something…READ MORE

What we are picking today: Bi-color Mirai, all-white Mirai, and bi-color Essence and Bon Appetit sweet corn Green and Yellow Beans Melba, Viking, and Jersey Mac summer apples. Red Haven peach and Raritan Rose white-fleshed peach by the 1/4 peck. Red Haven peaches by the 1/2 bushel: LIMITED QUANTITY!! Muskmelon Golden Shiro plums Zucchini and yellow summer squash Slicing cucumbers and pickles: Limited supply! Spaghetti Squash Red Norland potatoes (red skin with white flesh), RedGold potatoes (red skin with yellow flesh), and Yukon Gold potatoes (yellow skin with gold flesh). Sweet and mild Newaygo Newaygo yellow onions by the pound, 1/4 peck, and 1/2 peck and red onions by the pound. Fresh stiff-neck garlic Broccoli Freshly pulled sweet carrots Cut sunflowers Large Slicing red Tomatoes. (For those of you looking for canning tomatoes please stay up to date on the latest by frequenting our blog.) “Little Red” tomatoes by the quart SunSugar cherry tomatoes as well as pink, red, and black cherry tomatoes by the pint Green tomatoes by the pound Green Bell Peppers Jalapeno Peppers Peach and apple trees (SALE: they are currently $20 a pot) Other edible potted plants include: Blueberries, Fall and June bearing red raspberries, seeded and seedless grapes, rhubarb, and herbs. Flowering shrubs and perennial and annual flowers

Craft Room is Open! Find original gourd art and hand-carved birdhouses.

Monday, June 22, 2015: Storms this afternoon?

When I went to Mass this weekend the possible bad weather that was forecast for today kept appearing in my mind.  As you may imagine, I was shocked that the gospel was about a storm.  Keep in mind that in the Catholic Church gospel readings are prepared many years before the date they are read.  This weekend the following gospel was read:

Mark 4:35-41

That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A terrible storm formed, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke Him and said to Him, “Master, don’t you care if we drown?”

Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

I mentioned about the stormy weather today in my newsletter yesterday.  Right now, it looks a little better than it did on Saturday since the mid-level winds (3 to 5 miles up) don’t seem as strong as originally forecast.  However, right now there are intense thunderstorms in Iowa and Minnesota moving this way.  They will weaken a bit as they move eastward because they always do in the morning but then will likely strengthen this afternoon.  However, they have to pass over still chilly Lake Michigan before they get here which normally weakens them–sometimes a lot, sometimes not much.

What We’ll Be Having Today:

Freshly pulled sweet and mild red radishes

Garlic scapes, which can be chopped up and used in any dish where you want a mild garlic flavor.

Freshly dug RedGold potatoes (red skin with yellow flesh)

Freshly pulled baby Newaygo Newaygo sweet onions

Fruit trees and shrubs, perennial and annual flowers and ornamental plants, and veggie plants.

greenhouse2

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

driedgourds

Sunset today is 9:28PM    Sunrise tomorrow is 6:03AM

Notice as we near the summer solstice there is little change in sunset and sunrise times from day to day.

SALES GOING ON NOW:

Beautiful and fragrant Angel Trumpets are on sale. Pick up three pots for only $20!
Purchase two or more fruit trees and get a blueberry bush or raspberry plant (your choice) FREE!
Rhubarb plants are half price! That is only $6 a plant.
See $10 OFF coupon at bottom of post!

We have the following fruit and vegetable plants and trees for sale today:

Apple trees: Honeycrisp, Jonafree (Jonathan type), Jonagold, Liberty, Gala, LindaMac, etc. Starting at $25 a potted tree

Peach trees: Early Red Haven, $25 a potted tree

Tree protectors and deer repellent soap for your fruit trees also available.

Blueberries: Bluecrop, Jersey, Elliot, and Aurora Starting at $8 a potted plant

Red Raspberries: Latham (June-bearing) and Heritage (Fall-bearing) Starting at $8 a potted plant

Seedless Grapes: Red Reliance (The plants are large and vining well!)

Rhubarb: Victoria (at least 1.5′ tall) SALE! 1/2 OFF. Now only $6 a pot

rhubarb

Everbearing strawberries: Frisan (pink flowers!)

frisanstrawberry

Red slicing, heirlooms and sweet cherry tomato plants

Tomatillo

Sweet bell pepper plants

Purple eggplant plants

Yellow and red sweet onion transplants

Potted Herbs: Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Marjoram, Sage, Peppermint, Summer Savory, Lavender, Rosemary, Basil, etc.

herbs

Winter Squash: Acorn and Butternut

Zucchini and yellow summer squash

Watermelon

Cucumbers

Pumpkins: Jack-O-Lantern and Giant Pumpkins

Savoy Cabbage

Pawpaw trees (AKA Michigan Banana)

pawpaw

We also have lots of ornamental trees and shrubs and perennial and annual flower plants including

Bottle gourds: Grow your own gourds to craft with or make birdhouses!

Ostrich ferns: They are large and beautiful right now and would bring some instant texture and color to your landscaping.

Redbud trees

White pine trees

Lilac bushes

Beauty bushes

kolkwitzia

Hydrangea 2 yr. old seedlings of Pinky Winky

Hollyhocks: O’Hara (a deep red, fully double Hollyhock), Chater’s Double Mix, and Queeny Mix

Malva: Gallon containers of both Zebrina and Mystic Merlin varieties

malva

Nasturtium: Available individually or in hanging baskets

nasturtium

Foxglove: Excelsior

Coral Bells/Heuchera

huechera

Sedum Groundcovers

sedumgroundcover

Sempervivum

sempervivumcloseup

Vinca Minor

Houseplant Cactus (Christmas cactus and other thornless cacti)

cactus

Morning Glory: Heavenly Blue and Shadow Dance (Deep Purple and Bright White) Available in 6″ pots with miniature wooden trellis.

morningglory

Angel Trumpets: Beautiful hybrids of large double blooms in purple, yellow, white and red. Extremely fragrant!

Balsam Impatiens (aka Touch Me Nots) Butterflies and hummingbirds love these flowers!

balsambutterfly

Dianthus: Cheddars Pink, and Brilliant Red

dianthus

Echinacea or Purple Coneflower

Rose of Sharon shrubs (5 year old plants)

Alaska Shasta Daisies (reblooming white daisy-like flowers)

Chrysanthemums: Robinson Mix Single Flowers

Annual and Perennial Combo 6″ Pots with pink, red, lilac, and yellow flowers.

couponappletrees

Print, show, or mention this coupon when purchasing!

Friday, May 1, 2015 : Planting time and NOAA’s Forecast For May

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center yesterday issued their latest forecast for May.  It differs substantially from their mid-April forecast which showed the eastern part of Michigan cooler than normal and western part near normal. See the below map may2015temp Despite the forecast for a warm May, I am hesitant in planting tender vegetable plants like tomatoes and peppers just yet because it is so early in the season.  However, it is the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs and hardy flower and vegetable plants and most vegetable seeds.  (We already got our first four patches of sweet corn in and will be planting more tomorrow.) It is likely, as I mentioned in my earlier blog posts, that the next week or so, starting this afternoon, will be summerish.

Today we will be having for sale:

Apples in 1/2 peck and 1/2 bushel quantities. Mostly Fuji, Crispin/Mutsu and mixed varieties.

Yellow onions by the 1/4 peck.

Dried gourds of many shapes and sizes. (Located on the left side of the the greenhouse.)

Many kinds of potted trees and plants including: PawPaws, Redbuds, White Pine, and Beauty Bush.

We also have our greenhouse to the left of the parking lot filled with apple trees, peach trees, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, rhubarb, strawberries, onions, tomatoes and perennial flowers including Hollyhocks, Coral Bells, Sedum groundcover, Sempervivum, and Periwinkle groundcover. If interested in any of the plants in the greenhouse please give my daughter Bernadette a call so she can assist you: 231-303-0412 or leave a message on Facebook. Many more plants will be added throughout the coming days and weeks!

We still have a limited supply of the following:

Apples in 1/2 peck and 1/2 bushel quantities. Mostly Fuji, Crispin/Mutsu and mixed varieties.

Yellow onions by the 1/4 peck.

Sunset today May 1  is at 8:46PM Sunrise tomorrow is 6:36AM

We are open today, December 8, 2014

We are open today, December 8, 2014 although we will be on self-serve all day today since it is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We still have a good selection of nice crisp, naturally chilled apples as well as sweet onions and potatoes.

We are going into a mild period of weather with mild temperatures and, which is rare for us here in Michigan, December sunshine!  Too bad the days are so short!  How long this mild spell will last is unsure but there is a good chance it will continue to the week of Christmas.  This weekend we might see temperatures near 50.

Very Mild Winter This Year In Michigan is (almost anyway) a Sure Thing!

If you read this blog last fall you know I was forecasting a harder than normal winter for Michigan.  Of course, I had no idea that it would be as hard a winter as it turned out to be.  This coming winter will rival past easy winters and perhaps be the warmest winter in Michigan in a 100 years (that’s just a guess , of course).  Like many easy northern winters, the winters in the south will likely not only be colder than normal but wetter than normal with perhaps more snow than normal.  The reason this is almost a sure thing is the way el Nino is shaping up with all that warm water over the equatorial Pacific.  Of course, it is possible that the equatorial Pacific will cool off a bit by winter, but that is highly unlikely and I will let you know if that is starting to occur–right now it seems to be warming up even more!

Keep in mind abnormally warm winters often are associated with poor fruit crops.  While the last winter was severely cold, we look to have good fruit crops–in fact our peaches came thru the winter with practically no damage whatsoever!  Also, while many severely cold winters frequently cause very poor peach crops–this year, of course, it was different for us.  My new dear friend Diane says she is sure my beloved Annemarie, who is in heaven now, had something to do with the fact that we have such a good peach crop despite the severe winter!  We have heard reports that several peach orchards in Kent County’s famous “Ridge” area were heavily damaged last winter.  This area was originally referred to as the “Peach Ridge” area until apple trees outnumbered peach trees so the word “peach” was dropped from the name of the area.

 

 

Is my long, dark winter finally easing?

This winter was unbelievably hard on me and my family and I’m not even talking about the cold snowy weather…If you have been following my Facebook posts since early January you know what I am referring to…my beloved wife of 14 years Annemarie went to heaven.  She was taken to Holland Hospital  (she worked at Holland Hospital since December of 2010) on January 8, then was transferred to the U of M Hospital on January 20.  After about a week there she was finally diagnosed with HLH which is an extremely rare blood disease believed to be hereditary in origin. Annemarie went to heaven at the U of M Hospital on February 15.  I was fortunate to be with her when she left this material world.  As you may have known, Annemarie was my second wife.  My first wife Susan, and the mother of my children, went to heaven in July of 1999 after nearly 20 years of marriage.  In some respects, the loss of Annemarie has been even harder than the loss of Susan.  I met Annemarie about 3 months after Susan passed away and we married about 4 months later.  Annemarie helped me immensely with the passing of Susan.  She seemed intent on getting me thru that long mourning process and thru her intense love and patience she succeeded.  Thank you Annemarie!

Recently, I have become friends with a kind woman, Diane, who wants to help me get thru Annemarie’s passing.  Like Susan and Annemarie, she seems to be sent by Almighty God to help me. We both believe that. Diane wants me to talk with her about Annemarie (and Susan) and how much I loved and miss them.  When I mentioned that our peach crop looks excellent — the best in many, many years, even after such a bitter cold winter, she told me “You know I think Anne (I called Annemarie Anne all the time and Diane has picked that up from me) has something to do with that peach crop.”  I agree with her…

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