Category Archives: Fishing

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

We are opening our doors today! Peaches are doing great, thanks to a very mild winter!

Sunset over Kimball Lake taken March 8. The ice is almost all gone now!

Sunset over Kimball Lake taken March 8. The ice is almost all gone now!

This has been a very mild winter with temps not getting below zero. The peaches and fruit are doing fine. We did have a scare this past week when warm, summer-like weather was forecast,  something like what happened in 2012 when we lost all our fruit crops. Happily, despite continued mild weather no summer-like weather looks to arrive in earnest before the Boys of Summer (Professional Baseball Players) arrive in early April.

Pickerel Lake is now almost free of ice and will, no doubt, be completely ice-free by Sunday. Matt is anxious to get the boat in and go after pike before the season closes on March 16 (giving the pike a chance to spawn) and won’t re-open until the last Saturday in April. However, there is so much work to do now, plus the chances of rain on Sunday and Monday, might put a damper on his plans. We shall see! Hopefully we will have some pictures to share of his big catch! :)

We are opening today with a nice selection of apples, stored in common storage over the winter. The apples are excellent quality and crisp and some have become even better tasting in storage like the Granny Smith and Fuji. Some of the varieties we have today are: Idared, Blushing Golden, Mutsu/Crispin, Northern Spy, Splendor, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Jonagold. We have them by the 1/2 peck, peck, and half bushel. We also have our stiff-neck garlic for sale.

We will be open from 10AM to 5:00PM and we will be on self-serve for most of the day so please bring correct change or your checkbook.

openingdaymarch11

June 1, 2015: What’s happening at Magicland Farms

Sunset yesterday while out for a walk in the country.

Sunset yesterday while out for a walk in the country.

No frost last night, although the NWS had a frost advisory out.

While it is cool and a bit cloudy this morning, the week will be warm and sunny as will next weekend. I mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter about the great fishing in Pickerel and Kimbal Lakes, along with a photo of my son Matt holding a nice sized pike he caught yesterday.  As an update, Matt went fishing again after I sent out the newsletter and caught several more pike and bass. We had a great dinner of fried boneless pike.

SALES GOING ON NOW:

Purchase two or more fruit trees and get a blueberry bush or raspberry plant (your choice) FREE!

Rhubarb are half price this week! That is only $6 a plant.

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

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

Peach trees: Early Red Haven

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

Blueberries: Bluecrop, Jersey, Elliot, and Aurora

Red Raspberries: Latham (June-bearing) and Heritage (Fall-bearing)

Seedless Grapes: Red Reliance

Rhubarb: Victoria SALE!

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

Slicing and red cherry tomato plants

Sweet bell and Jalapeno pepper plants

Purple eggplant plants

Yellow and red sweet onion transplants

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

Winter Squash: Acorn and Butternut

Zucchini and yellow summer squash

Watermelon

Cucumbers

Pumpkins

Cabbage

Pawpaw trees (AKA Michigan Banana)

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

Bottle gourds

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: They are about to bloom!

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

Nasturtium

Foxglove: Excelsior

Coral Bells/Heuchera

Sedum Groundcovers

Sempervivum

Vinca Minor

Cactus (Christmas cactus and other thornless cacti)

Morning Glory: Heavenly Blue and Shadow Dance (Deep Purple and Bright White)

Angel Trumpets

Balsam Impatiens

Dianthus: Cheddars Pink, and Brilliant Red

Echinacea or Purple Coneflower

Rose of Sharon shrubs (5 year old plants)

 

Sunset today June 1 is 9:18PM    Sunrise tomorrow is 6:05AM

The Eagle and Pike, also: What we plan on picking today, Friday, September 12, 2014

This morning Matt and I saw something interesting through our large dining room picture window.  It was a large Bald Eagle flying low over Pickerel Lake carrying a fish. The interesting thing was that the fish was a Northern Pike and looked larger than the eagle–the pike was over 2 feet long and weighed over 4 pounds (these are estimates, of course, but they are reliable estimates since we have seen many, many pike in this size range.)  Apparently, the eagle had too hard a time with the pike and we did see it finally drop the fish.

The sweet corn we will be picking today is bi-color Mirai and white Mirai.

Today we will also have for sale peaches, Zestar, Earliblaze, Gravenstein, Wolf River and Summer Treat apples, a new patch of green beans and starting a new patch of yellow beans, acorn, buttercup, butternut, Heart-Of-Gold and spaghetti winter squash, watermelon, muskmelon, zucchini and yellow summer squash, pickling and slicing cucumbers, Newaygo Sweet Onions, SunSugar cherry tomatoes, Canning and slicing tomatoes, Little Red Tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, sweet green bell and Jalapeno peppers, yellow and orange Super-Sweet peppers, new red potatoes and new Yukon Gold potatoes!

Visit our Arts and Craft Room for unique gourd art!

DAILY SPECIALS

EARLIBLAZE APPLES : $5 a half bushel

SLICING TOMATOES: $5 a two quart tray (weighs 4-1/2 to 5 pounds, which comes to around a dollar a pound)

SLICING/CANNING TOMATOES: $10 A HALF BUSHEL (about 26 pounds)

NEWAYGO SWEET ONIONS: 1/4 peck for $3, 1/2 peck for $5 (this is a great savings over buying them by the pound)

RIVERSIDE SWEET ONIONS (NOT QUITE AS SWEET AS NEWAYGO SWEET ONIONS BUT LONGER KEEPERS): Whole peck for $7 and 1/2 bushel (about 22 pounds) $12

JALAPENO PEPPERS: 1/4 PECK FOR $4

PECKS OF GREEN PEPPERS: $6

If you want to read the latest blog post seconds after it is published, don’t wait until you get a notice for it in your email.  Rather go to blog.magiclandfarms.com.  Book mark this URL to get there with a single click.

All perennial and annual Flower Plants in Greenhouse are Half Off!

Hardy Pecan trees (Wisconsin strain) NOT INCLUDED IN SALE

Perennial Hollyhocks SALE

Perennial Foxglove SALE

Hardy Sempervivum aka Hens and Chicks SALE

Sedum SALE

Nasturtium Hanging Baskets SALE

Morning Glories, individual and hanging baskets SALE

Pink and Red Dianthus SALE

Red Leafed Heuchera SALE

Hardy English Lavender SALE

Hardy Salvia SALE

Begonia SALE

Echinacea aka Purple Coneflower SALE

Moonflower SALE

Hardy Blue Fescue Grass SALE

Oxe-Eye Daisy SALE

Visit this link to see photos: http://www.pinterest.com/bfcreations/flowers-and-plants-available-at-magicland

Friday, October 25, 2013: Fall Color at its peak–best in years!

A glorious sunrise silhouetting three sugar maples overlooking the still, tranquil water of Pickerel Lake.

This fall not only had one of its latest first killing frosts in many years but also the peak fall color is much later than normal AND, surprisingly, Jack Frost has done an extraordinary good job on the leaves this year.  In addition, most leaves are still on the trees and roughly half of them have turned glorious colors of startlingly crisp reds, pastel yellows along with a splash of brilliant oranges here and there.  We have been busy taking photos of this gloriously beautiful treat of nature and have posted some of our photos here.

View on our farm. Notice the long rows of corn to the left that are still green in color – those were our last patches of corn.

Another view of our farm, this time a view of both our woods and tree line.

A close-up view of one of our large maples all in red.

A view from our orchard looking into our woods.

Sugar maple tree in bright yellow.

Three sugar maples.

Can you spot the woodpecker? One of many feathered friends that frequent our large sassafras overlooking Pickerel lake.

A tranquil view of Pickerel lake.

Sunrise on Pickerel Lake.

A Maple and a Willow tree.

Reflecting the Beautiful Fall Color. :)

 

Yesterday I mentioned in my post about the fact that the sun exploded a M9 flare.  Well just a little while ago another, even larger explosion took place which resulted in an X1 flare!  Pay attention to the news since no doubt these explosions will be reported on, and possibly even be making headlines, within 2 days!

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.”

 

 

 

 

Coldest morning of the winter so far–maybe safe now for ice fishing!

This morning (2/11/2012) the temperature dropped to 2F with crystal clear skies.  If it wasn’t for that 2 inches of snow that fell yesterday I would say for Pickerel and Kimbal lakes would be generally safe for ice fishing except for those normally slow to freeze spots.  I plan on checking the ice this morning and leaving an update on the ice condition.

(I sure hope my lettuce planting survived last night.  I did put a red 75 watt light bulb beneath the low tunnel yesterday.)

UPDATE AT 10:40AM — the ice in front of my home on Pickerel Lake is about 3 inches thick and the quality of the ice is fairly good.  Most, but not all, people think this is safe enough ice to walk on but not snowmobile on — definitely not to drive on!  Unless we have a warm rain or lots of snow the ice should stay fairly good all week.  Clear nights really help make ice even with air temps slightly above freezing.  The reason for this is simple — a clear sky has a temp reading of between -100 and -150F.  This is true even on hot summer nights as long as you can see stars clearly.  If you don’t believe it get yourself a good infrared thermometer and point it up at the clear sky.  Try this on a July day with temps in the 90s and you will get the same -100F reading–as long as you don’t point the thermometer at the sun or at a cloud.  Also, checked the lettuce and it seems to have come through last night’s near zero temps!

Planted Our High-Tunnel Tomatoes!

On January 30 we planted the tomato seeds for our high tunnel tomatoes. (A high-tunnel is the same as an unheated greenhouse whose height is over 10 feet.)  As last year, half our High-Tunnel will be planted with the fantastic SunSugar golden cherry tomato which tastes even better when grown in our high tunnel, which is hard to believe since it’s also great when grown outside!  The other tomatoes in the high tunnel will be a test planting of four varieties–so far we haven’t fell in love with any large red tomato that we planted in our high tunnel. The problem has something to do with the heat, we think, even though we put the sides up and open the big door.  This year we investigated the problem and decided to try four varieties: BHN-589, Rocky Top, Abrason and Tasti-Lee.  While except for Tasti-Lee (I will have more on Tasti-Lee in an upcoming post) , the other varieties have been recommended for high-tunnel production.  News Flash!  Just moments ago (7:50AM) I checked and found a few of the SunSugar tomatoes have germinated!  This sounds reasonable since we put the flats near the wood stove to get them germinate quickly.  We also did more onion planting and now have around 10,000 seeds planted in flats.  I hope to get some photos of our lettuce and onions posted sometime today.

Freckles and Green Ice Lettuce Planted on 1172012

Freckles and Green Ice Lettuce Planted on 1172012

 

Close-up of Freckles Lettuce planted on 1/17/2012

Newaygo Newaygo Sweet Onions Planted on 1/25/2012

We also have nearly completed the second plant light stand.  All we need now is to get the shoplights mounted to it.  This will give us more workspace since in the past we put most of our flats on a large workbench which made it more difficult to do things.

The weather continues unbelievably mild with only traces of snow left.  Finally, it seems fishermen are getting the message about the lakes here not being safe for ice fishing since no one was out there yesterday.  I noticed from the weather maps that some temps in the old Northwest territories of Canada are in the mid 40s this morning.  Hmm…

Ice Fishing starting on Kimbal, My plant light stand article on Make Magazine

Guys  are starting to ice fish on Kimbal Lake.  However, I really don’t think it is safe yet and they are taking a big risk.  One way to determine if its OK to ice fish on Kimbal is to wait until Walt Bancroft starts ice fishing.  He has learned through many years to only go out when its safe.  The days are really lengthening now, especially in the evening.  It’s now still light at 6PM!  One thing I noticed through the years is that in late winter some of the cold arctic highs skip around to the north of the Great Lakes causing an easterly component to the wind.  This usually means clear skies and the resulting colder nights.  It is also a sign that winter is waning.  This seems to be starting this coming week although there doesn’t look much like clear skies since there will likely be low pressure areas around which sometimes means general snowstorms.  We will see.

I mentioned in my last post about a link to my Plant Light Stand article in Make Magazine.  Here it is: Plant Light Stand. 
Make Magazine is my absolutely favorite magazine.  If you are at all interested in making stuff, or in science and/or technology, you should subscribe.  The magazine comes out in a book type binding which means it not only fits on a standard bookshelf its binding means it should last a long time even if you  read it frequently and don’t treat it delicately.  The editors really work to make sure there are as few errors in the articles as possible–they do a really, really great job.  It’s one great magazine and has so much interesting and fascinating stuff in it!  Even the ads are interesting and in formative!

Comments about my winter forecast including the one I made in November

I am a bit amazed that my winter forecast this year has worked out so well, especially since it conflicted with just about every other winter forecast out there!  In addition to implying the first half of winter would be a bit warmer than normal, I said I felt that the last two weeks of January would be quite cold.  While the next week will indeed be quite cold, it now looks like we will have a January thaw during the last week of winter.  In other words the mild winter will continue–even warmer than I wrote about back in November!  Most people liked the snow we received late last week.  It sure did make things real, real purty!  The smiles I saw were a bit unusual since most winters people usually seemed to get tired of the snow and cold around mid January.  The only bummer here is for those who like to ice fish and run their snowmobiles on the lakes.  While it’s going to get cold, the coming thaw won’t let the lake ice get safe enough until at least mid-February at the earliest.  When you realize that the strong March sun starts to erode the ice from bottom up, it looks like a very short ice fishing season this year even if March temperatures are colder than normal–no forecast here since I have seen years similar to this when the ice has gone out in mid-March!.  However, while I am forecasting a short ice fishing season–it just might be quite an active season while it lasts!

This year we are going to try and grow late winter lettuce for our family.  We already have a 11″x22″ plastic flat with 5 different varieties of lettuce coming up and when they get big enough we plan on transplanting them to a small area in one of our unheated greenhouses.  We will then put on a low tunnel covered with plastic–inside the larger greenhouse.  Low power electric heating cables will then be hooked up to a freeze control which turns on at 35F.  We will see what happens.  Wish us luck.  The primary reason I’m doing this is for my wife Annemarie since she really loves our home-grown lettuce.  I will be taking photos of it all so if things work out I can write an article on it.  I will keep you’all informed here.