Tag Archives: Indian Summer

Wednesday, October 23, 2013: New Magicland Farms YouTube Video Out! Also, what is happening today at Magicland Farms

We just published a new video on YouTube.  Its title is “Fall Harvest at Magicland Farms 2013” and can be viewed by clicking here.

Well it is likely we had a killing frost at Magicland Farms this morning.  Here at Pickerel Lake it got down to at least 36.8F and it was 31F at 6AM at the Fremont Airport.  This is one of the latest first freezes in recent memory.

Yesterday morning was the first day this fall I was cold at the farm.  It was cloudy, sort of windy and the temperature was around 41F.  However, in the afternoon the sun came out, the wind died down and the thermometer was pushing toward 50F and it felt nice out–especially in the apple orchard.  Apparently other people also felt this because in the afternoon our Pumpkin Patch was quite busy.

Does the weather models now sense the onset of Indian Summer?  As I mentioned in my last post, the weather forecast for next week has suddenly changed–the meteorologists have added about 7 degrees to the temperature forecast for next week.  Now I see something else.  The NWS’s 8-14 forecast on Monday was for colder than normal across central Michigan and on Tuesday suddenly it changed to normal temperatures.  One other thing.  The Nationwide forecast is showing a sudden warmup next week across the entire country.  However, this warmup across the northern plains is for temperatures to rise only from the 30s to the 40s–one still needs an additional 20 degrees of temperature to be able to call it Indian Summer–however the direction of the change in weather models is significant.

Yesterday we spot picked our Splendor apples and we now have them up for sale.  Splendor is a nice looking apple that is quite firm and crisp and very sweet.  From past experience they also seem to keep for a long time.  Our stand is now brim full of many varieties. Read up about all our varieties in our new apple description booklet: CLICK HERE.  Yesterday we also picked broccoli and dug carrots.

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 (remember to take home our free “How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree” paper with your purchase of any pie pumpkin), Asian pears and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, 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, Splendor and SunCrisp. 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.

SPECIALS

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples $6 a half bushel

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

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10 (that’s about 79 cents a pound).

Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!) — Take one of our “How to Freeze Winter Squash” papers home with you.

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

 

 

 

Monday, October 21, 2013: Squaw Winter, Indian Summer and What is happening today at Magicland Farms.

It looks like this week we will have “squaw winter”.  According to the unabridged Merriam-Webster dictionary: “squaw winter is a brief early period of wintry weather occurring in the autumn that often precedes Indian Summer.”

The following discussion on Indian Summer originally appeared in the Magicland Farms’ October 20, 2013 newsletter and is repeated here:

The National Weather Service defines Indian Summer  as weather conditions that are sunny and clear with temperatures above 21°C (70 °F), following a sharp frost (called “Squaw Winter” by Native Americans). It normally occurs in the late-September to mid-November time frame.
While the first two weeks of October this year fulfilled the weather conditions (sunny and warm) for Indian Summer, we did not yet experience “Squaw Winter.” This week it looks like we will have a good dose of the legendary “Squaw Winter.”  After the Squaw Winter, according to the Native Americans which have over a thousand years of experience watching weather in North America, we should expect Indian Summer, perhaps the following week (maybe starting next Sunday or Monday).  I’ve looked back at the September and October weather the last 10 years and I discovered something interesting.  Newaygo County has had an Indian Summer, as defined by the NWS, 9 out of 10 of the years.  The only year there wasn’t an Indian Summer was 2009.  In 2004 the Indian Summer was questionable so we can more accurately say that in the last 10 years Indian Summer has occurred 85% of the time.  Now, if you compare this average to the long range forecasting capabilities of the most advanced weather models around (BTW the European model seems the most accurate) the North American Natives through many, many years of experiencing the North American weather seem to be more accurate when forecasting the traditional fall warm stretch we call Indian Summer. Modern long range forecasting methods, even using super computers, has an average accuracy, at best, of between 60 and 65%.  Of course, the NWS short range forecasting (less than 7 days into the future) has greater accuracy.

Keep in mind today that while this morning it is relatively mild out–feels a bit like a September morning– colder air will be moving into the area from the west and it will feel more like early November by afternoon.

Good news!  I have completed the apple variety booklet I have been writing for the past couple weeks. It describes the fall and winter apple varieties we grow.  While I didn’t first envision it, my daughter Bernadette has added photos of some of the apples, which she has been taking as we picked them, to the booklet.  These photos add much to the booklet.  The booklet is in PDF format and you can view and even print it out by clicking the following link: Magicland Farms’ Fall/Winter Apple Variety Booklet

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, pie pumpkins, Asian pears and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Spartan, Jonathan, 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 and SunCrisp. Large selection of pumpkins from miniature to giant, including many different colors such as white, 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.

SPECIALS

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples $6 a half bushel

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

Jalapeno Peppers — 1/2 peck for $6

Sweet Green Bell Peppers — half bushel $10 (that’s about 79 cents a pound).

Watch our YouTube video to learn how to freeze peppers!

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!)

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

 

Friday, October 18, 2013: What is happening today at Magicland Farms.

It looks like today we will see the sunrise and, unlike yesterday, most of the day will be dry.  I still see a glimmer of Indian Summer in the distance–although now it doesn’t seem like it will get here for another week, perhaps starting on October 26.  Well good things are worth waiting for. Right?  I have to let you know, however, The NWS, Accuweather and all the TV meteorologists aren’t agreeing with me here.  What do I see that they don’t?  History, I guess.  There is a sure bet, and we are all in agreement here, that we will shortly have our FIRST killing freeze.  Most of the time this happens the scene is set for a warm-up.  The reason this period of weather is called Indian Summer is that the Native Amercans told the first European settlers that after a freeze, and before winter set in, there was a period of a return to summer weather (sometimes a short period and other times rather long)–thus the name Indian Summer.  The meteorological reason for this has to do with the fact that the first general freeze usually happens because of a large cold high from up north moves down into the central and south US.  This high then often builds up and sits there, or moves slowly, and the clear skies allows the sun to warm up the ground.  This warming causes a shift in the upper winds which doesn’t seem to be forecasted by most weather models.  These shifts in upper winds then cause more warming, and this sustains them for awhile. BTW, it does look like that soon we will see a large cold high move down into the US and this is the reason for the forecasted freeze.

As I mentioned in my earlier posts our pepper field still looks like summer is still here so we want to get them all picked before the freeze.  We started yesterday morning working on this and then it started to rain, which didn’t stop until around 6, so we quit.  We hope to get the rest of them picked today.

When we open at 10AM we will have slicing tomatoes,  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, pie pumpkins, Asian pears and apples including: Honeycrisp, Gala, Cortland, Stark Jumbo, Red Delicious,  Spartan, Jonathan, Empire, Golden Russet, Tolman Sweet, Kandil Sinap, RedGold, Jonagored, Northwest Greening, Calville Blanc D’ Hiver, Hawaii and samplings of Jonalicious, King David and SunCrisp. We also have a large, colorful selection of Indian Corn 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.

SPECIALS

Limited Time Special — Jonathan and Cortland apples $6 a half bushel

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

Acorn, Celebration and Heart-of-Gold Winter Squash — half bushel $6 (that’s about 20 cents a pound!)

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

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

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Apple Descriptions of Some Of Our Unusual Varieties of Apples

(I have completed working on a small booklet describing  the fall and winter apple varieties we grow.  We will have some copies at our stand available free of charge for those interested.  Also, in a few days we will be putting the booklet into a pdf file available for download. )

Calville Blanc D’Hiver – This is perhaps the most sought after of the antique/heirloom apples. This apple has many features that make it really special.  For instance, its flesh has more vitamin C than an orange.  In fact, it has so much of it you can taste it!  Nevertheless, Calville Blanc is not unpleasantly tart; the pale yellow flesh is tender and lively on the tongue.  It is one of our absolutely favorites for pies—only Gravenstein can top it and here in Michigan Gravenstein is solely a summer apple so it really isn’t a competitor.

History: Since it is such an old apple—in fact it was several centuries old when Thomas Jefferson planted his Calville’s apple trees – its history is long and colorful.  It has been, and perhaps still is, the best—known dessert apple in France.  Some of the famous French restaurants still offer it for those discriminating tastes.  Robert Nitschke has spotted Calville in Claude Monet’s still life Apples and Grapes.

Tolman Sweet Appearance: Fruit is medium-sized and round with yellowish-white skin  sometimes with a faint red blush. Qualities: The firm, fine-grained white flesh is juicy and very sweet with a distinctive “candy sweet apple” flavor.

History: A very old American apple believed to have originated in Dorchester Massachusetts.

***SOLD OUT*** CANDY CANE (a.k.a. Surprise): Appearance: A very small apple, the size may be compared to our Whitney Crab Apple. It is pale yellow, sometimes spotted with rust, and it may have a little red blush. Qualities: The flesh is crisp, flavor has a nice tart snap, and as we tell our customers – you need to bite into it to know the Surprise! Hint: Think pink! Uses: Fresh eating Harvest time and availability: October – November Storage: Good keeper. History: An obscure apple of European origin. Historical records show this being sold by southern nurseries from 1824 to 1870.

HawaiiWhen at its prime, this is an exceedingly crisp apple.  It also is quite juicy with a very sweet flavor.  The scent and taste of pineapple has been repeatedly claimed for Hawaii.  I have had quite a few Hawaii apples and found that some seem to be missing the pineapple scent (although most have the same tang found in pineapples) but I also have tasted Hawaii apples that had a definite pineapple flavor. However, you may find the only thing tropical about this apple is its name! With or without the pineapple taste this apple has consistently ranked near the top of many unbiased taste tests.

History: Hawaii was developed in California in the 1940s and is likely a cross of Golden Delicious and Gravenstein.

KANDIL SINAP: This unusual apple has a very picturesque long narrow shape with a snow white flesh that is crisp but very tender, fine grained,  juicy and moderately sweet. Kandil Sinap means “sweet apple of Sinope” and it is apparently named after the Sinop peninsula in Turkey, which juts into the Black Sea.  This variety probably arose in the early 1800s and by 1890 was a favorite in Turkey.  Its parentage is unknown. Uses:  Fresh eating.

RedGold –  Medium, school box-sized apple with gorgeous rose color overall and russet dots. Its tender flesh is yellowish-white with wonderfully sweet flavor. Especially for those who prefer low acid apples.

History: RedGold is believed to be a volunteer cross of Red and Golden Delicious.  It was discovered in 1946 in Washington state.

Jonagored Jonagored is an early ripening strain of Jonagold.

History of Jonagored: Jonagored was discovered in 1980 by Mr. Morren in Belgium, and he began propagating them in 1981. The original Jonagored arose by accident, with one branch on a Jonagold tree giving fruits that seemed to ripen a few days before the regular Jonagold, and this branch was then propagated to give more of the same.

(FYI, In a poll of nineteen apple experts in nine countries, Jonagold scored as the overall favorite.  It is a sweet-tart dessert apple (as all top dessert apples normally are) and its creamy yellow flesh of marvelous flavor is noticeably crisp and juicy and dissolves into luscious liquid in the mouth.  Its flavor and aroma comes very close to Jonathan (which has more good old fashioned apple taste than any other apple). History of Jonagold: Jonagold is a relatively new apple being released in 1968 by New York State’s Geneva Station.  It is a Jonathan and Golden Delicious Cross.)

Jonalicious   — A cross between Jonathan and one of the Delicious apples (could be either Golden or Red although most experts lean toward Golden). This apple is crisp, juicy with a delightful pronounced tartness along with a definite hint of sweetness and lots of flavor. The primary problem with this variety is that it is a very shy bearer.

History: This apple was originally developed as a seedling in Abilene, Texas and is one of the Boss’ favorite fresh eating apples, although he hates that it seldom has a good crop and despite a good crop of most varieties of apples in 2013, there were very few Jonalicious!

SunCrisp  — Another brand new apple.  This one comes from the New Jersey Apple Breeding Program.  Has a sweet, spicy flavor and is highly rated in taste tests.  SunCrisp seems to ripen sooner for us than mentioned in the literature.  We are still learning here about SunCrisp apples.