Mar 26, 2014
Aug 29, 2014
Sep 04, 2014
Sep 19, 2014
Sep 20, 2014
Sep 26, 2014
Oct 03, 2014
Oct 08, 2014
Oct 18, 2014
Oct 25, 2014
Nov 07, 2014
Nov 10, 2014
Nov 15, 2014
Nov 19, 2014
Nov 21, 2014
Nov 23, 2014
Dec 13, 2014
Dec 24, 2014

2013--14 Season Farm Updates
2012--13 Season Farm Updates
2011--12 Season Farm Updates
2010--11 Season Farm Updates
2009--10 Season Farm Updates
2008--09 Season Farm Updates
2007--08 Season Farm Updates
2006--07 Season Farm Updates

 

 

Dec 24, 2014

This year's Christmas is pretty calm and peaceful here at the farm. Tom has started pruning a little here and there to get a head start on haircuts for 1,475 trees. The gifts from you all came early this year. We think of the care and concern that you had for us because of the small crop this season. The buds are looking strong for the coming year so hopefully we will have a plentiful crop in 2015.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Peace to All,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

PS Were those reindeer we just saw in the orchard? They looked like they were in a hurry and didn't stop to snack on the trees. Have you seen any?

Dec 13, 2014

The sun is finally shining again!

Our apple firewood is for sale self-serve from our red sales barn anytime. Each parcel contains at least 20 pounds cut in approximately 16 inch pieces.

If you think you missed your chance to buy wooden apple boxes, you didn't! We have them displayed in the red barn with the firewood.

We have been seeing deer in the orchard, but not reindeer yet.....

Tom and Sharon Muska

Nov 23, 2014

This morning at church a man who had been reading last week's email messages asked us why we will be open this coming week if we have nothing left to sell?

That's a good question and here is the answer:
We have a lot of orders to be picked up!

Yes, we are sold out of apples and Grampa Tony's non pasteurized cider (unless you have placed a cider order). We also have just enough pie apples to fill previously placed orders.

So, never fear, if you have an order we will have it for you!

Skimpily,
Tom and Sharon Muska
Growers and Cider Pressers

Nov 21, 2014

We really are sold out of apples!

Grampa Tony's non pasteurized cider will be available Saturday. We have a significant amount ordered.

We have a small amount of pies and Party Crisps for sale on a first come basis. Luann will be making Party Crisps(not pies) which will be ready for sale next Tuesday and possibly Wednesday.

Sunday is the last day we will go to the bakery for cider donuts this season. If you would like to order some for pick-up on Saturday or Sunday that would help us figure out how may we will get.

Just a reminder:
Open for Sales Sat & Sun 11 - 5
Mon-Wed (coming week only) 11 - 6
Closing for the Season Wed., Nov. 26 at 6 PM.

Be thankful we don't live in Buffalo!!!

Tom and Sharon Muska
Growers and Cider Pressers

Nov 19, 2014

These are some things we'd like to tell you:

1. We are temporarily sold out of Grampa Tony's non pasteurized cider. We will have more starting Saturday. That will be our last pressing for this season. More than half of the cider has already been ordered. If you want to make sure you get some, please order.

2. Hours for Sales for Thanksgiving week: Mon, Tues and Wed 11 - 6. We will be closing for the season on Wed, the 26th at 6 PM. If we have anything left after that, we'll let you know.

3. We are almost completely sold out of apples....only a small amount of Braeburns are available for sale.

4. The deadline for ordering pies and crisps has passed but we asked Luann make some more Apple Pies and Party Crisps. These are being sold on a first come basis.

5. The "retired" apple boxes have been a big hit! You'll be able to continue to buy them self-serve until Christmas.

Hope to see you at the farm,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Nov 15, 2014

Starting today "retired" wooden apple boxes will be for sale at $12.00 ea. plus tax. Ideal for decorating, props for photography, storage of heavy items etc. See the Facebook Section of our homepage for photos.

Apples: Winesap, Fuji, Braeburn, Empire, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Assorted Thirds.

Cider: Pressing #7 of Grampa Tony's non pasteurized cider is available now. Our last pressing for this season will be made on Friday, Nov. 21 and available for sale on Saturday the 22nd. If you want to make sure that you get some cider from that pressing, please ORDER via email or call us at 860 654 1590.

As of now it looks like we will be closing for the season at 5PM on Nov. 26th(the day before Thanksgiving).

We will be open for sales during Thanksgiving week Mon, Tues and Wed 11 - 6.

Hope to see you at the farm,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Nov 10, 2014

We have a few gallons left from press #6 which contains 20 varieties. (These are all gallon containers).

If you want to buy some today through Wed while we are closed, please contact us so we can work out a self-serve purchase.

Otherwise we will freeze the cider, as we are doing the next pressing (#7) on Wednesday, the 12th.

We will be pressing only twice more this season...each press approximately 145 gallons. Press #8 will be made on Friday, Nov. 21 so it will fine to serve at Thanksgiving.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Nov 07, 2014

Yes, it's dark much earlier in the day and colder temps are becoming normal; however we are warmed here at the farm by the encouragement of our customers who support our work in so many ways. We appreciate your rearranging your schedules to fit the hours we are open for sales, your telling others about our farm, your questions about the cultural practices that we use to produce our apples and cider, your interest in our family....the list goes on.

This year due to the small crop many of you found your favorite varieties sold out fast. We noticed that you accepted that reality and tried different apples, often being surprised by how much you liked them! Varieties available this week are Fuji, Braeburn, Winesap, Empire, Jonathan, , Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Assorted Thirds.

If you are interested in ordering farm items for your Thanksgiving gatherings, our online order form is now available at http://www.applebrookfarm.com Of course you may call in your order at 860 654 1590. As many of you know, our crop is much smaller this year so the deadline for orders is Sunday November 16 at 5 PM. After that pies and crisps will be sold on a first come basis.

We made Pressing #6 of Grampa Tony's non pasteurized cider this week. It has 20 varieties of apples in it!

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Oct 25, 2014

Just a quick note to let you know that we may be sold out of cider by Sunday afternoon (even with the 2 gallon limit!). We'll email a cider status message on Sunday morning before we open.

Apple varieties available now are Cameo, Braeburn, Liberty, Redcort(almost sold out), Royal Empire, Rome (small amount), Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and Assorted Thirds. (We still have 4 more varieties to pick!)

We're temporarily sold out of honey from hives located on our farm. We expect to have more later in the season.

Lots of frozen unbaked pies and crisps made with our apples. They are nice to have in your freezer in case unexpected company drops by.

Time to get ready for what looks to be a beautiful week-end......

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Oct 18, 2014

Apple varieties today: Macoun, Shizuka, Baldwin, Golden Delicious, Royal Empire, Liberty, Jonathan, Redcort, Red Delicious....Please note some popular earlier varieties are sold out due to small crop. More varieties to be harvested soon.

Limited amount remaining of Pressing #3 Grampa Tony's non-pasteurized Cider...may be sold out soon...

Cider Donuts...frozen unbaked pies and crisps made with our apples...Our own PUMPKINS are looking great this year due to sunny conditions this summer.

Hope to see you at the farm,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Oct 08, 2014

Hope you can take some time to come out to the farm. It's a beautiful time of the year to be outside with the fresh air, clouds, trees, flowers, birds singing and ... and ... and ....

We're open for Sales Thursday and Friday 11 - 6, Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5. Open Columbus Day 11 - 6.

This Saturday and Sunday (October 11 and 12) during our regular sales hours, we will be having a sale of ceramic tiles with designs created by local artist Nancy Masters. Nancy presented several shows of her artwork here in the past and customers have been asking if her work would be available again. She has agreed to release some of her Internet sales inventory of tiles for this special occasion. The tiles represent over 20 of her designs and may be seen on her website www.nancymasters.com. These tiles were very popular in the past and we are fortunate that Nancy is making them available at this time. They are priced at $21.95 plus tax. Payment may be made by cash, MasterCard, Visa or Discover.

As part of our participation in the Forty Days for Life campaign, we are collecting gently worn or new maternity and baby clothing which will be donated to Birthright. These items will help women who are experiencing difficult pregnancies due to economic or social issues. Cash donations cannot be accepted.

Apple varieties available now are Macoun, Gala, Redcort, Royal Empire, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Jonathan, Macintosh, Spartan, and Assorted Thirds.

We're making Press #2 of Grampa Tony's cider. Please limit your purchase to 2 gallons. Why? Our crop this year is much smaller than last year. We want to be able to have more customers able to buy some.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Oct 03, 2014

We will start selling Grampa Tony's non-pasteurized cider tomorrow, Saturday, October 4. 17 varieties of apples were pressed to make it. Apples available: Macoun, Gala, Redcort, Roxbury Russet, Cortland, Macintosh, Spartan, Jonathan, Golden Supreme and Assorted Thirds.

Hours for Sales: Th and FRI 11 - 6, Sat and Sun 11 - 5. Not open Mon, Tues, or Wed.

We may be sold out of frozen unbaked pies before the week-end is over but we have a good supply of frozen unbaked apple crisps in Party, Family and Mini sizes.

Gotta go, harvest time is on warp speed!

Hope to see you soon at the farm,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

Sep 26, 2014

OK, Macoun fans, we have finally started picking your favorite apples. We'll have them for sale starting Saturday(tomorrow) so it won't be long now. Apple varieties available now are Honeycrisp Seconds, Gala, Liberty, Roxbury Russet, Redcort, Macintosh, Golden Supreme, Jonamac, Spartan and Assorted Thirds.

The weather seems to want to drift back into summertime but the colors on the trees say it's apple time. Not quite time for cider yet but please be patient as we are waiting for the proper varieties to start. We hope to be pressing by next week-end but we'll send you a cider bulletin when we have actually made Pressing #1.

Splashes of various shades of orange are decorating our farmstand as we harvest Rouge d'Etampes, Charisma, Tom Fox and Baby Bear pumpkins. Daisy gourds did very well this year in the dry conditions and have vibrant colors for decorating.

Cider donuts are freshly made on Saturdays and Sundays and sold frozen on Thursdays and Fridays. We've tried to stock up with enough of Luann's pies and crisps made with our apples to meet the demand.

Fudge? Oh, yes, we can't forget the fudge: Pumpkin, Chocolate and Chocolate Walnut. Things are tasting good around here......

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers

Sep 20, 2014

Starting today we will start selling these varieties: Cortland, Redcort, Liberty and Golden Supreme

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers

Sep 19, 2014

We're happy to be able to tell you that the beekeeper brought the first honey of the season from our on farm hives. It was extracted last Saturday on 9/13. The bees have had a smorgasbord of wildflowers to choose from in our fields, along the brook, among the rows of sunflowers and in the buckwheat patch planted just for them.

Apple varieties available this week are Honeycrisp, Gala, Macintosh, Gravenstein (almost sold out), Spartan, Jonamac, Redcort and Assorted Thirds. We may have a couple of more varieties ready to harvest as well after we go out today to taste test them.

We have more frozen unbaked apple pies and crisps after running out of them last week-end. Cider donuts are continuing to be extremely popular. They are sold freshly made on Saturdays and Sundays and sold frozen during the week. We ordered an extra pan of pumpkin fudge this week due to the demand for it.

Our pumpkin and gourd crop this year is looking really good. We'll have some on display Saturday to give you a glimpse of what will be available for your decorating ideas. From year to year the weather really influences our pumpkin yield and quality. This year's sunny and dry conditions have been just what they need for excellent color. The sunflowers in many different colors are beautiful as well. We will be selling simple bouquets starting on Saturday.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers

Sep 04, 2014

It's time to come back to the farm! We're opening for the season this Saturday, Sept. 6.

Hours for Sales this week-end will be Sat and Sun 11 - 5. Regular Hours for Sales will resume next week. You can find our calendar posted on the homepage of our website www.applebrookfarm.com

Do you have a Round Tuit? Our family does. It's a little black wrought iron circle with these words painted on it: "I'll do it as soon as I get around to it...Now is your chance - Now you can do it - Now at last you've got a ROUND TUIT"

If you like Honeycrisp apples, that's an important slogan to remember this year. Last season we harvested 118 bushels of Honeycrisp.
This year we will be lucky to pick 25! All of our trees are healthy and the apples are of good quality; however it's just an extremely light crop of that very popular variety after an extremely heavy year.
If you want some Honeycrisp, it's best to come this week-end or next week-end. We may have to limit the amount you can buy to be fair to all.
Please Note: This year's small Honeycrisp crop is a very unusual circumstance. We have approximately 185 Honeycrisp trees (85 of which have been planted or grafted since 2012 ). They are growing well.

On a more positive note, our Macouns and other varieties are developing nicely with a more normally sized crop.

In addition to Honeycrisp, apples available starting Saturday are Macintosh, Gravenstein, Jonamac, Spartan and Summer Rambeau(very tart).

We will have cider donuts, Luann's cookies and her apple crisps made with our apples. She'll be making apple pies later in the month.

Grampa Tony's cider will begin being pressed in October.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers

Aug 29, 2014

It's time to start thinking about coming out to the farm. The crop is somewhat smaller than last year's large crop but that's understandable after such a large crop in 2013. Nature has a way of adjusting things.

We plan to open for sales on Saturday, Sept. 6. Hours for Sales will be Thursdays and Fridays 11 - 6, Saturdays and Sundays 11 - 5. We'll be closed Mon., Tues., and Wed. Our calendar is at the top of the homepage on our website www.applebrookfarm.com

In addition to our farm phone message (860 654 1590) we will be using Facebook to let you know which varieties are available daily. Facebook posts are linked to the homepage of our website where you can see the Facebook photos and info without having to be signed on to Facebook. You can contact us by email (applebrookfarm@cox.net) as well.

The pumpkin crop this year is looking very good. Lots of Rouge d'Etampes, Baby Bears, Charisma, Daisy Gourds and other specialty varieties. Pumpkins like sunny and dry weather and we have had plenty of that.

Our cider donuts will continue being made by the folks at Donut Dip in West Springfield. We have been providing donut holes in large quantities to businesses who have Customer Appreciation Days or Special Events during the fall. You might consider passing along that info if someone where you work needs ideas for refreshments.

Luann will be making frozen unbaked crisps made with our apples (pies later in the month). We'll also be stocking her cookies for a tasty treat.

Grampa Tony's cider will start to be pressed a little later this year. We expect to start during the first week of October.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska,
Growers

Mar 26, 2014

We are happy to tell you that our farm has been chosen as a location for nesting boxes to help rebuild local populations of the American Kestrel. Also called "sparrow hawks," kestrels are the smallest falcons in North America. Their population has been in steep decline in Connecticut over the last 30 years. They are very colorful, intense predators who feed primarily on small rodents and insects.

When approached by Tom Sayers, who founded the Northeast Connecticut Kestrel Project in 2009, we quickly agreed to participate. We immediately realized that helping the kestrels will also help our farm. How would that be? We have damage to the roots and bark of our apple trees due to gnawing by mice, and two types of voles. The kestrels would help to control those animals. The kestrels will also feed on insects, as do the large amount of other bird species who live in the orchard.

Our farm fits the siting criteria for the kestrel project by having over 20 acres of open space and many opportunities for the birds to perch in the 1,450 apple trees. So far, three boxes have been erected at a height of 14 feet in various parts of the orchard.

Male kestrels return from their wintering grounds in the southern states to our area first, usually in late March, to scout for a nesting site. The females follow two to four weeks later. Egg-laying usually begins in mid to late April with the young hatching approximately 30 days after that.

American kestrels do not build nests but instead look for existing holes in old trees or buildings in which to lay their eggs. Researchers have learned that they will utilize appropriately sized nest boxes as a substitute for natural nest sites. There are 75 nesting boxes presently established as part of this project in the north central Connecticut area. If you have questions please email us applebrookfarm@cox.net or go to http://www.nectkestrels.com.

 

 
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