January 28, 2007
January 18,2007
January 12, 2007
December 30, 2006
December 20, 2006
December 14, 2006
December 2, 2006
November 17,2006
November 10, 2006
November 3, 2006
October 27, 2006
October 19, 2006
October 12, 2006
October 4, 2006
September 28,2006
September 21. 2006
September 13, 2006
September 8, 2006
August 31, 2006
August 20, 2006
August 4, 2006

January 28,2007

Well, it's time for this season's final harvest email message. We will be closing for sales on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 5 PM.  We will be pressing one last batch of Grampa Tony's cider this week.  Recent comments by longtime customers have called this winter's cider "vintage" and "gourmet" so hopefully you can stop by for some.

We are making decisions about how many pies for Luann to make for our closing week-end so please let us know if you want any.  Also, if you need any baked applesauce please contact us so that she can make enough.

Sunday afternoon, if history repeats itself, will get very busy as people stock up. 

Apple varieties available now are Braeburn, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Winesap, Empire, Yellow Newton, Macintosh, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious.  We've sold a lot of 40 pound boxes of Assorted Thirds at $25.00 per box (.62 per lb. is a great price).  Please contact us by email or phone 654-1590 if you want one, as we need to pack them up ahead to meet the demand.

Now that the cold weather is finally here, we will be getting out into the orchard to begin our pruning.  Just a thought, it's less than four months until blossom time!

We are very grateful for your continued support of our family farm and wish the best to you and yours ........

Tom and Sharon Muska,
Growers and Cider Pressers

 

January 18, 2007

So much for talk of warm winter weather!  It's finally time for serious comfort food: Luann's baked applesauce stirred into hot cereal or spooned over ice cream, mini apple crisps filling the house with their sweet aromas, hot cider sipped by the fireplace....you get the idea!

Finally have time to make your own applesauce?  We have a special on Assorted Thirds...a 40 lb. box for $25.00.  Think that sounds like a lot of apples?  Maybe you could split one with friends.  These are crisp, tangy Thirds, not inferior quality.

One of our customers has described our winter cider as "awesome." We will be pressing again tomorrow and there will be at least 14 varieties in the blend.

Apple varieties available now are: Fuji, Braeburn, Winesap, Granny Smith, Empire, Jonagold, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Cortland and Yellow Newton.

We still expect to close on Feb. 4 so please order frozen pies or apple crisps to avoid disappointment. 

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

 

January 12, 2007

Have you been wondering if the warm weather has affected next year's crop?  We have put off pruning, as the trees really need cold temperatures to go truly dormant, but we should be able to begin pruning by February 1.

Tempus fugit as the Romans would say. We expect to close for the season on Sunday, Feb. 4, but there are plenty of reasons to come out to the farm for the next four weeks.  Hours for sales are Fri 12 - 6, Sat & Sun 11 - 5.  At other times you can purchase cider, frozen cider donuts and baked goods from the barn freezer on a self-serve basis.

We suspect that people are recovering from the holidays and might be interested in apple pies and crisps once again.  If you would like to stock your freezer for the time after we are closed, please order now so Luann can make enough items.

We still have a good selection of apples: Fuji, Braeburn, Winesap, Granny Smith, Liberty, Empire, Jonagold, Macintosh, Cortland, Yellow Newton Golden Delicious and Red Delicious.

Cider donuts are being picked up fresh on Saturdays and sold frozen the rest of the time.  Cider is being pressed on a regular basis.  It's not too early to think about freezing some.

This fall we started selling larger quantities of Thirds to people who are using them in their juice making machines, making applesauce or sharing them with another family for snack apples. The 40 lb. cardboard boxes are priced at $25.00.  That's a considerable savings from the usual .80 per lb. price.  Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested.  We need some notice to prepare a box...usually two days is sufficient.

Lots of people have purchased the sturdy wooden apple boxes we have decided to sell; however there are some more if you are still getting organized for the new year.  They make excellent storage boxes for heavy items, although several people have bought them for decorative purposes.

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

 

December 30, 2006

When we originally started to compose this update we thought we would just be sending details of farm hours and products.  Sadly we want to inform you that Tom's mother, Irene Muska, died unexpectedly on Dec. 28. She was a big booster of the farm and was very helpful to us in many ways over the years.  Due to the week-end and holiday, her funeral will not be held until next Wednesday.

We will be open for sales Saturday and Sunday from 11 - 5 and on Monday, New Year's Day, from 12 - 6.  Beginning Jan 2 we will be open on Fridays 12 - 6, Saturdays and Sundays 11 -5.  Cider will be sold self-serve from our sales barn daily.  We expect to press cider several more times before we close for the season.

Please call 654-1590 for updated apple variety info.  We have twelve varieties for sale as of this writing.

Luann will be making more baked applesauce soon. 

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

 

December 20, 2006

We overheard this comment at a holiday party some years ago: "I can't eat anything here...these things are full of fat and sugar!" 

It might be a good idea to place a bowl of apples somewhere on the buffet table to accommodate guests who might appreciate them.  Yes, we know most people will be enjoying the special holiday treats (We certainly will!); however, it's just a thought...........

Hours for sales until Christmas are Thursday & Friday  12 - 6, Saturday and Christmas Eve 11 - 5.  We will be getting fresh cider donuts on Saturday, but will be selling only frozen donuts on Sunday.

We'll be closed Christmas and Dec. 26, reopening for regular hours on Wednesday, Dec. 27. 

Need a last minute gift?  We have a supply of Farms in North Central Connecticut 2007 calendars for sale @ $7.50 each.  We're on the September page.  The calendars were created by the North Central Conservation District and sponsored by the State of CT Dept of Agriculture.

Nancy Masters' cards and prints continue to be sold at the farm.  We have just two copies of D'Arcy's book, Fabric Leftovers, available.

One of our best gifts this year has been all of you loyal and enthusiastic customers.  May your days be merry and bright as you celebrate this joyous time of year.

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

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December 14, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot more like Christmas here at the farm. When you need to shop but want peace and quiet, stop by and we can help with holiday needs.

Luann has made a new batch of baked applesauce.  These attractive jars filled delicious chunky applesauce made with our tasty apples make terrific gifts.  They are sold only here at the farm.  Teachers, co-workers, neighbors, "foodies", elderly relatives who would love something homemade (not necessarily made by you!), stocking stuffers....If your gift list still has names on it, this might just be the thing.

To avoid disappointment, order holiday pies and crisps as soon as you can.  After a customer requested them, Luann is now making gluten free apple crisps. They are made by special order only.

Everyone's food choices can get a little out of whack during the holidays so remember to eat apples as a snack to balance all the other heavy duty foods you may be enjoying.  We have Fuji, Braeburn, Winesap, Jonagold, Granny Smith, Empire, Yellow Newton, Macintosh, Jonathan, Redcort, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious for you to enjoy.  Make sure to keep them in the refrigerator to preserve their crunch.

We continue to press Grampa Tony's cider.  It's not too early to think about finding freezer space so that you can tuck away some cider to enjoy later in the New Year.  We'll be pressing through January, but making smaller batches that we are pressing now.

We're open for regular hours in December (M-F 12 - 6, S & S 11 - 5, Closed Monday the 18th) and closed on Christmas Day and December 26.  We'll resume regular hours on Wednesday, Dec. 27.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers
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December 2, 2006

This coming week we will not be open for sales on Tuesday, Dec. 5 so that we can attend the annual meeting of the CT Pomological Society.  This meeting has guest speakers who teach us a lot about improving the quality of our apple crop.  We will be closed as usual on Monday.  Just a reminder, hours for sales are Tues. - Fri.  12 - 6, Sat and Sun 11 - 5.

We're taking orders for holiday baked goods now.  If you need to bring something to a party at work, think of our apple crisps or cider donuts.  They are very popular and unique.

Apple varieties available now are Fuji, Braeburn, Winesap, Empire, Jonagold, Liberty, Redcort,Granny Smith, Yellow Newton, Macintosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Jonathan. 

We are temporarily sold out of Luann's baked applesauce, but she will be making more as soon as she can.  This is an attractive and affordable gift, priced at $6.50 per quart.  It's a good idea to order this applesauce ahead if you intend to get some for gifts, as each batch sells out very quickly. 

We've seen lots of evergreen trees riding by on the tops of vehicles.  It's beginning to look a little bit like Christmas....

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

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November 17,2006

For Thanksgiving week, we will be open extra hours for your convenience: Monday, Nov. 20, 12 - 6, Tuesday 12 - 6, Wednesday  9 AM - 8 PM.  We'll be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday, Nov. 24 to celebrate with our family. Regular hours will resume on Saturday, Nov. 25.

Info about Nancy Masters return visit to the farm plus a reminder about D'Arcy's new book and craft sample sale is in the PS below. 

We're thankful for your support and encouragement every time you come out to the farm; however we want to make it official at this special time of year.  Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

We're grateful for a full apple crop this season so that we can have a wide assortment for you at this time of year.  We have Fuji, Braeburn, Baldwin, Granny Smith, Winesap, Stayman(a sweeter Winesap cousin), Empire, Jonagold, Liberty, Redcort, Macintosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Yellow Newton and Jonathan(We found some in the cooler hidden behind some other apples!),

There's still time to order items you might need for Thanksgiving.  The deadline for pies is Sunday but we'll keep a few extra on hand in case you need something.

Hope to see you to thank you in person,
Tom and Sharon, Growers and Cider Pressers

PS Nancy Masters will have her cards and prints for sale at the farm Nov. 18- Nov. 22.  She will be there on Sat. Nov. 18 and Sun. Nov. 19 from 12 - 3 to take special orders and answer questions.  Master Card payments will be accepted at those times only.  You may pay by check or cash at other times. 

D'Arcy will be autographing copies of her new book, Fabric Leftovers.  In addition to her book, crafts photographed for the book will be for sale.    
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November 10 ,2006

As many of you know, our daughter D'Arcy Jean Milne has written a book which has been published by C&T Publishing.  Titled "Fabric Leftovers," the book was created to showcase what can be done with leftover fabric from sewing and craft projects. A major section deals with organizing the piles of fabric many people have saved but don't know what to do with!  D'Arcy will be hosting a series of informal "Leftover Sundays" beginning this Sunday, Nov. 12 from 11-5.  Craft project samples which are photographed in the book, as well as kits for projects and other craft items, plus the book(signed by the author) will be for sale.  Please pass the word to anyone you think who might be interested.  Her book makes a great gift for the "crafty" person on your list.  Other "Leftover Sundays" will be on Nov. 19 and Dec. 3.

Many customers have purchased her items in the past so she's looking forward to seeing old and new friends. 

The calendar says it's getting close to Thanksgiving, although the weather is saying spring to us.  Please order items for Thanksgiving by Nov. 19.  It's a good idea to order anything you need, such as donuts and cider in addition to baked goods.

We took a good look in our cold storage rooms and were pleased to see that we should have enough crispy apples to stay open until Christmas, maybe longer.  

We're off to the barn to sort apples...

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

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November 3 ,2006

This week-end looks chilly again so we will be setting up our indoor farmstand with apples displayed outside.  Apple varieties available now are Granny Smith (picked yesterday and today), Fuji, Braeburn, Redcort, Golden Russet, Roxbury Russet, Northern Spy, Empire, Jonagold, Macintosh, Cortland, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. 

We will not be open for sales this coming Wednesday, Nov. 8 just for that day so we can attend a special event.

Orders for Thanksgiving are being taken now.  Cutoff date for orders is Nov. 19.  You can check out our Thanksgiving order form on our website www.applebrookfarm.com

Our older daughter D'arcy has written a book titled Fabric Leftovers which has been published by C&T Publishing.  Please see our website for details about the book and opportunities for people to visit with D'Arcy to pick up tips about using fabric in craft projects.  Many of our customers have purchased her creations over the years.  Her first Fabric Leftovers Sunday will be November 12. 

Have you noticed the bittersweet which has climbed over branches everywhere along the roadside?  It provides a punch of orange color in the early November landscape. 

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers 
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October 27,2006

Well, it was bound to happen.  After all the good weather we have had on week-ends, heavy rain is predicted for Saturday and high winds for Sunday.  Fear not, we have made provisions for times just like this!  We plan to set up the apple display in our indoor salesroom so you can select apples in comfort.  We'll have cider and frozen baked goods plus donuts inside as well.  Don't be put off if all the doors are closed in our sales barn, we will be open!

We picked Fujis this week.  If you like Galas, try some Fujis.  They are sweet, crisp and juicy.  We only have Granny Smith left on the trees.  They are hardy souls, always the last to be harvested.

Thanksgiving is early this year, on Nov. 23.  We will start taking orders for Thanksgiving items on Nov. 1. 

Do you know that you can make a quick dish of applesauce right in your microwave?  Just peel and cut any mix of apples into smallish chunks.  Add a little liquid (of course we use cider but any juice or even water will do).  Cook on high until soft and then mash with a potato masher or even a fork for chunky sauce.  You could give it a whirl in a food processor or blender if you like a finer texture.  

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon
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October 19,2006

This week we have news of a heron who has been walking through the orchard entertaining everyone with his/her gliding foot(claw?) steps.  It just seems to like to stroll around, feeding on whatever hapless insects or frogs or whatever hops into its path.  We need a little calm entertainment after the business of the Art Show week-ends.  We were really pleased with the number of people who came to see and purchase Nancy's artwork. Many people also purchased our apples and cider.

New apple varieties available this week are Winesap, Golden Delicious, Northern Spy, Golden Russet and Baldwin(very limited supply). Alas, we're selling the last box of Honeycrisp apples;however there are Macouns and other varieties(did we mention Jonagold last week?) that can still excite your taste buds.

This coming week we will have to press cider on Wednesday, instead of Tuesday.  Please check our phone info line 654-1590 to see if cider is available as we may sell out before Wednesday.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers
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October 12, 2006

First things first...We were totally overwhelmed with customers due to the Art Show and the tremendous Columbus Day week-end weather.  If you were unable to purchase cider we are very sorry.  We sold 196 gallons in three days, something that we never anticipated. We pressed more cider on Tuesday and may be able to make a small "catch up" press on Friday to try to make sure we don't run out again.

The second part of the Art Show is scheduled for this coming Saturday and Sunday (14 and 15) from 9 AM - 5 PM.  Nancy had a terrific experience, with many people buying her artwork.  She sold several original paintings. There will be good supply of prints and notecards for sale this week-end. 

Apple varieties available now are Honeycrisp, Macoun, Gala, Liberty, Empire, Jonagold, Roxbury Russet, Redcort, Macintosh, Cortland, Jonathan, Red Delicious.  We may have more varieties by the coming week-end, so please check the phone message at 654-1590 for current information. 

Fall foliage is beginning to really dress up the farm vistas.  Plan to spend some time wherever you are just marveling at the show nature is presenting all around us. 

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

PS  Thanks for using the parking lot during the first Art Show week-end.  It made things much safer for everyone. 
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October 4, 2006

You're the first to know...We finally pressed cider today!  It will be available for sale starting tomorrow, Thursday, October 5.  Thanks for your patience during our difficulties in getting the machinery to run properly. 

Don't forget that this week-end (and next week-end) is the Art Show of Nancy Master's work.  We received great publicity both about the art show and in the Food Day section of the Journal Inquirer.  We are creating a large parking lot in the field just adjacent to the farmstand to accommodate everyone who may be coming to the farm this weekend.  Please use the field for parking just for the Art Show days....everything will be back to what passes for normal after that.

Have you noticed how colorful the vines are this year as they turn from green to brilliant reds and oranges?  With all the rain the vines really grew and grew and grew, leaving us with splashes of color everywhere.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska,
Growers and (at last) Cider Pressers
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September 28, 2006

Things are happening here on fast forward this year!  We are picking as fast as we can to keep up with the early ripening of all the apples. Due to the summertime rain and then sunny conditions, the quality is very good.  This week we're adding Empire, Jonathan and Red Delicious.  Paulared are sold out.  We also have Macoun, Honeycrisp, Redcort, Liberty, Roxbury Russet, Gala, Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Cortland and Jonamac.

Cider lovers may have noticed that we seem to be avoiding the news about when we will begin pressing.  We had a problem with the electric motor that powers the press and it has been sent to the repair shop.  We're not trying to put off pressing to make you miserable--honest!  The only consolation is that the cider season will last a little longer if we start later!  Also, we will have more apples in the first blend which will make the cider taste even better!

Just a reminder about the Art Show coming up on October 7,8,9 and Oct. 14,15. We don't know how many people to expect, so you might want to order frozen baked goods ahead if you need something for those times.  We are having Luann make extra items but you never know how much will sell during any given week. 

Hope to see you soon at the farm,
Tom and Sharon, Growers and Cider Pressers (as soon as we can be!)  

PS  Have you looked at our website, www.applebrookfarm.com?  We're still designing it, so suggestions are most welcome.
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September 21, 2006

The shipping boxes arrived yesterday so it's time to start thinking about who might enjoy a taste of the fall.  Sending our apples is a terrific gift to people in other parts of the country who can't get good apples in their stores. You can send 12 apples cradled in soft foam separate sections to insure that your apples arrive in perfect condition. We can send the apples out for you or you can purchase just the box and apples and send them yourself. 

We will be harvesting at least 4 more varieties in the next few days. We'll send a quick mini update as they are available.  Can you guess what varieties they are?  One is Roxbury Russet, an antique apple that is hard to find. 

For now, we have available Macoun, Honeycrisp, Gala, Redcort, Macintosh, Cortland, Gravenstein, Summer Rambeau, Paulared and Jonamac. 

If you think things are ripening early this year, you're right!  The taste is great so please do yourself a favor and find the time to come out to the farm.  Your taste buds will be glad you did! 

Hope to see you soon,
Tom and Sharon

PS We're having an Art Show featuring the original work of local artist Nancy Masters on October 7,8,9, and October 14,15 (rain or shine).  Paintings, prints and note cards will be available for sale. More details in a forthcoming email.
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September 13, 2006

The harvest just keeps rushing at us!  By this week-end we'll have Cortland, Spartan and a few Liberty apples.  In addition to those varieties, we have Honeycrisp, Gala, Ginger Gold, Gravenstein, Summer Rambeau, Macintosh, Jonamac and Paulared for sale.  Last week we forgot to include Assorted Thirds which are available as well. 

As in past years, we are selling fudge from the Pepper Candy Company located in Salem, MA. They make delicious chocolate, chocolate walnut and pumpkin fudge for us. 
Cider donuts are flying out of the sales barn as they always do!  Luann is making more pies and apple crisps as the freezer is almost empty.  One thing to remember about our baked goods....they are freshly made as needed with no preservatives.  If you need something for a special desert, please email or call 654-1590 and we can set it aside for you. 

Hours for sales are Tuesday - Friday 12 - 6, Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5. 
We are usually closed on Mondays but we'll be open on Columbus Day, Monday October 9. 

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

PS A big thank you to all who have been forwarding our emails to friends.
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Saturday September 16 update:
Just a quick note to let you know that we went out after supper to taste test the Macouns and some of them are ready to be picked.  We picked just three boxes which we will put out for sale on Sunday.  We'll pick gradually as they ripen and should have them from now on. We expect to press cider the week of Sept. 26, 

As we were picking several flocks of Canada geese passed by.....
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September 8, 2006

Well, it's time for regular hours for sales to start on Friday, the 8th. And not a moment too soon as we have picked 8 varieties of apples already! 

The apples have been ripening early this year but the taste and crunch are just as good as always.  We'll have Gala, Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Jonamac, Paulared and Redcort as well as two antique varieties Summer Rambeau(tart) and Gravenstein. 

We'll also begin our sales of cider donuts and Luann's frozen apple pies and apple crisps.

Hours for sales are Tuesday - Friday 12 - 6, Sat and Sun 11 - 5.  We're closed on Mondays except for Columbus Day and the Monday before Thanksgiving.

We're really grateful for such a good crop this year.......

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

P.S.
Just a quick additional note... We will have Honeycrisp apples available this week-end.  These apples have been extremely popular with our customers.  If you want some, please try to come as soon as you can.  Our crop is larger this year but they will sell out quickly.
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August 31, 2006

Labor Day week-end is upon us.  Don't you love a holiday that has no decorations, cards or presents to buy? It's truly a time to rest and recharge in advance of the wonderful fall days to come.

Our self-serve days continue as the harvest is getting into gear.  By this Saturday, we will have Macintosh and some Galas, as well as Ginger Gold and Paulared apples for sale. 

The blueberries are finally ready. We will be busy picking them today in advance of the rainy conditions predicted for the week-end. Blueberries, a delicious snack,  contain those valuable antioxidants which are so good for your health.

Regular hours start Friday, Sept. 8. 

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon
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August 20, 2006

It’s Time to Come Back to the Farm:  Opening for Self-Serve Saturday, Aug. 26.

During the two weeks of Self-Serve time, we will be open daily, selling apples and sunflowers.  Blueberries aren’t quite ready, but call us at 654-1590 for updated ripening info on apple varieties and blueberry progress.

Our regular hours for sales will begin Friday, Sept. 8.  We are very grateful that we have a fine crop this year.

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

PS  Cider donut sales will start Friday, Sept. 8.
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August 4, 2006

We have had a wonderful growing season this year due to the plentiful rain and sunny days. The beginning of the harvest season is still in the distance........ We are using our time getting things ready for the gathering of our luscious apple crop.

Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers
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