Applebrook Farm
Sep 02, 2008
Sep 11, 2008
Sep 19, 2008
Sep 26, 2008
Oct 03, 2008
Oct 10, 2008
Oct 24, 2008
Oct 31, 2008
Nov 14, 2008
Nov 23, 2008
Nov 28, 2008
Dec 06, 2008
Dec 09, 2008
Dec 12, 2008
Dec 18, 2008
Dec 29. 2008
Jan 08, 2009
Apr 05, 2009

 

April 05, 2009

It's exactly four months today from Tom's emergency spleen surgery.  Many of you have been concerned for him so we'd like you to know that he is doing well.  He has regained almost all of the weight he lost.  This Wednesday he will have chemotherapy treatment #5.  A recent PET scan indicated that many of the lymphoma cells have been destroyed and that the remaining cells had not spread anywhere else in his body.

We have had several people come to help us with pruning our apple trees.  We are very grateful for their assistance, as pruning is a big, critical task which needs to be done every spring. 

Many people have volunteered to help us in other ways.  After the trees are pruned there are lots of branches and cuttings left on the ground.  We gather them into piles which are then picked up and taken to our brush collection area where they are eventually burned.  If you would like to volunteer some time to move the branches into piles, you can contact us.  The activity involves bending and walking.  After a short 2 minute training session you would be fully qualified for this project!

We'll be sending an email invitation for you to walk through the orchard during blossom time.  That should be during the first week of May.  It is the most fragrant and beautiful time of the year here on the farm.  It does the soul good to see the beauty of the flowers and contemplate how good those flowers will taste after they develop into apples we can crunch at harvest time.

Thanks again for your care and concern,
Tom and Sharon

January 8, 2009

Well, it finally is time to close for this season.  We'll say "Sweet Dreams" to the trees and watch them rest and recharge for the coming growing season. 

We're open this Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5 and then our official Hours for Sales will be over.  Things never come out even at the end, so it's worth calling or emailing if you need something just to see if we have it.

We do have a good supply of local honey.  During a little treasure hunt we conducted in the coolers, we found some Baldwin apples hidden behind some other apples.  They are in good shape, so if you are interested in them, please stop by this week-end or contact us.  We also have Braeburn, Empire, Winesap, Granny Smith, Red Delicious and our ever popular Assorted Thirds.

Luann is making items for your orders and some extra cookies.

Tom's health is improving day by day.  He will be starting chemotherapy soon and is looking forward to regaining his strength so he can return to caring for the orchard.

It's been quite a season...........
Until we see you again, stay safe and healthy,
Tom and Sharon Muska

PS  Buffy just walked into the office and reminded us to tell you about a new feature coming soon on our website www.applebrookfarm.com.  She and Aidan will be featured in a Q and A section which will start by Feb. 1.  Apparently they have discussed this on Aidan's visits to the farm and will be consulting with Bob, our web designer, to put farm info on our homepage.  What they come up with will be a surprise to us, so stay tuned.  It should be interesting...............

December 29, 2008

Just a quick note to let you know that Hours for Sales for the next two weeks will be Saturday and Sunday 11-5.  We will not be open Mon - Fri.

As we will be "Closing for the Season" on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 5PM, it's a good idea to order cookies, bread and frozen baked goods for the upcoming months.  We will be using our powers of ESP to try to figure out what you might want to purchase, but it will help a great deal if you order ahead.  If we guess wrong and don't have enough items, you will risk disappointment.  If we have too much on hand..............see the dilemma?

Apples available now are Fuji, Braeburn, Winesap, Granny Smith, Empire and Assorted Thirds.  We are still accepting orders for our 40 lb. boxes of Assorted Thirds @ $30.00.

It's the time of year for looking backwards and forwards all during the same week.  We look back on a wonderful growing season, successful emergency surgery for Tom who is slowly but surely gaining strength and weight...and forward to a New Year hopefully filled with apple blossoms, a bountiful crop and gallons of Grampa Tony's cider to be pressed.

Our heartfelt wishes for a very Happy and Healthy New Year for you and your families,
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

December 18, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas......Hours for sales for the coming week are tomorrow Fri 11-6, Sat and Sun 11-5, Mon and Tues(12/22 and 12/23) 11-6,  Wed(Christmas Eve) 11- 4. We are not open Christmas Day and Dec. 26.  We will reopen for regular sales hours on Sat. Dec. 27. Too much information?  Just look at our calendar at www.applebrookfarm.com.

Deadline for Christmas baked goods orders is tomorrow, Friday the 19th. To avoid disappointment it's always a good idea to order frozen baked goods at any time of the year.  We will continue to have baked goods and cookies after Christmas until we close for the season (now tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 4).

Apple varieties available now are Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Winesap, Empire, Jonathan(we found some behind something else in the cooler!) and Red Delicious.... plus Assorted Thirds.  Orders for the 40 lb. box of Assorted Thirds @$30.00 are still being accepted. We are paking this "box" in 4 10 lb. bags for ease of carrying.

We have cider donuts in the freezer just in case the weather is too slippery to go pick them up on Saturday.

Our beekeeper is supposed to be bringing honey today.  Guess where he and his wife were?  On a beekeeping safari to Africa! 

We have bags of apple crisp mix available if you need a "little something"  to add to a gift basket or to use to stuff a stocking.  They make nice office gifts.

So, what's the Tom part of this update?  He had the stitches taken out yesterday.  Dr. Tandon, his surgeon, is very pleased with his progress.  He's eating up a storm regaining the weight he lost due to his renegade spleen.  We continue to thank you all for the get well messages of encouragement that still keep coming every day.  They keep our spirits up during this season which is so focused on love and peace.

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

December 12, 2008

Tom came home yesterday from the hospital!  He is doing well, even climbing stairs with relative ease.  The source of his spleen enlargement has been found.  The pathology report showed B cell lymphoma cells in his spleen with no involvement of other organs.  The doctors say this condition is entirely curable and with a preventive course of chemotherapy beginning sometime in January all should be well.  Thank you all for your numerous get well messages....quite overwhelming to know how many people care.

We will be open for sales Fridays 11 - 6, Saturdays and Sundays 11 - 5 for awhile.  We have 12 varieties of apples available, Luann's frozen baked goods and cider donuts.  Please remember to order baked goods by Dec. 19 if you want items for Christmas.  Actually, ordering for any time is always a good idea.  You can see our online order form for reference or ordering at www.applebrookfarm.com.

Just a note: Luann will be at Kloter Farms in Ellington tomorrow (Sat., Dec. 13) selling some of her delicious baked goods during Kloter's Open House.  Not sure of what she will have but it's worth stopping by. 

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

December 09, 2008

First things first.....Tom is making good progress recovering from his surgery.  He will be in the hospital for awhile as the cause of his spleen enlargement is still being determined.  He loves the email messages and I thank you all for them.

On the farm side of our life, things are pretty normal.  Of course there is no more cider for this season but we have a good supply of eating apples, frozen baked goods, the insanely popular cookies and cider donuts.

Each year at the end of the season we sell 40 lb. boxes of Thirds for $30.00.  That is a really good deal but we have never really promoted them.  Please see the notice on our website www.applebrookfarm.com.  This year, under the circumstances, we want to sell more apples this way, so please pass the word to anyone you think might be interested.  Sharing boxes is an option if you can't use the whole amount yourself.

We seem to have lost track of time and you may have as well.  Please order frozen baked goods for the holidays as soon as you can.  Deadline for Christmas orders has been moved back to Dec. 19.

We have changed our hours to Fri 11 - 6, Sat and Sun 11 - 5, staying closed Mon-Thurs.  If you know anyone who usually comes during the week, please remind them of these changes, especially someone who doesn't have internet access to see the calendar on our site.  Thanks in advance for being "press agents" for us.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Sharon Muska

December 6, 2008

This is one update I wish I didn't have to write.  As many of you know Tom has looked very sick all fall.  Thursday he was taken by ambulance to St. Francis hospital in Hartford and Friday, after a CT scan and many other tests, he had his "massively enlarged" spleen removed.  He tolerated the surgery well. Tests are being done to determine why this happened to his spleen.  Infection is the main suspect right now.  If you want to send him a message via email, please do so and we will print them out and take them to the hospital.

This event,of course, will require changes to our farm schedule for the rest of this year.  We won't be able to press anymore cider as Tom is the chief operator of the press.  We made some cider this past Tuesday but there won't be anymore for this season after that is sold.  Cider will be sold on a first come basis.

We are changing our Hours for Sales for December beginning next week.  So that we can help Tom in his recovery, starting on the 12th we will be open only Fridays 11 - 6, Saturdays and Sundays 11 - 5 until Christmas Eve. We will be closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Please check the calendar on our home page at www.applebrookfarm.com for updated hours for sales for Christmas week. 

Apples available now are Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Empire, Liberty, Jonagold, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Redcort and Assorted Thirds.  Heirloom apples are Winesap and Baldwin.

Please see our online form for holiday orders. We have plenty of apples for baked goods.  Luann will be making pumpkin and mince pies but these will be by special order.

We'll still be picking up cider donuts freshly made on Saturdays and Sundays unless bad weather is occurring.  If we don't go to get fresh donuts, we will put that info on our phone message at 654-1590.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Sharon Muska

 

November 28, 2008

We are temporarily sold out of Grampa Tony's cider and will have more on Wednesday, Dec. 3.

Each year as we wend our way through the harvest season we are asked how long we will be open.  Well, after Thanksgiving we take stock of what apples we have left and make our best guess.  This year we had a good sized crop and have sold a large portion of it already. It looks like we will be closing on Christmas Eve or the following Sunday, Dec. 28.  Bad weather may intervene, so this is just an estimated closing date.

We apologize for the skimpy selection of apples which we had on display just before Thanksgiving.  We just couldn't keep up with sorting apples for the many people who came to the farm for their holiday fixings.  We'll have a full display of apples when we reopen tomorrow, Saturday, the 29th.

This is the last week-end for Gala and Liberty apples, possibly Macintosh as well.  We do, however, have a good supply of Fuji, Empire, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Redcort, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Baldwin and Winesap. 

Cider fans please take note:  We anticipate pressing only 300 more gallons this season due to the tremendous demand for our apples.  We can only devote part of our crop to cider, so please stop by to purchase your cider as soon as you can (more available Dec. 3).  Our cider is not pasteurized.

We're sold out of our local honey but will have more soon.  We'll let you know when it is delivered.

In December our regular hours for sales continue: Wed - Fri 11 - 6, Sat and Sun 11 - 5 .  We are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

It's a good idea to think about what baked goods (including cookies for Santa) that you might need for the holidays.  You can order through our website www.applebrookfarm.com.  Deadline for Christmas orders is Sunday, Dec. 21. 

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

November 23, 2008

Just a quick note to tell you that we are sold out of cider.  We will have more available on Tuesday in the early afternoon.  We have special hours for sales this week. We're open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11-6, closed on Thanksgiving Day and Friday Nov. 28.  We'll reopen for regular hours on Saturday, the 29th.

The deadline for pie orders has passed...We usually have a few extra on hand but this year we had so many orders that we can only fill the ones we have already.

We still have a large variety of apples for sale: Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Liberty, Empire, Redcort, Golden and Red Delicious, Golden Russet, Winesap, Roxbury Russet and Baldwin(Thirds).

If there's an upside to this bone chilling cold, just think that there aren't mosquitoes lurking whenever you go outside....who wants to go outside?  Have a great Thanksgiving...........

Tom and Sharon, Growers and Cider Pressers

November 14, 2008

At this time of year we are thinking of all the things we can be thankful for.  It has been a rough year in many ways for everyone; however it's always good to stop to reflect on what's important.

For us the list includes many thoughts of our customers so here goes:  Thanks for coming to the farm, for coming back week after week, for coming in the rain, for being patient waiting for your favorite apple to be ripen because we won't pick it early, for your loyalty in buying our apples in preference to other places you could go, for trying new varieties, for trying antique varieties, for sending your friends, for finding us on the web, for traveling long or short distances to buy our farm products, for reassembling each year at harvest time after we have been closed for several months, for encouraging us when the weather makes farming difficult......We could go on and on but you get the picture!

We finally are picking Granny Smith, our last variety to harvest!  In addition we have Macoun, Fuji, Cameo, Braeburn, Gala, Liberty, Jonagold, Redcort, Empire, Macintosh, Red and Golden Delicious and our antique varieties Baldwin, Northern Spy, Winesap, Stayman, Golden and Roxbury Russet.

We're pressing Grampa Tony's cider which is attracting new customers who want non-pasteurized cider.  Do you need to order cider for Thanksgiving?  Not a bad idea.......

Please avoid disappointment and order frozen baked goods for Thanksgiving as soon as you can.

Luann will be making pumpkin, mince and pecan in addition to apple pies.  The deadline for pie orders is Friday, Nov. 21.  After that items will be sold on a first come basis.  You can order from our website at www.applebrookfarm.com.

We also have a calendar on the site as we are open extra hours during Thanksgiving week.  Please note that we are not open Thanksgiving Day or Friday, Nov. 28.

The heron just flew over the farm...always a beautiful sight. 

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

October 31, 2008

Trick or treat!  Seems like we're hearing those words a lot this week! Just to let you know... we're not trying to trick you when we move to our indoor salesroom on cold, windy or wet days and then back outside when the weather in nicer.  You can shop in comfort regardless of what Mother Nature is doing. 

Speaking of tricks, we'd like you to know that even though other things have been downsized, a pound of apples is still a full 16 ounces here! 

We are still waiting to harvest two varieties of apples.  They are one of the sweetest (Fuji) and one of the most tart (Granny Smith).  Macouns are still tasty and we also have Braeburn, Liberty, Redcort, Empire, Gala, Cortland, Macintosh, Jonagold, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious plus the heirloom apples mentioned below.

This weekend there's a treat in store for anyone who likes old apple varieties.  We'll be having an informal....OK everything here is pretty informal...tasting of several antique apples.  You can try Baldwin, Northern Spy, Stayman, Winesap, Yellow Newton, Roxbury Russet and Golden Russet.  These apples have been known for over 100 years and are not easily found in modern orchards.  We became involved with them when we decided to enrich our cider by adding their distinctive taste. 

So, take a break and come out to the farm.....

Hope to see you soon,
Tom and Sharon, Growers and Cider Pressers. 

October 24, 2008

It's time for the heirloom apples to shine in the spotlight.  These antique varieties have been known for over 100 years and are hard to find.  We became interested in them when we wanted to enrich our cider by adding their unique tastes. All of the heirloom trees we have were created when we grafted branches obtained from old trees in several orchards.This week-end we will begin selling Northern Spy, Baldwin, Roxbury Russet, Winesap and Golden Russet.

The shipping boxes have arrived so that you can send apples to friends and relatives in other parts of the country, giving them a taste treat.  Need a business thank you?  Think about sending apples for a healthy and welcome gift.

More and more people are asking for no sugar apple pies and crisps  These are made by special order. 

We began picking Braeburns this week.  Other varieties available now are Macoun, Gala, Liberty, Redcort, Jonagold, Empire, Cortland, Macintosh, Red Delicious and Golden Delicious. 

Just a reminder, we have a calendar on the home page of our website www.applebrookfarm.com.  Please consult that for hours for sales or you can always call us at 860 654-1590 for updated information.

We've just made Pressing #4 of Grampa Tony's cider which contains 20 varieties of apples!  Our cider is not pasteurized. 

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

October 10, 2008

This week's update is being written very late in the week.  We apologize but we have been very busy taking care of lots of customers who have been coming out to the farm and taking up all of our time!  They keep buying apples, cider, cider donuts, fudge, honey, pumpkins...........We're just about able to keep with their wants and wishes.

Just a reminder, the Art Show is this Sat and Sun from 11 - 5 and next week-end the 18th and 19th.  We are displaying the original art work of Nancy Masters.  Cards and prints (framed and unframed) will be for sale. Stop by to see truly "local" and top quality art work.

We usually are closed on Mondays but we will be open on Monday, the 13th, Columbus Day from 11 - 6.

Luann has made her first batch of Chunky Apple Slices for this season.  They are canned in quart jars and make a great gift--starting with yourself!

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

PS Apple varieties available now are Macoun, Gala, Liberty, Empire, Redcort, Macontosh, Cortland, Red Delicious...more varieties soon....

October 03, 2008

OK, Cider Fans, we made our first pressing of the season today!

There are 14 varieties of apples squeezed in it to make a deep, rich flavor. 

New apple varieties harvested this week are Empire and Red Delicious.  In addition we have Macoun, Honeycrisp, Gala, Liberty, Redcort, Wolf River, Macintosh and Cortland. The harvest is just about at the midpoint with half of the varieties left to pick.

We know that sometimes the amount of varieties that we have on display can be overwhelming.  Please know that we are glad to cut sample slices of anything you might want to try. 

Our pumpkin crop has developed very well this year.  If you are looking for large pumpkins to carve, we have a category called "Biggies" grown from Big Rock seed.  They are priced at $7.00.  In addition we have smaller Tom Fox orange pumpkins and lots of Valenciano white ones.  Another interesting variety is our Cinderella pumpkins.  They are a soft, almost melon shade...nice for a more subtle look.  Although, come to think of it, there's nothing really subtle about Halloween decorations!

Just a reminder that the Art Show will be Sat & Sun October 11-12 and 18-19. Hours are 11 - 5. Stop by to see the original art work of Nancy Masters.  In addition to the paintings, prints and cards of her work will be available for sale. 

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

September 26, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring, three days of rain are predicted.  What's a person to do?  In case you don't know, when it rains we move our apple display into our winter salesroom so you can shop comfortably.  Apple varieties available now are Macoun, Honeycrisp, Gala, Liberty, Ginger Gold, Wolf River, Redcort, Macintosh, Jonathan and Cortland. 

We have scheduled a tasting event for this week-end which will go on as planned.  You can try Luann's baked goods(including some new items), fudge, cider donuts, honey or any variety of apple.  That could make dodging the raindrops more appealing during this soggy time.

We have been besieged with requests about when we will start pressing cider.  Please be patient....looks like around October 3 will be the first pressing day.

Forgot when we are open? Wed - Fri 11-6, Sat and Sun 11-5.  Closed Mondays and Tuesdays, however we will be open on Columbus Day which is a special Monday for us. We have a calendar on our website (www.applebrookfarm.com) which has that info. 

So, stay dry, stop by, try pie.........

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

September 19, 2008

Sometimes life here at the farm during the harvest season is like a three ring circus.  We're picking, sorting, welcoming back customers, seeing how the kids have grown since last winter, meeting new people.....you get the picture.

This week varieties will come tumbling out of the orchard like those clowns that keep climbing out of the little cars haphazardly careening around the edges of the center ring.  Varieties available now are Honeycrisp, Gala, Ginger Gold, Wolf River, Redcort, Macintosh and Cortland. We have many more varieties to harvest. Of course the first question is when will the Macouns be ready?  We have been taste testing them and they're almost here......There will be a Macoun bulletin as soon as they are available.

We started picking Cortlands this week and will have Liberty for the week-end.

Re cider:  We plan to start pressing cider around October 1.

Hours for Sales: Wed - Fri 11-6, Sat & Sun 11-5, closed Mon and Tues.

Next week-end  is our "It's All About Taste" event. We will be tasting just about everything we sell, so plan to come out to try different apple varieties, samples of Luann's baked goods (including breads), cider donuts, fudge...................

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

September 11, 2008

The big news this week is that we began picking Honeycrisp today.  They are absolutely beautiful, full of flavor and juicy!  Other apple varieties available are Gala, Macintosh, Ginger Gold, Jonamac and Gravenstein.   It's been a wonderful growing season so far....no blossoms freezing, great pollination by our rented bees, no hail, plentiful raindrops and brilliant sunny days. 

One question we keep hearing is "When will you have Gramps Tony's cider?"  We need to have at least 12 varieties to even begin to think about pressing, so there are a few weeks to go before we can make the full flavored cider that people love. 

We are open for sales Wed - Fri 11 - 6, Sat & Sun 11 - 5 and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  We will be open on Columbus Day.  Have you had a chance to visit our website www.applebrookfarm.com?  There's a Save the Date section which might have events of interest to you.  The first big event is our "It's All About Taste" Days which will be Sept. 27 and 28.  We'll be sampling lots of our specialty foods (cider donuts, fudge, Luann's pies and crisps). Also, we'll be trying out a few new items which we may consider stocking if enough people like them. 

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

September 2, 2008

Walking through the orchard wondering at the reappearance of ripening apples all around us, we know it's time for you to come back to the farm! So far we have had a good growing season with plenty of rain. It looks like a good crop for this year.  We're opening for the season this Saturday, Sept. 6.  Hours for sales are Mon - Fri 11 - 6, Sat & Sun 11 - 5....closed Mondays and Tuesdays (open Columbus Day). To start the season we'll have Ginger Gold, Gala, Jonamac, Summer Rambeau, Macintosh and Gravenstein with other varieties not far behind. 

We're just beginning to pick our late season blueberries--those little anti-oxidants which are so tasty and good for you.

Cider donuts are freshly made on Saturdays and Sundays and sold frozen during the week.  When will we begin pressing Grampa Tony's cider?  It looks like the last week of September at the earliest.  Luann is making apple pies and crisps which we'll be selling frozen unbaked as usual. 

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

 

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