September 30, 2011
September 22, 2011
September 15, 2011
September 09, 2011
September 01, 2011

October 27, 2011
October 20. 2011
October 12, 2011
October 06, 2011

November 21, 2011
November 17, 2011
November 15, 2011
November 10, 2011

December 30, 2011
December 16, 2011
December 09, 2011
December 01, 2011

January 26, 2012
January 18, 2012
January 12, 2012
January 05, 2012

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

 

 

January 26, 2012

Yup, Sunday, the 29th, at 5 PM is when we are closing for the season.  If you want cider donuts, please order them(indicate which day) as we are trying to have things come out even at the end.  You can order cookies for Saturday or Sunday.   We have a nice selection of apples still available, plus the last pressing of Grampa Tony's (non pasteurized cider) was made yesterday.  Over half of this pressing has been ordered so we will send out a cider bulletin when we are close to running out. 

The Bolga baskets make nice presents for all occasions.......These unusual and well made containers become part of the present!  One idea is to fill them with baby items or household essentials for shower presents.  Knitters love these baskets to hold their projects.  The "person who has everything" probably doesn't have one of these!

Due to many questions about our off season work in the orchard, we are planning to start writing Notes from the Farm, a journal of what we are doing and what natural events are occurring on the farm between Feb 15 and harvest time.  Right now we are thinking of putting the Notes in a box on our homepage in addition to sending them to you.  We'll send an email announcing the start of this way of reporting what is happening off season with your apples while we are taking good care of them for you.

One again thank you for coming again and again to the farm, many of you for many years...........
Tom and Sharon Muska, Growers and Cider Pressers

January 18, 2012

Plenty of clocks are out there keeping track of time for us.  Grandfather clocks, cuckoo clocks,  alarm clocks, wall clocks, Patek Philippe watches, sundials and many other mechanical devices let us know that time is passing and we are getting ready to "shift gears" to quote one of our customers.

We'll be closing for the season on Sunday, Jan. 29 at 5:00.  Heads up, cider fans!  If you want to have any cider, it is important to order for this week-end or next week-end.  That way you can be sure of getting some of Grampa Tony's cider, rather than going away empty handed.  Just send us a short email (or call us at 860 654 1590) and we will put you on our old fashioned hand written order list. 

Apple varieties available this week are Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Winesap, Empire, Redcort, Cortland, Red Delicious and Assorted Thirds.

Will your Valentine be wanting an apple pie?  Luann is making items for us; however we don't have ESP so if you want some of her pies, crisps or cookies it's best to order ahead.

Speaking of time, once again we are thankful that you all took so much of your time to come out to the farm.

We really aren't on the way to anywhere and we know you make special trips here to buy what our farm produces.

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

January 12, 2012

Don't you feel good when you finally make a decision after hemming and hawing over the pros and cons?  Well, we have made a decision to Close for the Season on Sunday, January 29 at 5 PM. Now you have decisions you might need to make.  For instance, "Do I order (pies, crisps, cider, cookies, cider donuts,) ahead or take my chances?" How about, "I could go out to the farm this week-end but maybe I should wait until next week-end?" or "Should I buy extra cider to freeze or not?" 

Apple varieties available are Fuji, Cameo, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Redcort, Empire, Cortland, Yellow Newton(last box), Winesap, Red Delicious and Assorted Thirds.

We made Press #15 of Grampa Tony's cider (not pasteurized)  yesterday out of fifteen varieties.  There's one more pressing to be made to finish this season.  Don't worry,  careful cold storage and selection of cider apples maintains the  quality level you expect.

We have been very pleased with the amount of Bolga baskets which have been sold this year.  People have bought them as housewarming gifts, containers for baby items, holders for magazines and knitting projects, impulse "I like it!" presents for themselves....the list goes on and on. If you are up on the latest home décor news, you know that Tangerine Tango has been chosen as the Color of the Year for 2012.  We have some baskets with orange weaving which could provide a splash of this bright color to keep your home up to date.  

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

January 05, 2012

Can you believe this weather?   Hope it continues for the forseeable future!  We are planning to be open for the next few weeks, so you still have time to stock up on fresh apples, Grampa Tony's cider, cider donuts and Luann's cookies and frozen baked goods. Apple varieties available now are Cameo, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Redcort, Jonagold, Empire, Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Red Delicious. Heirloom varieties are Winesap and Yellow Newton.

Is it a good idea to order items this close to closing?  Yes, it is as we carry a small amount of Luann's items and cider donuts at this time of year.  Ordering cider is important, especially if you want to purchase extra cider to freeze.

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

PS We are continuing to take orders for 40 lb amounts of Assorted Thirds priced at $32.00.  3 days' notice please.....
 

 

December 30, 2011

Are you making some resolutions for 2012?  In case you are thinking about resolving to eat more fruit, we have crisp and tasty apples here at the farm just waiting for you.  By growing varieties that are harvested late in the year such as Fuji, Cameo, Braeburn and Granny Smith, you can be sure that eating our apples will be crunchy  as well as nutritious.  Resolving to stay calmer during traffic jams?  Take an apple along to munch on rather than grinding your teeth! Resolving to entertain more simply?  Forget all those high calorie desserts and keep Luann's crisps made with our apples in your freezer for unexpected company. 

Apple varieties available in addition to the ones mentioned above are Jonagold, Liberty(last box), Winesap, Yellow Newton, Cortland, Redcort, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Assorted Thirds.  We are once again offering a special price on Assorted Thirds.  You can buy 40 lbs for $32.00.  Please order at least three days in advance.

We will have freshly made cider donuts on Saturday, the 31st; however we will need to sell frozen donuts on Sunday, Jan. 1 as the bakery where we have our cider donuts made will be closed on that one day. 

We pressed our 13th batch of Grampa Tony's cider this week.  It has 17 varieties of apples and is retaining its excellent, complex flavor.  Sorry that we ran out before Christmas but we were overwhelmed with cider customers. 

So what are our resolutions for 2012?  One major one is to take the best possible care of our apple trees so that they produce the best possible crop for you to enjoy.

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

December 16, 2011

Over the river and through the woods
To Applebrook Farm we go….
The car knows the way
Should get there *today
Crisp apples are there we know…..
Cider and pies, cookies and fudge
Baskets from Ghana as well
Christmas time is coming soon
That’s all we have to tell

*See online calendar

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

December 09, 2011

A tisket, a tasket, come to see our baskets.  While you're at the farm this weekend for the Nancy Masters Second Chance Art Sale of ceramic tiles, prints and cards, you can see the beautiful collection of larger, round Bolga baskets which we received this week.  They were sent as a substitute for the smaller, oval baskets we had ordered and are we glad that they were!  Actually works of art, the baskets are woven of elephant grass dyed in many colors.  They would make wonderful gifts, priced at $35.00.  We have sold many of the smaller, oval baskets but have some available priced at $25.00. 

Our apple varieties continue to stay crisp and tasty.  Tom is making Press #11 of Grampa Tony's (non pasteurized) cider today.  Cider continues to taste great due to the large variety of apples included in each batch.
Is it time to think about ordering for holiday entertaining?  It certainly is............order form is on our website www.applebrookfarm.com.

We know you're busy so that's all for now.

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

December 01, 2011

It's time for your yearly "Yes" update.  To make things easier the answer to every question is "yes."  Here goes...

Is the orchard a quiet and peaceful place at this time of year? 
Could you take a walk there during hours that we are open?
Do we still have 17 varieties of crisp apples available?
Are they listed in the PS of this message?
Is the Nancy Masters "Second Chance" art sale on Sat and Sun Dec 10 and 11? 
Can you buy tiles, prints and cards made from her original paintings at the sale? 
Are cider donuts sold freshly made on Sat and Sun and sold frozen on Th and Fri?  
Is it time to start thinking about order pies or crisps for the holidays?   
Did we just get a new order of chocolate and chocolate walnut fudge?
Are we selling fragrant firewood cut in our orchard?
Are we making press #10 of Grampa Tony's cider (not pasteurized)  tomorrow? 
Can you freeze cider for enjoying later?  
Can you taste lots of our farm foods this week-end? 
Are the Bolga baskets selling well?  
Are we starting to sell 40 lbs. of Assorted Thirds for $32.00? 
Do you have to order that quantity ahead? 
Will we be open throughout December and into January?

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

PS. Are these the varieties you have available for sale: Macoun, Cameo, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Gala, Redcort, Liberty, Jonagold, Empire, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Red Delicious. Heirloom varieties are Winesap, Stayman and Yellow Newton?  

November 21, 2011

This morning we were watching a little woodpecker making a terrific racket in the tree near the farmstand.  He or she seemed to be reverse rappelling up the tree, hopping and pecking as he/she went.  It made us think of how we must sound to you, sending yet another email update about our hours for Thanksgiving week.  We are doing it because our customers keep telling us that they still haven't caught up with the time they lost during the power outage and can't believe it's so close to Thanksgiving.  So here goes...peck, peck, peck....We will be open today, Tues. and Wed. 11 - 6.  Not open Thanksgiving and Friday.  Re-opening for sales Saturday. 

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving,
Tom and Sharon

November 17, 2011

It's time to get ready for Thanksgiving!  This holiday is such a wonderful time to stop to consider what we have and what we have to give.  This year, especially, things like heat and light and helpful neighbors and down to earth solutions to widespread problems we all shared come to mind. 

Due to our nice crop this year we still have these varieties available in crispy condition: Macoun, Cameo, Fuji, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Gala, Redcort, Liberty, Jonagold, Empire, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Cortland, and Red Delicious. Heirloom varieties are Winesap, Northern Spy, Baldwin, Roxbury Russet and Yellow Newton.

Our fragrant apple firewood was cut in the orchard January - March 2011.  We have started selling it packaged in bags which contain at least 18 lbs. at $5.00 per bag. 

The Bolga baskets are selling very well.  We expect a new shipment early next week. 

Hours for Thanksgiving week are Monday through Wednesday 11 - 6.... then not open Thanksgiving or Friday, Nov. 25.  We'll reopen for sales on Saturday, Nov. 26.  Just check our online calendar at www.applebrookfarm.com

We have a good supply of Luann's apple pies and crisps for your entertaining needs; however it's always best to order to make sure. These are especially good to have on hand for unexpected company. 

Good news for fudge fans....We just received a new shipment of chocolate and chocolate walnut fudge.  Yes, pumpkin fudge is missing from those choices as the season for making it is over.

Our season, however isn't over.  We are anticipating being open until mid January.

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

November 15, 2011

Lots of news that can't wait until our usual Thursday update.  So here goes........We picked Granny Smith apples, our final variety on November 11-12.  This year we harvested 1,466 wooden boxes of apples which weigh approximately 42 lbs. each.  Of course not all of those apples were saleable.  We sorted out apples which were tiny or huge, apples that had sections eaten by birds, apples with deer teeth marks on them, apples with splits and rot due to the hot weather in July combined with the excessive rain during the tropical storm....you get the idea.  Our crop was sold directly to you at the farmstand (nothing sold wholesale),  made into pies and crisps, pressed into cider, stirred into the batter for cider donuts and donated to charities.  Apples were beautiful and plentiful this season.  The challenges of farming are more than offset by the enthusiastic responses of you, our customers, as you come back again and again to enjoy what the trees produce. 

New for November.......Bolga baskets made of elephant grass by farmers in Ghana have arrived.  They are beautiful and sturdy. This is one way we can participate in helping farmers from another part of the world to supplement their income.  See www.krugersbaskets.com for their story and photos. 

We are picking up an order of honey today so we should have a good supply for the coming weeks.  Luann is starting to make cinnamon swirl bread which will be sold on Saturdays and Sundays.  Sorry that we keep running out of molasses cookies, but we'll have her make more each week.

We realize people are still skittish about having frozen items ahead due to the recent power outage; however it's a good idea to order Thanksgiving items as soon as you can.  We'll have extra pies and crisps on hand, but we can't be sure to have what you want unless you order.  You can place orders through Monday, Nov. 21.

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

November 10, 2011

Hope this message finds you setting things to rights after Mother Nature's latest tantrum. Things are slowly getting back to what passes for normal here at the farm.  We had some damage to our little trees from the heavy snowfall and branches on larger trees were broken; however all in all it wasn't what it could have been.  Because we didn't open the doors of our cold storage rooms until our power came back on, the low temperatures were maintained and our apples stayed crisp. 

We currently have available Macoun, Cameo, Fuji, Braeburn, Gala, Redcort, Liberty, Jonagold, Empire, Golden Delicious, Macintosh, Cortland, and Red Delicious. Heirloom varieties are Winesap, Northern Spy, Baldwin, Roxbury Russet and Yellow Newton.  We should be picking Granny Smith soon.

We're up to Cider Pressing #7 which contains 20 varieties of apples!  Just a reminder, our cider is not pasteurized.

It doesn't seem possible but Thanksgiving is coming soon.  We have posted our order form on the homepage of our website www.applebrookfarm.com  While you are there you can see the Calendar which shows extra sales hours for Thanksgiving week. Of course you can always send an email directly to have us save things for you. It's a good idea to order cider or cider donuts or even cookies, as we have many people who want these treats for their holiday dinners.  We don't want you to be disappointed.

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

October 27, 2011

OK Fuji, Cameo, Braeburn and Winesap fans, this is your week!  We'll have them available beginning Saturday.  It's cold enough now to do sampling so we will be set up for you to try these varieties as well as anything else you would like.   Earlier in the week we were thinking of writing about how great it was to pick Cameos in the bright blue October weather and now the weather has taken a turn in a very different direction.  People are asking how long we will be open.  Our crop size varies a lot from year to year.  This year we plan to be open until at least until Christmas and probably beyond.

As most of you know we go to great lengths to keep our apples cold and crispy to maintain their quality.  How do we do that?  The temperature in our cold storage rooms is set in the low 30's and the apples are kept in cold storage as much as possible (returned to cold storage at the end of each sales day.)

Some of our gardener friends have been interested in the pomace ( apple skins, shreds of apple etc.  left over after the cider has been squeezed out).  They want to use it as an amendment to their garden soil.  If you are interested, please contact us.

Cider donuts, Luann's pies, crisps and cookies, fudge....the beat goes on..............

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

October 20, 2011

Are you a fan of heirloom apples?  These apples gain their status from being known for over 100 years and for their unique qualities.  We grow several kinds, some of which we obtained by grafting shoots from other's trees to our rootstock.  This weekend we will have Baldwin, Northern Spy, Stayman, Yellow Newton and Roxbury Russet for sale.  Sharp eyed customers will remember seeing a sign on the Roxbury Russets last weekend which said "last box;" however we found 8 boxes in one of our cold storage rooms hidden behind another variety!  Of course this is prime apple season for all the other varieties that we have: Macoun, Jonagold, Gala, Liberty, Empire, Macintosh, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Redcort, Cortland, Spartan and Jonamac. 

We're on Pressing #5 of Grampa Tony's cider(not pasteurized). #5 has 17 varieties in it!

We've restocked with Luann's pies and apple crisps so we shouldn't run out this week-end (well, maybe by Sunday afternoon). 

People are beginning to ask how long we will be open this year.  As many of you know, we sell just our own crop and that amount can vary greatly from year to year.  We think we will be open until the end of the year due to the nice crop we have.  Do you know that we have 6 more varieties still on the trees left to pick? 

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

PS The parking lot worked well for the Art Show so please feel free to use it again.

October 12, 2011

Leaves are turning on the maple trees in our swamp and fall is finally beginning to look like itself.  The Art Show of Nancy Masters' original paintings, prints, cards and tiles will be this coming Friday (11 - 6), Saturday and Sunday (11 - 5) during our regular sales hours.

What does that mean to you?  Not having ESP we can't know if we will sell out of something you might want.  Please plan to come as early as you can during this week-end.  If we sell out of cider we'll put a message on our farm info line (860 654 1590) and  tell you via Facebook and Twitter.  We also will have one entrance and one exit plus the field parking lot to make for safer traffic flow.   

In addition to the 17 varieties of apples we currently have on the display tables, we still have 8 more varieties of apples to pick!  We pressed 200 gallons of cider this morning using 18 varieties of apples.  Luann is making extra Family apple crisps this week as we keep selling out of them!  Of course, it goes without saying, we will order extra cider donuts.  

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

October 06, 2011

With picking and sorting and pressing and meeting old friend customers and new people who have discovered us, this time of year keeps us busy as the bees who help us so much in the spring!  We are happy to be working hard to harvest the apples you tell us you enjoy so much.  Please note that we will be open Columbus Day from  11-6.  Our first two presses of Grampa Tony's cider completely sold out and we are pressing more this morning.  Press # 3 will have 16 varieties of apples in it and is not pasteurized.

The apples just keep coming: Macoun, Honeycrisp, Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Redcort, Cortland, Red Delicious, Jonagold.......more heirloom apples by Saturday

Pies, Crisps, Cider donuts, Cookies and Fudge....Things are tasting good around here!

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

September 30, 2011

We finally have started picking the Macouns!  Thanks for your patience in waiting for this very popular apple.  How do we know when our apples are ripe?  We use historical data from previous years, but due to extremely different weather conditions from year to year there are other ways to check ripeness.  One key indicator is how brown the seeds are when you cut an apple open.  The darker brown they are, the riper the apple.  Of course, if they start to drop from the tree we know they are ready as they are picking themselves! 

In addition to Macoun, new varieties available Saturday will be Jonagold and Red Delicious.  The first pressing of cider with 16 varieties got good reviews.  We are pressing the second one today. 

Please check our online calendar www.applebrookfarm.com for hours for sales.  Don't forget the Nancy Masters Art Show is starting in 14 days.  New this year will be ceramic tiles of her original artwork.  They are absolutely beautiful and would make wonderful gifts.

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

September 22, 2011

Yes, walking through the orchard this year is such a difference from last year.  The trees look like they are all decorated for Christmas, hung with apples in different shades of red, orangey/pink, yellow and green.  We are finding lots of empty nests in the trees as we harvest. Lots of things are growing that we didn't plant in the fields, including wild flowers and wild grapes.

Yes, it will be raining this week-end so we have plans to set up in the pavilion so that you can select your apples in comfort

Yes, we are getting closer to having cider this week-end.  The mill was power washed with 170 degree water yesterday and all the machinery is sparkling.  We'll send a cider bulletin letting you know when Grampa Tony's cider will be ready for you.  Apple varieties for sale are Honeycrisp, Gala, Ginger Gold, Jonathan, Redcort, Liberty, Macintosh, Cortland, Jonamac and Spartan.  Heirloom apples are Gravenstein, Summer Rambeau and Greening.

Yes, Luann has made lots of extra cookies as we sold out so early last week-end.  We will have her apple crisps in Party, Family and Mini sizes. Just a note about apples pies: The first two batches seemed much smaller to us than in past years.  The apples are weighed for each pie; however the apples were pressed down resulting in a pie that looks smaller, but really has the same amount of apples as in previous years.  That has been corrected and the new batches will be the same as in previous years.

Yes,  we have just received a delivery of pumpkin, chocolate and chocolate walnut fudge!

Yes, we are open THU and FRI 11 - 6, SAT and Sun 11 - 5,  closed MON, TUE and WED.

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

September 15, 2011

First of all we want to thank all the people who came to the farm on opening week-end.  Many of you told us how happy you are for us that our crop is plentiful and of such good quality.  It certainly will be a pleasure to harvest all of our varieties for you to enjoy.   Apples available this week are Honeycrisp, Gala, Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Redcort and Jonamac, plus heirloom varieties Gravenstein and Summer Rambeau.  We'll have a good selection of Assorted Thirds as well. 

Maybe the weather will turn cool enough for you to start thinking about making applesauce with our Assorted Thirds or taking home one of Luann's frozen pies or crisps made with our apples.

Cookie fans were happy to see the assortment of chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and molasses in the cupboard. Luann is making extra cookies for us this week

Hours for Sales are Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5,  Thursday and Friday 11 - 6.  We'll be closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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

September 09, 2011

It's time to stop preparing to open for the season on Saturday, the 10th, and just do it.  Eeeek!  That's tomorrow!   Our crop is maturing nicely despite all of Mother Nature's temper tantrums during this growing season.  Hours for Sales this year are Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5,  Thursday and Friday 11 - 6.  We'll be closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Apple varieties available for sale now are Honeycrisp, Gala, Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Redcort and Jonamac, plus heirloom varieties Gravenstein and Summer Rambeau.  We'll have a good selection of Assorted Thirds as well. 

Cider donuts will be freshly made on Saturdays and Sundays and sold frozen on Thursdays and Fridays.  Luann is making her frozen baked goods made with our apples: Pies, and Crisps in Party, Family and mini sizes.  Sorry no cookies until next week.

Hope to see you soon at the farm,
Tom and Sharon Muska
, Growers and Cider Pressers (later in the season)

September 01, 2011

We're very thankful to report that the orchard received minimal damage from the tropical storm.  Just a few mature trees were blown over.  They'll get pulled into place and should be fine.  Not many apples came down which is a real blessing.  Our crop is plentiful this year so you should be able to enjoy your favorites!  

We are planning to open for the season on Saturday, September 10.  Hours for Sales have changed a little this year.  We will be open Thursday and Friday 11 - 6 , Saturday and Sunday 11 - 5.  We will be closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Grampa Tony's cider (not pasteurized) will be pressed starting later in September; but we will have our very popular cider donuts made from the first day on.  Luann will be making frozen pies and crisps made with our apples as well as her delicious cookies.

Hope to see you at the farm soon,
Tom and Sharon Muska
, Growers and Cider Pressers (later in September) 

PS Please save some time October 14 - 16 for  Nancy Masters Art Show at the farm.

 

 

 
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