Archive for farmers market

Fire & Bears

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

On September 8, 2012 we had an incredible electrical storm, and the following two days there were high winds, which took whatever fires had been started on the 8th and kicked them up in to a handful of brush/forest fires. There was a bit of rain with the storm, but the next day was warm and dry and with the wind, many fires were started around the cities of Wenatchee and Cashmere, Washington. There is also a fire on a ridge above us, the First Creek Fire, which at the moment isn’t  a concern for us right now (except for our friends that live in that valley), but it has made for smokey conditions.

Another smokey day, some days better, some days worse

 

There’s a lot of people working to contain the fires and keep peoples houses from burning.

Thank you to all the firefighters!

Firefighting helicopter making its rounds from the lake to the fire

 

Our friends Liz and Eric at River Farm in Ellensburg lost their home in August to the Taylor Bridge fire. They’re hard working and resilient folks and will do alright despite their losses but still a tough go. Here’s a link for more info: help  

So a little smoke really isn’t too bad..

 

We’ve been having some bear activity here lately. When it gets as dry as it is in the wild lands our peaches, apples, pears and etc. must smell pretty good to a bear. So far we haven’t lost too much, some apples, Asian pears and grapes. Our current dog isn’t as interested in chasing the bears as Blaze was, not sure why… One of our tricks to dissuade the bear from sticking around is a motion sensor with a light and tape deck (in the plastic bag) to, hopefully, startle and move them along.

It’s effective in the area where it’s set up, limited to how much extension cord we have.

The bears only eat what’s ripe, we often find fruit still hanging on the tree with a bite taken out, usually not ripe enough.

I came across this recent bear feast :

Remnants of Yellow-jacket nest (in ground) dug up and the larvae eaten by bear, that’s some hardcore dining! Those are some fierce insects. It’s no wonder they want fruit.


This week we’ll have:

-Many more Tomatoes (Brandywine, Aunt Rubys German Green, San Marzano, Stupice, Cherokee Purple, Sungold, Matt’s Wild Currant)

-Friar Plums

-Fantasia Nectarines

-HoneyNectarCot Peaches

-Akane, Swiss Arlet, McIntosh, Tydeman Apples

-Hosui and Shinseiki Asian Pears

-Red Kalle (Clapp) Pears

See you Saturday.

Re: More Pie Cherries August 11, 2012

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit with tags , , , , , , , on August 10, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Please pardon the mess below, I wasn’t intending to publish what got published, well not what but when. Anyway…

Along with the sour cherries, we’ll have Peaches, Blenheim Apricots (last week for them), Santa Rosa Plums, and White Fleshed Nectarines. Also Green Beans (Romano) and Eggplants.

It’s been a hot week and things are moving right along, ripening wise that is. Tomatoes should be here soon along with the usual fruits and veggies.

See you Saturday.

First Seattle Market for 2012

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, whats fresh with tags , , , , on July 13, 2012 by Grouse Mt. Farm

We’ll be in Seattle on Saturday July 14th for our first farmers market of the season.

We’re looking forward to seeing our friends and customers and to spend a little time in the big city.

The fruit is just starting to ripen, a little bit later then “normal” but quite a bit earlier then last year, which was the latest we’ve ever had. We’ll be bringing sweet cherries, black and red currants, peas (snow, sugar snap, and shelly) and mulberries.

I’m pretty sure that we’ll have pie cherries next week.

We hope to see you then.

 

 

 

Walnuts – They’re here !

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

We will have walnuts at the University District Farmers Market in Seattle, this Saturday, October 22. These walnuts have quite a following, we have people asking about them all season. They are good tasting, easy to crack with a well filled nut and good sized. There is a limited quantity, so we recommend being at the market early. We will have more walnuts in the following weeks, some smaller ones and our bigger BIG  nut as well.

Walnuts on the tree, the cracking husk indicates a ripe nut

A couple of years ago we made a short video about part of what we do to harvest and process the walnuts. Here’s a link: http://youtu.be/arpGitU-S6o

When the husks on the nuts begin to crack is a sure sign that they’re ripe. In a vacuum the nuts would all fall from the tree as they ripen and we could pick them up minus the hull. But with squirrels and Stellar Jays getting the jump on them we have to shake the trees and gather them, husk and all before they all disappear. Once gathered the nuts need to be de-husked. With a nut whose husk has begun to crack the nut pops right out but since I shake the tree, not all the nuts are as ripe so those not need to be put aside for a few days before the husk will  release itself from the walnut. After husking the nuts are quite wet and need to be dried for three to four days in a food dehydrator. If they’re not dried fairly quickly, the nuts will mold inside. We’ve found that if we remove the husks and store the nuts, still wet, while waiting (more then a few days) to put them  in to the dryer they’ll mold. But storing for up to a couple of weeks in the husk they won’t mold. Once dried, then at last: ready to eat!

Walnut Exposed

Also this week we’ll have:

Nickajack, Prairie Spy, Gala, King David, Belle de Boskopp, Macoun (not many), and a few Coxs Orange Pippin Apples.

Hosui and Shinseiki Asian Pears,

Bosc and Abate Fetel European Pears,

Elephant Heart and Italian Prune Plums,

Hardy Kiwis,

Concord Grapes,

and O’Henry and Honey Nectar Cot Peaches (Last peaches of the season)

See you Saturday.

Belle de Boskoop Apples

Walnuts, not yet…

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

 

Everyone is waiting for the walnuts, but they won’t be ready until next week. With a shortened week due to rain, there isn’t enough time to pick, husk and dry the nuts by market time. Next week for (almost) sure.

Hardy Kiwi Fruit on the vine

We will have this week:

Hosui and Shinseiki Asian pears, Italian prune plums, Elephant Heart plums, the last of the Fantasia nectarines and Honey-Nectar-Cots, and new this week the O’Henry peaches, Abate Fetel European pears, (next week: Seckels and Boscs). And apples: Gala, Prairie Spy, Swiss Arlet, Jonathan, Nickajack, Coxs orange Pippin. We’ll have the little Kiwis again this week and next as well, a few green beans (Romano)

                                                        Shinseiki Asian Pear

Everything is a couple of weeks later then it was last year, which was five to seven days later then is or was usual, due to the late spring and cooler early summer weather. As a result everything is later then we’re accustomed  to. ( Fresh Peaches in mid October?!)

See you Saturday.

Fresh for Market – August 6, 2011

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic fruit, whats fresh with tags , , , , , , , on August 5, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Montmorency Sour Cherries

We’re finally having some real summer weather, not too hot but it is feeling like summer. We missed the market last week because the fruit wasn’t quite ripe. Usually this time of year all the cherries have been picked, but we’re right in the middle of cherry harvest now. Everything else is late as well, I’m hoping our late apples and pears have enough time to ripen before it gets too cold this fall. The reason everything is so late is that we had  a cold, wet spring and a cool summer here in the Northwest.

This week well have :

Van Sweet Cherries

Bing Sweet Cherries

Rainer Sweet Cherries

North Star Sour Cherries

Montmorency Sour Cherries

Springcrest Peaches

Mulberries

Red Currants

Shallots

Summer Squash

Harvesting Pie or Sour Cherries

Unlike sweet cherries, when we pick pie cherries we have to cut them off the tree. The sweet cherries stems come off the spur pretty easily, whereas if you pick a pie cherry that way the stem rips the spur off ( the spur is the tree bud on a branch where the flowers come out of and hence the fruit) and lose the potential for fruit to be there next season. And if you pull the cherry , often times the stem and pit will be left on the tree, which is fine if you’re going to eat the fruit right away, but it won’t store well. It takes much more time to harvest this way, but pretty much the only way we’ve figured out to pick them for so they’ll hold up for  fresh market. Most sour cherries are grown for processing so storage or appearance of the fruit is of little concern.

See you on Saturday.

 

 

 

First Market This Season- July 23, 2011

Posted in farmers market, Grouse Mt. Farm, organic farming, whats fresh with tags , , , , on July 22, 2011 by Grouse Mt. Farm

Mid Summer

We’re two weeks later then most years, but it looks like this weekend will be our first market at the University District Farmers Market (in Seattle) for this season. Its was a cold wet spring and a very cool summer so far, great living weather , but not so good for growing fruits and vegetables. Similar to last year, it rained quite a bit during blossom time which makes it difficult for the bees to get out and pollinate the flowers, so less fruit. And with it being so cool everything is ripening a couple weeks later then normal ( hard to tell what normal is any more, but later then what we’ve been accustomed to).

This week we’ll have Chelan cherries, raspberries, pluots (a cross between an apricot and plum, this particular cross resembles the cot more with some of a plums tartness) , Black currants, sugar snap and snow peas . We don’t have a lot of anything, so I recommend getting to the market early.