Archive for the ‘On the Farm’ Category

Tart cherries are tasty!

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

The Wacky Weather of 2012: Straight talk from the farmer about the fruits & vegetables at Rennhack Orchards Market this year

Friday, June 15th, 2012

     The weather to date in 2012 has been anything but normal.  We had an extremely mild winter, and summer-like temperatures for a third of the month of March, causing fruit trees to bloom a month early.  The twenty freezing events in late March and April left most of Michigan, as well as the eastern US, with record low fruit crop potential for 2012.  News reports have been bleak, and many consumers don’t know whether they will be able to find fruit this summer and fall.  While we have been severely affected by the weather this spring, we will have most of our fruits available at our market this summer, although there will not be abundant quantities of many fruits.

     On our farm, we battled the spring frosts wiwth everything we had at our disposal.  We have several large frost fans in some of our Honeycrisp orchards.  We burned firewood several nights in combination with the frost fans to try to add heat to prevent damage to the flower buds.  We also sprayed micronutrients and seaweed extract on the trees to try to help the hardiness of the buds.  A number of our friends were praying for us.  After all is said and done, this is what we will have available at the market this year (as far as we can tell on June 15).

Sweet cherries:  We have some sweet cherries that survived the spring.  If we don’t get cracking rains, we should have sweet cherries available from June 15 until July 1, and maybe into the week of July 4th.  All of our earliest and latest varieties of sweet cherries froze, so the season will be short.

Tart cherries:  We will have Montmorency cherries at the market from late June until early July.  Balaton will be available in early July, in limited quantities.

Plums:  A few varieties made it through.  Plums will be available periodically, in very limited quantities, beginning in mid-July.  (Apricots froze out completely).

Peaches:  We lost the total crop in two of our three orchards of peaches, including most late-season varieties.  Many of our Flamin’ Fury, Bellaire, Red Haven, Starfire, Beaumont, and Harrow Beauty, as well as nectarines, survived in one of our orchards.  We expect to have peaches at the market from mid-July through mid-August, and nectarines from mid-July through late August.

Apples:  Although we lost several varieties of apples, we expect to have adequate supplies of SweeTango(R), Honeycrisp, Gala, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Earligold, Ginger Gold, Mutsu and Zestar! to meet demand at the market.  We lost some other varieties entirely, including McIntosh and Red Delicious, but we will try to get some from other growers in Oceana County to have at our market to meet your needs.  We expect to have some apples available at the market through the entire fall season, but will not have as many varieties as we usually do.      

We’re Weathering the Weather

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Apples in Abundance

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

If you are looking for a great apple, look no further!  Dave grows an amazing number of apple varieties for the market.  My favorite?  SweeTango(R) is so flavorful, crisp, and juicy that it is hard to beat!  It’s not only a great fresh apple, but also adds a special note to salads and makes wonderful apple crisp and pie.  If you haven’t tried SweeTango(R) apples yet, you owe it to your taste buds to give them a try!  We hope to have them for another month or so (depending upon demand).

Just visit Rennhack Orchards Market from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (we’re open through Dec. 30) and you can try an apple that is new to you!  Just inside the front doors (to your left) is a nice long shelf covered with apple varieties to sample.  From old favorites like Cortland, to newer varieties like Honeycrisp(TM) and SweeTango(R), from A (Ambrosia) to Z (Zestar!), there is sure to be a variety that suits you!   And remember those out-of-town friends and relatives who would love to receive a taste of Oceana County from you–we ship apples as well as gift baskets!  Happy munching!

Like Red Delicious? Try Blondee!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

If you are a fan of Red Delicious (it’s hard for me to believe, but there are actually some people who claim that they like them), try a Blondee–this early golden-skinned apple has the kind of sweet flavor that a Red Delicious apple should have.  Other apples to try, if Red Delicious is something you like, are Gala (very sweet and in season now), SweeTango(R) apples (lots of sugars, but also plenty of acids, for a great flavor combination), and Honeycrisp(TM) (just about the opposite of the texture of Red Delicious, with a very thin skin and  a wonderfully crisp and juicy texture).  Coming soon (by Thursday), Cortland is another great variety, with pure white flesh and good flavor.  With so many wonderful apple varieties that can be used for fresh eating AND cooking, it is hard for me to recommend Red Delicious (which is not recommended for any kind of cooking).  Expand your horizons:  try a different apple this season!  (And if you are one of the fans of Red Delicious, I’m sorry.  Views expressed in this blog belong to my taste buds!)

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