Wednesday, 25 October 2017

season's end

“i’m so glad i live in a world where there are octobers” 
anne of green gables.

me too anne! the colours are spectacular now
 and there are always leaves dancing in the wind. 


although we are picked out of apples, we are still open this weekend...
our last weekend of the season.   

the farm looks a little spookier in the late autumn…

 it is so fun to curate a little hallowe’en magic…

we have oodles of pumpkins for you.
i love how they all have their own personality....

our margo made this sweet little pumpkin. 
we were so excited to find a package of fangs while out shopping
we wore them all the way home! we definitely got our dollar’s worth!

you can still make a pie with us…
we have some spooky shapes to use on the pastry. 

we know a witch who rides her bike here every weekend.
yes... she’s a good witch!

we haven't had trick or treaters for quite a few years.
it is kind of sad that all the kids in our neighbourhood have grown up.
we will just have to wait for their babies to get a little older! 

happy trick or treating! 
scary hugs,

Friday, 20 October 2017

“autumn…the year’s last loveliest smile”
william cullen bryant 

oh hasn't this autumn been exceptionally lovely? 
and another gorgeous weekend ahead of us to savour. 

yes, we still have mutsu apples for you to pick.

our very last apple to harvest. and oh what a fabulous apple too! 
crisp and juicy with a complexity of flavours. 
mark says they taste better sliced…and shared.
mutsus are so versatile...perfect to use in a sweet or savoury dish.

you will notice some ‘freckles’ on some of  the apples. 
many look perfectly imperfect…
these are a cosmetic flaw and don’t affect the taste.
the wet spring and summer is the culprit.  

how cute is this heart shaped apple? 

apples pair so well with cheese.
these took only minutes to make…

made with our favourite seedy bread, grated old cheddar cheese, a few slices of apple, 
sprinkled with a handful of walnuts and tucked under a broiler.
 they were drizzled with a little honey, garnished and devoured while warm.
 an easy fall lunch with a side salad! 

i happened to still have lavender blooming in the garden, and loved that combination,
 but you could use fresh thyme or rosemary to garnish. 
i'm sure there must be a lovely wine or cider to pair with that too!

have you been down to the credit river here? it really is magical.
and of course you have to try our cider there. it really does taste like pure autumn!  


oh i cant think of a better place to be this weekend than the farm.
so much to delight in…
make an apple pie in the barn, pick a few apples, 
meander down to the river, sip some apple cider, 
roast a hot dog over the wood fire, pick out a pumpkin to carve,
smile with autumn all the way home. bliss. 

warm autumn hugs

Friday, 13 October 2017

delicious autumn

 “delicious autumn. my very soul is wedded to it, and if i were a bird 
i would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns!” george eliot.

delicious indeed! 
 how sweet are these apple rose cheesecakes?  
my sister sent me this recipe. you will find it at the end of the post.   
i have so loved to bake on these cooler, dreary days. 
i may be avoiding housework too. 

yes we still have apples for you to pick this weekend…

our mutsus are the most plentiful. 
oh these are such a fantastic apple! 
i love them as a snack with nuts and cheese and also to bake with.
 they store very well too!
 a perfect apple to share…on a first date perhaps? 
i did read somewhere that apple picking is on a list of
 favourite romantic first adventures. 
pick a few apples, meander down to the river,
 marvel at mother nature’s magic, share a cup of hot cider… 

the valley gets even more breath taking every day!

apple rose cheesecakes

this recipe makes 12 small or 6 large ish cakes
i treated myself to a mini cheesecake pan where the bottom is removable.
it was perfect for this! 
a silicone muffin pan would be wonderful too.

you will need:

for the crust
1/2 cup of brown sugar firmly packed
1 cup of quick cooking oats
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of chopped nuts ..walnuts, pecans, or almonds
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of cinnamon 
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter melted 

for the filling
9 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 
3 large cooking apples 
idared, mutsu, cortland, golden delicious, jonagold  
2 tablespoons of sugar 
juice of 2 lemons
icing sugar for dusting

heat oven to 350˚f
combine the dry ingredients for the crust and mix well.
 add the butter and combine thoroughly. 
divide the mixture evenly into the muffin pan.
 press down firmly to form a crust.
 bake for 10 minutes and cool on a rack. 

while the crusts are baking and cooling, make the filling…
whisk the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
 add the egg and vanilla. beat until combined. 
slice the apple in half lengthwise and core.
with a sharp knife or mandolin, slice the apple halves crosswise
 very very thinly into flexible slices
 that won't break when rolled up gently into a tube shape.
 i soaked the slices in lemon…it softened them a little and helped to delay browning. 
lay out 6 slices slightly overlapping, lengthwise. 
roll up to form the centre of the rose. 
this takes a little patience…sometimes i could only get 2 or 3 slices to roll together.
 i just added to them after they were in the pan. 
don’t worry…they will be beautiful!
make a rose centre for each cheesecake. 
evenly divide the cheese mixture over the crusts. 
place a rose centre in the middle of the cheese mixture.
 starting from the outside of the muffin cup tuck in more apple slices, 
peel side up in a concentric ring to meet with the centre, forming a rose shape. 
repeat for each cake. 

melt the butter and mix with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the juice from 1 lemon.
brush the apple slices with the mixture.
bake for 30 minutes. 
let cool for 1 hour in the pan before removing. 
to remove, gently push upward on the pan from the bottom.
if you have used a regular muffin tin, run a thin sharp knife
 around the edge and gently pry the cheesecakes out.  
serve at room temperature or chilled, dusted with icing sugar. 

 did you know that george eliot, author of the lovely quote at the beginning,
 is a pen name for mary anne evans? 
she used a male name so that her work would be taken seriously in the 1800s. 
 i believe she would love our farm. 
i wonder if she liked to bake.

looking forward to enjoying delicious autumn with you!
 warm hugs,

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

so thankful

  thank you for letting us be a part of your family’s traditions.
we are open for the entire long thanksgiving weekend,
 including the monday.

there are plenty of apples to enjoy picking...
red delicious and golden delicious are still available and 
we are beginning our russet, idared and mutsu harvest.
all varieties are excellent for storing…the idared is exceptional. 

sadly our empires and ambrosia apples are not available this autumn…
we had quite a crop failure due to our wet spring and summer.
 next year will be better. 


have you ever had a russet apple? their appearance is deceptive…
they are probably the least attractive apple on the farm, 
but have the most unique flavour…
sweet, spicy and nutty, they are a lovely crisp autumn snack! 
they are a bit of a secret, but there are still a few left.
   shakespeare referred to them as leather coats. 
they are great for cooking, juice, cider, and drying. 
  i love how the russet orchard seems to wink at autumn 


a brilliant apple with a lovely combination of sweet and tart.
bite into a crispy mutsu for a refreshing, juicy sweet mouthful of fall! 
mutsus are fabulous sliced into a salad, and equally fabulous baked into a tart or pie!
are you entering an apple for a fall fair? 
this is the one…they are the biggest apple on the farm!

of course i have to mention our much loved old farm dog
 appropriately named mutsu. she was a mutt.
 we still miss her! she lived to be seventeen! 

ida red 

my second favourite apple…they are soooo fantastic to bake with.
they are wonderfully intense and sweetly tart with a hint of lemon. 
such an excellent storage apple…
we tuck these into our apple fridge to use all winter and spring. 
idareds make a pretty and delicious applesauce…
cook them with the skin on and strain for a delicate pink tint.

the fall colours are just beginning to appear in the valley.
autumn is taking her time with the costume change.

i love the first line in the  poem ‘to autumn’
by john keats written almost 100 years ago…
season of mists and mellow fruitfulness 

i thought of it as i wandered around the farm in the early mornings…

we do have so much to be thankful for… 
wonderful family and friends.
a wonderful harvest, wonderful staff, and wonderful guests! 

we are so fortunate that we can share our farm with you! 
happy thanksgiving!

warm hugs,