Farm

Stables’ Veterinarian Receives Special Award

Last week one our Stables’ veterinarians, Dr. Tanja Molby received the Legend of the Year Award. This is an award that is considered the equivalent to the Nobel Peace Prize in the horse world, and is sponsored by Bayer Animal Health.

Dr. Molby runs Equine Veterinary Services of Leelanau County and provides services to half of the horses we board in our stables. ”We are so proud of her for receiving this special award,” notes Stables Manager Kari Merz.

Read more about Dr.Molby and the award from the Ticker story here.

By |December 1st, 2011|Farm, Stables|0 Comments

5 Delightful Days in Northern Michigan

The Grand Traverse Bay area abounds with possibilities. There are endless miles of beaches alongside quaint towns with unique shops and galleries, wineries and breweries galore, and an array of culinary destinations. There is certainly something for everyone. Here we have compiled 5 days of itineraries filled with activities that will delight your senses and leave you with the most memorable experiences.

Day One:

Start your tour in the village of Suttons Bay. The main street is lined with colorful store fronts where you could easily shop and spend several hours. There are beaches, galleries, antique shops, boutiques featuring clothing and accessories, as well as the historic Bay Theater dating from the 1940’s. There are 14 different dining choices in the village ranging from deli-style to sit-down featuring gourmet local fare.  The schooner Inland Seas, a schoolship fostering knowledge of the Great Lakes, is moored in the harbor.  If you are up for more we recommend visiting the nearby Leelanau Peninsula Wineries for wine tasting. Several are close to the village, including L. Mawby, Shady Lane Cellars, Ciccone Vineyard and Winery, Chateau de Leelanau, and Willow Vineyard. Close out the day with a casual meal at one of Suttons Bay’s most popular pubs, Boone’s Prime Time. They feature superb steaks, fresh seafood and great burgers in a cozy rustic atmosphere. 

Day Two:

Relax and take your time on a scenic drive north along M-22 that hugs the western shore of Grand Traverse Bay. Cherry and apple orchards dot the landscape along this sublime route to Leelanau State Park with its Grand Traverse Lighthouse. A mid-route must is a stop at Tandem Ciders just off Setterbo Rd. where you can nibble on peanuts and sample sweet and hard ciders in a quaint tasting room filled with antiques and unique art. After visiting the State Park drive back through Northport and continue your scenic drive southwest along M-22 to Leland, a picturesque 145-year-old fishing village. Be sure to visit the historical district, known as Fishtown, where you can browse in shops that were once rustic fishing shanties alongside docks reminiscent of life and commercial fishing one hundred years ago. Stop for lunch and a bowl of locally renowned seafood chowder from the Cove or pick up a sandwich from the Village Cheese Shanty.  In Fishtown you can stock up on sweet treats at the Dam Candy Store where you’ll find old fashioned sweet treats along with ice cream or coffee. After a day of exploration relax for dinner back at one of the fine restaurants in Suttons Bay or in the Arcturos Dining Room at the Inn at Black Star Farms (subject to availability, please call ahead to make a reservation, 231.944.1251).  

Day Three

Plan a day of shopping and dining in downtown Traverse City. You will find more than 150 unique boutiques, galleries, restaurants and coffee shops along Front St.  Shopping highlights include Wilson Antiques, The Cherry Stop, and Ella’s Fashion and Furnishings. During the summer and early fall on Wednesday and Saturday mornings don’t miss the downtown Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market. It’s a delight to the senses! Rainy day activities in Traverse City could include a visit to the Dennos Museum on the campus of Northwest Michigan College or a first-run movie at the renovated State Theatre. For lunch try the Green House Café for fresh homemade soups and sandwiches. After lunch head a few blocks west over to the Village at Grand Traverse Commons; one of North America’s largest historic redevelopment projects. Here you will find the century-old Victorian-Italianate style buildings that were once part of the Traverse City State Hospital, and previously, the Northern Michigan Asylum. The Village is a marvel to explore. From the miles of hiking trails and expansive lawns to the shops in the Mercato, one can easily spend several hours here. Don’t miss wine tasting at Left Foot Charley followed by a Matterhorn Grill Dinner at TASTES of Black Star Farms.

Day Four

Take a leisurely drive to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park with its variety of touring options.  The Dune Climb is a must, as is the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive, and you can also step back in time with a visit to the U.S. Coast Guard Museum. Dine where the locals do for lunch at the one-of-a-kind Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor. Just a walk up the road from Art’s is the original home of the Cherry Republic, a haven for all things cherry!  You can sample cherry salsa, cherry ice cream and even cherry wine. Take the scenic route back to Suttons Bay and enjoy wine tasting at any of the nearby Leelanau Peninsula wineries, Good Harbor Vineyards, Bel Lago, and Chateau Fontaine.

Day Five:

Start the day with a south-bound drive on M-22, along the bay in Traverse City, and towards the Old Mission Peninsula. Follow M-37 all the way to the top of the Peninsula, ending at the Old Mission Point Light House.  You can tour the grounds of this historic 1870’s lighthouse and see how the peninsula people lived in the adjacent turn of the century Hessler Log Cabin. Stop at the historic Old Mission General Store for a gourmet deli sandwich or pizza and a few pieces of penny candy. A visit here is like stepping back in time.  Continue south on M-37 with stops along the way at the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula. There are seven wineries all situated right off of M-37. Each winery has a signature wine and they are all different in décor. With a designated driver one could easily visit all seven. A day of wine tasting will no doubt work up an appetite.  No visit to the Old Mission Peninsula would be complete without a meal at the Jolly Pumpkin featuring microbrew beers and artisan cuisine served in a uniquely historic building.

Do you have more plans on your intinerary? We’d love to hear how you spent your days in N.Michigan, please share your story and photos, cbriggs@blackstarfarms.com.

By |June 30th, 2011|Farm, Inn, Media|0 Comments

Nice Article About Michigan Wines

Howard W. Hewitt  newspaper columnist and blogger of  Grape Sense – A Glass Half Full  visited us this summer to learn more about  the Michigan Wine Industry. On his trip Mr. Hewitt  found that he was pleasantly surprised…Read more of what he has to say in this great article posted on Palate Press, The Online Wine Magazine.

 

Toast the Season Strudel Recipe

Rosemary and garlic shredded duck strudel with chevre cheese, caramelized onion and wild mushrooms. Topped with a walnut roasted red beet-basil pesto.

Filling

  • 1 duck, roasted and shredded
  • ¾ cup chevre cheese
  • 1 cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cup wild mushroom mix
  • 3 T butter
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • S&P

Rinse duck in cold water, pat dry. Marinate with olive oil, ½ rosemary, ½ garlic, S&P and refrigerate for 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, roast duck for 45-50 minutes. Let cool and pick meat, then shred and place in a large mixing bowl. Caramelize red onions by sautéing them in butter for 8-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and sauté for 8-10 more minutes. Put the mushrooms and onions in the bowl with the shredded duck and add the rest of the ingredients, combining well. S&P to taste.

Pesto

  • 4-5 medium roasted red beets
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • S&P

Add all ingredients to a food processor and combine well until smooth.

Phyllo

  • 1 lb or 20 sheets of phyllo dough
  • ½ lb melted butter

On a cutting board place 1 single sheet of phyllo and lightly brush with melted butter. Fold in half and repeat. Fold in half and repeat again. Place a small spoonful of the filling at the base of the buttered phyllo dough and fold like a flag all the way to the top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until light brown and crispy. Top with the pesto and serve.

PigStock TC

Chefs Street and Paul are attending PigStock Traverse City, a three-day course in the heritage breed Mangalitsa pig.  They’ll learn butchering from Austrian-trained expert butchers & farmers  Christof and Isabel Wiesner, charcuterie from Michigan chef and author of  Charcuterie: The Art of Salting, Smoking and Curing, Brian Polcyn,  and how to prepare everything but the squeal.  This should lead to some even more delicious dishes at the Inn and Hearth & Vine.  Who knows?  You may even meet a  woolly Mangalitsa on our farm next season.

Mangalitsa pig

Mangalitsa pig

By |November 1st, 2010|Farm, Inn|2 Comments

Hard Apple Cider at Black Star Farms

In the last year hard cider has become more popular amongst beer and wine drinkers. Knowing that cider production dates back to colonial times it is fun to note that it is a beverage making a comeback.  In recent years we have been making cider from a variety of different apples. Our winemaker Lee Lutes is proud to be part of an emerging cider making movement in Michigan as well as in the Midwest and Washington.

The ciders we make at Black Star Farms are made in a “winemaker’s” style.  What we mean by this is that we aim to keep the fruit component very fresh and bright, and retard any oxidation or degradation of aromas and flavors.  In other words, this cider should taste like fresh apples right off the tree, and not like apple beer (not to take anything away from that style, but it is not what our focus is).

In addition to this style our winemaking abilities allow us to do some production processes that make the cider deeper and more complex – things like lees aging and stirring as well as some oak aging programs.  These processes are intended to make our ciders more interesting and dynamic to drink.

We use approximately 8 different apple varieties in these ciders including, Rhode Island Greenings, Winesaps, Spies, Red and Golden Delicious, Galas, Jonathon, and Crabs.  These are mostly eating/cooking apple varieties, as local farmers have not created extensive plantings of “traditional” cider varieties, but this plays out well for the style we are striving to create.

Lee and two other prominent cider producers including Dan Young from Tandem Ciders and Mike Beck from Uncle John’s Winery will be representing the state of Michigan at the upcoming Cider Days Festival in Franklin County, Massachusetts. This event represents all things cider. Lee and the others will be participating in a series of educational events including round table discussions, specialty tastings, and research to find the next best apples for cider production.

This year all of the apples for our Hard Apple Cider were pressed at our Old Mission winery. We had a large lot of up to 75 bins. This kept the winery staff busy loading, pressing, pumping, and cleaning. The end result is sure to be a cider bubbling over with the fresh taste of Northern Michigan apples. For a glimpse at the process take a look at this short picture video.

Get a Taste of Michigan Wine on Twitter

Cortney Casey from Michigan By The Bottle shares the story behind the popular Tweet & Taste Michigan Twitter Events. Thanks Cortney and Shannon for all that you do to promote the Michigan wine industry!

For wine lovers, few experiences are as enlightening as sitting down with local winemakers and picking their brains on the labor and love behind transforming what’s in the vineyard to what’s in your glass.

That’s the concept that spurred MichiganByTheBottle.com’s Tweet & Taste Michigan series, which built upon similar successful “virtual tastings” in other wine-producing regions across the country. The weeknight event encourages Michigan wine fans to purchase specific wines from a featured winery or wine trail (typically with discounted shipping), then “meet up” on Twitter to discuss their impressions and directly ask questions of the winemakers themselves, who also take part.

You name it, the winemakers have answered it, from queries about their vineyard practices, grape sourcing, oak techniques and appropriate cellar-stashing periods to tasting room ambiance, pricing and distribution, winery history and popularity of specific wines.

Everyone uses a hashtag, #ttmi, at the end of their “tweets” to ensure they can follow the conversation, creating a chat room-like environment. Helping augment the conversation are several facilitators, including myself and my husband, Shannon Casey, founders of Michigan By The Bottle; Claudia Tyagi, a master sommelier; and several wine bloggers from throughout Michigan and beyond.

Black Star Farms was the first to team up with us when we launched the project back in March, and the inaugural Tweet & Taste was a resounding success, attracting 70 active participants contributing nearly 900 tweets. We’ve since followed up with successful TTMI events highlighting Shady Lane Cellars, Lake Michigan Shore wineries, Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula and, most recently, Silver Leaf Winery. We’re already working on plans for the next one!

While admittedly nothing can top a face-to-face rendezvous with the makers of our favorite Michigan wines, not all of us fanatics are lucky enough to live along a wine trail, where such interactions might be more feasible. And meeting up in person with wine lovers scattered across Michigan would likewise be a challenge. Tweet & Taste is the next best thing — with the added benefit that virtual wine tasting “party” can be attended in such haute couture as slippers and PJ pants!

On Nov. 16, Black Star Farms will be hosting its own virtual tasting on Twitter, and we’re eager to take part. An ardent fan of sparkling wine, I’m chomping at the bit to try the two new releases slated for sampling that evening: the 2009 BeDazzled and the 2010 Bubbly Nouveau (soon to be listed on their website).

Twitter tasters can give their impressions and get answers from Black Star Farms’ affable winemaker, Lee Lutes. The event starts on Twitter at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 using hashtag #bsfbubbly. To find Black Star Farms on Twitter look under @bstar2009.

To ensure you catch all the action, we at MichiganByTheBottle.com recommend using a Twitter client like TweetChat.com, which will automatically add your hashtag to each tweet and help you easily follow the fast-moving conversation.

To encourage participation, Black Star Farms will be offering the pair of bubblies for $20, a 20 percent discount off the regular price of $12.50 apiece. They’ll be available in all three Black Star Farms’ locations (the Bubbly Nouveau is being released at the BSF wine dinner Nov. 12, and available to the public after that) and also can be shipped throughout Michigan and to various other states. For more information, call Coryn Briggs at (231) 944-1311.

 We hope to “meet” you online Nov. 16! Cheers!

LPVA Harvest Stompede Recipe

Roasted Corn and Butternut Squash Saladblogpicture

  • 12 ears of corn
  • 5 cups of diced butternut squash, about the size of the corn kernel
  • 1 cup of chopped green onions
  • ½ cup minced roasted garlic
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup finely diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped chives
  • ½ cup of good olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Apple Cider Reduction

  • 2 Gallon apple cider
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup maple syrup

Roast corn, husk on, in preheated oven for 1 hour at 400 degrees. Let cool, peel cob and remove corn. Boil butternut squash for 10 minutes or until tender. Don’t overcook as they become mashed quickly. You want them to still be a bit firm. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well but gently as to not mash the squash. Let it set in the refrigerator for an hour or so to let the flavors infuse. Add all reduction liquids in a pot and bring to a boil. Be careful as this mixture tends to really bubble up. Simmer and let reduce for an hour or more until liquid becomes almost syrup like. I made a 4 gallon batch that reduced to maybe 4 cups. Set aside and let cool.

This is a great multi functional salad. I used this as a room temperature salad in a baked won-ton cup garnished with the reduction and pumpkin seeds for the LPVA event. The next day I used it as a hash for breakfast with a poached egg and hollandaise. Then I turned it into cakes for an appetizer! And finely, I added this mix in with some risotto and stuffed that in a portabella mushroom for dinner. Be creative and be sure to use seasonal local ingredients. Enjoy!

BSF a "Must-See"

Family Farm Dinner in Suttons Bay

Join us at the farm for a casual FAMILY FARM DINNER on the patio at the Hearth and Vine Café on Sunday, July 25 from 6-9pm Featuring foods from our farm and our neighboring farms Just give us a call for info or to let us know you’ll be stopping by! 231.944.1297