It’s been a hectic ten days with the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City and our getting the new on site Farmers Market ready for customers, but we’ve survived both. Shelves were stocked, freezers filled, coolers chilled, coffee brewed, and we were open on Saturday morning. We are featuring local and out-state Michigan processed foods (from Food for Thought, Cherry Republic, Rocky Top Farms, TLC Tomatoes, Midsummer Exotics, Great Northern Roasting, By the Light of Day, Sisson’s, Carlson’s, Moomer’s, Leelanau Fruit, Undercover Vegetables, and Northern Seasons so far) along with our own and locally grown produce that farmers are bringing to us daily. We’re planning cooking demos on Saturdays starting next weekend. The Farm Market will be open during the same hours as our Tasting Room – 10-6 daily and 12-5 on Sunday – at least through October. It’s just one more must-see for you at our Agricultural Destination.

The New York Times has discovered northwest Michigan wine country and given us our due. We, along with our Leelanau and Old Mission winery neighbors, were the stars of an article titled “Wine Country Grows Where the Cherry is King” by Beth Greenfield in their July 13th edition. She writes, “The Leelanau’s 13 wineries include the large Black Star, where visitors sample pinot noir and the winery’s own brandy and cheeses under the high, domed roof of a sun-drenched shop and tasting room.”

We got some much needed rain this past week so crops and vines are doing well. Nic has basil running rampant, plenty of salad greens, snap peas, and cucumbers. It’s just about the end of the sweet cherries, but tarts are being shaken and sent to processing plants around the area. You don’t often find fresh tart cherries for sale because they’re quite delicate. After shaking, they are trucked from the orchards in huge, open, water-filled bins to protect them from bruising. You’ll often see damp patches on the road where cherries have sloshed over the edge as the heavily-laden trucks take the curves a bit too quickly. Be patient if you get behind one of these haulers…just sit back and enjoy the beautiful views. Raspberries are abundant and being picked for both our CSA and for use in this year’s batch of Sirius Raspberry Dessert Wine and eau de vie. We’re expecting glass for last year’s to be here this week so that bottling can begin.

The Inn and Stables had distinguished guests last week – the historic Blue Devils Horse Platoon – who were escorting the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, which was on display in Peshawbetown. Kari on CpautoThey did an impromptu demonstration on Tuesday evening and a clinic for the local sheriff’s mounted patrol. One of the regular riders was ill, so one of our innkeepers, Kari, saddled up on his horse and did us proud.

John Ayres and Don were at the MSU Extention Horticultural Station on Tuesday as part of the Cherry Festival’s Cherry Industry Day. Local cherry producers and MAEAP farms were honored. The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities to voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks. We were the 100th farm in Michigan to be certified.

The heavens smiled on Saturday’s wedding of Jamie Hunter and Bill Gross. Their dream was to be married up in our vineyard. Showers and thunderstorms prevailed into the afternoon, but Jamie and Bill persevered. Clouds began to disperse at about 2:45, and the sun shone brightly on their 3:00 ceremony. A bagpiper, who had been secreted behind the vines, piped them and their guests through the vineyards and down to the Inn for the reception.

Rosemary and Thyme are 8 week old Angora goats that will be shorn in the fall giving us some wonderful mohair fiber. Rosemary (l) and Thyme (r)We’re still awaiting the birth of the new kids to join them, but mama Sierra is holding on. The llamas have been shorn and are looking spiffy in their short coats. Wilbur and Pumbaa, our potbellied pigs, are enjoying their swimming pool, and Wooliam and Lamborghini – you guessed it – our lambs – are fuzzy and adorable and waiting for a visit.

Check out our new Farm Market – Up on the Farm.