On tap this weekend – the Leland Wine and Food Fest under the tent in Historic Fishtown. This is one of this area’s premier events – the official start to the Leelanau Peninsula summer – the place to see and be seen, sip a little local wine, taste the local fare, enjoy the music, and kick off the summer season. We’ll be there, as will Anne with her Leelanau Cheese Co. tastes, so stop by on Saturday from 12 to 6 and say hi. If you find a wine you’d love to take home and can’t wait to get to our Tasting Room on Sunday (open noon-5) just head over to the Village Cheese Shanty or the Merc. Both have a good supply of our wines and Anne’s cheese. Or, better yet, bring your wine fest glass to our Tasting Room on Sunday (June 10th) we’ll give you 10% off on your wine purchases.

We’re booked at the Inn this weekend, but have rooms available all next week (June 10-17) including the weekend. This doesn’t happen often. It’s the perfect time to visit. Give Jill or Kelly a call at 231.944.1251.

Lee and the crew hung bottles last week in the nearby Mikowski orchard for our Pear and its Spirit, our pear-in-the-bottle brandy. That’s Ray getting ready to tie a bottle to a branch for ray-hanging.jpgsupport. The neck of the bottle must point down to keep the rain out. With any luck in September we’ll have 400 good, usable pears from the 600 bottles hung.

Last week’s warm weather and this week’s rain have made the grapevines pop. Workers tied the new shoots to the first wires last week in the vineyard.

Our petting zoo is open. The momma goats have returned and are expecting any time late in June. Popcorn is the newest kid and joined Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Lambs, llamas, pot-bellied pigs and miniature horses round out the menagerie. Baby bunnies are ready for new homes – and we have a whole new batch of kittens that’ll be looking for homes in a few weeks. Let Diane know if you’re interested – dainek@blackstarfarms.com.

The sheep shearer was in last week to give the lambs their summer clip. It was so much fun to watch that we’re making it a spring event next year. We’ll let you know when. During the course of shearing we discovered that “Flower” our little black sheep is actually a boy! Big OOPS there. We’re looking for a new manlier name for him.

Nic has been busy with more planting of vegetables. He reports that there are still places available for our inaugural CSA. You can find a sign-up sheet on this website and enjoy fresh produce weekly or bi-weekly all summer. Work is moving along on our farmers market with an end-of-June opening day soon to be announced.

Leelanau Cheese Co. is featured in the newly published The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese by Jeffrey P. Roberts. Anne and John are the only producers of traditionally made Raclette in the US, and they have the medals to prove just how good their cheese is. They make about 21,000 pounds of Raclette yearly which sounds like a lot, but it’s only distributed in our local area, and tripling production would still not be enough to satisfy their customers.

We hope to see you soon, up on the Farm