Yellow Belly Wins 2017 People’s Choice Award.

For the consecutive second year, Yellow Belly has won the “People’s Choice” award for best cider at the 2017 St. Cloud Craft Beer Tour held at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud. Huge thanks to our friends Davey and Rachel Johnston who helped pour samples and enthusiastically told our story to the crowd of 3,500 who attended the event. It was a very fun day for all.

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Yellow Belly Barrel Aged Wins Gold Medal, and Judges Choice Award.

barrel-gold-medal

We are thrilled to announce that Yellow Belly Barrel Aged hard cider won the gold medal in the category of “Wood Aged Cider” at the 2016 U.S. Open Cider Championship. In addition, the branding was recognized by the judges in a special Judges Choice award for one of the top ten most creative names.

The competition was held in October in Oxford, Ohio, with over 160 entries from across the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. 15 categories of cider were judged. Complete details of all of the results can be found on the U.S. Open Cider Championship website.

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Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday.

Mn Gift pack

Two ways to support small, local businesses like ours. Celebrate Small Business Saturday and think small, and local. Then relax at home and shop online on Cyber Monday. Treat your loved ones with wonderful local gifts we have on our online store. But be sure to stop by your favorite wine & spirits store to pick up a bottle of Yellow Belly so you can kick back and relax after your shopping excursions. Thank you for your support of small, local businesses like ours.

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CSA Week 18: The last box of the season.

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You’ve seen plenty of pictures of food throughout the season, so I opted to use a photo to just remind us all of the beauty that surrounds us this autumn season.

It has been an adventurous season for me. And considering that you, the 2016 CSA members have joined me in this journey I thank you for standing by my side. This was the first year I had to battle ground hogs, in both the garden and the hoop house, as well as deer getting into the hoop house. I can’t blame the animals for wanting to munch on the goodies I’ve been growing, but I can sure be mad at them for the destruction they have caused.

Thankfully, the critters didn’t get everything, which is why you sill find these items in your box this final week:

All boxes will contain:

Eggplant – I hope you have fallen in love with this very versatile, highly popular [in Europe] veggie.

Potatoes – a random combination of white, red, yellow or blue spuds.

Onions – a few medium sized yellow or white onions.

Garlic – a nice sized head.

Vine-ripened and/or green heirloom tomatoes – They’re still growing, ripening, and ready to eat, whether they are green or ripe.

Kale and/or Swiss chard – cheers to a bunch of healthy greens.

Herbs: either mint, parsley, basil, sage, or thyme

Other items that may randomly appear in your box:

Artichokes – may be big or small.

Beets and/or beet greens – the last of the beet patch that survived the deer attack.

Broccoli – to my surprise, the ground hogs have left it alone and some of the florets have sprouted.

I thank you all for your support of our farm. It has been my pleasure to grow fresh, certified organic fruits and veggies for you this year.

God speed to you all, and I wish you much health and happiness.

Cheers,
Debbie

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CSA Week 17: A Smorgasbord of Everything.

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I know, you’re probably wondering what the photo of the bumble bee has to do with a smorgasbord. Well, nothing really. I just saw a bumble bee on these flowers along the edge of our driveway when I went out to get the mail today, so took photo of it. I thought it was pretty an decided to share it with you.

And now, what do I mean by a Smorgasbord of Everything? It means that since this is the last CSA box of the season for the half share members, I’m filling the boxes with all of the different things I still have left on the farm, but not every box will be exactly the same. So here are some of the things you’ll find:

All boxes will have:

Apples – we harvested apples this week, and since we grow about 30 different varieties, so we mixed a whole bunch of different kinds together into one bag. Some of the varieties you’ve heard of such as: Zestar, Honeycrisp, Regent, Cortland, MacIntosh, Beacon, Honey Gold, Chestnut Crab, and Haralson. Then there are some varieties you’ve never heard of such as: Striped Harvey, Famouse, Minnesota 1734, Empire, and Kaneb Sweet. I guarantee you will have lots of fun tasting and comparing them all….even though you won’t know which one is which. However, please note…the apples have not been washed at all. In fact you will see some that have some freckles of dirt on the skins. No worries, it may look ugly, and if you really want to remove it you can scrub it off with a scrub brush. But just beware that there have been many birds lounging in these trees throughout the growing season…. if you know what I mean….

Winter Squash – you’ll find either an acorn, buttercup, butternut, or red kuri squash. The acorn and buttercup squash are dark green with bright orange flesh; Butternut squash is tan with orange flesh, and the red kuri is bright orange with orange flesh.

Grapes – I have a huge grape crop this year, and they just keep on giving. So you’ll have another carton of table grapes for snacking or making jam.

Green and/or ripe heirloom tomatoes – You’ve had a lot of experience with the ripe tomatoes, but the green tomatoes offer you a couple of options. 1.) you can let them sit on your kitchen counter and they will ripen up just like the ones you’ve enjoyed all summer. 2.) you can pickle them or prepare fried green tomatoes and try Jim’s Aunt Mary’s recipe on our website.

Herbs – some type of herb, either sage, parsley, or thyme. I’m sure you will recognize parsley, so for the boxes that have either sage or thyme, I will put a label on it for you.

Peppers – the hearty pepper plants bounced back after being attacked by both the deer (in the hoop house) and the groundhog. Both the sweet peppers and the hot peppers made a comeback, so you’ll find a little of each.

Random appearances – these items will be randomly placed so you’ll just have to see what surprises I’ll have in store for you.

Beets and/or beet greens – even though the deer in the hoop house really munched them down, some of them survived and many of the greens grew back. For those beets that really got chomped, you’ll see that the root has been removed, but the greens are still nice and edible.

Swiss chard – large leaves of greens with colorful stems of red, pink, yellow or white.

Potatoes – red, white, yellow, or blue, just like you’ve seen over the past few weeks.

Kale – dino or red Russian varieties.

Artichokes – one or two here and there.

And now, for the half share members, the season has come to a close. Full share members you have one more week to go. All of you will find an evaluation form and self-addressed, stamped envelope. I would really appreciate your feedback on your experience with the Sapsucker Farms CSA this year.

As for next year… I will no longer be doing a CSA. While I will continue to grow organic fruits and vegetables, I will be pursuing a new direction for the growing operation. For those of you who are interested in a CSA, I highly recommend Fresh Starts Farm located right here in Mora. This is a wonderful farm with lots of experience growing vegetables, and their CSA serves the Mora, Cambridge and Duluth markets.

Meanwhile…in other news from the farm…

We are delighted to announce our newest Yellow Belly Small Batch Hard Cider flavor: Barrel Aged. This is our cider blend that has been aged in oak bourbon barrels. It’s very smooth, with a delicious balance of apples and a very slight note of bourbon and oak. It is now available in Mora, and is rolling out in retail stores and restaurants across the Twin Cities and the rest of Minnesota.

YB bottles and glass medium

Thank you all for your support.

I want to thank each and everyone of you for supporting our farm. I hope that you have enjoyed your experience with the Sapsucker Farms CSA, and I certainly hope I get to see you at the Mora Farmers market, or when I’m doing a Yellow Belly tasting at stores across the Twin Cities and other parts of Minnesota.

Cheers to you all,

Debbie

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CSA Week 16: I REALLY Hate Groundhogs!

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The groundhogs have been viciously attacking the crops this year. I used to see them as cute, furry little varmints and I’d cheer for their escape when being stalked by a bird of prey. But that all changed this year. Now I see them as nasty rodents with big fangs that take pride in devouring as much of my crops as they can.

This year, they have completely devoured the entire edamame crop, and the entire brussel sprouts crop, they’ve stripped the kale plants up the stems to the point where they look like little palm trees (shown above), fortunately there is still some kale left to harvest, and they invaded the hoophouse and nailed the sweet peppers. THAT’S why I really hate groundhogs.

Despite the devastation they’ve done, I am able to still fill the boxes with some goodies this week. So here is what you’ll find:

Peppers – some of the peppers are regenerating, so I think I’ll be able to have enough for the boxes this week. Most of them are hot peppers, but a few sweet peppers can be found too.

Vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes – While I still have lots of tomatoes, most of them are green. Now that the weather is cooling off and the days are getting shorter, the tomatoes are not ripening as quickly. But There still are some out there to be had and I will find them.

Eggplant – Did you figure out how terrific they are? I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. And I hope you look forward to seeing more in your box this week too!

Basil – It’s still looking beautiful, and I still have quite a nice bunch growing. So even though you’ve had it in your box last week, as long as it is still doing so well, I’m including it again. As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as too much basil. If you don’t want to use it in a recipe, then just put it in a vase and enjoy the wonderful aroma.

Grapes – I have oodles and oodles and oodles of grapes this year. And the groundhogs haven’t touched them…. mainly because they are growing on an arbor on the side of the shed, and that dogs patrol that area to keep furry critters away.

Potatoes – A nice bag of red, white, blue, and white potatoes.

Onions – A few medium sized onions.

Kale – The groundhogs didn’t get them all, so kale lovers, you’re in luck.

The delivery schedule this week is back to normal:
St. Cloud offices – Tuesday morning by 10:30
Good Earth Co-op – Tuesday morning by 10:30
Made of Mora – Thursday by noon
World Headquarters – Thursday by noon
City Center Market Co-op in Cambridge – Friday by noon

Enjoy,

Debbie

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