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Almar Crop and Harvest Update 2017

Dear Customers of Almar Orchards,

Sometimes Mother Nature pulls out all the stops and grants us a bumper crop, which is a happy ending to a year of hard work. Other years, she takes her cut and then some. 2017 is going to be an interesting season for us here at Almar Orchards and JK’s Scrumpy, LLC. Mother Nature didn’t have a benevolent frame of mind when she was writing the script for May of this year. The drama is still unfolding and we have yet to see the end of the story.

What we do know is this…because of the frost and freeze event during the full moon in May, we have many varieties of apples that were lost. For instance, we “normally” harvest 700 bushels of our Paula Reds (above) but this year we’ll only end up with about 75 bushel, total! These “ugly” apples will not go to waste, as Mother Nature bestows a little gift in that the damaged apples actually undergo a chemical change. This change makes them firmer and sweeter — PERFECT for our famous fresh apple cider and fermented hard ciders. The drawback is that not only will we have less volume to harvest, (around 25% of last year) but less saleable apples overall. Many of the apples just won’t be pretty enough to bag up and sell to you. So, we’re reaching out to some of our friends in the state of Washington. We’ll be buying several varieties of USDA ORGANIC APPLES from them, as we did in 2012, and they will be VERY PRETTY APPLES. They just won’t have that unique Almar Orchards flavor that you’re used to. The growing conditions and the methods they employ in Washington’s climate are totally different from what we have here in Michigan.

Basically, you will need to tune in to our social media posts and/or weekly website updates to stay informed. You can always call us if you are not online. We want you to know that we’ll still have organic apples and cider and will bring back a bit of agritourism to keep you connected to us. WE APPRECIATE YOU!

Jim and Karen Koan,
Monique Koan Lapinski and Zach Koan, Co-owners

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Farmers are harvesting lots of goodies

Garlic Bulbs
Yellow Beans
Multi Colored Beets

Fresh Blueberries!

Gluten Free From Westwind is Back

FRESH Produce, lots of it.

Summer Squash
Celery (best fresh & tasty)
Small Cucumbers! Yumm!
Zucchini (Organic Means NON GMO)

Other Organic Produce
LETTUCE, KALE, Swiss Chard, Radishes,
and MORE!!!
Organic Frozen Produce
Mashed Potatoes (ready to serve)
Blueberries, tart cherries, peppers, onions, cucumbers,  zucchini, greens,
Organic Dried Produce

If you cannot find it on the website give us quick

comment requesting it and odds are we may have

extra when we harvest.

Sale & Clearance

Oops Sale Pecans (kosher but not certified organic)


Zucchini & Cucumbers
Organic Flour,  Soy Free and Meats, Nuts,

Proteins & Meats

Organic Meats
Grass fed beef available.
Pork, Lamb, Fish and Vegetarian Burgers.

Organic Cheese & Milk
Cheese, Toni Oliver makes the premium cheese from the very same cows that she milks twice a day.
Milk from Hilhof, it is in glass not plastic so it tastes so much better.


Local Raw Honey, Maple Syrup, mall to large jars of these wonderful local sweet healthy treats.
Nut Butters, Flour, Oatmeal, Beans,
Popcorn, Salsa, Jams, Pastas, Dry Beans and more.


Approved for Certified Organic Use
That time of year again, seed starter, fertilizers, composts and all good things for your garden.


Healthy for your skin and you.
Soaps for bathing, washing hair, fragrance free or some with essential oils.
Laundry soap that leaves your cloths soft and fresh, toilet bowl cleaner, dishwasher soap.


Switchel, Tart Cherry Juice,
Tasty Switchel, or cool down with root beer and for those that need a little boost for their health tries some organic tart cherry concentrate.


WEB LOG–NEW Article about organic farming.
Farm Tour Aug 8
Farm store at White Pine Farm
CSA Farmers Market is now open.
We are at Milford Market–Come Visit us.
Cider and Apples are done for the year!

Make a trip to one of our local Farms.
See how we grow the food you eat.
Nice to have food you can drive to, visit where it is growing instead of taking an airplane.


Please be patient and let us know of any problems.
Katie who started the site is on maternity leave.
The NEW WEBSITE is many years over due.
The original software was never designed for our application and limited us in what we could do.
This new software can grow and adapt with us.
Modifications can be made as we take customers feed back for improvements.

If you need help with the website.


Or if you find BUGS

Please call us at 810-688-7442, or email us at [email protected]


Please sign in before shopping!

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Changes at CSA Farmers Market

Hi All!!

This is the  year for change!  Maybe too much at one time, there is actually a reason for the changes.

What the changes will eventually mean for you!  Website–Pre-orders of berries in large quantities, more reasonably priced home deliveries, rewards points for customers who order regularly, having the ability to go to your account and see if your invoice is paid.  We will be able to develop a better recipe section, the ability to see the actual status of your order and how it was paid.  Customers can stop at the on farm store and buy what they want.  The list is actually of advantages is actually quite long.

We are moving our office into a building next to where we pack orders and our walk in cooler is stored.  The building was built right after World War 2 and it takes Dale about a month to cut enough wood just to heat the building.  Hopefully this year we will actually be able to get to the ceiling to work on it, so possibly we can cut down on how much it takes to heat the building.

We also put a store front in the building where the office is, since there are a lot of local people who want to stop by the farm and purchase items.  Each week the store gets a little better and we are working on our signage, when we have time.

We have changed the relationship with the participating farmers.  The original agreement was never fair.  One farmer who might have $40 worth of spice sells was expected to put in the same amount of time and percentage for the market as the farmer who had $700 worth of meat sells.  The farmers that did their share of work or more often did not have time to grow and had fewer sells, where as others ones grew more and had more sells, but did less.  The new relationship is determining the work requirements and percentages given to operate the market more based on actual sells, the types of the products and the actual participation (example like helping at farmers markets etc. which many of them never did.)

The website; with this we are going in the right direction; it is just that we hit some BIG BIG road blocks.  The person that was working on the website went on Maternity leave (she had a beautiful baby girl) and the person that was to help take over was somewhat a fish out of water and some actions had some unintended consequences that set us back by a lot.  After the last big crash I came to the conclusion that I must learn as much as I can about how these content based website systems and be less dependent on others, so I have plugged myself into a lot of tech supports  organizations that are teaching me.  A lot of people are wondering why we are leaving the old website, especially since the new site is no where near where I want it to be.  The other site was never designed for our application, was never going to evolve with us and had a great number of limitation, although I do miss many things about it, with the new site I have a great deal of hope for the future after we get past all these stumbling blocks.

I will am being interviewed on an internet radio station Friday Morning Empire Radio Now on 7/21/2017 at 9:52am EST.

Lets hope I am rested and do not babble like I am when I am overly tired.

Overly tired is another reason for the changes.  I personally was carrying so much of the work load to keep us going that I realized due to lack of sleep I was putting my self at risk of a heart attack.  So everyone else has to step up to the plate and help carry the load.  The participating farmers were mostly unaware as to how much background work it takes to operate the market.  They were SPOILED.


Marian Listwak

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FARM TOUR (Aug 8, 1:30pm)

We will at White Pine Farm will be having a farm tour on Aug 8, 1:30 pm.  It will be lasting about an hour possibly more, it is also where CSA Farmers Market is centered.

We are in North Branch just north of Lapeer by about 13.5 miles or just north of Imlay city by about 16 miles.

We would like those that are coming to call 810-688-7442 or email us at [email protected] and let us know you are coming.

You will have an opportunity to see the hoop houses, the cattle and the outdoor crops.  We welcome questions about organic farming practices and more.  We also love to hear suggestions any experiences you may have had.

Address: 2933 Burnside Rd., North Branch 48461.  Go to the building that looks like a barn with an attached greenhouse for growing plants on the front of it.


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Organic Farming

So what does this green guy have to do with organic farming. LOTS!! He is a ferocious aphid eater and if you see him flying around your out door nightlight give him a little thank you. Whatever you do, do not smash him because he will leave a stench and you will have more aphids.
My mother made sure we learned out beneficial insects and reminded us how important this guy was to her garden as well as many other insects (she was also our entomology 4-H leader).
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what organic farmers do so much so that once I overheard a conversation from a conventional grower telling a customer that certified organic farmer spray all the time and are allowed to spray of all things nicotine. Wow!!! interesting I have never heard of that search OMRI (Organic Material Review Institute) and you will see the word RESTRICTED.
Times have changed, understanding ecology is almost becoming a thing of the past, when once entomology was a popular field for 4-H members it is now just barely a waning glimpse. It is too easy for people to ask what do I use to kill this or that with rather than to learn mother nature have to offer. They offer lots, including this little green mega eater you see above.

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Organic Inspector Visit Today

Each year an inspector comes to visit the farm.  It would be fun to have a video of the inspection so customers could understand what farmers go through to be able to prove that they are using farming practices that are healthiest for you and for the environment.  They visit fields, go through your cabinets, look at your records (sometimes including bank records), ask a lot of questions and they fill out a report that they send to the certifying agency.  The inspector does not make the judgement the certifying agency does and often they follow up with the farmers and ask more question.  There are many certifying agencies in this country, although there are non in Michigan.  We are White Pine Farm use OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Alliance).

A service repairmen came by the other day and was so proud of himself because he only eats organic, he is sure of the that because he goes to an indoor all year around farmers market.  It is kind of sad in a way, often the assumption is that when you go to a market all the farmers are organic and all the farmers are growing their own produce.

Ideally we should work on educating the consumer, although that is tough to do without seeming to be a naysayer.

It is unfortunate that most the produce in the indoor markets are neither local and not organic.  Here we are again, going through the rigors, the restrictions and all the work to grow food that is free of toxins so both our customers, our selves and our planet can remain healthy; and again here we are having to see those that care more about their profit both unintentionally and very often intentionally misleading consumers.