05-24-2018 Coloma’s Glad-Peach Festival plans are well underway; Tri-City Area Farm Markets offer f

Coloma’s Glad-Peach Festival plans are well underway

By Christina Gelder This will be the 51st year for Coloma’s annual Glad-Peach Festival. Celebrated the first weekend of August every summer, the Glad-Peach Festival is the biggest festival in Coloma and promises to be just as exciting as always. Friday, August 3 will kick things off with the opening ceremony, crowning of the Glad-Peach Prince and Princess and the youth parade. The youth parade is open to all children who would like to come and participate. Saturday is a big day with a great 5K and 10K walk, run and bike race to get everyone going early. The parade will travel through the downtown area in the early afternoon and fireworks will, of course, cap off the night. Sandwiched in between the parade and fireworks will be loads of entertainment, the peach pit spit, chalk the block and so much more. Sunday will wrap up the festival with a community worship service, musical acts and a car show. There are also several kid centric activities including the kid’s fun fair that morning in Laura Baker Park. Craft and food vendors will be present all weekend long featuring delights for all ages.

One thing that the committee is excited about is the return of the Coloma’s Got Talent contest. New to the schedule last year this intense competition offers some great prizes but contestants have to be prepared for it. In order to audition for a spot in the show, register by July 9. Auditions will be held on July 12 and there will be two age groups. Performers in this event need to be a resident of either the City or the Township of Coloma. Organizers are looking for musical numbers, comedy, or any other unique talent. For specific questions concerning the talent contest contact chairperson Nancy Perry at rlpnap69@gmail.com.

For more up-to-date information, check out the festival’s website at www.colomapeachfest.com. Coloma City Hall is another great resource for all things Glad-Peach and brochures with full schedules will be around town at various businesses within the next few weeks as summer takes hold.

Tri-City Area Farm Markets offer  family fun and fresh produce Bob’s Barn makes generational shift

By Christina Gelder Although he does have a nametag that says “Just call me Bob” the new owner of Bob’s Barn is actually named Don. Don and Ashleigh Heidelberg are in their first season as the owners and operators of the well-established farm market on Coloma Road but they come into the roles with an understanding only a family member can have.

TAKING OVER… Don and Ashleigh Heidelberg stand in their newly updated farm market. Ashleigh is the fourth-generation owner of Bob’s Barn located between Coloma and Riverside on Coloma Road. The market has many food options including produce, specialty items, pies, and lunches. (TCR photo by Christina Gelder)

Bob’s Barn is located between Coloma and Riverside and was started in 1965 by Inez and Robert Benson to sell the produce grown on her family’s farm that was started in 1915 by her parents, Charlie and Ada Patterson. When the Bensons passed away the farm was passed onto their daughter, Lyn and her husband Ken Craig who expanded the humble stand into a bigger space. Now after nearly 20 years of serving their loyal customer base, the Craigs have turned over the reins to their daughter and son-in-law. The Heidelbergs have already started off well. They did some work to the inside of the barn during the off season and opened the market back up in April. They offer seasonal, local produce as well as jams, jellies, salsas, and various other food products. They also feature very popular homemade baked goods, specializing in pies. New to the market are lunch options. A sandwich menu which features delicious creations named after each of the couple’s grandchildren, and soups. Right now while in season, one of the soups is cream of asparagus. If lunch is more than needed there are also coffees and teas available. Don says that they are happy to be able to keep the business in the family and are looking forward to a great season. Bob’s Barn is just one of the many farm markets in the Tri-City Area. Closer to the Coloma city limits are Jollay Market and Fruit Acres. Both very popular in their own right, they are located right off of the I-94 Coloma exit. Jollay Market is open year-round and features local produce as well as other specialty food products. They serve coffee and fresh donuts and feature authentic Mexican lunches. Jollay Market is also a great place to stop if you would like a hand-dipped ice cream cone. Also owned and operated by the Jollay family is Jollay Orchards. Picking fruit at Jollay Orchards has been a long-standing tradition for many families both local and from outside of the area. Offering u-pick for sweet cherries, peaches, apples and pumpkins the season starts in mid to late June every year and runs well into fall. Jollay Orchards is very focused on family fun and offers several different attractions for kids and parents to enjoy like a playground and picnic area. Fruit Acres offers fresh fruit and vegetables sourced from their own farm or another local grower. Randy and Annette Bjorge will open their stand once strawberries are being harvested which is generally within the first two weeks of June. They offer u-pick as well, often only on weekends so folks definitely want to double check availability before coming out. They will have sweet and tart cherries, plums, peaches, nectarines, and apples in their seasons. For those that come out in the fall for apples they do offer free hayrides. In Watervliet the main place to get the hook up on fresh produce is J.W. Morlock and Girls Farm Market. Located north of town on M-140 the Morlocks boast of growing everything they sell. This is quite a feat because their variety of fruits and vegetables is impressive. They have recently opened with fresh asparagus and will be going strong throughout the season until apples are done. Another draw to the Morlock stand is their Mo’e Pies. Homemade fruit pies served with Sherman’s vanilla ice cream can please just about any palette. Big Dan’s U-Pick’Em and Farm Market is a good option for those looking to pick peaches and apples in the Hartford area. Located on 66th Avenue, Big Dan’s is open from late July through October and specializes in peaches, apples, cider, squash, vegetables, and pumpkins. All of these wonderful, family run farm markets have websites and Facebook pages that keep folks up to date with farm happenings and also availability. Fruit, especially, is very weather dependent and can range quite a bit from year to year. So far 2018 has had a very slow spring which is good for the fruit crop in that there have not been severe freezes. Hopefully the trend will continue and it will be a banner year for all of these farms and the customers they serve daily.

Read this “Welcome to Summer” edition of the Tri-City Record online at www.tricityrecord.com


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