While it doesn’t feel like fall, the transition has begun. Some summer favorites – blueberries, cantaloupe, sweet corn and green beans – are gone for the year. The peppers are brightly colored from purple to red to gold by the late summer sun. Fall red raspberries return. Zucchini is no longer the preferred squash, everyone seems ready for acorn and butternut squash. The bakery has started their fall donut flavors of apple cider and pumpkin. Summer flowers are waning and mums are on their way. Like our customers, we are well into our preparations to gear up for another great fall season here at the farm, a favorite time for so many families: mazes, freshly pressed cider, grape and apple picking, pumpkins and gourds, pear pie and apple dumplings…..stay tuned.
Key produce updates:
- Tomatoes from the field are plentiful now. We have called everyone on our list to come and get them. If you did not receive a message, please call us and we’ll get your order filled.
- “Firsts” Tomatoes are $19 a bushel or $10 a half bushel.
- “Seconds” Tomatoes (have blemishes or are misshapen0) are $14 a bushel… This is great for making sauce, juice or salsa.
- U-Pick Tomatoes are now open and can be picked for $15 a bushel. Please check in at the market for directions and containers.
- How long will they last? We say up until the first frost, but they are in peak production right now so you should try to get them in the next several weeks if you want large quantities.
- We have finished picking peaches for the year so we will have them until we run out, probably until about August 31st. These are Coral Star which are freestone, nice sized and very sweet. They are excellent for fresh eating or canning/freezing.
- Peach pricing is: $48 bushel, $25 1/2 bushel (or 2 pecks), $8.75 1/2 peck and $4.00 a quart. If you want bushels, please give us a call if you can to pre-order and we can have them ready for you. The bushels are all sorted and are “firsts”, they are not tree-run.
Apples: Apples are coming! We still have Earli Blaze which is a great summer apple for eating or cooking. We are also starting to pick Gala and Mollie’s Delicious. We may even have a few early Honeycrisp picked for the weekend. As we have done in the past several years, we hope to have some u-pick apples over Labor Day weekend…unless the weather changes that plan. We will firm this up next week and get the information out.
We have a good crop of apples and have made a forecast on when we think the varieties will be ready. We have copies of this on the market or you can continue to check back on our website where we will keep it updated. Please click here to view this: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2016-apple-information/.
Bartlett Pears are ready: This is an excellent pear for fresh eating or canning. Warning: this is the kind of pear that will drip juice down your face when eating! We hope to finish the harvest today. The rains of the past weeks have helped them to size nicely. You may wonder why the pears are picked and sold green, this is a characteristic of pears. They must ripen off the tree, if not, then they will ripen from the inside out and be mushy. They will easily ripen for you if you will lay them out in a single layer when you get home in a dry, cool place, then wait for them to turn yellow, and enjoy!
As always, we’ll have them in small eating quantities as well as in larger quantities for people who want to can. Thankfully this is a very plentiful pear year for us and we are happy to sell them to you by the bushel, $29/Bu. We’ve called everyone on our pre-order list, so if you didn’t get a message, please call us or come over to get them. 269-244-5690. We hope to have them through Labor Day weekend.
Stanley Prune Plums: a purple-skin, yellow-fleshed-freestone plum will probably be ready around August 29th.
Concord and Niagara Grapes: We have a great crop of these this year….they will probably be ready around the week of September 19th. Check back with us mid September (like 9-12) to see if we have a better idea of when we will open for u-pick.
Here’s what we have at the market now:
- Apples–Earli Blaze, Gala, Mollie’s Delicious and a few Honeycrisp over the weekend
- Brussels Sprouts
- Eggplant–3 different sizes
- Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs.
- We now have plenty of specialty basil as well as organic Genovese and are picking it in larger quantities for making pesto (look in our cooler for it). Some of the other herbs are not plentiful due to heat.
- Fresh Dug Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
- If you want potatoes by the bushel they are $25, this is about 50 pounds or more….all colors are available, just call ahead to make sure we have them dug for you and please bring something to carry them home in.
- Field Cucumbers and Small Pickling Cukes
- Field Tomatoes
- Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!) Check out our snacking peppers!
- Plums: Stanley Prune plums (just starting) available by the quart, a purple freestone plum
- Onions–We are now bagging them in the red mesh bags
- Specialty onions: Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting
- Watermelon: Seeded, we think they have more flavor than the seedless ones!
- Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Spaghetti squash
Becca’s certified organic produce: Kale, Eggplant, Slicer Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Bunching Onions, Super Sweet Snacking Peppers, Anaheim Peppers, Poblano (Ancho) Peppers, Shishito Peppers, and Personal Cabbage. Some of this is in limited quantities so please call ahead and place an order if you want any of these items.
Bakery Update: Whew, what a relief to be half way through the season and into our final fall stretch. We realize many of our local and lake customers miss our pies during the long winter months. So we have you covered! This week we have begun making extra pies to freeze so we can offer “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in) or keep to share for the holidays. We have some available immediately and are working to put some in the freezer in the front area of the bakery. If you cannot find them, please ask and we will get them for you! As we work to stock up, please feel free to order and we can get them ready. “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors are: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Cherry Berry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Frosted Sugar Cut Outs, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, and Ginger Molasses.
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have Peach Glaze pies available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Bread: Whole Wheat, Honey Oat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Vegetable and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns, Hot Dog Buns, and Focaccia Bread. We are partnering with La Brea Bakery on the following breads: Semolina Cheese, Rosemary Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic Loaf, and Toasted Sunflower Honey.
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
- Assorted Dessert Bars
- Mini Cupcakes
- Slushies: Concord and Niagara Grape Blend and Our Own Apple Cider
- Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry Almond, Pistachio, Wild Berry, Lemon Poppy Seed, Raisin Bran, and Banana Nut
- Donuts: We will have our Apple, Pumpkin, and Buttermilk Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That’s right, fall donut flavors are here! We also have our Chocolate Iced Yeast Donuts as well as Bavarian Cream-Filled Long Johns, Raspberry-Filled Bismarks and Apple Fritters!
Local Products: We try to offer as many local and Michigan made products as we can.
- Meat from Mill Lake Farms, http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/other-products/mill-lake-farm-meats/.
- Yogurt from Mattawan Creamery
- Mollie’s Clay Vessels, a Flint based artist who does one of a kind bowls, planters, vases and more
- Unique cards made by 4 area artists
- “Flatware” flowers and lady bugs made by our neighbor Dave
- Honey and maple syrup. Last week, our farm beekeeper Charlotte brought in comb honey. Check it out!
- Ruth’s pecan and cashew brittle
- Ladd’s Jalapeno Mustard (made with peppers grown here on the farm!)
- Artisan Cheese from Remy Picot (Benton Harbor)
- Michigan-shaped chairs with matching tables (Kalamazoo)
- Eggs (Kalamazoo)
- Detroit Bold Coffee Company coffee (Detroit)
- Dried blueberries and cherries (Traverse City)
- 4 flavors of Great Lakes Chips (Traverse City)
- 5 varieties of Michaelene’s granola (Clarkston)
- Boxed (totally recyclable) water (Grand Rapids)
Brandy and Hard Cider: We have our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular oak aged apple brandy. Made right here, we also have Blueberry, Sweet, Strawberry, Dry, Peck of Peppers, and Hopped Hard Ciders for sale in 12 and 22 oz. bottles. We also have Peach Polecat, Black Cherry Polecat, Cherry Wine, Kaiser Cyser, and Tart Cherry Hard Cider in 750mL bottles.
Happenings on the farm this week:
The heavy rains of a week ago caused our cantaloupe to split—so when you have lemons…or when you have split melons—make melon brandy! Also in the brandy house this week: Becca bottled up our barrel-aged hard cider! We stored 40+ gallons of hard cider in a former apple brandy/whiskey barrel. What a flavor! It needs to bottle condition for a couple of weeks but we should have it for Labor Day.
We weeded and weeded and weeded….the rains made for quick growing weeds, but thankfully easy to pull out.
We picked pears—truly one of the most difficult jobs on this farm. The trees are tall, requiring climbing 18′ ladders with a picking bucket of pears (50 some pounds) going up and down all day – because they’re planted on a steep hillside, we have to use ladders and can’t use our picking machines. As always, we are grateful for our crew who tackles this difficult harvest each year.
Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.