12147 Corey Lake Road, Three Rivers, Michigan (269) 244-5690

Corey Lake Orchards

A Winter Hello!

A winter hello from Corey Lake Orchards. As we trek carefully around the ice on the farm, we’re looking forward to the next few days of sun to melt this away and allow us to walk without trepidation!

Reminds us why we aren’t open in the winter!

The greenhouse is ready to go for the year and the tomato plants are ready to make their journey from Schram’s Greenhouses in Portage to the farm as soon as we get the right window of above freezing to safely move them. We hope by this weekend that they will be all transplanted and growing to be ready for that first BLT in May. And, can we say yet again what a pleasure it is to work in the sunny tropical-like greenhouse in the winter?

We were pleased to win the Three Rivers Commercial News 2018 Readers Choice Award for Best Farm Market. We thank those of you who cast your vote for us and hope this year we can keep true to the title. It’s always nice to be acknowledged and it inspires us to continue our work to ensure that you have great experiences at our farm.

This winter has found all of us in our usual catch up, regroup, and re-energize mode.  Some of the worst days allowed us to stay by the fire while we contemplated the 2018 season and planned for 2019.

Bone chilling weather on January 31st,  a minus 20 degrees F

Our peach trees “just chillin” on February 13th

I attended the annual “Farmers Inspired” Conference in Indiana at the beginning of February. This is a national association of 300+ farmers and agritourism operators. There were two days of educational sessions and three days of touring some amazing farms in Indiana. It’s always fun to be a guest at someone else’s farm and get the inside scoop while having great conversations and learning among all our peers.

I led a sunflower panel at the conference and have great new ideas for 2019

Congratulations to Venue 45 for their recent opening in downtown Three Rivers!  Be sure to check out their beautiful new space where you will find a hard cider of ours available along with excellent cocktails and mocktails. http://www.threeriversnews.com/local-news/venue-45-set-open-week?fbclid=IwAR0gB3O24AGlN1bhj9T4uoP2kk2lA540qHz1-4TPfDtmICdsCooU8TePl7s

You can also get our hard cider at The Local in Centreville, the Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Hoffman Street Market, Mega-Bev in Oshtemo, and Salut Market in Kalamazoo.

Yes, we were envious of our own Barb and Brenda enjoying fresh strawberry shortcake in Florida this past week. So we will leave you with reminder of good things to come.

Looks like we already have our strawberry queens for the year when they return from Florida

 

From all of us at Corey Lake Orchards, stay warm…we’ll be sharing more in the near future about what this year’s season will bring.

 

 

Winter Solstice: Wishing You Peace

From the Farmer’s Almanac:

The winter solstice is the day with the fewest hours of sunlight in the whole year. This year, the winter solstice arrives today, Friday, December 21, at 5:23 pm EST.

Coincidentally, December’s full Moon—the Full Cold Moon—will also appear on the night of the 21st, though it will not be at its absolute peak until the next day. So, keep your eyes peeled for a (near) Winter Solstice Full Moon that night! (Believe it or not, the next full Moon to actually peak on the winter solstice won’t be until 2094!)

The day of the winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, meaning the one in which we experience the least amount of daylight in 24 hours; it is also the time when the Sun reaches its southernmost point in the sky. Although this part of Earth is cooling, its great thermal mass still retains some heat from the summer and fall. As the gradual cooling process continues over the next two months, temperatures will continue to fall, and the coldest temperatures will be recorded.

As winter officially begins (even though the weather is autumnal) everyone here at the farm wishes you a most peaceful winter. For we farmers who spend so much time in the sun, thinking about growing hours and daylight, winter on the farm is an important time. It is the time when our orchards, vineyards and fields go into their deep sleep to prepare for another growing season. It is the time when all of us get to catch up with family and friends, linger over a cup of coffee, delight in eating our frozen/canned fruits and vegetables, and not set alarms. The moments of quiet and solitude are perhaps the best gifts we receive as we find time to relax and rejuvenate. All the best to all of you!

Now Taking Pie Appointments (or Hard Cider/Produce – Onions, Lettuce, Carrots)!

While the market is closed as we take our winter breather, we also know that some of you would like to pick up items we might still have for yourself or others. We know a lot of customers like giving hard ciders and brandies as gifts, and we’re happy to help you choose something local and special. We’re also happy to get you some healthy produce! Here’s what is available:

Onions:  Due to having such a great onion crop, we still have bags of beautiful onions and they are cured to keep. They are $9 for a 10 pound bag, buy 2, get one free.

Organic Lettuce and Carrots: Becca keeps produce warm and cozy all winter long in the hoophouse – if you’d like some lettuce or carrots for winter salads and snacking, please call and set up an appointment. If we’re out we’ll harvest “on demand” and we promise it’s fresh and tasty – all the cold really makes for tasty, sweet veggies. Some kale available too.

“Take and Bake” Pies: Our busy apple peelers and bakery elves have been in over the last few weeks processing our great Northern Spy apples for pies. Which means: you can get our pies and bake them in your own oven, meaning you get the deliciousness, the amazing smell of apple pie wafting through your house, all of the glory and none of the mess of making a pie from scratch. You can get these by appointment as well. Call us at 269-244-5690.

Hard Ciders: Becca made a special winter cider with hibiscus, lime, and spice that’s now available and it is scrumptious. We also have: Hometown Hero (blackberry/elderberry/rose hip), Preach (pear/peach), Brunch (maple/vanilla), Hopped, Blueberry, Ginger, Standard Sweet, Standard Dry, Semi-Sweet, Cortabella, United Squash Federation, Kaiser Cyser, and Cherry Wine. As always, we have mix and match deals on small bottles and deals on large bottles.

For spirits, we have: Apple Brandy (Oak-Aged and Glass-Aged), Cherry Brandy, Niagara Grape Brandy, Double-Distilled Niagara Grape Brandy, Concord Brandy, Grappa, Peach Brandy, Pear Brandy, and new: Crane’s Cry Rye Whiskey. Becca made this small, 15-gallon batch of whiskey and has been aging it for a good long while. If you like whiskey, try it out.

Where can you get our wines, brandies, and ciders in the winter?

  1. Our brandies and wines are available by appointment – call us at (269) 244-5690 and leave a message if we don’t answer, and we’ll help you out.
  2. Buy from one of our local partners!
    • Kalamazoo customers, you can now get us at Salut Market on Westnedge Hil. Many of you had asked where oh where you could get our hard cider closer to home. If you’ve never been into this amazing bottle shop, we seriously recommend it. Lots of specialty wines, cheeses, and other foods, and now our hard cider too.
    • Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Customers: Mega-Bev! They’re right off of 131, have an incredible selection of beers, wines, spirits, cocktail foods, gifts, and more, and they’re also a family-owned business with a strong local commitment and we really appreciate their support.
    • Bars that carry some of our ciders to drink there or to take home include The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Salut Tasting Room on Westnedge Hill, and The Local in Centreville, Michigan.
    • We also have bottled cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers.

That’s one big bowl of apples to stir, thanks Patti!

 

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for your patronage in 2018 and for buying local!

Happy Thanksgiving

As farmers working the land every day, we are truly grateful for all that we harvested this year and all the abundance that we could share with so many. A day for giving thanks allows all of us to reflect on the people around us for whom we are grateful: our families, our co-workers, our customers, friends and fellow community members.

Our simple message from everyone here at the farm to all of you:  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

On Sunday our employees volunteered their time to pack 210 bags of apples and onions for the St. Joseph County United Way Thanksgiving baskets

For those of you looking to buy cider, brandy, and wine in the off season…

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

Frank Herbert, Author

The market is closed for the 2018 season and our bookmark is in place. We promise to stay in touch with you via email, Facebook and Instagram posts. We are already enjoying the post closing days at a slower pace for sure!

We truly appreciated everyone who came out the last few days and donated to our food bank box. We matched those donations and lots of crates of apples, squash, and onions are going out this week to our local food bank.

Where can you get our wines, brandies, and ciders in the winter?

  1. Our brandies and wines are available by appointment – call us at (269) 244-5690 and leave a message if we don’t answer, and we’ll help you out.
  2. Come see us at the Riviera Theatre’s Holiday Wine Night on November 16th. They have a great selection of wines for sale, as well as a full variety of our hard ciders, all at great prices. Always a great event. http://www.trriviera.com/event/winetasting/
  3. Buy from one of our local partners!
    • Kalamazoo customers, you can now get us at Salut Market on Westnedge Hill. Many of you had asked where oh where you could get our hard cider closer to home. If you’ve never been into this amazing bottle shop, we seriously recommend it. Lots of specialty wines, cheeses, and other foods, and now our hard cider too.
    • We’ll be delivering several hard ciders to Mega-Bev in Oshtemo that should be for sale next week. They’re right off of 131, have an incredible selection of beers, wines, spirits, cocktail foods, gifts, and more, and they’re also a family-owned business with a strong local commitment and we really appreciate their support.
    • Bars that carry some of our ciders to drink there or to take home include The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Salut Tasting Room on Westnedge Hill, and The Local in Centreville, Michigan.
    • We also have bottled cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers, kegged cider at Rooster’s Wing Shack, and bottled cider at Dussel’s in Cass. We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for your patronage in 2018 and for buying local!