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

Corey Lake Orchards

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!

Our Final Day: Sunday November 4th

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

Frank Herbert, Author

So while our final day for the 2018 season is this Sunday, we like to think we’re just putting a bookmark in place. It’s hard saying goodbye to our many customers and not seeing you all winter. But we love staying in touch with you via emails, Facebook and Instagram posts.

And honestly, we are ready for the farm to be at a slower pace for a bit. It always feels good to have the major harvest completed. Now our work tasks turn to pruning the apple trees and grapes, winterizing equipment, and putting the fields to bed for another year. Oh, and tackling a mountain of paperwork that was only a hill in the spring!

Closing Date Information: Our last day is Sunday, November 4th. We will be open that final day until our normal closing time of 6pm. In the past few years we have opened on some additional weekends in November, but this year we won’t be able to do that. So….you have a few more days to stock up on your winter needs of apples, winter squash, onions, take and bake pies, hard ciders, wine and brandies! After that we may be available by appointment for hard ciders, brandies, and wines, but won’t have much produce to sell. We have several varieties of apples which keep extremely well: Fuji, Cameo, Red Rome and Pink Lady. At the bottom find specific information on the best way to store apples.

In our final days, we are continuing specials that will make it easier for you to stock up, buy gifts of produce or help us with our community hunger needs. We’d like to give fresh produce to as many folks as possible by supplying our local food banks in South West Michigan. If you’d like to be part of this community effort, here’s how you can help. We are putting a “Buy Two, Get or Give One Free” special on onions, squash, and apples.  Here’s how it works:

  • Apples: Buy 2 bags of the same size apples (any variety, can mix and match) and take a 3rd free or donate it for the food bank collection.
  • Onions: Buy 2 bags, get 1 free or donate
  • Squash: Buy 2 squash of the same price (can mix varieties) and get a 3rd at the same price free or donate it to the food bank collection.

Only need 1 bag of apples and want to donate 2? That’s even better. Our goal is to fill as many bins of produce as possible. Corey Lake Orchards will match everyone’s donation and at the end we’ll let you know how many pounds of produce we were able to collectively donate!

Our first family to donate apples to our foodbank donation box…thanks!

Straw bales available: With the cold weather upon, many are looking for straw to use for mulching, animal bedding, etc. We have straw for sale for $6/bale or four bales for $20.

Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: We have butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash left. You can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!  We also have pie pumpkins and decorative pumpkins left.

Sweet Cider: We have pressed our last batch of sweet cider for the year. I think it is the best! You can freezer cider by taking out enough for expansion when it freezes (typically one cup in a gallon) and enjoy it all year. If you are trying to get lots of cider (10 plus gallons) please call ahead and order it. We made extra this week for those trying to fill their freezers.

Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.

    • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
    • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
    • Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. Sold by the pound only ($2).
    • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
    • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
    • Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
    • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.
    • PInk Lady:  If you don’t know a Pink lady, you need to meet her! It is a cross between a Lady William and Golden Delicious apple. It has bright white flesh that resists browning when cut. Pink Lady apples are very firm and dense, with a tart flavor and effervescent finish. Very unique apple!  Brenda’s favorite!

Apple Gleaning: You may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc. There are apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them. Please check in at the market first so we can show you which orchards are open. If you don’t have containers, we have drawstring half bushel bags you can purchase for 35 cents each. The apples will be here until a hard freeze hurts them or they are all picked. While the supply is dwindling, you can still find apples.

What else is on the market:

  • Onions, including Red Marble Cippolini and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting. Our large sweet onions are now cleaned and bagged (10 pounds for $9) for you to take and have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.
  • Bosc Pears: This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear.)

Bakery:

Reminder:  If you ordered “take and bake” pies, please pick them up by the end of closing on Sunday.

Bakery offerings for our last weekend will be:

  • Cookies: M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
  • Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns, and Sunflower Seed Bread!
  • Yeast Donuts
  • Pumpkin Cake Rolls
  • Assorted Muffins 
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin. Available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only until we close for the year.
  • Gluten Free Sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
  • Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
  • In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode!

Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: 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.

Find Hard Cider Happy Hour in the brandy building. Because of the rain and chilly weather we moved it into the distillery which is cozy and heated! Ask at the market for directions if you haven’t been in our brandy house before. Come find us 4-6pm Friday, 3-6pm Saturday and sample cider or get a growler filled.  If you bring growlers from home and we’ll put our sticker over them, or buy one from us! We have Hometown Hero (Blackberry/Elderberry/Rose Hip), Blueberry, Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Hopped, Ginger, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, Cortabella (pure Cortland apple cider) and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles.

If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Salut in Kalamazoo, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.

Brandy Tasting and Tours are this Saturday from 1-3. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy as well as Double Cherry Wine available behind the shelf at the market.

Join us at the beautiful downtown Riviera Theatre for the annual Holiday wine tasting event on Friday, November 16th.  We’ll be there with wines and hard ciders.  Always a fun event!  http://www.trriviera.com/event/winetasting/

Finally, our congratulations to our farm’s beekeeper, Becca’s mama, and Beth and Brenda’s sister Charlotte, for her recent award as Michigan’s Beekeeper of the Year. Kalamazoo area residents may know her as one of the KVCC beekeeping instructors, and we are forever grateful that she keeps her hives here on the farm to pollinate our fruits and vegetables, plus generate the sweet honey she sells here. To learn more about her passion for bees, go to her website: http://hubbardhive.com/

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you before we close for the year!

Lovely fall view from the market earlier this week.

***Storing Apples:

Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.

For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.

If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.

There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.

Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring

Buy Two, Give One or Get One

No tricks, just treats!  If you come in costume this weekend, you’ll be treated to a free cake donut of your choice in the bakery! Donut choices are apple cider, pumpkin or buttermilk, plain or sugared. We’ll be ready for you and can’t wait to see what characters come out (besides our usual customer characters that we love!).

Emma Grace filling up the children’s cart with free apples and other non edible items like stickers, pencils and coloring books

Closing Date Information: It’s hard to believe that closing is upon us. Our last day for the year will be Sunday, November 4th. We will be open that final day until our normal closing time of 6pm. In the past few years we have opened on some additional weekends in November, but this year we won’t be able to do that. So….you have about 1 week to stock up on your winter needs of apples, winter squash, onions, take and bake pies, hard ciders, wine and brandies! After that we may be available by appointment for hard ciders, brandies, and wines, but won’t have much produce to sell. We have several varieties of apples which keep extremely well:  Fuji, Cameo, Red Rome and Pink Lady. At the bottom find specific information on the best way to store apples.

In our final few weeks, we are offering some specials that will make it easier for you to stock up, buy gifts of produce or help us with our community hunger needs. We’d like to treat as many folks as possible to fresh produce by supplying our local food banks in South West Michigan. If you’d like to be part of this community effort, here’s how you can help. We are putting a “Buy Two, Get or Give One Free” special on onions, squash, and apples. This will start on Friday October 26th and will go until we run out of produce or close for the year. Here’s how it works:

  • Apples:  Buy 2 bags of the same size apples (any variety, can mix and match) and take a 3rd free or donate it for the food bank collection.
  • Onions:  Buy 2 bags, get 1 free or donate
  • Squash:  Buy 2 squash of the same price (can mix varieties) and get a 3rd at the same price free or donate it to the food bank collection.

Only need 1 bag of apples and want to donate 2? That’s even better. Our goal is to fill as many bins of produce as possible. Corey Lake Orchards will match everyone’s donation and at the end we’ll let you know how many pounds of produce we were able to collectively donate!

To get a head start, Corey Lake Orchards teamed up with the Triple River Cross Fit group this week to pick apples to send with pumpkins to the Kalamazoo Mission Center in Kalamazoo. This joint effort started last year when we picked 800 pumpkins and donated them, coining the phrase “everyone deserves a pumpkin.” Friday we will send enough pumpkins for their group, plus 50 bushels of apples that we picked. Thanks to the small buy quick picking group who helped pick apples for this.

Brock and Autumn, owners of Triple Rivers CrossFit

Michaela and Emma Grace helped

We recruited our own Barb from the market staff

Straw bales available: With the cold weather upon, many are looking for straw to use for mulching, animal bedding, etc. We have straw for sale for $6/bale or four bales for $20.

Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: Update:  10-17-18:  We have sold out of pumpkins for the year, sorry.  Try Riley Pumpkin Farm on Ferguson Road off Broadway (big sign on Broadway) or Bullseye in Three Rivers.  We have butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash left. You can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!

Sweet Cider: We are pressing sweet cider now. Each week is a different mix and tastes a bit different….we work hard to blend the apples to make a nice sweet apple taste. You can freezer cider by taking out enough for expansion when it freezes (typically one cup in a gallon) and enjoy it all year. If you are trying to get lots of cider (10 plus gallons) please call ahead and order it. We made extra this week for those trying to fill their freezers.

Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.

    • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
    • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
    • Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. Sold by the pound only ($2).
    • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
    • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
    • Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
    • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.
    • PInk Lady:  If you don’t know a Pink lady, you need to meet her! It is a cross between a Lady William and Golden Delicious apple. It has bright white flesh that resists browning when cut. Pink Lady apples are very firm and dense, with a tart flavor and effervescent finish. Very unique apple!  Brenda’s favorite!

Apple Gleaning: In several of the orchards, you may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc. There are apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them. Please check in at the market first so we can show you which orchards are open. If you don’t have containers, we have drawstring half bushel bags you can purchase for 35 cents each. The apples will be here until a hard freeze hurts them or they are all picked.  While the supply is dwindling with the amount of folks picking, you can still find apples.

What else is on the market:

  • Onions, including Red Marble Cippolini and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting. Our large sweet onions are now cleaned and bagged (10 pounds for $9) for you to take and have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.
  • Bosc Pears: This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear.)

Bakery:

As we near the end of our baking season, we would like to remind everyone to order their holiday or winter stock of “take and bake” pies. Over the past years, we have found that this is the best way for you to have pies on your holiday table or get you through the winter until our bakery reopens in May! And it moves the wonderful aroma of a pie baking to your own home.  We will be accepting orders thru October 31st and pies will be available for pickup until we close on November 4th. When ordering your pies, please order at least 3 days in advance of when you would like to pick up your order so our bakers will be able to make and freeze them fresh for you!  All our “take and bake” pies are large 9” pies, the available flavors are: apple, dutch apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb. Call us at 269-244-5690 to order, or stop at the market or bakery and fill out an order form.

You can also order frozen gluten free cinnamon rolls, pies and dinner rolls for your holiday needs that we carry from Gluten Free Sensations in Three Rivers.  We have an order form for these you can pick up, or call to order.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
  • Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns, and Sunflower Seed Bread!
  • Yeast Donuts
  • Pumpkin Cake Rolls
  • Assorted Muffins 
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only until we close for the year.
  • Gluten Free Sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
  • Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
  • In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode!

Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: 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.

Find Hard Cider Happy Hour in the brandy building. Based on the chilly weather, we’re moving our hard cider tasting to the brandy house which is enclosed and heated! Ask at the market for directions if you haven’t been in our brandy house before. Come find us 4-6pm Friday, 3-6pm Saturday and sample cider or get a growler filled.  If you bring growlers from home and we’ll put our sticker over them, or buy one from us!  We have Hometown Hero (Blackberry/Elderberry/Rose Hip), Blueberry, Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Hopped, Ginger, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, Cortabella (pure Cortland apple cider) and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles. We’ve sold out of some ciders and a few more are close to sold out so be sure to get what you love while you still can.

If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Salut in Kalamazoo, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.

Brandy Tasting and Tours are this Saturday from 1-3. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy as well as Double Cherry Wine available behind the shelf at the market.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you before we close for the year!

 

***Storing Apples:

Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.

For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.

If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.

There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.

Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring

The Frost is on the Pumpkin…

The frost is on the pumpkin and it truly feels like fall. The staff is still loving excuses to go into the walk-in coolers, because now they are warmer than the market! It’s that “feel good” time of year when you can bundle up in thick sweaters and high top boots as your feet crunch on autumn leaves as you pick apples or pick out a pumpkin. And for those of you not familiar with this poem, “The Frost is on the Pumpkin” it was a favorite of my Dad’s, as you can tell with him being a farmer and born in the south! (Virginia)  It’s at the bottom for your reading pleasure.**

We have had two good frosts now, with last night’s being the hardest.  It has not hurt the grapes yet as they were protected by leaf cover until today.  The frost zapped most of the leaves, which actually makes it easier to pick the grapes now because the leaves are out of the way.  If you are not coming soon for grapes, call before you come as another frost could hurt the grapes.  Apples are okay unless we have several days below 28 degrees which we have not.

Grapes leaves were hit by frost

Much easier to find the grapes now!

Closing Date Information: It’s hard to believe that closing is upon us when the farm is in such a high fall gear, but we are a seasonal business and those temperatures will be dropping before we know it. Our last day for the year will be Sunday, November 4th. We will be open that final day until our normal closing time of 6pm. In the past few years we have opened on some additional weekends in November, but this year we won’t be able to do that. So….you have about 2 weeks to stock up on your winter needs of apples, winter squash, onions, take and bake pies, hard ciders, wine and brandies! After that we may be available by appointment for hard ciders, brandies, and wines, but won’t have much produce to sell.  We have several varieties of apples which keep extremely well:  Fuji, Cameo and Pink Lady.

Grapes:

Our purple Concord grapes are for the most part gone for the year. If you really want to try picking some, you are welcome to go see what you can find, particularly in the middle of the rows where some might have been missed. We have plenty of white grapes left to pick  and will have them up until another hard frost.

Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: We have a nice selection of pumpkins left as we just finished harvesting them yesterday.  We also have gourds and mums for your fall decorating. Remember, you can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!

Sweet Cider: We are pressing sweet cider now. Each week is a different mix and tastes a bit different….we work hard to blend the apples to make a nice sweet apple taste.  You can freezer cider by taking out enough for expansion when it freezes (typically one cup in a gallon) and enjoy it all year. If you are trying to get lots of cider (10 plus gallons) please call ahead and order it.

2018 Apple Update: We have a smaller crop of apples this year due to spring weather issues.

Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.

  • Apple Special:  We have three varieties (Northern Spies, Jonathan, and Cortland) on special. Buy two half bushels (or one bushel) for $24, and get an additional half bushel for free. So this is a $12 savings. You can mix and match.
    • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
    • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
    • Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, a descendent of the McIntosh, this variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor. Juices really well. (Almost gone for the year)
  • Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. Sold by the pound only ($2).
  • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
  • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
  • Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
  • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.
  • PInk Lady:  We have only picked a few of the Pink Lady and will be picking the rest soon. If you don’t know a Pink lady, you need to meet her! It is a cross between a Lady William and Golden Delicious apple. It has bright white flesh that resists browning when cut. Pink Lady apples are very firm and dense, with a tart flavor and effervescent finish. Very unique apple!  Brenda’s favorite!

Pink Lady apples

Regular U-Pick Apples is still open to pick Red Romes.  As you can see below, these trees are loaded and beautiful and make a perfect picture opportunity.  The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. $24 a bushel, $13 a half-bushel, $7.50 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $5 a half-peck, $3 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.

Apple Gleaning started on Tuesday, October 16th:  In several of the orchards, you may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc.  There are apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them.  Please check in at the market first so we can show you which orchards are open.  If you don’t have containers, we have drawstring half bushel bags you can purchase for 35 cents each.  The apples will be here until a hard freeze  hurts them or they are all picked.  As of today (Thursday 10-17 5pm) there was still a good supply left, despite  many customers coming out.

Bernadette helps 91 year old Bernard glean apples …they brought the right tool!

Apple gleaning means one here, one there and persistence!

What else is on the market:

  • Onions, including Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting.  Our large sweet onions are now cleaned and bagged (10 pounds for $9) for you to take and have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.
  • Bosc Pears. This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear.)

Organics! Shiitake mushrooms, Bunching onions, leeks, sweet peppers, hot peppers, kale, swiss chard, baby ginger (half off this week!), and sweet potatoes!

Bakery:

As we near the end of our baking season, we would like to remind everyone to order their holiday or winter stock of “take and bake” pies. Over the past years, we have found that this is the best way for you to have pies on your holiday table or get you through the winter until our bakery reopens in May! And it moves the wonderful aroma of a pie baking to your own home.  We will be accepting orders thru October 31st and pies will be available for pickup until we close on November 4th. When ordering your pies, please order at least 3 days in advance of when you would like to pick up your order so our bakers will be able to make and freeze them fresh for you!  All our “take and bake” pies are large 9” pies, the available flavors are: apple, dutch apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb. Call us at 269-244-5690 to order, or stop at the market or bakery and fill out an order form.

You can also order frozen gluten free cinnamon rolls, pies and dinner rolls for your holiday needs that we carry from Gluten Free Sensations in Three Rivers.  We have an order form for these you can pick up, or call to order.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies:  M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
  • Pies:  Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
  • Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns, and Sunflower Seed Bread!
  • Yeast Donuts
  • Pumpkin Cake Rolls
  • Assorted Muffins 
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only until we close for the year.
  • Gluten Free Sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
  • Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
  • In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode!

Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: 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.

Find Hard Cider Happy Hour in the onion barn. This is the building on top of the hill overlooking the playground and herb garden. Come find us 4-6pm Friday, 3-6pm Saturday and sample cider or get a growler filled. If you bring growlers from home and we’ll put our sticker over them, or buy one from us!  We have Hometown Hero (Blackberry/Elderberry/Rose Hip), Blueberry, Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Hopped, Ginger, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, Cortabella (pure Cortland apple cider) and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles. We’ve sold out of some ciders and a few more are close to sold out so be sure to get what you love while you still can.

If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Dussel’s in Cassopolis, Salut in Kalamazoo, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.

Brandy Tasting and Tours are this Saturday from 1-3. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy as well as Double Cherry Wine available behind the shelf at the market.

We processed lots of apples this week into “pulp mash” for Bruce to make apple brandy for future years.

Marci and Brenda feeding the apple grinder.

Yep, this is what mashed up apples look like! Now they need to ferment.

We thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon!

**When The Frost Is On The Punkin – Poem by James Whitcomb Riley

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey cock
And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence
O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock

They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees
And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees
But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below the clover over-head!
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin’ ‘s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too!
I don’t know how to tell it but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me
I’d want to ‘commodate ’em all the whole-indurin’ flock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

Fall Color Tour SUNDAY! 11 – 5 for Family Farm Fun

We hope you will be able to make it to the farm to enjoy all of our fall activities, especially the the Three Rivers Area Fall Color Tour which is Sunday, October 14th. We are one of many stops in the area. Click here for more information. https://www.facebook.com/events/731427820303749/

Amy and Christopher helping to wash 800 pumpkins for Meyer Broadway Park Fall Color Tour activities!

Our special activities for fall color tour here at the farm include:

  • Local artists and specialty vendors: 11 to 5
  • Local musicians/bands playing
  • Camzies Pizza Food Truck: 11 to 5
  • Live Birds of Prey exhibit: 1 to 3 (weather permitting)
  • Brandy and Wine Tasting: 1 to 3
  • Hard Cider Happy Hour: 1 to 3
  • and of course….our market and bakery will be open our normal hours of 8 to 6.

Grapes:

Our purple Concord grapes are for the most part gone for the year. If you really want to try picking some, you are welcome to go see what you can find, particularly in the middle of the rows where some might have been neglected.  However, we would discourage you from coming if you are trying to pick a lot or traveling far to get them. This is the first year EVER we have run out of Concord grape picking before the frost, and we had a very good crop this year! We thank the many customers who came for weeks and picked them!

We have plenty of white grapes left to pick  and will have them up until the first hard frost. Here’s why we think they are so good:

  • They are sweeter than the Concord
  • They are easier to pick (larger clusters, less foliage and double wire trellis make them that way)
  • They don’t stain like the purple Concords do

 

Love how sweet these Niagara grapes are

Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: We have pumpkins of all shapes and colors now, gourds, and mums for your fall decorating. We also have lots of squash. Remember, you can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!

Sweet Cider: We are pressing sweet cider now. Each week is a different mix and tastes a bit different….we work hard to blend the apples to make a nice sweet apple taste.

2018 Apple Update: We have a smaller crop of apples this year due to spring weather issues. Also, as you are in the u-pick apple orchard you will notice some of the other effects of the spring frost which left some scars on the apples.

Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.

  • Apple Special: In order to make room for later varieties coming in, we have three varieties (Northern Spies, Gala, and Cortland) on special. Buy two half bushels (or one bushel) for $24, and get an additional half bushel for free. So this is a $12 savings. You can mix and match.
    • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
    • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
    • Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, a descendent of the McIntosh, this variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor. Juices really well.
  • Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. Sold by the pound only ($2).
  • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
  • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
  • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
  • Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snaking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
  • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.

  • U-Pick Apples are open now for most varieties. Picking is available during our business hours of 8 until 6. We need everyone checked out by 6, so you must be in the apple orchard by 5:30 to be able to pick. Please check in at the market first for directions. You will be driving to the orchard, so send someone to the market to get directions before getting everyone (especially excited children) out of the car!  We only have Red Romes available to pick now.   The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. $24 a bushel, $13 a half-bushel, $7.50 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $5 a half-peck, $3 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.

Apple Gleaning Update on Tuesday, October 16th:  We will open several of the orchards for gleaning on Tuesday October 16th.  You may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc.  There are apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them.  Please check in at the market first so we can show you which orchards are open.  If you don’t have containers, we have drawstring half bushel bags you can purchase for 35 cents each.  The apples will be here until a hard frost hurts them or they are all picked.

What else is on the market:

  • Onions, including Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting.  Our large sweet onions are now cleaned and bagged (10 pounds) for you to take and have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.
  • Bosc Pears. This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear.)

Organics! Shiitake mushrooms, Bunching onions, leeks, sweet peppers, hot peppers, kale, swiss chard, baby ginger (half off this week!), and sweet potatoes!

 

Making our overstuffed apple pies with Northern Spy apples–the best!

Bakery:

As we near the end of our baking season, we would like to remind everyone to order their holiday or winter stock of “take and bake” pies. Over the past years, we have found that this is the best way for you to have pies on your holiday table or get you through the winter until our bakery reopens in May! And it moves the wonderful aroma of a pie baking to your own home.  We will be accepting orders thru October 31st and pies will be available for pickup until we close on November 4th. When ordering your pies, please order at least 3 days in advance of when you would like to pick up your order so our bakers will be able to make and freeze them fresh for you!  All our “take and bake” pies are large 9” pies, the available flavors are: apple, dutch apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb. Call us at 269-244-5690 to order, or stop at the market or bakery and fill out an order form.

This will be the last weekend we are making cinnamon rolls, as we shift our baking to making all of the holiday pies. Better come get your fill!

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Apple Caramel, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate Chip, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
  • Pies:  Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
  • Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns, and Sunflower Seed Bread!
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Pumpkin Cake Rolls
  • Assorted Muffins and Blueberry Coffee Cake
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. After this week, we will only have cake donuts available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until we close for the year.
  • Caramel Apples — made with JonaGold apples
  • Gluten Free Sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
  • Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
  • In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode!

Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: Hometown Hero is back! We won a silver award for this blackberry, elderberry, rose hip cider, and we hope you like it too. Find Hard Cider Happy Hour in the onion barn. This is the building on top of the hill overlooking the playground and herb garden. Come find us 4-6pm Friday, 3-6pm Saturday and sample cider or get a growler filled. If you bring growlers from home and we’ll put our sticker over them, or buy one from us!  We have Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Strawberry, Hopped, Afternoon (Strawberry/Chamomile), Sour Cherry/Sage, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, Cortabella (pure cortland apple cider) and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles. Several of our ciders are about sold out until next year so make sure you ask if there’s anything you want to stock up on.

If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Dussel’s in Cassopolis, Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.

Brandy Tasting andTours are this Saturday from 1-3. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy as well as Double Cherry Wine available behind the shelf at the market.

Closing Date Information:  It’s hard to believe that closing is upon us when the farm is in such a high fall gear, but we are a seasonal business and those temperatures will be dropping before we know it. Our last day for the year will be Sunday, November 4th.  We will be open that final day until our normal closing time of 6pm. In the past few years we have opened on some additional weekends in November, but this year we won’t be able to do that.  So….you have about 3 weeks to stock up on your winter needs of apples, winter squash, onions, take and bake pies, hard ciders, wine and brandies! After that we may be available by appointment for hard ciders, brandies, and wines, but won’t have much produce to sell. Below we have put some information about the best way to store apples.

We thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon!

Sunrise over the farm this morning before the rains came in!

***Storing Apples:

Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.

For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.

If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.

There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.

Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples.  We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring. FALL