Goodbye strawberries, Hello cherries!

As we wind up our strawberry season, we are going right into cherries!

Picked cherries:

Sweet cherries we picked today

Sweet cherries we picked today

We now have picked sweet cherries available on the market for sale, they are $5.50 a quart.   We  have picked sour cherries for $4.00 a quart.

U-Pick Sweet cherry picking information, now open for picking. 

We have a good crop of sweet cherries this year.   We grow about 8 different varieties.  However the rains are causing them to start splitting, so we would advise you to come sooner rather than later as they won’t last long.  The bottoms of the trees have been picked so please bring ladders for better picking.

  • Pricing: 2.25 per pound to pick, over 50 pounds is $2 a pound
  • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet).

U-Pick Sour cherry picking information, now open for picking.

We have a good crop of tart cherries this year.   The type of tart cherry we grow is Montmorency.  They are typically used for pies, tarts, or making jelly, but some people like to eat them and enjoy their tartness.

  • Pricing: $1.75 per pound to pick, $1.50 cents per pound for 50 pounds or over.
  • The sour cherry trees are about 10 – 20 feet tall.
  • Length of the sour cherry season:  It will depend on the weather and how many people come out each day as well as how much more rain we get, but we would expect them to last about one more week.

Other information for U-Pick cherries:

  • U-Pick Hours:  8 – 6 daily, please be finished picking by 5:45 pm to be back to the market by 6pm.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy or prickly plants in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
  • Please bring your own ladder as we do not supply ladders.  Some of the best cherries are out of reach and a small step ladder would be helpful.

Picked and U-Pick strawberries are coming to an end, the season was shortened by the amount of rain received. Please call before coming out to see whether we have any picked or to pick as we will only have them for a few more days. 269-244-5690.  If the rain coming tonight does not hurt them, we will try to have berries through this weekend, as they are still very nice and plenty to pick.

Other produce available at the market: 

  • Rhubarb, $2.50/lb. (this is probably the last week we will have it)
  • Broccoli, $2.50/lb.
  • Sugar snap peas  and snow peas (just starting to come in)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow summer squash

Greenhouse Produce: 

  • Greenhouse cucumbers, $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers)
  • Greenhouse peppers, $1 each
  • Greenhouse tomatoes. For many of you, not having our tomatoes is a disappointment!  We are sorry, our greenhouse tomato production has slowed way down and we are only picking a few times a week.  So for the next several weeks we are supplementing tomatoes from greenhouses in Indiana.

Produce from Becca: As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals.  If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you as often there are limited quantities– 269 244 5690.

  • “Personal size” cabbages
  • Green Beans from the hoophouse, $3/lb.
  • Cherry Tomatoes from the hoophouse.
  • Sale on kale! This weekend, Siberian kale will be $2/half pound. This variety is growing in really strong and I’ve got tons of it right now. It has a nice sweet flavor for people who juice.
  • Red Russian, Curly, and Tuscan Kale are also available, as are Chard and Collard Greens, $3/half pound.
  • Lettuce, $3/half pound.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag.

The u-pick herb garden is open for u-pick at $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh!

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew Brittle
  • Honey and Maple Syrup
  • Michigan-made Sanders Dark Chocolate Fruit Dip for your strawberries or cherries
  • Mary’s jams will be back this weekend. Mary will be here at 11 am on Saturday and Sundays with a selection
  • Gift items

From the Bakery:   
We are excited that cherry season is here! Cherry pie is one of our most popular pies.  New this weekend will be cherry-almond muffins.  We are also bringing back the popular Coca-Cola cupcakes for the weekend.  Please feel free to call and order any of our items in advance at 269-244-5690.

This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.  
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Double Chocolate
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Multi-Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry-almond, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran
  • Coca-Cola cupcakes
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies/Welch’s grape juice or cider

Happenings on the farm this week:  We picked a lot of sweet cherries.  Since the ones at the top of the tree are always the ripest, we used our special “squirrels” (3 wheeled machines which lift our pickers up and down)   to get to the tops of the trees where you can’t reach safely with even the tallest ladder.

cherriessquirrelres

We were able to get back to some maintenance this week, especially those days when we couldn’t get into the fields due to the rains.   Why is it that when something breaks it is usually in some place that is difficult to get to?

Yes, this is our very own David up under there someplace....

Yes, this is our very own David up under there someplace….

We participated in the Three Rivers Water Festival parade with a miniature version of our market and gave away really cool strawberry candies!  Thanks to David for pulling the float and making this happen.  It was fun to have everyone waving and supporting us.

floatres

We started staking and tying up our field tomatoes this week, the U-Pick tomato field is coming along really nicely.  And surely we are all anxiously awaiting field tomatoes.

tomato stakingres

And we have continued to enjoy the many families that have come out to pick berries, we really appreciate your coming out and hope you had a great experience.

Hauling in a whole wagon load from the field

Hauling in a whole wagon load from the field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These cute little guys stopped to pose for a picture before they continued picking.

These cute little guys stopped to pose for a picture before they continued picking.

From Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards, we hope to see you soon and thanks for buying local.

 

 

 

 

Rain, Strawberries, Happy Father’s Day!

Strawberry update: It seems like strawberry season is coming and going at the same time this year.  Sadly, the never-ending rains are shortening the length of the season, so if you don’t want to miss them, you need to get your berries soon. We hope to have them about one more week, but this will depend on how much it rains!

Picked strawberries are available for $3.50 a quart.  Due to this being the end of the season, we are no longer selling berries by the flat price.

sbcarriersres

 

 

 

U-pick strawberries are $1.75 quart. Please bring quart containers if you have them. If not, you may borrow ours for picking and use your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.

Schedule for the 2015 season U-Pick Strawberry season. 

  • We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 12:00 pm daily (that’s EST for our Chicago customers!)
  • We are offering two afternoon picking options this year: Mondays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm.
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.

Other produce available at the market: 

  • Rhubarb, $2.50/lb. (this is probably the last week we will have it)
  • Broccoli, $2/lb.
  • Snap peas (just starting to come in)
  • Kohlrabi
We have an abundance of Kohlrabi, so this is the weekend to try it!

We have an abundance of kohlrabi, so this is the weekend to try it!

Greenhouse Produce: 

  • Greenhouse cucumbers, $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers)
  • Greenhouse peppers, $1 each
  • Greenhouse tomato shortage. For many of you, not having tomatoes is a disappointment!  We are sorry, the greenhouse tomato production has slowed way down and we are only picking a few times a week.

Produce from Becca: As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. I’m constantly impressed by how quickly some things sell out on the weekends! If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you – 269 244 5690.

  • “Personal size” cabbages! Several customers last year told me they were a little hesitant to buy big five or six pound cabbages, so I planted a small variety that has a reputation for great flavor. Each cabbage is about a pound.
  • Green Beans from the hoophouse, $3/lb.
  • Cherry Tomatoes from the hoophouse (first weekend we’ll have them!), $2.75/pint.
  • Sale on kale! This weekend, Siberian kale will be $2/half pound. This variety is growing in really strong and I’ve got tons of it right now. It has a nice sweet flavor for people who juice.
  • Red Russian, Curly, and Tuscan Kale are also available, as are Chard and Collard Greens, $3/half pound.
  • Lettuce, $3/half pound.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag.
  • Turnips and Radishes, $2/bunch.

personalcabbagesres

The u-pick herb garden is looking good. Parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, catnip, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, cilantro, and more are ready to harvest. U-pick herbs are $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh.

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew Brittle
  • Honey and Maple Syrup
  • Michigan-made Sanders Dark Chocolate Fruit Dip for your strawberries
  • Mary’s jams will be back this weekend. Mary will be here at 11 am on Saturday and Sundays with a selection
  • Gift items. Here’s a couple that might work well for a Father’s Day gift (especially for a dad that loses keys often!)
garden tool hooks

Garden tool hooks.

From the Bakery:  
Happy Fathers Day Weekend! This weekend we will have pecan pie and our special baseball decorated cut out cookies! This is also the last weekend for Blueberry Rhubarb pie and may be the last weekend for Fresh Strawberry Glazed Pie. Please feel free to call and order any of our items in advance at 269-244-5690.

This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.  
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Rhubarb, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Pecan.
  • Strawberry Glazed Pie–fresh strawberries in a glaze sauce topped with whipped cream
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Double Chocolate
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Multi-Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies/Welch’s grape juice
  • Michaela finishing off a strawberry glaze pie

Cherry Crop update: As of right now we have good sweet and sour (tart) cherry crops. However, too much rain could damage them so we are all keeping a close eye and our fingers crossed.  Sweet cherries could be ready by June 26th and the tart cherries are about one week later. Check back with us about June 24th for more information or check the website. We expect to have picked and U-Pick available.

The tart cherries are turning red but need to get more size

The tart cherries are turning red but need to get more size

Find us at local Farmer’s markets: 

Hubbard’s Brandy and hard cider are available and we’ll be doing a tasting session this Saturday from 1-3.

Happenings on the farm this week: Our focus this week was on strawberries, trying to get as many picked as we could and into the hands of our customers before the rains spoiled them. We seemed to spend agonizing amounts of time looking at the weather radar, emptying the rain gage and shaking our heads  I added  a new weather app to my phone hoping the new app might somehow show me less rain, but it didn’t. When we couldn’t park cars in the strawberry field, we improvised and drove everyone out to their picking spot and back! Some folks have told us they think that should always be part of the experience!

None of us ever remember a rainier berry season. So a huge thanks to everyone who endured the mud, the rain, the wet berries and came out and picked…and for those of you who haven’t come out yet, you’re still welcome. The weather for the next few days looks good! Thanks to our great U-Pick field crew this week, Nancy who got everyone into a row, George who got everyone in and out of the field, and Emily and Abby (Nancy’s daughters) who checked everyone in and out.

This little boy insisted he had not eaten a strawberry!

This little boy insisted he had not eaten a strawberry!

Abby, George and Emily ready to help--mud or not.

Abby, George and Emily ready to help–mud or not.

Several families out today enjoying the berries.

Several families out today enjoying the berries.

We may rename ourselves "Berry-world" since we offer rides

We may rename ourselves “Berry-world” since we offer rides

From Becca: The rain is both a blessing and a curse. The weeds get easier to pull but there are more of them. At first the crops like it – at some point, it slows them down. I prefer it to hot sun, but we need those rays to get things growing…and of course, it’s bad to work wet soil and prevents me from getting old crops out and new crops planted. Hard to believe I’m already turning over the first beds of lettuce and radishes that I planted but it’s also hard to believe it’s already the middle of June…someone make time slow down please.

The turtles are absolutely loving this weather. I spotted a huge snapper this week across from the market, ancient and scarred with algae growing on her back. Around the hoophouse I’ve found painted turtles, red-eared sliders,  and box turtles laying their eggs. I also find them often on the farm roadsides – please drive carefully.

That’s it for this week. See you at the market! Thank you for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

U-pick Strawberries! And More Strawberries. And MORE Strawberries!

Picked strawberries are now available daily!

  • Picked berries: $3.50 quart
  • $26 for a flat of 8 quarts, either ordered ahead or available when we have them. Please call 269-244-5690 to place your order and we will call you when they are ready.

U-pick strawberries will open on Saturday, June 13th. The first few days of strawberry opening are usually a little bit chaotic with everyone anxious to get out for the first time. Please realize there may be some lines until we find everyone a picking spot. The morning picking is from 8 until 12. If we finish picking all of the berries for that day, we will close early as we rotate the fields in order to ensure customers have good picking each day we are open. You are always welcome to call to make sure the field is open before you drive out (269-244-5690).

We expect berry picking season to last 10 days or two weeks, depending on the weather. So if you want to avoid the opening day crowd, feel free to wait until next week!

  • U-pick strawberries will be $1.75 quart. Please bring quart containers if you have them. If not, you may borrow ours for picking and use your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance. We would like to work with you to schedule you in on a day when we have lots of berry availability. Ask to be put on our “large quantity list.” 269-244-5690.
  • We welcome customers who want to take advantage of being on a farm and enjoy the u-pick experience. We know there are many families who would like to have their children understand where their food comes from and how it grows. Some of you have shared that the experience is almost more important than how many berries you pick! If you are newcomers to strawberry picking and want some advice, just let us know when you arrive and we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.

Schedule for the 2015 season U-Pick Strawberry season. 

  • We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 12:00 pm daily (that’s EST for our Chicago customers!)
  • We are offering two afternoon picking options this year: Mondays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm.
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.

Other produce available at the market: 

  • Rhubarb: $2.50/lb. (This is probably the last week we will have it)
  • Broccoli
Our broccoli is beautiful this year

Our broccoli is beautiful this year

Greenhouse Produce: 

  • Tomatoes, $2/lb
  • Greenhouse cucumbers, $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers)
  • Greenhouse peppers, $1 each

Produce from Becca: As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. I’m constantly impressed by how quickly some things sell out on the weekends! If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you – 269 244 5690.

  • Lettuce from the schoolhouse (hoophouse lettuce is gone now), $3/half pound bag.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag.
  • Kale (Red Russian, Siberian, Curly, and Tuscan), Chard, and Collard Greens, $3/half pound.
  • Limited quantities of Turnips and Radishes, $2/bunch.
  • Limited quantities of Sugar Snap Peas and Green Beans.

The u-pick herb garden is looking good. Parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, catnip, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, cilantro, and more are ready to harvest. U-pick herbs are $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh.

Perennial Flower Plants are still available: yarrow, sweet William, coneflowers, delphinium, baby’s breath, daisies, statice, bee balm, rudbeckia, black-eyed Susans and salvia. We have them in many color choices!

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Meat
  • Cards
  • Pecan and cashew brittle
  • Honey and maple syrup
  • New this weekend, Michigan-made Sanders dark chocolate fruit dip for your strawberries
  • Mary’s jams will be back this weekend. Mary will be here at 11 am on Saturday and Sundays with a nice variety of homemade jams, made from fruit grown on our farm or her own.

From the Bakery:  

Once again this weekend we will have our strawberry glazed pie, topped with fresh whipped topping and our home-made shortcakes. We have had a busy week getting ready for 2016! If you are wondering how we make those strawberry-rhubarb pies in the off season, it is because our bakery crew freezes the fruit so we can use them for baking fresh pies. Please feel free to call and order any of our items in advance at 269-244-5690.

This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.  
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Strawberry Glazed Pie–fresh strawberries in a glaze sauce topped with whipped cream
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Double Chocolate
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Multi-Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies/Welch’s grape juice
Thanks to Jan who has frozen her share of berries for us this week

Thanks to Jan who has frozen her share of berries for us this week

Find us at local Farmer’s markets: 

Hubbard’s Brandy and hard cider are available and we’ll be doing a tasting session this Saturday from 1-3.

Happenings on the farm this week: This week we picked and picked strawberries, trying to get all of our orders complete while waiting for the berry plants to be full enough to open the U-Pick. We also spent a lot of time answering the phone–whew! That’s how we know so many people are anxious to come pick strawberries. With the great rains we got, we had to go into high gear again with weeding, another thankless job that is never finished.

Cathy taking orders and answering the most FAQ:  "When will U-Pick strawberries be open?"

Cathy taking orders and answering the most FAQ: “When will U-Pick strawberries be open?”

From Becca:

This week I harvested my first five pounds of green beans out of the hoophouse! They’re just starting to ripen now. I also got my first pints of sugar snap peas out of the field. With the rain and warm temperatures, a lot of things are growing strong. Now is a great time to get lettuce – it’s still cool enough at night, so I can grow several sweet and tender varieties. A month or so from now there will mostly be summer crisp lettuces available.

Many of you have seen me with a friend following close behind. His name is Odin, and I’m watching him while his owner looks for dog-friendly housing. He’s very friendly, very happy to meet kids, and very energetic! I mostly keep him away from customers because I understand not everyone likes dogs. He also stays out of my vegetable beds for food safety reasons, but is often just outside the fence guarding me. If you like dogs and see him in the yard, feel free to say hello!

That’s it for this week. See you at the market! Thank you for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Some days it does seem like the dogs are in charge!!

Some days it does seem like the dogs are in charge!!

 

Strawberries are here! And National Donut Day on Friday, June 5th – get $1 off per dozen!

Strawberry Update: Finally, a great tasting Michigan strawberry!

DCIM100MEDIA

Beth “out standing” in this year’s strawberry field–drone picture compliments of Steve Malleck**

Picked strawberries are now available daily – since they are just starting, we do tend to sell out before the day is over. It’s best to call ahead until we have lots so we can save them for you.

  • Picked berries: $3.50 quart
  • $26 for a flat of 8 quarts, either ordered ahead or available when we have them. Please call 269-244-5690 to place your order and we will call you when they are ready.

U-pick strawberries will be starting soon! Please check back around June 11th for a better idea on when the u-pick patch might open. If the weather cooperates, we are going to try to open u-pick for the weekend of June 13th….

  • U-pick strawberry pricing will be $1.75 quart. Please bring quart containers if you have them, if not, you may borrow ours for picking and use your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance. We would like to work with you to schedule you in on a day when we have lots of berry availability. Ask to be put on our “large quantity list.” 269-244-5690.
  • We welcome customers who want to take advantage of being on a farm and enjoy the u-pick experience. We know there are many families who would like to have their children understand where their food comes from and how it grows. Some of you have shared that the experience is almost more important than how many berries you pick! If you are newcomers to strawberry picking and want some advice, just let us know when you arrive and we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.

Schedule for the 2015 season once we do open for U-Pick:

  • We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 12:00 pm daily
  • We are offering two afternoon picking options this year: Mondays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm.
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.

On to our regular schedule programming! Other produce available at the market: 

Asparagus: $2.25/lb. for green asparagus ($2/lb. if you buy ten pounds or more). We will have it for about one more week!

Rhubarb: $2.50/lb.

Greenhouse Produce: 

  • Tomatoes, $2/lb
  • Greenhouse cucumbers, $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers)
  • Greenhouse peppers, $1 each
English cucumbers growing in our greenhouse

English cucumbers growing in our greenhouse

Our first time for growing greenhouse peppers--they are beautiful

Our first time for growing greenhouse peppers–they are beautiful

Produce from Becca: As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. I’ve been impressed by how quickly some things sell out on the weekends! If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you – 269 244 5690.

  • Kohlrabi ($2.25/lb.) and Kohlrabi Greens ($2/large bunch) both from the hoophouse.
  • Lettuce from the schoolhouse and from the hoophouse, $3/half pound bag.
  • Basil from the hoophouse, $1/bag.
  • Limited amounts of Kale (Red Russian, Siberian, Curly, and Tuscan) and Collard Greens $3/half pound.
  • Leeks and Spring Onions, $2/bunch.
  • Turnips and Radishes, $2/bunch.

The u-pick herb garden is looking great right now with parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, cilantro, and more. U-pick herbs are $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh.

Annual Bedding Plants:  This is the end of plant sales—-hurry out if you still need them for your garden!

  • Vegetable Plants:  Mostly what we have left is peppers, tomatoes, winter and summer squash, melons, and eggplant.
  • Annual Flowers:   Just a few flats of assorted flowers left

Perennial Flower Plants will be available into June: yarrow, sweet William, coneflowers, delphinium, baby’s breath, daisies, statice, bee balm, rudbeckia, black-eyed Susans and salvia. We have them in many color choices!

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Meat: apple, blueberry, Stromboli, asparagus and original brats; seasoned pork cutlets; smoked pork chops; bacon; seasoned/cheese, jalapeno and regular beef patties; and ground beef all from Drake’s Country Cuts in Cassopolis. This weekend they are adding in two new flavored brats: Sassy Barbecue (not hot but spiced) and Cajun Spice (hot).
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew brittle
  • Honey and Maple syrup
We have lots of local honey and maple syrup options

We have lots of local honey and maple syrup options

From the Bakery:  

With strawberry season here, we will be making two of your favorite items this weekend. First, our strawberry glazed pie, topped with fresh whipped topping. Second, our own home-made shortcakes. We use an old fashioned recipe and they are a heavy-sweet cake, sold individually or in a 6-pack. Just add our fresh strawberries to top them (or some people like them plain). Please feel free to call and order any of our items in advance at 269-244-5690.

This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry. Friday is National Donut Day, so on Friday only, donuts will be $1 off per dozen! 
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Strawberry Glazed Pie–fresh strawberries in a glaze sauce topped with whipped cream
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Double Chocolate
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Multi-Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Welch’s juice as well as jelly is now available in the bakery. We are Welch’s Growers and are pleased to offer products made from our grapes!
shortcakes coming out of the oven!

shortcakes coming out of the oven!

Line of gift items: Check out our small line of gift items we are getting from GANZ. You will find them tucked all over in the market or the bakery.

Check out the gift items we have, especially for gardeners

Check out the gift items we have, especially for gardeners

Find us at local Farmer’s markets: 

Hubbard’s Brandy is available and we’ll be doing a tasting session this Saturday from 1-3.

Happenings on the farm this week: This week we couldn’t get into our fields for 4 days due to the 3 plus inches of rain we got over the weekend. Despite a few ponds that formed, we were happy to get that amount of rain – we don’t irrigate our vineyards or orchards and they needed a good drenching. Since I am usually the first one to find fault with the weather, let me say that this week’s weather is perfect for strawberries, which like cool nights and nice days to size up nicely. The rainy days allowed us to get at some more maintenance items that we had put aside and work in the greenhouse tying up the tall tomato plants again.

A slow and tedious job the crew is working on is going back through our grape vineyards and checking each vine: taking off growth that we don’t need and helping to train new plants to grow if the vine did not make it through the past 2 very cold winters. We finally got the two new apple rope swings up–still more to come.

She said the apple rope swing was a lot of fun!

She said the apple rope swing was a lot of fun!

From Becca: This week marked the first time Corey Lake Orchards has gone to a farmers market as an official vendor. Since I was the one who decided this would be a good idea, I was the person who got to go to the market. Those of you who know me well know I am not the most organized person in the world and events like this require a good sense of organization. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out well (which is to say I didn’t drop any flats of strawberries, I didn’t lose any coolers of lettuce, I did not drop a sign on anyone’s head, I did not crash the van…). I had a great time! I met so many new people – most customers at the market had not ever heard of us. My mom (Charlotte, who keeps the bees on the farm) came to help and I cannot thank her enough. You’re the best, Mom!

My mom helping out with our booth at Fresh on Q.

My mom helping out with our booth at Fresh on Q.

I predict having sugar snap peas sometime this upcoming week with hoophouse green beans within the next couple of weeks. I’ve been eating a cherry tomato a day out of the hoophouse and I think those will start ripening en masse sometime soon as well (I planted a lot of Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, those sweet sugary yellow ones). A few of you have asked for hoophouse tours – I’m happy to provide but since I’m often down the road in the schoolhouse and not ‘on call’ at the market, please call ahead to schedule.

That’s it for this week. See you at the market! Thank you for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

**A huge thank-you to Steve Malleck, son of Jan Broker who works in our bakery, for bringing his drone and taking some wonderful pictures of our farm. It was fun to watch him operate it. We’ll be sharing more with you. He is with Rolling Drone Ariels and can be reached at s.malleck901@comcast.net.

Greenhouse Tomatoes and Peppers, Kohlrabi, Farmers Markets, and a Strawberry Update

Available at the market: 

Asparagus: $2.25/lb. for green asparagus ($2/lb. if you buy ten pounds or more). $2.50/lb. for purple asparagus. We think we’ll have asparagus for at least another week or two but if you’re worried about stocking up and freezing it for the winter,now is the time to buy.

Greenhouse Produce: tomatoes are really coming in now. $2/lb. So time for those BLT’s! We bake the bread, grow the lettuce, and sell bacon in the freezer in the bakery! Greenhouse cucumbers, are available for $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers). Greenhouse peppers will be available this weekend as well.

Greenhouse tomatoes looking good.

Greenhouse tomatoes looking good. They are growing extra large this year–perfect size for a sandwich.

Rhubarb: $2.50/lb.

From Becca: Kohlrabi ($2.25/lb.) and kohlrabi greens ($2/large bunch) both from the hoophouse. Lettuce from the schoolhouse and from the hoophouse, $3/half pound bag. Basil from the hoophouse, $1/bag. Limited amounts of kale, $3/half pound. Leeks: $2/lb. As always, my produce is grown without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you – 269 244 5690.

Lettuce growing at the schoolhouse, 5/27.

Lettuce growing at the schoolhouse, 5/27.

0528150810a

Kohlrabi and kohlrabi greens.

Not familiar with kohlrabi? It does look sort of like an alien….In flavor it’s a cross between a turnip and a cabbage…savory and robust. Its texture is more like a beet, I suppose. It’s getting trendy and there’s a lot of great recipes out there, including a few we’ve printed out for you to pick up when you’re at the market. If you’ve never cooked with kohlrabi greens, think of them like collards: heavenly and full of flavor, and requiring a longer cooking time than kale or chard. I posted a recipe on how I cooked them for dinner tonight here.

The u-pick herb garden is looking great right now with parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, spring onions, and more. There’s also a little bit of cilantro (more on the way) and the start of some other herbs. As always, u-pick herbs are $1/bag.

Plants: 

  • Lettuce bowls: these are living salad bowls where you can harvest the lettuce yourself and it will grow back, giving you a nice salad every week for a long time. $12/bowl.  Hurry, we only have a few left.
  • Basil pots: Large Genovese basil plants already bearing lots of large leaves for you to set on your porch. $7/pot.
  • We still have a wide variety of bedding plants. Bedding plants do sell out sometimes so if you need us to set something aside for you call ahead and let us know! 269 244 5690. Here’s what’s left:
  • Vegetable Plants: kale, peppers, cucumbers, tomato, squash, melons, eggplant. We also have seed potatoes and onion sets.
  • Perennial Flower Plants: yarrow, sweet William, coneflowers, delphinium, baby’s breath, daisies, statice, bee balm, rudbeckia, black-eyed Susans and salvia. We have them in many color choices!
  • Annual Flowers: asters, cosmos, gomphrena, impatients, lobelia, marigolds, morning glories, nasturtium, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, petunias, salvia, snapdragons, verbena, vinca, and zinnias. There are different colors and heights to choose from.

Strawberry Update:

Everyone is anxious for Michigan strawberries and ours will be here within a few weeks depending on the weather. Our best guess is that we will have picked berries available in the market the week of June 8th and hopefully U-Pick will be available the week of June 15th. This year’s strawberry pricing will be:

  • Picked Berries: $3.50 quart, $26 for a flat of 8 quarts. Please call 269-244-5690 to place your order and we will call you when they are ready.
  • U-Pick Berries: $1.75 a quart. Next week we will post the U-Pick hours for the year.

Locally made yogurt: We are carrying thick Greek-style yogurt from Mattawan creamery. All of their yogurt is made from the grass fed/pastured Jersey cows at Moonique dairy in Vandalia. They use this milk plus a 5-strain probiotic culture to make this creamy yogurt, so it is just plain good and simple stuff! Can’t wait for strawberries and blueberries to be ready to add to it. It is available in quarts and pints. Find this in the cooler on the market with the Michigan-made cheese and eggs.

Meat: apple, blueberry, Stromboli, asparagus and original brats; seasoned pork cutlets; smoked pork chops; bacon; seasoned/cheese and regular beef patties; and ground beef all from Drake’s Country Cuts in Cassopolis. 

From the Bakery:  

This weekend we will be bringing back a favorite from last year: Vegetable Bread! A lot of you have been asking about it so we will begin baking it fresh this weekend and will have it daily. Also this weekend we will have a new Honey Oatmeal bread! Come try both of these. Please feel free to call and order in advance at 269-244-5690.

This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts:  (Just Saturday and Sunday this week) cherry, buttermilk and blueberry
  • Beginning on Friday June 5th, we will have donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Cookies: Cut out, Monster, Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Double Chocolate
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Multi-Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Welch’s juice as well as jelly is now available in the bakery. We are Welch’s Growers and are pleased to offer products made from our grapes!

Happenings on the farm this week:

With the start of summer comes the start of farm market season. Starting this Tuesday, you can find us at the Texas Township Farmers Market from 3pm – 7pm. Becca will be selling produce and baked goods (and hopefully at some point doing wine and cider tastings!). For the second year in a row we’re teaming up with The Huss Project in Three Rivers to sell produce at the Three Rivers Farmers Market. You can find our produce there on Thursdays along with produce from Bair Lane Farm and White Yarrow Farm.

This week we did a lot of “holding on to our hats” as the high winds and rains came. We were delighted in the one inch of rain we got, and a little less delighted with the winds which broke plants and took a layer of plastic off our greenhouse (don’t worry – we got it back in place today!). The rain gave a huge growing boost to our field crops, orchards and vineyards, so we’ll take the good with the bad.

The week we put in about 2000 tomato plants, 600 pepper plants, 150 squash plants, 600 melon plants, 500 cucumber plants and 600 more cauliflower plants. Yes, we were busy!

Many of you have asked what all this plastic is in our fields, it is the mulch system we use for planting vegetables.  We have it every year, but this year it is closer to the road.

Many of you have asked what all this plastic is in our fields, it is the mulch system we use for planting vegetables. We have it every year, but this year it is closer to the road.

Planting cucumbers, both slicers and pickling into the plastic mulch.

Planting cucumbers, both slicers and pickling into the plastic mulch.

Perfect rows of tomato plants going in!

Perfect rows of tomato plants going in!

If you were driving by this week you might have seen around 10 people hovering over a blueberry bush, a strawberry row and in the peach orchard. This week we hosted the USDA’s Farm Service Agency training for their field inspectors. The Farm Service Agency is a critical resource for farms to assist with disaster relief, conservation programs and financial services. The services they provide for farms like ours are growing more important each year due to the weather extremes. We greatly appreciate their efforts and all they do for Michigan farmers.

The FSA trainers preparing before they head out to the fields

The FSA trainers preparing before they head out to the fields

From Becca: One of the joys of the hoophouse is its own little ecosystem. I seem to find something new every day. Yesterday it was a tiny garter snake, relaxing between the kohlrabi heads. Last week, it was the foundress of a yellow jacket hive, tucked under my lettuce (luckily I saw it before I grabbed the leaf it was resting on). At dusk when I go to close it, I try to guide out the moths and butterflies trapped inside. In the morning, I find the absolutely beautiful dragonflies sleeping on the tomato trellises, ready to wake up and eat the aphids and gnats and other bothersome bugs…I’m not sure which of these are “good” species or “bad” species. The snake probably eats toads that are eating bugs that are both pollinating flowers and spreading disease…I’m not a fan of yellow jackets or their stings but they too eat insects that eat my plants.

Quite glad I didn't grab this lettuce leaf without looking first.

Quite glad I didn’t grab this lettuce leaf without first looking at it.

Fresh hoophouse tomatoes are on the horizon.

Fresh hoophouse tomatoes are on the horizon.

Of course, in the midst of this I have tomato plants that are now three feet tall, green beans that are producing mounds of flowers (soon to be produce!), tiny pepper plants, basil, more…it has been very exciting experiencing this first spring in the hoophouse and makes me excited for time to come.

We had a great Memorial day weekend with so many farm visitors. The bakery seemed to be the most popular spot. So we appreciated everyone who came out. Here’s wishing you a good end of the month and we appreciate you buying local. Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards.

A customer from Chicago who ate 4 Pistachio muffins, then bought more to take home!  Thank you for letting us know how much you liked them.

A customer from Chicago who ate 4 Pistachio muffins, then bought more to take home! Thank you for letting us know how much you liked them.