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

Corey Lake Orchards

December: Still Full of Fresh, Local Produce

December brings two more Saturdays where we have set hours for you to still pick up items here.  Please find us in the bakery during these hours where there is heat!

Don't let a little snow stop you from coming over our last two Saturdays!

Don’t let a little snow stop you from coming over our last two Saturdays!

  • December 3rd 11 – 3
  • December 17th 11 – 3

Below is a list of what we still have available, so whether you need to just restock, get some fresh produce, or do some serious holiday shopping, we’re ready to help. Here’s some gift suggestions for someone you work with, teachers, coaches, friends or family, the hostess gift you have to take, or gifting yourself!

  • A bottle of our most popular brandy:  oak-aged apple
  • A mixed-variety 4-pack of hard ciders
  • A bottle of wine (sweet, spicy Double Cherry is wonderful this time of year)
  • A peck of Fuji and Pink Lady apples–mixed in one bag–the best of both sweet and tart keeping apples
  • A jar of local honey
  • A bag of Ruth’s famous pecan or cashew brittle
  • A frozen pie to take-and-bake to family gatherings
  • Not sure?  Get a gift certificate!

This time of year often comes with tempting food choices, and that still includes fresh local produce even in December. We find ourselves using kale and spinach just-picked from Becca’s hoophouse in almost everything we cook. Another easy treat is leaving a pretty bowl filled with apples out as a holiday decoration and also as a quick grab-and-go snack!

What is available on our two remaining Saturdays, or…if you can’t make it, email or call us for an appointment.  (269-244-5690):

  • All bags of apples are Buy Two Get One Free, can mix and match all varieties. We have several varieties that keep very well for the winter, ask us about these. In fact, we have packed two of our best keeping apples in a peck bag: Fuji–sweet apple along with Pink Lady–a tart apple. Put a bowl of these out and everyone will be happy! See the list of apples still available below**
  • Onions—2 bags for $10 (normally $8 bag)
  • Winter squash, $20 a bushel — mix up your own (this is about 20 squash)
  • Herbs…Need any sage, rosemary, etc.? The garden is loaded!  Can just brush the snow off and pick!
  • Becca’s organic produce. Bring fresh spinach, lettuce, kale, carrots, radishes, and garlic to your family tables.
  • Tasting in the market area from 1 – 3 pm on Saturday! You can sample almost every one of our products for free.
  • Brandy, wine and our vast selection of hard ciders. A lot of hard cider specials on right now.
  • Baked goods: Frozen” take and bake pies” and “take and bake muffins” in the bakery freezer–sorry but we only have apple pies left — but it is our famous Northern Spy pie!
  • Maple Syrup and Honey

**Varieties of apples  still available:

  • Fuji: Our late Fuji are now in! Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.**Below see information on how to best store apples.
  • Pink Lady: a fairly new apple to Michigan, hard tart apple with a beautiful pink cheek. Keeps well.
  • Red Rome: Very red, round apple that looks just like it came out of a storybook. Has a mild, sweet flavor, popular for baking because it holds flavor  and shape well.  Good keeper.
  • Cameo: A sweet apple with a bite to it, nice sized and striped color
  • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying:  Spy’s for pies. We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
  • 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. (Only a few left.)

Happenings on the farm:

Realizing that today is December 1, means we are at the end of another year again. Maybe it’s just the business of the farm, or maybe you feel it in your own lives, time seems stuck in high gear. While we have a break from our normal daily field work, harvesting and retail operations, the tasks of pruning, trimming, putting everything into storage are looming large. We know we must take advantage of each  “good weather” day, knowing that the inevitable winter blast will put the brakes on our progress. The mountain of office work that has piled up, always with good intentions of tackling at the end of a long busy day during the season, is now a high priority.  Reports are overdue,  accountants want information, production records must be completed and so the dreaded office work is in full force.  And even planning for the next season is in first gear, which is perhaps why I dreamed last night that I didn’t get the sweet corn seeds ordered on time!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards hopes you have a great season. Thanks as always for buying local.

Correction! No Holiday Tasting at the Riv Today

Last night our email said we’d be having a holiday wine tasting at the Riviera on Saturday, November 19th. The tasting was today, November 18th! Apologies for the misunderstanding. We will still have a tasting at the farm from 1-3 on Saturday.

Riveria Theatre Wine Night, Norton Craft Show, Texas Township Holiday Market and Another Weekend to Visit Us!

As we reflect on the many traditions this time of year, one legacy is the completion of a successful harvest and the celebration of that. That resonates with us as we are grateful to have our harvests complete and have had the opportunity to share that bounty with our customers.

And for folks celebrating Thanksgiving this week, as you think about your dinner menus, we hope you will consider some of our produce, one of our pies, fresh sage and rosemary and other herbs from our garden…it is incredible how much local produce is still available this time of year. We also invite you to partake in another United States tradition: hard cider. It was a fixture on most winter dinner tables in this country from its founding until Prohibition, but now is regaining popularity. Our hard cider is lower in alcohol than wine, at about 6.5% percent, but has enough acid and tannins to do the job of a Thanksgiving beverage, cleansing and refreshing your palate to get you ready for the next bite, and the next one, and the next one…

Lots of sage in the U-Pick Herb garden---it smells so amazing!

Lots of sage in the U-Pick Herb garden—it smells so amazing!

We make many varieties of hard cider now, so to help you decide take advantage of three area tastings going on:

We will be open both Saturday and Sunday (19th and 20th) from 11 – 3.  We would encourage you to come sooner rather than later for a better selection! After this weekend, we have two more additional times we will be open this year to sell whatever is remaining.

  • December 3rd 11 – 3
  • December 17th 11 – 3

If you come out to the farm on Saturday, take advantage of the great Norton Elementary Craft show.  This show is going on its 36th year!  https://www.facebook.com/events/1773446302930714/

Here’s what we still have available:

  • All bags of apples are Buy Two Get One Free, can mix and match all varieties. We have several varieties that keep very well for the winter, ask us about these. In fact, we have packed two of our best keeping apples in a peck bag: Fuji–sweet apple along with Pink Lady–a tart apple. Put a bowl of these out and everyone will be happy! See the list of apples still available below**
  • Onions—2 bags for $10 (normally $8 bag)
  • Winter squash, $20 a bushel — mix up your own (this is about 20 squash)
  • Herbs for Thanksgiving. Need any sage, rosemary, etc.? The garden is loaded!
  • Becca’s organic produce. Bring fresh spinach, lettuce, kale, carrots, and garlic to your family tables.
  • Tasting and tour in the distillery from 1 – 3 pm on Saturday! You can sample almost every one of our products for free, and this week, we have 12 different meads in fermentation for you to look at and learn about, if you’re interested! We won’t be sampling them but it’s a pretty cool science experiment if we do say so ourselves.
  • Brandy, wine and our vast selection of hard ciders. A lot of hard cider specials on right now.
  • Baked goods: frozen take and bake pies (if you want to pre-order for Thanksgiving or Christmas and have us store in our freezer and pickup on one of the weekends we are open closer to when you need them, we are happy to do that)
    • Based on popular request, the bakery has also put frozen “take and bake muffins” in the freezer as well
    • Pie availability warning!  Last weekend, we sold out of the stock of pies the bakery had made to get through the rest of the year….so, this week, more pies were made and the freezer is full again, but we would encourage you to try to get them this weekend or reserve them for a future weekend as we used up all of our flour stock!  Pies available for you to bake (with directions!) are:  apple, blueberry, cherry, strawberry rhubarb, peach, pecan and pumpkin.
  • Maple Syrup and Honey

**Varieties of apples  still available:

  • Fuji: Our late Fuji are now in! Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.**Below see information on how to best store apples.
  • Pink Lady: a fairly new apple to Michigan, hard tart apple with a beautiful pink cheek. Keeps well.
  • Red Rome: Very red, round apple that looks just like it came out of a storybook. Has a mild, sweet flavor, popular for baking because it holds flavor  and shape well.  Good keeper.
  • Cameo: A sweet apple with a bite to it, nice sized and striped color
  • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples. (almost all gone)
  • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying:  Spy’s for pies. We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
  • 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. (Only a few left.)

Happenings on the farm: We loved the weather this week, especially the hard frost, finally!  This helped to finish killing off the grape leaves on the vines so we can start pruning plus kill our summer vegetable plants so we can complete field work  We are moving through the apple orchards at a good pace and hope to finish the annual pruning there soon.  We have spent two long days this week making cider—lots of it in order to keep Bruce and Becca busy making brandy and hard cider for the future. Our Northern Spy apples make great hard cider, but our cider mill grinder does not like how big they are…so several hands had to help cut the largest ones up, yes the many things behind the scenes we do for you :). And we heard the word snow mentioned in the weather reports, so we are ramping up getting everything under cover, but rest assured, the big slide remains available!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.   Thanks as always for buying local.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Open Saturday and Sunday from 11-3

Hello! The farm is still winding down for the season but as promised we’ll be open Saturday and Sunday so you can pick up things for the holidays. If you can’t make it this weekend, we’ll be open the following other days:

  • Saturday November 19th 11 – 3
  • Sunday November 20th 11 – 3
  • December 3rd 11 – 3
  • December 17th 11 – 3

 

Here’s what we still have available:

  • All half bushels of apples are Buy Two Get One Free, so it is 1 and 1/2 bushels for $24. Can mix and match all varieties. We have several varieties that keep very well for the winter, ask us about these. If this is still too many apples, then give a bag to a sports team, a school group or donate to a food bank. We send apples weekly to area food banks, if you don’t want your free bag you can live it in our food bank bin for next week’s delivery. See the list of apples still available below**
  • Onions2 bags for $10 (normally $8 bag)
  • Winter squash, $20 a bushel — mix up your own (this is about 20 squash)
  • Potatoes
  • Herbs for Thanksgiving. Need any sage, rosemary, etc.? The garden is loaded!
  • Becca’s organic produce, including some garlic!
  • Tasting and tour in the distillery from 1 – 3 pm on Saturday! You can sample almost every one of our products for free, and this week, we have 12 different meads in fermentation for you to look at and learn about, if you’re interested! We won’t be sampling them but it’s a pretty cool science experiment if we do say so ourselves.
  • Brandy, wine and our vast selection of hard ciders. A lot of hard cider specials on right now.
  • Baked goods: frozen take and bake pies (if you want to pre-order for Thanksgiving or Christmas and have us store in our freezer and pickup on one of the weekends we are open closer to when you need them, we are happy to do that)

**Varieties of apples  still available:

  • Fuji: Our late Fuji are now in! Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.**Below see information on how to best store apples.
  • Pink Lady: a fairly new apple to Michigan, hard tart apple with a beautiful pink cheek. Keeps well.
  • Red Rome: Very red, round apple that looks just like it came out of a storybook. Has a mild, sweet flavor, popular for baking because it holds flavor  and shape well.  Good keeper.
  • Braeburn: Sweet with a hint of tart and a firmness that stores well. Very versatile apple that bakes well and great for fresh eating.
  • Cameo:  A sweet apple with a bite to it, nice sized and striped color
  • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples. (almost all gone)
  • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying:  Spy’s for pies. We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
  • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.  (almost all gone)
  • 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.
  • 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.

We hope to see you out in the nice weather this weekend.

Countdown Time: Saturday is Our Last Full Day of the Season!

As we move into our last full days of the year, we hope you can get out this week to stock up on your winter needs.  We have lots of apples left and great apple specials. Saturday is your final day to get fresh baked goods, including donuts.  Yes, you will have to wait until 2017 to get another Corey Lake Orchards donut…

We are open regular hours (8 to 6) this week, with Saturday being our last full day. After Saturday we will open on some weekends with limited hours….see list below in green.

During this spell of summer-like weather we are busy going down the long checklist to get the farm to bed for the season. The corn maze has been harvested, pumpkins are being hauled off, pruning continues along with getting things tucked into storage for the winter.

Sunrise over the vineyards

Sunrise over the vineyards, so quiet and peaceful.

.  Here’s what we still have available:

  • All half bushels of apples are Buy Two Get One Free, so it is 1 and 1/2 bushels for $24. Can mix and match all varieties. We have several varieties that keep very well for the winter, ask us about these. If this is still too many apples, then give a bag to a sports team, a school group or donate to a food bank. We send apples weekly to area food banks, if you don’t want your free bag you can live it in our food bank bin for next week’s delivery. See the list of apples still available below**
  • Onions2 bags for $10 (normally $8 bag)
  • Winter squash, $20 a bushel — mix up your own (this is about 20 squash)
  • Potatoes
  • Becca’s organic produce (with some help from our friend Wendy)
  • Tasting and tour in the distillery from 1 – 3 pm on Saturday! You can sample almost every one of our products for free, and this week, we have 12 different meads in fermentation for you to look at and learn about, if you’re interested! We won’t be sampling them but it’s a pretty cool science experiment if we do say so ourselves.
  • Brandy, wine and our vast selection of hard ciders. A lot of hard cider specials on right now.
  • Regular sweet cider–we are sorry that we could not press cider on Tuesday as planned due to the extended power outage. So we still have some left from our last pressing, call to reserve it or hurry out to get it!
  • Bakery goodies: donuts, apple dumplings, pies, and more
  • Our freezer is filled with “take and bake” pies (comes with baking instructions!) so you can enjoy our pies this winter

 U-Pick opportunities, your last chance….

    • U-Pick Apples –we are now into “end of season gleaning” for $5 a bushel–what is left on the tree or on the ground–warning:  there are not many left…need ladders and a lot of perseverance!
    • U-Pick Grapes–still plenty of purple Concord and a few white Niagara left)

**Varieties of apples  still available:

  • Fuji: Our late Fuji are now in! Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.**Below see information on how to best store apples.
  • Pink Lady: a fairly new apple to Michigan, hard tart apple with a beautiful pink cheek. Keeps well.
  • Red Rome: Very red, round apple that looks just like it came out of a storybook. Has a mild, sweet flavor, popular for baking because it holds flavor  and shape well.  Good keeper.
  • Braeburn: Sweet with a hint of tart and a firmness that stores well. Very versatile apple that bakes well and great for fresh eating.
  • Cameo:  A sweet apple with a bite to it, nice sized and striped color
  • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples. (almost all gone)
  • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying:  Spy’s for pies. We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
  • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.  (almost all gone)
  • 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.
  • 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.
We are so lucky to have such a great market staff!  Thanks ladies!

We are so lucky to have such a great market staff! Thanks ladies!

 Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local  and for your patronage this 2016 season.

 

*Post-regular season hours and product availability:

Our official closing date for the year will be Saturday November 5, we will be open our normal hours of 8 to 6 that day.

This year, we are going to open for some partial days to allow customers to stock up on their holiday or winter needs. Here are the days and hours:

  • Saturday November 12th 11 – 3
  • Sunday November 13th 11 – 3
  • Saturday November 19th 11 – 3
  • Sunday November 20th 11 – 3
  • December 3rd 11 – 3
  • December 17th 11-3

Here’s what we plan to make available (until they run out!)

  • Baked goods: frozen take and bake pies (if you want to pre-order for Thanksgiving or Christmas and have us store in our freezer and pickup on one of the weekends we are open closer to when you need them, we are happy to do that)
  • Produce: apples, squash, onions and potatoes (until they run out!)
  • Organics: kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes, sometimes carrots and onions or other things
  • Alcohol products: hard cider, brandy, wine
  • Other: honey, maple syrup, possibly some meat

Can check website or call for what we have available. Also, in case of severe snow or winter storms, call ahead to make sure we are open.

***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, Pink Lady or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring.