Whew, it has been another hot and dry week, and we appreciate everyone continuing to come out despite the heat! Like most of you, our employees, orchards, fields and vineyards are ready for this heat to break and for a nice soaking rain.
While we are irrigating almost daily, we are in a drought and you will see the impact on some things….the herb garden and flower beds are struggling, some of the fall fruits may be smaller. We have had to end picking green beans as the heat made them grow too fast and they got too large…..but….we had a great green bean season and will miss them until next year.
Peaches: We are now picking our last peach for the market: Coral Star. Given the peach poor spring pollination problem, we have had to make the hard decision to not have them by the bushel, but sell them in small quantities, 1/2 pecks and quarts, in order that everyone can enjoy peaches while we have them. We may occasionally have some pecks (1/4 bushel). If you are looking for bushels, call us and we have some names and numbers of local farms who have enough to sell by the bushel. A good website to check for ones closest to you is: www.michiganfarmfun.com, select your location first then peaches. Here’s what we have at the market now:
- Apples–Jersey Mac and Earli Blaze–you are welcome to try both apples while you are here out of the basket, bushels are available as well for $20. Earli Blaze is one of the best pie apples we grow and we use this one plus Northern Spy exclusively in our bakery’s apple pies.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cantaloupe—we have sooooo many–buy 2 get one free special is on right now!
- Cut Flowers including sunflowers and gladiolus (but heat is taking its toll on these)
- Eggplant–3 different sizes
- Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs.
- We now have plenty of basil and are picking it in larger quantities for making pesto (look in our cooler for it). Some of the other herbs are not plentiful due to heat.
- Fresh Dug Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
- If you want potatoes by the bushel they are $25, this is about 50 pounds or more….all colors are available, just call ahead to make sure we have them dug for you and please bring something to carry them home in.
- Field Cucumbers and Small Pickling Cukes
- Field Tomatoes
- Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!) Check out our snacking peppers!
- Sweet Corn (Bicolor and White): We started two new varieties this week, they are both delicious! Available by the bushel, 5 dozen for $20.
- Watermelon: Seeded, we think they have more flavor than the seedless ones!
- Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Spaghetti squash
3 colors of sweet snacking peppers, perfect to munch on
Large quantities: For those who want to can or freeze this summer, we have started lists for up to bushel sizes of peppers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, pears. potatoes and sweet corn. You can add your name when here or call us at 269-244-5690.
Picked Blueberries: $26 for a 10-lb box, $13.50 for a 5-lb box, $5 a quart and $3 a pint. Some are coming out of our field and again this year we will be supplementing from Brookside Farms in Paw Paw, Michigan as we have done in previous years. We hope to have blueberries through the 3rd week of August.
- U-PIck Blueberries: We still have blueberries to pick, but they won’t last much longer.
Tomato Update: The one good thing about the heat is it is bringing on the tomatoes from the field! We are still taking orders for picked tomatoes, so call if you have not gotten on our list. “First” tomatoes are going for $19 a bushel and “seconds” (have a blemish or are misshapen) are going for $14 a bushel. We are starting to work our way down the list and calling folks as we can fill the orders.
We still hope to open U-Pick tomatoes this year (U-Pick for $14/bushel) when they are plentiful enough to have good picking—projecting the 4th week of August. We have planted lots of tomatoes this year (more than in previous years) and they are looking beautiful. Barring no issues (like blight which has hurt us the last couple of years) we will have plenty for everyone if you can be patient a bit longer till they ripen.
Update on fall apples and grapes: Next week we will give you an update on how our apple and grape crops are coming along and estimates on when your favorite kind will be ready.
Becca’s certified organic produce: Kale, eggplant, garlic, slicer tomatoes, basil, bunching onions, cherry tomatoes, super sweet snacking peppers, and shishito peppers. Some of this is in limited quantities so please call ahead and place an order if you want any of these items.
Becca is finally able to sell some certified organic garlic! We have three varieties, Northern White (standard porcelain that you find in grocery stores), Chesnok Red (a purple-striped porcelain), and Georgian Crystal (a red garlic). Chesnok Red and Georgian Crystal are a bit sweeter than the Northern White. If you want to buy garlic from us this year, this will be the best weekend for it! Please call ahead if you can’t make it out for a while and want some, we’ll place some aside for you.
Just so you know, we only have about 30 lbs. for sale (a very large head of garlic weighs about 1/4 lb.) so we may very well sell out this weekend. As a garlic lover, I know this is audacious since I can probably eat 30 lbs. of a garlic a year by myself. Unfortunately, certified organic seed garlic is about $20-$30/lb, so I need to save the bulk of my harvest to carry over through next year. To give you some scale, I planted 1.5 lbs. of garlic in 2014, 10.5 lbs. of garlic in 2015, and harvested about 85 lbs. in 2016! I’ll be planting 55 lbs. of my own crop for 2017 and bought another 20-30 lbs. in several specialty varieties to plant as well. When all is said and done, I hope to have several hundred pounds to sell next year. But bear with me until we get there.
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Zucchini Chocolate Chip, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, and Oatmeal Raisin.
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Berry-peachy, and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have fresh Peach Glaze along with Chocolate Cream, Choco-Butter, and Peanut Butter available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Bread: Whole Wheat, Honey Oat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Vegetable and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns, Hot Dog Buns, and Focaccia Bread. We are partnering with La Brea Bakery on the following breads: Semolina Cheese, Rosemary Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic Loaf, and Toasted Sunflower Honey. We are trying to keep up making our popular Zucchini-Blueberry Bread – due to the popularity we have had to start limiting customers to two loaves on the weekends so that everyone can get some! Thanks for your understanding.
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
- Assorted Dessert Bars
- Mini Cupcakes
- Slushies: Concord and Niagara Grape Blend and Our Own Apple Cider
- Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry Almond, Pistachio, Wild Berry, Lemon Poppy Seed, Raisin Bran, and Banana Nut
- Donuts: We will have our Cherry, Blueberry and Buttermilk Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We also have our Chocolate Iced Yeast Donuts as well as Bavarian Cream-Filled Long Johns, Raspberry-Filled Bismarks and Cherry Fritters!
Brandy and Hard Cider: We have our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular oak aged apple brandy. Made right here, we have Blueberry, Sweet, Strawberry, Dry, Peck of Peppers, and Hopped Hard Ciders for sale in 12 and 22 oz. bottles. We also have Double Cherry Wine, Kaiser Cyser, and Tart Cherry Hard Cider in 750mL bottles.
If you’d like to try before you buy, we’ll have free tasting at the market from 1-3 on Saturday. You can also call and schedule a tour any time: 269 244 5690.
Local Products: We try to offer as many local and Michigan made products as we can.
- Meat from Mill Lake Farms, http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/other-products/mill-lake-farm-meats/.
- Yogurt from Mattawan Creamery
- Mollie’s Clay Vessels, a Flint based artist who does one of a kind bowls, planters, vases and more
- Unique cards made by 4 area artists
- “Flatware” flowers and lady bugs made by our neighbor Dave
- Honey and maple syrup
- Ruth’s pecan and cashew brittle
- Ladd’s Jalapeno Mustard (made with peppers grown here on the farm!)
- Artisan Cheese from Remy Picot (Benton Harbor)
- Michigan-shaped chairs with matching tables (Kalamazoo)
- Eggs (Kalamazoo)
- Detroit Bold Coffee Company coffee (Detroit)
- Dried blueberries and cherries (Traverse City)
- 4 flavors of Great Lakes Chips (Traverse City)
- 5 varieties of Michaelene’s granola (Clarkston)
- Boxed (totally recyclable) water (Grand Rapids)
Mad Mats that we have been selling all summer have proven to be quite popular. These are the colored mats made of recycled bottles. Peggy has just completed another order which will be arriving tomorrow, so there will be many new ones to choose from. These mats are ideal for a dorm room—so easily cleaned and bright….come check them out!
Happenings on the farm this week: It was another heavy harvest week because things grew so fast with the heat. Once again, employees were quick to step in for the work we have to do in our walk-in refrigerators and we even had volunteers to work in the freezer! This was another week where we tried not to look at the thermometer or the rain gage.
One huge accomplishment this week was completing the onion harvest. All of us feel really good about finally having a good onion crop after the many issues we’ve had the last several years. When today’s harvest came in, we all proudly agreed these were like the ones that Dad raised successfully year after year. The kind you gape at because they are so big. Please be sure to see them all hanging in our onion barn or on the wall on the side of the market. These onions are hanging to cure….once they dry and cure, we will take them down, clean and bag them in mesh bags, so they will keep for you all through the winter. But…you don’t have to wait for that, you can buy them by the bundle and hang them up in your garage, basement as well.
We knocked the stems over on the onions a week ago to get them drying for harvest
The crew pulls them from the plastic mulch and ties them into bundles.
The bundles are loaded on the truck and then hung to dry…come see them!
Loving how large the white and yellow sweet onions have grown:)
We harvested so many cantaloupe that a long afternoon was spent by several folks cutting them up to make melon brandy–stay tuned!
Please help us with our “too many melon” problem…Buy 2, get one free!
We had another “too much corn” problem due to the heat…so once again, we distributed to area food banks. We continue to appreciate the donations that so many of you have made to help us defray the costs of our doing this….it truly unites us as one large community helping others. If you would like to make a donation, we still have this going and will as long as we have surplus corn to harvest/donate, just ask one of our clerks.
Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.
Grand daughter Emma Grace helping to wash cucumbers—(we start them early!)