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

Corey Lake Orchards

Seasons of A Farm Neighborhood

Earlier this year, our treasured neighbor Bruce wrote a guest blog for us. He is our Head Brandy Maker, as well as the distillery tour guide on Saturdays. He also helps us coordinate with The Food Site in Three Rivers, collecting the surplus produce from the farm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and driving it there for us. So many of you liked his previous writing that we asked him for another one. 

We are grateful to have Bruce and Leilani, retired school teachers, as our neighbors. Our land parcels are so integrated that our irrigation well sits on their property and part of the cherry orchard you pick in actually belongs to them. They have watched the land across from their home change from field crop to field crop to now, a peach orchard, along with the generations of the Hubbard family. They both are generous and supportive “good folks” who help make Corey Lake Orchards work. We thank both of them for all that they do and Bruce, thank you for your writings.

 

The cycle of the seasons generally rolls inexorably through its changes. Winter melts into spring. Spring greens into summer. Summer ripens to autumn. Autumn empties into winter. There is a point, however, at which the seasonal progression seems to pause. Time hangs suspended. Summer’s growth has reached its peak, but it’s dusty decline into senescence has yet to begin. Nature holds its breath for a week.

It is high summer. The days of sweet corn, peaches off the tree, and melons split open under shade trees.  One wakes to bird song, comes to rest to cicadas’ whirr, and drifts off to crickets’ chirp. The air is perfumed by cut alfalfa drying in hayfields and by the occasional whiff of smoke from suppers being grilled out of doors. Lakes, ballparks, playgrounds, and family reunions draw numbers of people together. Their collective voices are the symphony of the season. Hammocks attract individuals, as well. The snores from these hammocks add the counterpoint to high summer’s m usic.

When It Rains, It Pours!

Well, if you read last week’s post, you’ll see we asked for a nice soaking rain…and we got it!! When we woke up Tuesday morning, we could hardly believe the rain gages, just over 6 inches. So we understand what the phrase “When it rains it pours” really means! You could almost hear a collective exhale from the orchards and vineyards as they soaked it into their roots. This much needed rain will give a growth boost to pears, plums, apples and grapes. However, so much at once caused some havoc to what we are currently picking, causing fruit skins to actually crack in some melons, peaches and tomatoes. We’ll sort that out and turn them into pies or brandy.

Key produce updates:

Our homegrown sweet corn is finished for the season. We are trying to get some from local farms for the weekends through Labor Day. So call before you come out to see if we were able to get any.  269-244-5690.

Blueberries are finishing up for the year….so sad to have to wait one more year for fresh blueberries again. We will have them for a few more days only.

The tomato story:

  • Tomatoes from the field are finally coming in. We have called everyone who requested “firsts” tomatoes to schedule you for a day to come get them over the next few weeks. If you haven’t received a message or called us back, please do so. Meanwhile we do have “firsts” tomatoes available on the market now on a walk in basis…however, it is always better to call and order them if you can. “Firsts” tomatoes are $19 a bushel or $10 a half bushel.
  • We are working through the orders for “seconds” tomatoes, and are about 1/2 through the list.  Seconds are $14 a bushel, these have blemishes or are misshaped.
  • U-Pick tomatoes: We still hope to have U-Pick tomatoes, probably beginning the last week of August…they will be $15 a bushel. We need to let our fields recover from all of this rain before we open the U-Pick. We have started a list of customers who want to pick tomatoes so we can call you when that opens. Give us a call 269-244-5690 if you want to add your name to the list.

The ever changing peach story:

  • So while we thought we wouldn’t have enough peaches to sell by the bushel, our orchard surprised us again, especially the trees that we planted just 3 years ago by how many they had this year. So…for probably about one week, we have plenty of peaches.  We have several varieties coming in together:  Coral Star, Crest Haven, GloHaven, Loring and Contender. These are all mid-season peaches, freestone, nice sized and very sweet. They are excellent for fresh eating or canning/freezing.
  • Peach pricing is: $48 bushel, $25 1/2 bushel (or 2 pecks), $8.75 1/2 peck and $4.00 a quart. If you want bushels, please give us a call if you can to pre-order and we can have them ready for you.  The bushels are all sorted and are “firsts”, they are not tree-run.
Many truckloads of peaches coming in!

Many truckloads of peaches coming in!

Cantaloupe-melons: This will probably be the last weekend for these….the small personal size “sugar cube” melons we grow have been so good!

Apples: We have two summer apples:  Jersey Mac and Earli Blaze, with more coming in over the next week. We are thankful to have a good apple crop this year and expect the varieties to be about one week earlier than last year. As we have done in the past several years, we hope to have some U-Pick apples over Labor Day weekend…unless the weather changes that plan. Stay tuned.

Bartlett Pears: We plan to start picking pears sometime the week of August 22. This is an excellent pear for fresh eating or canning. If you want some and are not on our pear list, please call us  269-244-5690.

Stanley Prune Plums: a purple-skin, yellow-fleshed-freestone plum will probably be ready around August 26th.

Concord and Niagara Grapes: We have a great crop of these this year….they will probably be ready around the week of September 19th. Check back with us mid September to see if we have a better idea of when we will open for U-Pick.

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
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cut Flowers including sunflowers and gladiolus
  • 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
  • Peaches
  • Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!)  Check out our snacking peppers!
  • Plums:  Castleton plums available by the quart, an early purple freestone plum
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Watermelon: Seeded, we think they have more flavor than the seedless ones!
  • Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Spaghetti squash

Becca’s certified organic produce: Kale, eggplant, garlic, slicer tomatoes, basil, bunching onions, cherry tomatoes, super sweet snacking peppers, anaheim peppers, ancho poblano 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. We still have a little garlic left for sale but it’s almost gone.garlicres

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies:  frosted Sugar cut outs, 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 and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have Peach Glaze and Raspberry Cream pies 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 Apple, Pumpkin, and Buttermilk Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday, Sunday. That’s right, fall donut flavors are here! 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. Last week, our farm beekeeper Charlotte brought in comb honey. Check it out!
  • 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)

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 

 

We’re (Tired of) Feeling Hot Hot Hot!

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
  • Cabbage
  • 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
  • Peaches
  • Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!)  Check out our snacking peppers!
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • 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

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. garlicres

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

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 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!

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:)

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!

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!)

Grand daughter Emma Grace helping to wash cucumbers—(we start them early!)

How Are We? Just Peachy! (And Hot.)

If it hadn’t been so hot all week, we could have told you we were peachy-keen!  Whew, it has been a hot one, and we appreciate everyone continuing to come out despite the heat!

peaches1res

Peaches are finally here!  Now that we have gotten into the orchard, picked a few and really assessed the crop, we realize we have fewer early-variety peaches than we thought due to poor spring pollination. The more plentiful peaches that you see as you drive along the road are all our last peach: Coral Star, which are about 1 week to 10 days away. Thankfully, these bloomed later so they were pollinated and we have a good crop of these. But, as in other years, we have had to make the hard decision to not have them by the bushel, but sell them in small quantities (1/4 bushel which is a peck is the largest quantity) in order that everyone can enjoy peaches while we have them. 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.

On the market right now we have our own Flamin’ Fury peach for sale, a big, beautiful freestone variety, and Red Haven peaches that we have brought in from a farm in Berrien Springs. They are $4/quart (2 pounds), $8.75 1/2 peck (5 pounds) or $15.00 peck (10 pounds.)

Here’s what we have at the market now:

  • Apples–Jersey Mac
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Cut Flowers including sunflowers and gladiolus
  • Eggplant–3 different sizes
  • Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs  Note: we now have plenty of basil and are picking it in larger quantities for making pesto (look in our cooler for it
  • Fresh Dug Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
  • Field Cucumbers and Small Pickling Cukes
  • Greenhouse and Field Tomatoes (few, but coming in more each day!)
  • Green Beans
  • Peaches
  • Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!)
  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Sweet Corn (Bicolor and White)  We started two new varieties this week, they are both delicious!
  • Zucchini , Yellow Squash and Spaghetti squash
Our melons are large, but sweet---needing to irrigate so often boosted their size!

Our melons are large, but sweet—needing to irrigate so often boosted their size!

Look up and see the hanging shallots drying, these are wonderful to cook with as they bring a garlic and onion flavor...plus they keep so well.

Look up and see the hanging shallots drying, these are wonderful to cook with as they bring a garlic and onion flavor…plus they keep so well.

Large quantities: For those who want to can or freeze this summer, we have started lists for up to bushel sizes of  green beans, peppers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, pears and sweet corn.   You can add your name when here or call us at 269-244-5690. If you would like to pick your own green beans, they are $16 for pick your own (if we pick they are $30). If you pick green beans and would like to pick extra for the food bank, we’d be grateful!  All of our green bean plantings are ready now, so don’t wait too much longer to get green beans.

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 have a relatively small field compared to most major blueberry growers (only three acres), so our u-pick blueberries are for folks who just want to come over to get a few pounds or so at a time and pick them because they want the fun experience!  We are finishing the  “Duke” berries now this is a large berry, and starting the “Jersey” berry which is a smaller berry.  There are lots of berries to pick, and we think we will have them thru about August 20th.
    • The hours for u-pick will be 8 until 5:45 each day, must be finished and checked out by 6 back at market.
    • Pricing will be $2.00 a pound to pick (this makes it about $3.50 a quart)
    • We have buckets for you to pick in and boxes to send them home in
    • For anyone who wants large quantities, we would recommend Brookside Farms as a great place to go. They are located in Paw Paw, their phone number is 269-657-3500 or find them online at:  http://brooksidefarmsmi.com/

Becca’s certified organic produce: Kale, eggplant, green beans, 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. Many of you have noticed a dearth of lettuce on the market but rest assured it will be coming back within the next week to ten days as successive plantings come in, and we expect a great fall crop.

News from the Bakery team:  There are so many wonderful choices in the bakery right now, you may want to make that your first stop!  With peaches in season we have you covered with regular peach pie, berry-peachy pie (blueberries with peaches) and a cold-fresh peach glaze pie (this might be our most sought after glaze pie!). Finally we picked enough Earli-Blaze apples to start making fresh apple pies again.  Please welcome our newest bakery team member Amy.  She is Michaela’s sister and Patti’s daughter—therefore she comes to us with the baking gene!

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, 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, Cherry-berry, Peach, Berry-peachy, and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have fresh Blueberry Glaze Pies and fresh Peach glaze pies 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 – definitely try some if you can get your hands on a loaf! They sell out fast.
  • 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, and Hopped Hard Ciders for sale in 12 and 22 oz. bottles. This week we have a new hard cider, Peck of Peppers. From Becca:

As a kid, I was fascinated by the huge variety of peppers my grandparents were growing. In the height of pepper season, we might have over twenty varieties at once in all colors, spice levels, flavors… I know a lot of our customers are satisfied with the standard bell peppers we grow but I have to say, I think planting such a huge variety is one of the coolest things we do and every year I try and make dinner with each of the varieties of pepper at least once. Needless to say, I just had to make a pepper cider for our market. It’s a special one made with several kinds of peppers and bottled such that it is naturally carbonated by residual sugar and yeast. It’s dry but not too try, spicy but not hot, and satisfyingly smoky. Enjoy!

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)

Happenings on the farm this week:  It was another heavy harvest week due to how fast everything gets ripe when it is hot. Due to the heat, we limited our picking to the morning hours and tried to do lighter work in the shade work in the afternoons. We had no trouble finding volunteers to work inside one of our walk-in refrigerators when we needed to pack produce in there!

One of the things we like is watching our customers enjoying our farm. Tables full of families enjoying donuts and slushies, families in our yard play area coaxing a little one down the big slide or out of the “soybean” house when they want to stay and play—these moments give us joy and we are happy to share our farm with you. However, as we move toward fall apple season, we would just ask for a little more help in adults keeping an eye on the children playing….lately we’ve rescued some lost children in the greenhouse, crying children too afraid to come down the slide, or ones who slipped on the soybeans! We are a working farm, so there are natural farm hazards (tractors and vehicles going by, wells, etc.). Keeping everyone safe is our number one priority! Thanks for your help on this.

Our herb-pot checker board (purchased at a garage sale for $!) has been very popular this summer!

Our herb-pot checker board (purchased at a garage sale for $1) has been very popular this summer!

Note about parking: We don’t have any hard rules on parking except we ask that you help keep the spots right by the market available for our handicapped entrance and park in our lot if you can especially when the market is busy to help lessen congestion in the driveway. Often customers drive up and park in the drive by the market and ask if it is okay while they just grab a bag of sweet corn! Of course it is, if the space is there! Sometimes you just don’t feel like walking up the hill, you know you are coming to get a lot of stuff and it will be hard to get to the car, it is pouring down rain (we wish)…or whatever. We know our parking situation isn’t ideal, but somehow with everyone’s cooperation we always seem to get it to work. So thank you, and don’t be shy.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 

Grandaughter Emma Grace helping to fill up the bins with zucchini:)

Grandaughter Emma Grace helping to fill up the bins with zucchini :)

 

So Grateful….

Last week we asked you for help with our sweet corn “overload” to get it picked and to food banks.  We are in awe with the response and are so grateful for the monetary contributions you made to help us to defray the costs of picking and packing the corn. The contributions totaled 95 dozen, we matched each dozen donated with 2 additional dozens. Monday afternoon, we filled half a box truck with freshly picked corn – over 300 dozen – as well as cucumbers and squash and sent it all to the Loaves and Fishes Distribution warehouse in Kalamazoo. Tuesday and Thursday, we sent two vans full to the local Three Rivers food site, and tomorrow we will deliver to Centreville. Getting fresh sweet corn was a real treat for those who picked some up and they were immensely thankful. And in turn, we thank you for helping to make this possible.

loavesandfishes

If you would still like to help, please sign up as you check out at our market. As long as we have an abundance of corn (or any other produce)  we will continue to pick it and distribute to as many food banks as we can.

Here’s what we have at the market now:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cut Flowers
  • Eggplant
  • Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs  Note: we now have plenty of basil and are picking it in larger quantities for making pesto (look in our cooler for it
  • Fresh Dug Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
  • Field Cucumbers and Small Pickling Cukes
  • Greenhouse and some field tomatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Peppers
    • Yes–we now have shishito peppers for sale, both conventional and certified organic. People who find them on the market have one of two reactions:  “Wow, you can’t find those anywhere–we love them!” or “What are those?” Since most of you fall in the second group, these peppers are sweet-mild (very occasionally one will be spicy, and you can’t tell which ones will be). They are known and used by many restaurant chefs as their thin skin means they cook up quickly. It only takes a few minutes to sauté and blister them into a perfect snack. We have these two recipes on the market and encourage you to try them. There are a few recipes here – http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-shishito-peppers-recipe-221033 or http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-shishito-peppers-summers-best-new-bite-51153400 – and any recipe for pickling pepperoncini peppers would work well as they’re excellent for pickling. Becca puts some up every year and they’re a delectable mid-winter treat.
    • The "in" pepper

      The “in” pepper

  • Onions
  • Sweet Corn (Bicolor and White)  Updated on 7-29….we are temporarily out of bushels of corn as we have sold so many and are now between plantings….we may not have enough corn to sell all weekend, so call us to reserve it if you need it. 
  • Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Large quantities: For those who want to can or freeze this summer, we have started lists for up to bushel sizes of  green beams, peppers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, peaches and pears and sweet corn.   You can add your name when here or call us at 269-244-5690. If you would like to pick your own green beans, they are $16 for pick your own (if we pick they are $30). If you pick green beans and would like to pick extra for the food bank, we’d be grateful!  All of our green bean plantings are ready now, so don’t wait too much longer to get green beans.

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.

  • U-PIck Blueberries: We have a relatively small field compared to most major blueberry growers (only three acres), so our u-pick blueberries are for folks who just want to come over to get a few pounds or so at a time and pick them because they want the fun experience!  We are finishing the  “Duke” berries now this is a large berry, and starting the “Jersey” berry which is a smaller berry. If we get picked out, we will close to allow the berries to ripen up again. So, you may want to call ahead to make sure our u-pick patch is open, 269-244-5690.
    • The hours for u-pick will be 8 until 5:45 each day, must be finished and checked out by 6 back at market.
    • Pricing will be $2.00 a pound to pick (this makes it about $3.50 a quart)
    • We will have them for about 10 more days
    • We have buckets for you to pick in and boxes to send them home in
    • For anyone who wants large quantities, we would recommend Brookside Farms as a great place to go. They are located in Paw Paw, their phone number is 269-657-3500 or find them online at:  http://brooksidefarmsmi.com/

Becca’s certified organic produce: Kale, eggplant, green beans, slicer tomatoes, “single serving” cabbage, bunching onions, cherry tomatoes, 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.

Emma Grace filling both her mouth and the basket with Becca's sun-gold tomatoes which taste better than candy

Emma Grace filling both her mouth and the basket with Becca’s sun-gold tomatoes which taste better than candy

Peaches are coming….really, really.  Those of you driving by know this since they are turning colors….but….it is truly deceiving, they are getting color but so hard yet.  We will pick a few daily now as they ripen, but it is easily another week before we really have them.  Patience please!

Many of you have asked why we don’t have U-Pick peaches, we used to do this many years ago, but have frankly found it doesn’t work well for us or for our customers.  First, peach trees are more fragile than other fruit so limbs break easily causing damage.  Second, the fruit is fragile, and if not picked properly will be bruised and have imprints of your fingers on it when you get home!  Since the price would be the same if we pick them or you pick them, you might as well leave it to our professional pickers….if you really want to pick peaches, there are farms in Michigan, mostly on the west side of the state where you can do that.  This great website will help you find them:  http://www.michiganfarmfun.com/

peaches

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, 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: Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have fresh Blueberry Glaze Pies and lemon-cream pies available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  (Last week, several customers, employees and the UPS man tried their two lemon pie recipes…both were hits with us!)
  • 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 – definitely try some if you can get your hands on a loaf! They sell out fast.
  • 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, 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 to 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/.  We got a large delivery this morning so we now have many cuts of steaks, new pork roasts, beef roasts, and all of the pork and beef cuts we had before. I have been using their all natural, grass fed meat all summer and I have been converted! I am amazed at two things: the flavor and how little, if any fat there is.
  • Jasmine waits patiently with a grape slushy while her Mom and Dad unpack a truckload of meat from their farm

    Jasmine waits patiently with a grape slushy while her Mom and Dad unpack a truckload of meat from their farm

  • 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)

Happenings on the farm this week:

This week we began harvesting the 45,000 onions we planted in March.  The red onions are done and now harvesting yellow sweet Spanish. We haven’t had a good onion year in several years so we are happy to have a good crop this year. All the onions we grow are sweet. We are hanging the onions on the market as well as in the “onion barn” to start the curing process.  Once dry, we will take them back down, clean them and bag them. We also sell them in the bundles, so pick one out as you come in the market, we’ll be happy to get it down for you.

Feel free to take pictures of these in the onion barn at the top of the hill...and they smell wonderful.

Feel free to take pictures of these in the onion barn at the top of the hill…and they smell wonderful.

Two rows of onions in a load

Two rows of onions in a load

We are also grateful for the Corey Lake Orchards family and so many others that have supported  our own employee Terri Kauffman in the past few weeks after her house caught on fire. Terri is back at work and finishing the arduous chore of trying to salvage anything left and clean up. Sadly, they have lost almost everything. If you would like to help, please visit the YouCaring page she has set up.  https://www.youcaring.com/terri-kauffman-606706#

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. And thanks again for helping us with our ‘”too much sweet corn problem!”

Grandaughter Emma Grace helping to pack corn

Grandaughter Emma Grace helping to pack corn