Summer is back again, but here at the orchard, we’re definitely all things fall! Each week new apple varieties are coming in, along with more fall ornamentals. We finally have pumpkins too! So much color and fun things to look at. Don’t miss seeing the giant pumpkins in front of the onion barn!
It’s Apple Season! Here’s what we have in the market for sale now:
- Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. (not a cooking apple) There are only a few bags left!
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple with a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness
- Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. Sold by the pound only, ($2).
- JonaGold: Superbly crisp and juicy with shades of tart and sweet in each apple, very large and aromatic. Cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious. There are only a few more bags of these left!
- McIntosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce.
- Jon-A-Mac: This is a good cooking or eating apple. It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan and a McIntosh. A favorite for apple sauce.
- Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, a descendent of the McIntosh. This variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor and juices really well.
Apple picking will be available on Saturday and Sunday only this year, during our business hours of 8 until 6. Please check in at the market first to get directions as you will be driving to the orchard. We need everyone checked out by 6, so you must be in the apple orchard by 5:30, and checked in at the market by 5:15. Check our website or call us to see which apple varieties will be available which weekends.
This Saturday and Sunday the U-Pick Apples varieties available are limited to Gala, Jonathon, Cortland, and Yellow and Red Delicious until more varieties ripen. The trees are full and they are fun to pick! The Yellow and Red delicious are not all ripe yet, so we’d ask that you carefully “spot pick” only the ones that are the ripest. Our orchard guides can help you with this. If you are trying to pick a lot of Red or Yellow Delicious, you should wait another week.
Apple pricing for the year: The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples will be: $26 a bushel**, $14 a half-bushel, $8.00 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $6 a half-peck, $3.50 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound. **When we have bushels available.
Wondering when your favorite apple will be ready? Each week we will publish an apple estimate at the end of this post.***
Apple Cider update: We made our first cider today, and will jug it Friday. We should have it available after 10 am!
White Niagara Grape Update: We are going to open the white Niagara grapes for U-pick on Saturday 9-21 for the season. The white Niagara are typically one week ahead of the purple Concord; sugar tests on these done today (16.9 brix) indicate they are plenty sweet and ready. We have less than half of a crop of these this year due to the winter freeze, so they may not last long. For those trying to get huge amounts of white grapes (like 500 pounds or more), we would suggest this is not the year to try to pick them here. Sorry.
Purple Concord grape update: We are going to open up one vineyard of purple Concord grapes this weekend that is riper than the other vineyards, for those who are trying to pick both colors at the same time, or for those who can only come this weekend. The Concord grapes measured 13.4 brix today, and they need to be at least 15 brix or more for optimal sweetness. We feel the Concord grape peak ripeness will be the week of 9-30 and after. We encourage everyone to wait if they can. There is a good crop Concord grapes, and the longer customers wait, the sweeter/riper they will get. Additional information about grape picking can be found below.**
Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes both white Niagara and purple Concord. They are $28 a bushel.
What is on the market now:
- Vegetables: sweet corn, fresh dug onions, eggplant, peppers, cherry/grape tomatoes, regular field tomatoes–red and green, spaghetti squash, winter/hard squash, garlic, shallots
- Fruit: apples
- U-pick herbs
- U-Pick flowers
- Dried sunflower heads–to feed your feathered friends
This weekend in the bakery We are making a new pie which will be available this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; Turtle Cheesecake Pie! This delicious pie is cheesecake filling in our made from scratch crust, then it is topped with pecans, caramel, chocolate, and whipped cream! Yum! We are still taking orders for Apple Dumplings! We will only have them available the weekend of October 4-6, and by order only, and they are sold in packages of 2. If you would like anything reserved or to order apple dumplings, give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we will be happy to save it for you!
This weekend’s offerings will be:
- Cookies: Cut-out cookies, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Turtle Cheesecake (available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).
- Apple Crisp
- Breads: Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette. Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
- Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts, muffins, scones
- Dessert bars: peanut butter mousse, chocolate caramel, lemon burst, chocolate truffle, chocolate and white mousse
- Fall flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
- Slushies- 3 flavors; Unpasteurized Apple Cider, White Grape Peach, and Grape blend.
Look for our “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in). “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors in the freezer now.
Photographers – If you are interested in Fall photo opportunities on our farm, please contact Brenda@coreylakeorchards.com. She will work with you to schedule appointments, provide information on our photo policies and discuss backdrop possibilities in the apple orchard, the pumpkin field and other picturesque spots we have on the farm.
- Brandies: Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
- Rye Whiskey
- Wines: Double Cherry and New: Peach and Honey (already a favorite by those who have tried it)
- Hard Cider flavors: A fall favorite is back: Preach! A great blend of pears and peaches! Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Bark Bite, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa, United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch.
- Brandy tours and tasting is available every Saturday from 1 until 3 pm, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery We offer brandy, wine and some hard cider samples. It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you buying local! We hope to see you soon!
Reminder: Corey Lake Orchards is closed every Tuesday. We will continue to share this notice since it is a major change. As a small family business, we have begun to realize that to best serve our customers with an exceptional product and experience, we need a down day once per week to regroup, reorganize, and re-energize.
**Additional grape information:
- Picking hours: Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm every day except Tuesday (when we are closed) , we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6, Sorry, for everyone’s safety, we have suspended evening picking hours this year due to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) mosquito-borne disease threat in Southwest Michigan.
- Please check in at the main market on Corey Lake Road before you start. You will be directed to the vineyard in which we are picking that day and be assigned rows to pick on by our vineyard supervisor.
- If you are coming to pick grapes, please bring clippers, scissors, 5 gallon buckets and small wagons if you have them. Some of our rows are very long! If you don’t have 5 gallon buckets to pick in, we will loan you ours, but please bring something to take your grapes back home in. (Boxes, plastic tubs, etc.)
- Pricing : U-pick pricing for both color grapes is the following (please note we sell them by the pound and consider a five-gallon pail or a 1/2 bushel basket to be 20 pounds):
- 45 cents a pound for under 100 pounds, 1 five-gallon bucket or a ½ bushel = $9
- Over 100 pounds; 27.5 cents a pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel = $5.50
***Apple Estimate Chart for 2019: Updated 9-12-9 2019
|Variety||Crop Size Estimate||U-Pick Available? Red means they are ready now for Saturday/Sunday picking||Approximate Week Ready–Please check back as weather will can change date earlier or later||Should order in advance|
|Cortland||fair||yes||in market now||no|
|Gala||good||yes||In market now||no|
|Golden Delicious||good||yes* (spot pick)||23-Sep||no|
|Honey Crisp||fair||no||In market now||no|
|Jona Mac||good||All picked||In market now||no|
|JonaGold||good||All picked||In market now||no|
|McIntosh||good||All picked||In market now||no|
|Molly’s Del||good||All picked||in market now||no|
|Red Delicious||good||yes* (spot pick)||30-Sep||no|