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

Corey Lake Orchards

Ap-Pear-ently, Autumn is Coming…

While it doesn’t feel like fall, the transition has begun. Some summer favorites – blueberries, cantaloupe, sweet corn and green beans – are gone for the year. The peppers are brightly colored from purple to red to gold by the late summer sun. Fall red raspberries return. Zucchini is no longer the preferred squash, everyone seems ready for acorn and butternut squash. The bakery has started their fall donut flavors of apple cider and pumpkin. Summer flowers are waning and mums are on their way. Like our customers, we are well into our preparations to gear up for another great fall season here at the farm, a favorite time for so many families: mazes, freshly pressed cider, grape and apple picking, pumpkins and gourds, pear pie and apple dumplings…..stay tuned.

Small customer selecting one of our "sugarcube" melons just his size!

Small customer selecting one of our “sugarcube” melons just his size!

A happy customer!

A happy customer!

Key produce updates:

Tomatoes: 

  • Tomatoes from the field are plentiful now. We have called everyone on our list to come and get them. If you did not receive a message, please call us and we’ll get your order filled.
  •  “Firsts” Tomatoes are $19 a bushel or $10 a half bushel.
  • “Seconds” Tomatoes (have blemishes or are misshapen0) are $14 a bushel… This is great for making sauce, juice or salsa.
  • U-Pick Tomatoes are now open and can be picked for $15 a bushel. Please check in at the market for directions and containers.
  • How long will they last? We say up until the first frost, but they are in peak production right now so you should try to get them in the next several weeks if you want large quantities.

Peaches: 

  • We have finished picking peaches for the year so we will have them until we run out, probably until about August 31st. These are Coral Star which are 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!

Apples: Apples are coming! We still have Earli Blaze which is a great summer apple for eating or cooking. We are also starting to pick Gala and Mollie’s Delicious. We may even have a few early Honeycrisp picked for the weekend. 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. We will firm this up next week and get the information out.

We have a good crop of apples and have made a forecast on when we think the varieties will be ready. We have copies of this on the market or you can continue to check back on our website where we will keep it updated. Please click here to view this: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2016-apple-information/.

Golden Delicious apple ripening on the tree

Golden Delicious apple ripening on the tree

Bartlett Pears are ready: This is an excellent pear for fresh eating or canning. Warning: this is the kind of pear that will drip juice down your face when eating! We hope to finish the harvest today. The rains of the past weeks have helped them to size nicely. You may wonder why the pears are picked and sold green, this is a characteristic of pears. They must ripen off the tree, if not, then they will ripen from the inside out and be mushy. They will easily ripen for you if you will lay them out in a single layer when you get home in a dry, cool place, then wait for them to turn yellow, and enjoy!

As always, we’ll have them in small eating quantities as well as in larger quantities for people who want to can. Thankfully this is a very plentiful pear year for us and we are happy to sell them to you by the bushel, $29/Bu. We’ve called everyone on our pre-order list, so if you didn’t get a message, please call us or come over to get them. 269-244-5690. We hope to have them through Labor Day weekend.

Stanley Prune Plums: a purple-skin, yellow-fleshed-freestone plum will probably be ready around August 29th.

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 (like 9-12) to see if we have a better idea of when we will open for u-pick.

Concord grapes just starting to turn purple

Concord grapes just starting to turn purple

Here’s what we have at the market now:

  • Apples–Earli Blaze, Gala, Mollie’s Delicious and a few Honeycrisp over the weekend
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant–3 different sizes
  • Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs. 
    • We now have plenty of specialty basil as well as organic Genovese 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
  • Pears
  • Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!)  Check out our snacking peppers!
  • Plums:  Stanley Prune plums (just starting) available by the quart, a purple freestone plum
  • Onions–We are now bagging them in the red mesh bags
  • Specialty onions:  Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting
  • 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, Slicer Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, Bunching Onions, Super Sweet Snacking Peppers, Anaheim Peppers, Poblano (Ancho) Peppers, Shishito Peppers, and Personal Cabbage. Some of this is in limited quantities so please call ahead and place an order if you want any of these items.

Bakery Update:  Whew, what a relief to be half way through the season and into our final fall stretch. We realize many of our local and lake customers miss our pies during the long winter months. So we have you covered! This week we have begun making extra pies to freeze so we can offer “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in) or keep to share for the holidays.  We have some available immediately and are working to put some in the freezer in the front area of the bakery. If you cannot find them, please ask and we will get them for you!  As we work to stock up,  please feel free to order and we can get them ready.  “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors are: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Cherry Berry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb.

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, and Ginger Molasses.
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have 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.
  • 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, SundayThat’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 Apple Fritters!

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)

Brandy and Hard CiderWe have our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular oak aged apple brandy. Made right here, we also have Blueberry, Sweet, Strawberry, Dry, Peck of Peppers, and Hopped Hard Ciders for sale in 12 and 22 oz. bottles. We also have Peach Polecat, Black Cherry Polecat, Cherry Wine, Kaiser Cyser, and Tart Cherry Hard Cider in 750mL bottles.

Happenings on the farm this week:

The heavy rains of a week ago caused our cantaloupe to split—so when you have lemons…or when you have split melons—make melon brandy! Also in the brandy house this week: Becca bottled up our barrel-aged hard cider! We stored 40+ gallons of hard cider in a former apple brandy/whiskey barrel. What a flavor! It needs to bottle condition for a couple of weeks but we should have it for Labor Day.

Quite a chore to cut up about 50 bushel of melons!

Quite a chore to cut up about 50 bushel of melons!

We weeded and weeded and weeded….the rains made for quick growing weeds, but thankfully easy to pull out.

We picked pears—truly one of the most difficult jobs on this farm.  The trees are tall, requiring climbing 18′ ladders with a picking bucket of pears (50 some pounds) going up and down all day – because they’re planted on a steep hillside, we have to use ladders and can’t use our picking machines. As always, we are grateful for our crew who tackles this difficult harvest each year.

Box after box of pears lining up in the orchard as they pick.

Box after box of pears lining up in the orchard as they pick.

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

 

 

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 :)