Labor Day Weekend: U-Pick Apples, Summer’s Bounty, Fall Begins

Happy Labor Day Weekend! We will be open all weekend from 8 – 6 daily, including Monday.  The market is the fullest it has been in years as both summer and fall produce fill the shelves. Special treasures to find in this longer-than-normal post: potatoes, u-pick apples this weekend!, u-pick tomatoes, bulk basil, and at the end a fall apple update on which varieties we will have and when.

In the market we have:

  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), cucumbers, kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, green beans, black beans, brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds) and shallots.
  • Blueberries:  We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints up to 1o pound boxes.) This is the last weekend for blueberries–it has been wonderful that they have lasted so long this year.
  • Fall red raspberries: Our local supplier is bringing in a few pints each day, they go quickly!
  • Cantaloupe: Our own melons are ready and coming in every day. We have them in all sizes. We pick them ripe and ready to eat—they are really sweet this year.
  • Watermelon: Lots of beautiful watermelon coming in, fresh picked daily. We guarantee them! If you ever get one that isn’t delicious, let us know.
  • Fredonia Grapes: This is a seeded dark blue grape, similar to a Concord.  Available this weekend in small quantities of a 2 quart box or 1 quart.
  • Picked Tomatoes:  Field tomatoes are coming in plentifully now, along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes.   We have bushels of first-quality tomatoes available, please call ahead and order if you would like some, but we’ll hopefully have some on hand all weekend.
  • Finally---tomatoes are coming in!

    Finally—tons of tomatoes are in!

  • U-Pick Tomatoes: We have opened the u-pick field, but until they are plentiful, we are scheduling customers so that we can make sure people can get what they want without having to worry about an over-picked field. So if you want to come out in the next few weeks, please call the market and ask to be put on our u-pick list.
  • Potatoes: We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. Today we harvested all our potatoes for the year, so they are now available by the bushel for your fall/winter use. They are $20 a bushel, which makes them less than 50 cents a pound. Bring containers to put bushels in, preferably crates or something similar so air can circulate through.

    Harvesting russet baking potatoes

    Harvesting russet baking potatoes

  • Bagged onions:  Our sweet candy onions (red and yellow) and our white superstar onions have now been cleaned and bagged. They have been dried and cured and will keep for you, so stock up if this is your last weekend in the area.
Bagged onions ready to go...10 pound bags of yellow and white for only $8

Bagged onions ready to go…10 pound bags of yellow and white for only $8 (Red are $9)

  • Herbs: We will have our normal variety of herbs available. We will have bulk sweet basil on the market this weekend for those of you who want to make pesto. Please call ahead if you want some as our basil is very popular.
  • Fresh cut flowers and mums
A happy customer with a cinna-monkey and 3 flowers to match her dress!

A happy customer with a cinna-monkey and 3 flowers to match her dress!

 

Mikaela unloading the mums she grew on our farm.

Mikaela unloading the mums she grew on our farm.

Bartlett Pears:  We hope to start picking some Bartlett pears this weekend. Check back with us to see if we were able to.

Apples are here!

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time. Not available by the bushel.
  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. Available by the bushel.
  • Earli-blaze:  This is a good cooking or eating apple, and it particularly makes a wonderful apple pie. We sell this apple to bakeries (including our own) for apple pie. We have them available by the bushel.
  • Paula Red:  Good cooking or eating apple, it is a cross between a Cortland and a MacIntosh, so it is thin-skinned.  Good for apple sauce. Not available by the bushel.
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A truck load of Earliblaze apples picked today–one of our best summer apples

  • Exciting news!!  We are opening up u-pick apples this weekend for you to be able to pick your own Gala apples. Gala is such a versatile, good apple and they are just beautiful this year. We know that many of you will be around for the weekend and would like to have the “apple picking experience” with your family, especially so that the kids can take their teacher an apple they picked themselves!! (Do they still do that??)
  • Gala apples can be picked on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday.  Please check in at the market to get directions and containers.
Gala apples ready to be picked this weekend!  They will be easy and fun to pick.

Gala apples ready to be picked this weekend! They will be easy and fun to pick.

  • Apple Pricing for the year:  Our apple pricing will be the same as last year, and is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties all the apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $4 a half-peck, $2 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.  **When we have bushels available. Please see apple update at the bottom.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, choco-butter, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
Cookies: Apple and flower cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon.
Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
Slushies: Apple cider and white grape peach.

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A note from the bakers: This weekend will be the last weekend for peach pies, and it will be the beginning of fresh dutch apple pies,  using fresh earli-blaze apples that are now available in the market! See you this weekend! -the bakers

Concord and Niagara grapes: The most common question on the market right now is “When will the grapes be ready?!” Please check back about September 9th and we will hopefully have an opening date by then. Before we open, we will want them to be at their full ripeness and sugar content, so it may be closer to the middle or end of September before we open (weather dependent of course). We will have plenty to pick. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds.

Fall apple update:

  • Our goal this apple season is to satisfy as many customers as we can with fresh quality apples. We will offer both pre-picked and u-pick apples this year, but due to Michigan’s extreme winter weather and the late spring frost, we won’t have a full crop. The extent of the damage varies by variety and depends on whether or not they were in full bloom at the time of the spring frost. Michigan overall has a good crop of apples, our southwest location was just the wrong place at the wrong time on May 15th.
  • Below you will find a list of which apples we will have and when we think they will be ready. This is our best guess – even now, we can’t be 100% sure. We will be happy to help you when you call or stop by the market to recommend other apples you can try in place of ones that aren’t plentiful this year. Who knows, you might learn to like a different apple better than one you have loved for years!
  • We know how important the u-pick experience is for many of you, therefore we will be having u-pick on several varieties starting this weekend with Gala. For those families who really enjoy bringing your kids out for the experience of picking apples during the beauty of autumn, you will still be able to do that. Check our website or call us for when later u-pick varieties will be available.
  • We will take orders on the varieties that are in short supply and honor as many as we can.
  • When each apple variety is available on the market, we will send that information out in an email and post it on our website. You can also call us at 269-244-5690.
  • On a personal note, when I walk through the apple orchards this year, it is hard to believe that just last year we had such a bumper crop and so many apples. The sad part is also seeing how the severe winter killed 10% of our trees. If you are out in the orchard this year and wonder why there are trees cut down and missing—this is why.
  • We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our customers and hope you will be loyal in both years of bumper crops like 2013, years like 2012 when we didn’t have hardly any, and now this year where we have plenty of some varieties but not others.
  • Fall Apple Availability and Forecasts for when they will be ready:
  1. Braeburn–mid October-few
  2. Cameo–late September–few
  3. Cortland–mid September-few
  4. Fuji–mid October–fair amount
  5. Golden Delicious–late September–fair amount
  6. Golden Supreme– early October –few
  7. Honeycrisp–mid September –few
  8. Ida Red-early October–few
  9. Jon-a-Mac–few
  10. Jonathan-late September–few
  11. Jonagold–late September–none
  12. McIntosh–early September–few
  13. Mutsu–early October–few
  14. Northern Spy–end of September–good supply
  15. Pink Lady–mid October–few
  16. Red Delicious–early October–good supply
  17. Red Rome-mid October–good supply
  • Apple Cider:  We anticipate beginning to press cider about the middle of September when we have a nice blend of apples.
  • Fall and apple season is on its way and we are looking forward to it!

This Labor Day will mark the 9th year since the loss of Allene Hubbard, my mother who started this beautiful farm market. We all work hard to honor her legacy by maintaining the market in the spirit she imparted to all of us. Thank you to all of the customers who continue to think of her and share her memory with us.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we wish you a safe and great Labor Day weekend.  We hope to see you.     Beth

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Summer arrives – brandy returns! – and autumn donut flavors start this weekend.

In the market we have:

  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), cucumbers, kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, green beans, Brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds) and shallots.
  • Blueberries:  We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints up to 1o pound boxes.) We hope to have picked blueberries around for about one more week to 10 days. Our own field of U-Pick blueberries is done for the year….thanks to everyone who came out to pick!
  • Cantaloupe: Our own melons are ready and coming in every day. Given the expected heat, they will probably only last about a week. So come get some soon.
  • Watermelon: Our own are slowly coming in.
  • Apples: We have 3 kinds of summer apples on the market now: Paula Red and Earli-blaze for eating or cooking, and Mollie’s Delicious, which is a sweet eating apple. We have small quantities on the market. If you want bushels, it is best to call ahead to make sure we have them.  If you are trying to make applesauce. we have some Paula Red “seconds” available at 1/2 price.
  • Picked Tomatoes:  Field tomatoes are coming in, along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes. We have the mini’s available to sample.  See which one you like best, or you can get a box with all the kinds mixed.
  • U-Pick Tomatoes:  When will U-Pick tomatoes be ready has been the question of the month and we haven’t had a good answer due to this year’s unusual weather.  It looks like we will open next week. But….we need your help (and a little more patience) as we open the field up. Given the pent-up demand for tomatoes this year, particularly with the blight that has hurt many gardens and farms in the area, we need to control the flow of customers for a while until there are plenty to pick (which there will be in September hopefully.)  So, if you are wanting to come out in the next few weeks, please call the market and ask to be put on our U-Pick list. We will schedule customers in as there are enough ready, to avoid having so many folks out at the same time that not everyone gets want they want.
  • Potatoes: we have four kinds of potatoes on the market and we dig them fresh.  We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes.   We will have potatoes by the bushel if you would like them for fall/winter use.  Let us know how many you would like and when we do our final harvest we can call you.  (269-244-5690).
  • Fresh cut flowers and fresh herbs   

    Flowers are at full peak now

    Flowers are at full peak now

What’s coming next:

  • In next week’s update, we promise to get you the fall apple forecast on what kinds we will have, when they will be ready and pricing.
  • Concord and Niagara grapes: This is the 2nd most frequently asked question behind tomatoes is when will the grapes be ready. Please check back about September 9th and we will hopefully have an opening date by then. Before we open, we will want them to be at their full ripeness and sugar content, so it may be closer to the middle or end of September before we open (weather dependent of course). We will have plenty to pick. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds.
  • Around Labor Day weekend we expect to pick the few Bartlett pears and Stanley prune plums that we have this year (most were lost in the severe winter and the May frost).
  • spplumsres

    Plums are about a week away from being ready.

You can see the toll that the winter/frost took on these trees by how few there are.

You can see the toll that the winter/frost took on these trees by how few there are.

Brandy: You read correctly! The wait is over and we’ve begun selling Hubbard’s Brandy again. The brandy we are selling now was produced at the height of last year’s bounty, capturing the essence and spirit of the harvest. For brandy, we have apple, cherry, Concord grape, Niagara grape, double distilled Niagara grape, and pear. We also have our sweet ‘Polecat’ wines: blends of apple brandy infused with apple, black cherry, sweet cherry, and peach juices. Please note: we are not doing Saturday tastings for the time being, and we aren’t licensed to sell on Sunday’s before noon. Thank you for understanding. 

Hubbard's brandy!

Hubbard’s brandy!

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, berry peachy, cherry, cherry berry, chocolate, peanut
    butter, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
  • Cookies: apple and flower cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon, and caramel apple.
  • Bread: Whole Wheat, cinnamon, vegetable, blueberry zucchini.
  • Double chocolate zucchini muffins and blueberry zucchini muffins.
  • Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and white grape peach

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A note from the bakers: With the aroma of fresh apples coming into the market
this week, we could not help but think of fall. This weekend we will be switching
to our fall flavors of donuts, which include apple, and pumpkin along with our
standard buttermilk. We also have a new slushie flavor for you to try: white
grape peach. It is a slightly sweet peach flavor that is heightened by the white
grapes, definitely a must try! See you this weekend! -the Bakers

From Becca’s Garden: Red Russian kale, curly kale, chard, sunsugar cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, celery (please ask in person if you’re interested and I’ll cut it fresh for you), herbs. I’ve got lettuce and spinach growing for fall, leeks looking good, carrots coming for a few weeks from now, and hey! A picture for you to enjoy.

naturalinsecticide

Natural insecticide in Becca’s garden.

Local meat: One-pound packages of bacon are back! New this week: bulk ground sausage thanks to requests from customers. Let us know what you think. We also have spare ribs, bone-in pork chops, bacon sausage breakfast patties, regular breakfast patties, mild links, and hot links. Look for all these items in the freezer in the bakery.

Happenings on the farm this week:  Two good things happened here this week, we got some summer-like weather and rain!  Both which will help give our summer crops that have been struggling a little boost.

We also have started on a very difficult and time consuming task of re-training new grape vines to replace the ones that were injured by the severe winter in some of our  white Niagara blocks.  We have all been learning how to do this and trying to figure out if there is any easy way (we haven’t found it!) since this is the first time we have ever had to do this in the lifetime of these vineyards. (Note: this will not affect the U-Pick grapes this year….we will have enough grapes for everyone to pick.)

grpvinenotmowres

We have not mowed the vineyards this year as we needed to protect all of the grape vines until we could do this task.

The goal is to select several grape vines to train to replace this trunk next year.  This is the hardest part!

The goal is to select several grape vines to train to replace this trunk next year. This is the hardest part!

 

The finished result--several nice grapevines wrapped around the trunk and the wire.

The finished result–several nice grapevines wrapped around the trunk and the wire.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Hope to see you soon.

 

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Mid-August update

This weekend on the market we will have:

  • Blueberries:  We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints up to 1o pound boxes.)  Due to the cool summer, blueberries will be around for most of the month of August for all of us to continue to enjoy. U-Pick Blueberries:  Our own small field is open,  there are still a few there to pick for those just wanting to take the family out for the experience. If you are trying to pick larger amounts, call us and we can recommend several other local farms.  269-244-5690.
  • Cantaloupe—we are still bringing in melons from Indiana….although….we did pick three of our own this today…so soon we will have ours.
  • Tomatoes:  Finally we are bringing in some field tomatoes, the normal red,  yellow and mini tomatoes.  We are encouraged to see them start to ripen, so give us about one more week (and some heat) and hopefully we will be able to update you on when we will have bushels available and U-Pick.
This is the U-Pick field---just need some heat to ripen them.

This is the U-Pick field—just need some heat to ripen them.

  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, kale (red Russian and curly), eggplant,  green beans, Brussels sprouts and shallots.
  • Potatoes:  We have four kinds of potatoes on the market and we dig them fresh.  We have white, red, Yukon gold, and this week we started harvesting the russet baking potatoes.  While you may think a potato is a potato, when you buy them just dug, the flavor and texture are amazing.  They are $1 a pound, 5 pounds for $4, or 10 pounds for $7.50.
  • Onions:  We finished harvesting the onions today and they have really nice size again this year, check them out hanging on the market or in the onion barn. The varieties we have available are: yellow candy, red candy apple, white super star, cippolini, red marble cippolini and red tropea torpedo.
    IMG_0020

    Many types of onions being brought in on the truck.

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  • Sweet corn is$2.50/half dozen, $5/dozen, or $20/bushel (which is 5 dozen). We have finished with our corn for the year and will be bringing in Stear’s corn in through Labor Day.
  • Fresh cut flowers and fresh herbs

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, chocolate, coconut cream, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
  • Cookies: apple and flower cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon, and caramel apple.
  • Bread: whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
  • Double chocolate zucchini muffins and blueberry zucchini muffins. Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: apple cider and white grape cherry.

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690. This week’s fall-like weather put us in the mood to jump-start apple season. So, today we made one of the fall favorites: caramel-apple cookies. In preparation for fall, we are offering specials on our frozen Northern Spy apple pies: these pies will be good in your freezer for the rest of this year, so if you would like to stock up for Thanksgiving or any other holiday, or just because you love apple pie, now is the time. The large frozen pies will be $1 off (making them $10) or buy 3 for $25. Some customers have expressed concern about whether a frozen pie will taste as good as one not frozen.  We have already proven this by baking the apple pies we froze earlier this year, so if you have gotten a baked apple pie from our bakery this year…the one out of your own oven will taste exactly the same!

The Three Rivers Triathlon is Saturday, August 16th. We are once again pleased to help sponsor this event and look forward to seeing the racers. There will be fresh fruit waiting for you when you finish. Good luck racers!! As always, we welcome you to try our own farm Triathlon if you are up to the challenge:

  • Event 1: Carry six 10-pound boxes of blueberries from the truck into our cooler.  Note: the height of carrying this many covers most of your face so you need to look around the boxes while you walk!
  • Event 2: Carry bushels of potatoes (60 pounds each) on uneven surfaces across the field, across irrigation lines (oops watch for the mud) and to the waiting truck.
  • Event 3: Pull onions alongside us! Bend over, pull one pound onions out of the ground (they will resist–they have been growing there comfortably all year), gather 7 or 8 in a bundle, tie, then when you have 4 bundles finished, carry all to the truck.  Repeat this sequence for a total of 8 hours!

….No takers?

Happenings on the farm this week. There’s not much new coming out of the garden right now – these cool nights (and a predicted temperature of 47 this evening!) are taking their toll on Becca’s produce too. In cheerier news, we harvested our shallots and they are the largest we have ever grown. You will find the shallots hanging all over the market, braided into small and large bunches. We also discovered who could and could not braid shallots–Becca won our informal braiding contest, thus nearly each lovely braid of shallots has been personally done by her (thank you, Becca).

If you have never used a shallot, you should try them!  Many recipes call for these as they combine the best of scallions, garlic and onion. Most of us prefer using them in recipes that call for raw onions (dips and salsas) because their texture is smoother and their flavor creamier and more balanced than an onion’s.

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Braiding shallots

Braiding shallots

So, while this is not any earth-shaking bit of news—the sunflowers by the old hay rake in front of the market have bloomed, completing the look I was trying to achieve along with the morning glories. This gives me a chance to tell you about this hay rake.   It has been sitting in the fence row in the back of the farm for as long as I can remember (and that’s 50 some years). Every time I went by it I felt like it deserved more than to be covered in dirt and vines, so finally convinced the crew to help cut it out of there and put it by the parking lot. To me, it is a really interesting and elegant tool.  Hay rakes like this originated in the 1800′s, which made the process of collecting hay much more efficient. The horse drawn rake could collect eight times a much in a day as someone raking by hand. This one does not have any markings or brand names, so I haven’t been able to learn much more about this type. However….if you’d like to learn more about hay rakes in general, including how even 10-year-olds knew how to use and operate them….read on (meanwhile I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I do each day): http://atwww.farmcollectorshowdirectory.com/equipment/the-origin-of-hay- akes.aspx#axzz3AIrcgyKL

hayrake

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you soon. 

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Early August update

This weekend on the market we will have:

  • Blueberries: This week’s variety is Blue Crop, a very sweet berry. We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints to 1o pound boxes.)  Due to the cool summer, blueberries will be around for most of the month of August for all of us to continue to enjoy. U-Pick Blueberries:  Our own small field will remain open for about one more week, and there are still a few there to pick for those just wanting to take the family out for the experience. If you are trying to pick larger amounts, call us and we can recommend several other local farms.
  • Jersey Mac apples: Very much like a Macintosh apple, good for eating fresh or for sauce, in small quantities only.
  • Cantaloupe—we got tired of waiting for ours to be ready (maybe 10 more days??) so we got some from Indiana. We just cut one and shared it here on the market and it was delicious!
  • Tomatoes:  Finally we are bringing in some field tomatoes, the normal red, some yellow and mini tomatoes.  Since they are still coming on slowly, we are still supplementing with tomatoes from Indiana.
  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, kale, eggplant, peas, green beans and brussell sprouts.   
  • Sweet corn is in its prime and is $2.50/half dozen, $5/dozen, or $20/bushel (which is 5 dozen). We are now picking our last planting of sweet corn for the year and will have ours through this weekend hopefully.  Because we know everyone will want sweet corn through August, we will be bringing it in locally after ours is gone.
  • Fresh cut flowers: As you come into the market, look above the terrace garden at all of the sunflowers that are ready. Also, the gladiolas are starting to flower. This weekend we will have bouquets already made up in addition to the ones you can make yourself.
  • Fresh herbs: Bring your recipes for the herbs you will need for the week and cut them fresh from our U-Pick herb garden located on the corner of the parking lot, or buy them in pre-made bags harvested from Becca’s yard garden. If you don’t find what you are looking for, just ask. There is much more basil and dill in the terrace garden (two of our more popular herbs that get cut quickly).

Gladiolas on the porch, 8/6/14.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, choco-butter, coconut cream, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
  • Cookies: apple and frog cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), zucchini chocolate chip, and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, cinnamon, vegetable.
  • Double chocolate zucchini muffins and blueberry zucchini muffins.
  • Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and white grape cherry.
  • If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A final note from the bakers: with plenty of zucchini on hand and a craving for chocolate, we have perfected a recipe for double chocolate zucchini muffins! They are a chocolatey (and slightly healthy) way for you to start your day!!  Beth can personally attest that they are amazing and her new favorite bakery item.

We will also have peach pies again this weekend until they are all sold out (which happens rather quickly). If you would like to reserve a peach pie, please call us and we would be more than happy to set one back for you. See you this weekend!!-The Bakers

Local meat: We get pork products from Rolling Meadows Farm just down the road in Jones, Michigan. Good news: bacon is back! Bad news (or good, depending): their meat processor put all the bacon into 5 lb. packages and didn’t give them any of the usual 1 lb. packages. So we’ll only have 5 lb. packs for a few weeks. We put a discounted price on them, however. We also have bacon sausage patties, breakfast patties, spare rib, pork chops, mild links, and hot links available.

From Becca: I’ll have carrots, lacinato (dinosaur) kale, red Russian kale, green onions, jalapenos, and some tomatoes on the market this weekend from the yard garden (yarden), which is managed without synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, fungicides, or any other ‘cides. As always, you’re welcome to call ahead and reserve items, which are labeled in the market with bright green tape.

In both the yarden and the terrace garden I’ve planted some specialty tomato varieties, two of which I’ve pictured here. We might not have true peaches this year, but the yellow tomato on the left is called a “garden peach” tomato: it is very mild, quite sweet, and even has a slight fuzz on its skin. The one on the right is black trifele (pronounced “trifle”), which looks very odd on the outside and even stranger inside: its seeds and flesh are almost black when you cut it open, hence the name. That said, I think it has the tastiest tomato flavor, smoky and sweet and not too acidic. Don’t judge a book by its cover!

As with all of our other tomatoes, these are coming in slowly, they sell out fast, and we can’t guarantee we’ll have them on any given day. Hope for hot nights and call ahead if you desperately want some of these.

Happenings on the Farm this week.

One of our most favorite things happened this week, it rained!!!  We so needed the half inch that fell on Monday evening into Tuesday morning. We took advantage of the rainy day to take out the tomato plants in the greenhouse–so a final farewell to greenhouse tomatoes, we are pleased with how they produced right up through August!

The tomato plants got so big this year, taking them out felt like cutting our way through a jungle!

We also continued harvesting our onions…beginning the annual process of pulling them out of the ground, tying them in bunches, then hanging them to dry so they can “cure” in order for to cut and bag them later for winter use. We have some hanging in the market and lots of them hanging in what we call the “onion” barn, which is the pavilion on top of our hill.  Not only will you see them, you will smell them too!!

Pulling and tying into bunches

Truckload after truckload coming in filled with onions

You’ll also see onion bunches curing on the market.

 

From all of us at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon!

 

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A bakery celebration–our one year anniversary

Please join us this Friday, August 8th as we take a minute to celebrate the grand opening of our bakery.  We will be handing out free donuts all day and have apple pie specials as well.  A short, formal celebration will take place at 9:30 a.m. for anyone who wishes to attend.

Why celebrate now? This week marks the anniversary of the opening of our bakery, a long-time vision of ours that came to fruition one year ago. But with the demanding schedule of a family farm, we’re just getting around to hosting our grand opening party!

We’re celebrating our bakery staff, who make every pie from scratch. The bakery is led by Michaela, along with the hard work of her mother Patti and neighbor Jan. Together, they craft each pie using a secret crust recipe so good they won’t even share it with me! All of their baked goods are hand made with love. We’re also lucky to have Gene every weekend pitching in to make donuts as well as keep the bakery spotless.

They never get tired of you telling them how good your last pie was or piling up at the counter in lines to get a pastry of your choice to eat at the tables on the market porch while you take in the farm experience.

 

We’re celebrating our farm. We make our fruit pies with ingredients right here, and for that we can thank the rest of the crew at Corey Lake Orchards. With their help, we grow and harvest the delicious produce for the bakery, from the fruit used in the pies and muffins to the vegetables used in some of our breads.

We’re celebrating our hard work. Every morning, the bakery crew already has sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, and bread coming out of the oven, just as the farm crew arrives to start picking the produce for the day.  The market staff is soon behind them, getting fruits and vegetables ready for the day and doing all of those little “behind the scenes tasks” that make the market what it is.  We’re so appreciative, every day, of the people working so hard with us.

We’re celebrating our customers. Every day, we meet new customers. And every day, we talk to our same customers and friends who have been coming to Corey Lake Orchards, some of you for decades.  We love hearing your stories and your favorite memories. It’s been a tough year with the loss of my dad and the weather-related losses we have suffered.  In all honesty, I cannot thank you enough for the support and compassion that you’ve given us – you are all a part of this farm too.

Last year’s frenzy – bulldozers making our parking lot, hammer saws busting up concrete, construction dust blowing all over – feels like it happened ages ago now. The large room that was a cold storage for our apples, a room that most customers didn’t even know existed, was transformed into the beautiful and inviting bakery we have today. We welcome you to join us on Friday as we celebrate the hard work we’ve done this past year and the hard work we hope to do for years to come.

On behalf of everyone here at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local.    Beth

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