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

Corey Lake Orchards

Happy Thanksgiving!

As farmers working the land every day, we are truly grateful for this year’s harvest that we could share with so many. A day for giving thanks allows all of us to reflect on the people around us for whom we are grateful: our families, our co-workers, our customers, friends and fellow community members.

Our simple message from everyone here at the farm to all of you:  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Open Saturday, November 23rd, from 9 until 3! and Visit the Norton Craft Show too!

Our market and bakery will be open this Saturday from 9 until 3.  Here’s what’s going on:

Happenings in the bakery (where it is warm!)

  • If you have a “take and bake” holiday pie order already in, please stop by and pick it up, or make  arrangements with us to pick it up by appointment another time.
  • if you didn’t have your “take and bake” pie order in, call us immediately at 269-244-5690 and tells us what you’d like!
  • There will be limited supplies of extra pies the bakers have made for walk-in purchases on Saturday.
  • If you can’t wait any longer to have a Corey Lake Orchards donut, we will be making them fresh that day! YES, we said we are MAKING DONUTS!
  • Hot mulled cider or coffee available
  • Hard cider tasting available from 9 until 3

Piles of apple pies:  just made and frozen for you to bake

In the Market:  

  • Apples: We have bags of the following apples left:  Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome and Jonathan.  A bag of fresh, healthy apples is a great hostess gift to take during the holiday gatherings!
  • Fresh Sweet Cider:  This is a Maybe.….we are going to try to make some on Thursday for hard cider, and if all goes well, we will jug a few gallons to sell.  If you want to give us a call on Friday, we’ll let you know if we will have it or not.
  • Squash:  Butter Cup, Autumn Harvest and Baked Potato Squash
  • Fresh picked sage will be available from our Herb garden for your holiday cooking needs.

Fresh harvested sage makes  the whole market smell like Thanksgiving dinner being cooked!

Brandy tasting and tours:  Available with Bruce from 1 until 3, in the Brandy distillery.

Stock up on Hard ciders or brandy:  These will be on display and for sale in the bakery on Saturday.  These also make great gifts for the holidays.

And while you are in the area, make sure to visit the Norton Elementary School for their annual Craft and Vendor Show, one of the best in the area!

Hoping to see you this weekend!  All of us at Corey Lake Orchards!

 

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Last chance for pie orders, Join us for the Holiday Wine Tasting Friday night: Riviera Theatre

Corey Lake Orchards is officially closed for the season.  Based on our recent weather, we closed just in time!  It would have been difficult to work and shop in an open-air market with snow, cold temps, and wind chills!  We were grateful for the few days of “normal” fall weather when we worked like crazy to get everything put away for the year…..we were 95% done!

Who’s ready to play?

No more herbs for the year!

White mums available!

The unusually cold weather forced our perennials into dormancy earlier–which is good because we can start trimming everything now.  There were a couple of days we had to keep folks inside—took advantage of the indoor work to get some Concord grapes de-stemmed so we can make something wonderful out of them.  (We’ll let you know when it is ready to try!)

Really, really, last chance to order pies!  We are still taking take and bake pie orders for pickup on Saturday, November 23rd from 9-12, or by appointment before that date.  Either email (coreylakeorchards@gmail.com or call us at (269-244-5690).  The flavors available to order are: 2-crust Apple, Dutch apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Cherry Berry, Pecan, Pumpkin, and Strawberry Rhubarb.  All orders need to be placed by Thursday, November 21st.  Don’t be one of those who call us on Thanksgiving day in a panic because you forgot!!

Three River’s Riviera Theatre Holiday Wine Tasting:  Join us for hard cider tasting along with nibbling on cookies from our bakery!  This is always a fun night!

  • Friday, November 15: 6pm to 9pm Tickets: $20 Advance, $25 Day of Event
  • The Riviera’s 11th annual Holiday Wine Tasting ― featuring a number of wines to sample and purchase, as well as great gift ideas from local merchants ― is the perfect opportunity to get your holiday shopping done in one place. Ticket purchase comes with a free souvenir wine glass while supplies last.

Brenda and I visited another farm on the east side of Michigan — also owned and operated by two sisters — Westview Orchards and Winery:  https://www.westvieworchards.com/ .   It is a great farm and worth the time to visit if you are in their area.   It was gratifying to connect with them to share stories, ideas and laugh about the happenings on farms like ours.  (Their donuts were amazing too!)

Brenda, Beth, Katrina and Abby

As we take a moment to reflect on the season, you, our valued customers come immediately to mind.  You make it possible for us to rise early each day and work hard to provide you with a great experience here on our farm.  Your smiling faces, supportive comments, excellent questions, and patience with Mother Nature’s timetable brighten our day!  The management and staff at CLO sincerely thank you for that and for shopping local with us!

 

 

Our Last Day for the season: Sunday November 3rd 10-31-19

As the temperatures drop (and snow really?) the time to close our market and bakery is here.   Our last official day for the bakery and the market to be open for the year will be Sunday, November 3rd.  After that, we may be open limited days/hours to sell the remaining apples and produce.   For sure we will be open from 9 until 12 on Saturday, November 23rd, for pre-ordered pie pick up, the chance to stock up on our alcohol products, and whatever else may still be available.

Been a cold week watching the rain drip off the big bell!

We do not have many apples left; there are limited quantities of the following available:

  • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
  • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.  Makes a nice apple sauce and many people use for canning pie filling.
  • Red Delicious:  America’s most popular apple, known for the “five little bumps” on the bottom. Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste, yellowish flesh, and crisp texture.
  • Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
  • Ida Red: Suits your every use! Eat fresh or for cooking. Taste is both tangy and tart. Flesh is white, crisp and juicy. Favored for sauces, pies and desserts. Texture holds up well when baked.
  • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator. 
  • Rome: A big, round apple right out of storybooks! Rome’s have a mild, sweet flavor. Most popular for baking because it holds flavor and shape well.

Apple pricing for the year:  $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.

Apple Cider update:  We pressed our last cider for the year this week and hope to have it last through Sunday.  If you are looking for over 5 gallons, feel free to call and order it and we’ll hold it for you.   Cider is easily frozen by taking out a cup or so from the gallon jug to give the ice room to expand.

Squash:  We have many varieties of winter squash, and want to help you get stocked by offering a larger quantity sale.  You may purchase a bushel of squash (can mix and match any that we have) for $30.  If that is too many, fill up one of our handle bags with squash of your choice (about 1/2 bushel and around 10 squash depending on the size) for $15!

Buy a bag or a bushel!

This weekend in the bakery we will still be taking orders for Holiday take and bake pies.   We will have one November order pickup day which is Saturday, November 23 from 9-12.  So all you procrastinators, this is your last chance to order what you need for the holidays (and just to have in the freezer for yourself!)

Donuts:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be your last days to indulge in our donuts this year!  Make sure you visit the bakery, it may be the only warm place around the farm to be!

This weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies:  Cut-out cookies, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies:   AppleBlueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
  • Apple Crisp
  • Breads: Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.  Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian.
  • 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.

Alcohol offerings:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Rye Whiskey
  • Hard Cider flavors: Another summer favorite is back, Strawberry!  We also have Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Bark Bite, Cortabella, Preach, Blueberry, United Squash Federation, Ginger and Brunch.
  •  Our final brandy tour and tasting will be this  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.  After we close for the season, we’re happy to offer appointments for picking up any of our alcohol products.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local, we hope to see you our last weekend!

 

***Storing Apples:

Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.

For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.

If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.

There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.

Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring.

Official closing date: Sunday, November 3rd, Stock up! 10-24-19

By the time you are reading this we will have finished the apple harvest and begun our annual task of pruning the trees.  So for sure it is time for everyone to think about stocking up for the winter on apples, squash, onions, frozen take and bake pies, and our alcohol products.  Our last official day for the bakery and the market to be open for the year will be Sunday, November 3rd.  After that, we may be open limited days/hours to sell the remaining apples and produce.  We will publish this schedule the last week of October when we see how many apples are remaining.

The colors of fall are here!

Apple Season is winding down, here’s what we have left: (Updated 10-28-19)

  • Honeycrisp: Gone for the year
  • Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
  • Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies.”   Come soon, only a few left.
  • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.  Makes a nice apple sauce and many people use for canning pie filling.
  • Red Delicious:  America’s most popular apple, known for the “five little bumps” on the bottom. Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste, yellowish flesh, and crisp texture.
  • Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator. Come soon, only a few left.
  • Ida Red: Suits your every use! Eat fresh or for cooking. Taste is both tangy and tart. Flesh is white, crisp and juicy. Favored for sauces, pies and desserts. Texture holds up well when baked.
  • Mutsu: Gone for the year
  • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator. (We do not have many of these this year so you will want to come soon.) 
  • Rome: A big, round apple right out of storybooks! Rome’s have a mild, sweet flavor. Most popular for baking because it holds flavor and shape well.
  • Pink Lady:  We will not have any Pink Lady apples for sale after all, sorry.  Updated 10-25-19

PIcking Red Romes!

Apple pricing for the year:   With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples are: $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.

Apple Cider update:  If you are looking to freeze cider to have all year, please call to order ahead if you can.  Cider is easily frozen by taking out a cup or so from the gallon jug to give the ice room to expand.   I love to bring it out on Thanksgiving morning as a special treat!

Squash:  We have many varieties of winter squash, and want to help you get stocked by offering a larger quantity sale.  You may purchase a bushel of squash (can mix and match any that we have) for $30.  If that is too many, fill up one of our handle bags with squash of your choice (about 1/2 bushel and around 10 squash depending on the size) for $15!

Buy a bag or a bushel!

Make sure you take one of our baked potato squash to try.  Several of our staff have cooked these and brought them in for us to sample and we’re still licking out lips!  See pictures below of what Barb and Teri cooked up.  Their recipes will be available at the market.

Teri’s baked potato squash

Barb’s baked potato squash

And, if you want to have someone else do the cooking, then you can try our baked potato squash at Bell’s Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo.  Check out their Facebook posting here and the description of this and other wonderful things on their menu!

  https://www.facebook.com/BellsEccentricCafe/photos/a.219997951347147/2932591020087813/?type=3&theater

Pumpkins!  We have a limited supply of pumpkins left for the year.  Come pick yours out soon!  Priced from $8 to $2, based on size.

Check out the large storybook of Spookley the Square pumpkin in the back yard, you may have to pick up the boards as the fall winds are having their way!

U-Pick pumpkins: This is the last weekend for our u-pick pumpkin patch.  The cost is $10 per family which includes picking a pumpkin.  Additional pumpkins are available for picking at $8 (large), $5 (medium), $2 (small pie) each.  It’s never too early to show children that pumpkins grow on vines in a field, not a parking lot!  The field will be open daily from 8 until 6.  If we have a significant amount of rain, we may have to close it until it dries out.

We also have carved out several great spots in the field for pumpkin or Thanksgiving photos with your children.  Please note that photographers with appointments have priority to using these areas.

Purple Concord You Pick grape update:   We are still picking Concord grapes.  Just remember we are closed on Tuesday!  Concord grapes usually last up until the first hard frost.  Please realize that we are now picking in the middles of the rows (where there are plenty of grapes) but you should bring a small wagon to help get them out of the rows.

This weekend in the bakery we are taking orders for Holiday take and bake pies.  Pies need to be ordered at least 3 days in advance, we will be taking orders until our last regular day, Sunday, Nov. 3rd.  We will have one November order pickup day which is Saturday, November 23 from 9-12, or you can pickup any day before the market and bakery close.  If you would like anything reserved 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:   AppleBlueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
  • Apple Crisp
  • Breads: Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.  Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian.
  • 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.

Alcohol offerings:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Rye Whiskey
  • Hard Cider flavors: Another summer favorite is back, Strawberry!  We also have Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Bark Bite, Cortabella, Preach, Blueberry, United Squash Federation, Ginger 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 thanks you for buying local, we hope to see you at the farm 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.

***Storing Apples:

Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.

For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.

If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.

There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.

Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring.