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

Monthly Archive: September 2010

Update on apples, grapes and other fall items

U-Pick Concord (purple) and Niagara (white) grapes:  Whew, it has been fairly crazy here since we opened the grape picking on September 13th.   We are surprised and pleased by how many grapes have been picked.  Sometimes it may have seemed as if we were confused about whether or not we had any grapes, indeed, we were.  Due to so many customers coming out each day, there were several days we had to close the vineyard and “hold” people from coming out until everyone who was picking finished to see what we had left.    Because there was not an abundanace of Concord grapes due to the frost, it was not easy to tell what was left until we could assess the vineyard at the end of each day and find some additional rows with grapes to open up for the next day.  We tried our very best this year to ensure everyone picked in locations where no one else had previously picked by tracking and monitoring our different vineyards.  We hoped this helped. 

As of right now, we still  have both Concord and Niagara grapes to pick.  We would encourage you to call first to make sure the picking is open in case we get flooded with a lot of customers like happened this past week.     Many of you are asking how much longer we will have grapes.  Here’s the best answer we can give:  The mechanical harvester has already come and picked all of the white Niagara grapes except for one field we left for U-Pick.  There are pieces of several rows left of the White Niagara to pick, then these will be gone.  For the Concord grapes, we are currently working down long rows of a 20 acre field for people wanting to U-Pick.  Given the shortage of Concord grapes, we are not sure if and when they will be mechanically harvested.   We will be open for Concord grape picking as long as we can continue to find spots where there are still grapes to pick in. 

When both colors of grapes are gone, we will post this on the website.  Again, since we have been on a day to day basis, it is still best just to call to see if we have grapes available for picking.  269-244-5690.

U-Pick Apples:  We have now been open for U-Pick apples for about a week and there are a few still that  you can pick.  Mostly what is left is Red and Yellow Delicious, a few Spies and some Fuji.   Again, we did not have a large crop this year due to the spring frost/freeze, compounded by a hailstorm in May which damaged the apples pretty significantly.   We  really appreciate  those of you who have been out to pick and graciously endured the conditions of our orchard this year.   We had many families out this past weekend who made the most of the experience with their children, we think even providing a valuable life lesson that sometimes this is just what happens and we cannot control the weather or always have bountiful crops.    While the apples may not be very pretty, they still do taste good coming right off the tree!   Many of you were as sad seeing the orchard this way as we have been all year trying our best to bring some of our apples to harvest.  Let’s hope for a better year next year. 

Given how few apples are left, we are now going to open the orchards up for what we call “end of harvest gleaning.”  What this means is you can now go pick what is left on the tree or on the ground for half of the original U-Pick price (was $12.00).    So for $6 a bushel, you can come pick the remaining apples in the orchards we have open for U-Pick.  For those of you trying to get apples for applesauce or perhaps pick apples to feed your horses, this is a very economical way to do it if you don’t mind the extra work required to pick the apples and trim off some of the hail damaged spots.  Please check in at the market first for directions. 

Two young customers enjoying fresh apples

Picked apples:  We still have the following varieties for sale on the market:

  • Braeburn:  50 cents a pound,  (half price due to hail damage)
  • Cameo:  $16 a bushel, $8.50 a half bushel, $5.00 peck
  • Cortland:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • Fuji:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • Golden Delicious:  $16 a bushel, $8.50 a half bushel, $5.00 peck
  • Honey Crisp:  Very few left, 50 cents a pound,  (half price due to hail damage)
  • JonaGold:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • Jonathon:  $16 a bushel, $8.50 a half bushel, $5.00 peck
  • Red Delicious:  $14.00, $7.50 a half bushel, $4.00 peck
  • Red Rome:  $16 a bushel, $8.50 a half bushel, $5.00 peck

Pumpkins:  We have a nice selection of pumpkins available, ranging from $5.00 for the largest pumpkin , with smaller pumpkins available for $4, $3, and $1.  We also have some “fun” gourds (3 for $1), mums ($3.00 each) and Indian corn for fall decorating.

Pumpkins just harvested from our fields

Cider:  We just finished pressing what we believe is our best cider so far this year.  It takes a few weeks for the apples to develop a good flavor for cider and this week’s was excellent.  It is $5.00 a gallon, also available in half gallons and quarts.

Squash:  We have lots of squash including acorn, butternut, buttercup and sweet dumpling available to choose from at only 40 cents per pound. 

Length of our fall season:  Due to the light apple crop, we will probably close earlier than normal this year.  We are going to try to stay open through October 17th, but it will  depend on how many apples we have to sell.  We will give you an update when we know more.

On this first day of fall, please accept our wishes for a great fall.  Thanks as always for being such great customers.   During a difficult year like this has been for us, having you as customers gives us much to be grateful and thankful for.

Beth, on behalf of everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Apple Update

 
Apples in season now:
  • Cortland:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • Fuji:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • Golden Delicious:  $16 a bushel, $8.50 a half bushel, $5.00 peck
  • Honey Crisp:  $1.00/lb.  We try to have these on the market at all times, but they are not ripening consistently, so there may be days we don’t have them, you may want to call in advance to make sure we do before you drive over  269-244-5690.  We also try to offer bags of “not so perfect” Honeycrisp for half price.  Check these out when you are at the market.
  • Ida Red:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • JonaGold:  $18 a bushel, $9.50 a half bushel, $6.00 peck
  • Jonathon:  $16 a bushel, $8.50 a half bushel, $5.00 peck
  • Red Delicious:  $14.00, $7.50 a half bushel, $4.00 peck

While we try to have these apples on the market at all times, with this year’s small crop plus hail damage, we may not always have them.  Please feel free to call ahead to see what we have.

Apples which are gone for the year:

  • Jon-A-Mac: (very light crop)
  • Gala:  (very light crop)
  • MacIntosh:   (very light crop)
  • Molly’s Delicious:  (very light crop)

 

Thanks,

Beth

Fall is here!!

U-Pick Apple update:  Just a reminder, we opened the U-Pick apples today for the season.    What we  have for picking is:  Cortlands, Red and Golden Delicious, Fuji, a few Cameo, Jonathans and possibly a few Northern Spies.  Sorry, we have a very light crop of apples this year due to a spring frost compounded by a hailstorm which damaged them.  They will be $12 a bushel to pick, the same as last year. 

Red Delicious apples just picked in the orchard, 9-16-10

U-PIck Grape update:  We have lots of white Niagara grapes yet to pick and should have them for several more weeks.  They are beautiful this year and most folks are describing them as “fun” to pick because they are so plentiful.    However, due to the frost and freeze with the purple Concord grapes, we are still on a day by day basis as to whether we will have them.  Due to the high number of people coming out to pick, we can’t assess how many are left until the end of each day.   So far this week we have had about 75,000 pounds of grapes picked here by our customers, that is a lot of grapes!!    So please call us on 269-244-5690 before you come out to make sure they are still available. 

Young customers enjoying their grape picking experience!

Bosc Pears:  This is a wonderful eating pear available now.  They are $16.00 a bushel plus we have smaller quantities for fresh eating as well.

Winter Squash:  Is now ready, we have many varieties to choose from at 40 cents per pound.

Fall ornamentals:   We now have mums, pumpkins, indian corn and gourds for you to choose. 

Mums and Pumpkins, 9-16-10

Gourds are so interesting to look at!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Cider time:  We are now on our 3rd pressing of cider for the year, each pressing gets better and better as the flavor of the apples changes.  It is $5.00 a gallon, $2.75 a half gallon, and this year we offer quart jugs for $1.50.  Our cider is not pasteurized (so of course it must be refrigerated)  but we feel that is what makes it so good and tasting like real apple juice.

Homemade Baked Goods:  We are continuing to offer homemade baked goods on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  This week I highly recommend the apple dumplings.  They are made from our Cortland apples, they are amazing.

We love decorating the market for Fall, when you come out, please bring your camera and feel free to take pictures.  We now have 3 areas adjacent in the market set up for spots you can take family photo’s in, decorated with pumpkin scarecrows and our famous old truck.

Our Apple Picking Scarecrow is back1

Hope to see you this weekend,

Beth

Update on U-Pick grapes

We opened the U-Pick Concord purple grapes today and we were overwhelmed by the number of people who came out to pick.    We have never experienced such a large crowd in one day.  Due to how how many we had picked out today, there will not be many left to pick, especially since we had few Concord grapes this year to start with due to the spring frosts and hailstorm.  At the rate they are being picked, we don’t think they will last more than a few more days.  SO PLEASE CALL before you travel very far to make sure we have some left to pick.  269-244-5690. 

We do still have lots of White Niagara grapes to pick, they were not as impacted by the frost and hail.

We apologize for those of you who wanted them this year and may not get any, this has just not been a very good year for grapes in Michigan.  Let’s hope for a better year next year.

Thanks for your understanding.

Beth

U-Pick Grape and Apple Update

 

 U-Pick Grapes

  • White Niagra grapes:  Open for picking now. 
  • Blue/Purple Concord grapes:  Will open for U-Pick on Monday, September 13th
  • If you want both color grapes, you should try to come the week of September 13th.

 

  • U-Pick Grape Pricing:  Will remain the same as last year which is 20 cents/lb.   If you pick over 100 pounds, it is 15 cent/pound.  A bushel of grapes weighs approximately 40 to 50 pounds depending on how you fill it.

 

  •  As most of you know, once we open the U-Pick grapes, they will be  available up until Welch’s comes to harvest them.   Preliminary information from Welch’s says they will probably harvest our white niagara grapes starting on 9-11 (we will save a field for you to pick in the week of 9-13) and the purple concords around 9-25.  However, this can change, so we will keep you posted with the latest.  Welch’s is trying to manage a nation wide schedule of harvests and processing plants, so we have no control over this.   You can always check the website for the latest information or call us.  269-244-5690. 
  • For those of you who have picked grapes in previous years, you will notice there are fewer than in previous years due to early frost and some hail damage.  We have a total of 120 acres of grapes, so there should still be enough for everyone.

 

  • Picking Instructions for U-Pick Grapes
  1. Please bring containers to pick your grapes in such as buckets, baskets, tubs, etc.
  2. Please check in with the market clerk when you arrive and make sure your containers are weighed before you pick.
  3. Please bring garden clippers/scissors/knife or a similar tool to cut the grapes, this makes it easier.
  4. Dress appropriately for a vineyard setting where natural hazards exist: Bees/hornets/wasps/poison ivy or poison oak and places where the ground is not level, etc. You might want to wear enclosed shoes/socks and pants due to the tall grass. (We cannot mow the grass this close to harvesting….)

U-Pick Apple update:  We will open the apple orchard for picking on September 16th for all apples except Cortland, which we will open up on September 13th. (Cortland only on the 13th).    Since we do not have any early apples due to frost, we have had to wait for the later apples to ripen.  What we will have for picking will be:  Cortlands, Red and Golden Delicious, Fuji, a few Cameo, Jonathans and possibly a few Northern Spies.  Sorry, we have a very light crop of apples this year due to a spring frost compounded by a hailstorm which damaged them.  They will be $12 a bushel to pick, the same as last year. 

We will update you on apples as soon as we know more, thanks for your patience.

Beth