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

Monthly Archive: June 2011

Sour and Sweet Cherry Update and yes, Strawberries are gone for the season

Sour Cherries: We will open the U-Pick Sour Cherries on Wednesday, June 29th.  They will be 75 cents per pound to pick.    The variety we have is Montmorency.

U-Pick Pricing:

  • 75 cents per pound to pick
  • 60 cents per pound for 100 pounds and over

Picking information:

  • U-Pick Hours:  8 – 6 daily, please be finished picking by 6 pm.
  • The sour cherry trees are about 10 – 20 feet tall.   For good picking, you should bring your own ladder.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you many run into poison ivy/sumac in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers.  We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.

Picked Sour cherries:  $3.00 per quart (approximately 2 pounds).

Strawberries are now finished for the season.   It was another difficult season for us not having enough for everyone, plus the last four days of rain ruined what was remaining, but thanks to everyone who was able to enjoy them with us this season.

Sweet Cherries opened for U-pick on Wednesday June 22.    This was earlier than expected, but the weather from this past week with 4 days of rain,  have caused the cherries to start spoiling.    We have four different kinds in our small orchard across the street  from our market.  You can still try to pick them, but it is very difficult due to the damage caused by the rain.   Please realize that we have an older orchard with about 15 – 20 very large trees.  Since we do not have a lot of sweet cherries, we would recommend you not travel a long distance to get them, but if you are in our local area and want to get a few cherries to enjoy eating, please come on over.  We know for many of you, it is a tradition to come pick a bowl of cherries!  We have several colors:

  • Dark red (black)
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Red/Yellow blush

Picking information:

  • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet).   Please bring your own ladder.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy/sumac in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers.  We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.

Pricing: $1.50 per pound to pick

Picking hours are 8 – 6 daily, we ask that you finish picking by 6:00 pm. 

Picked Sweet Cherries: we no longer have any picked cherries on the market.   They are just too difficult to pick given the rain damage.  Wow, what a short crop, about 3 days!

So what else do we have on the market? The end of strawberry season and the short cherry season leave us with a “gap” of produce available on the market since we grow everything here.  We have some lettuce, peas and onions coming in, but we are now awaiting the next group of summer vegetables.    Of course we still have our great greenhouse tomatoes every day and baked goods on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  We’ll let you know when more things are ready.    On a positive note, yesterday, we picked our first tomato out of the field.  As many of you know, it is my Dad’s goal to always have the first tomato ready in the state.  He has even set a new record for himself by picking his first one on June 25th!

A glimpse of some of the small joys of farming: This particular last week with all of the rain which ruined the sweet cherries and strawberries and kept us out of the fields was certainly frustrating for those of us in farming.  But there are always small pleasures and joys we find among our days as well.  This past week, when picking radishes, I discovered this nest of bird eggs in one of the plants.   Then, at the end of the week, there were baby birds!!  Needless to say, this group of radishes did not get picked!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for buying local produce and goods…..from all of us here at Corey Lake Orchards, we truly appreciate you as customers.      Beth

 

Sweet and Sour Cherry; Strawberry Update

Sweet Cherries:

We will open our Sweet Cherries for U-pick on Wednesday June 22.    This is earlier than expected, but the weather from this week (rain on 6-20) followed by today’s extremely hot weather and more rain, have caused the cherries to start spoiling.    We have four different kinds in our small orchard across the street  from our market, some are ready now and the others will be ripening in the next 3 – 5 days.  Please realize that we have an older orchard with about 15 – 20 very large trees.  Since we do not have a lot of sweet cherries, we would recommend you not travel a long distance to get them, but if you are in our local area and want to get a few cherries to enjoy eating, please come on over.  We know for many of you, it is a tradition to come pick a bowl of cherries!  We have several colors:

  • Dark red (black)
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Red/Yellow blush

Picking information:

  • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet).   Please bring your own ladder.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy/sumac in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers.  We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.

Pricing: $1.50 per pound to pick

Picking hours are 8 – 6 daily, we ask that you finish picking by 6:00 pm. 

Note:  Some of the cherries have started to spoil and others the birds have started snacking on unfortunately.

Picked Sweet Cherries: We  have them available to sell at the market now for $3.00  per pound.  We hope to have them through June 26th, but they may only last a few days given the weather.

Sour Cherries: Check back around June 27th for an update on Sour cherries.  They are just starting to turn red, but need to gain some size yet and color and finish ripening.    We have not set a price for these yet.

Strawberries: The strawberry season is coming to an end.  We hope to have picked berries for $3.00/quart available through this weekend.  As most of you know, we had to move to a U-Pick reservation system this year due to having fewer strawberries, if you are still trying to pick some, you may come out during the hours of 8 – 11 on Thursday through Sunday, without needing an appointment.  We expect Sunday will probably be the last day.  Since the weather is changing things every day, call first to make sure we have picked berries and check on the picking conditions:  269-244-5690.

We apologize for how crazy strawberry season has been this year, especially for those of you who wanted to pick your own.  We did our best to accommodate as many of you as we could, some of you we could not fit in and for that we are sorry.  We know we made a few mistakes as we tried a new reservation/appointment system.    We would very much like your feedback as this winter when we have a little down time we’ll think through how to manage next year’s strawberry season.

As we close out the season, here’s a few pictures that remind us how special strawberry time in Michigan is, especially for our youngest customers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer vegetables are starting: We are pulling fresh “Candy” onions daily, our snow peas, snap peas and shell-out peas are just starting to come in, and we have several varieties of lettuce available.

Happy First Day of Summer from all of us at Corey Lake Orchards!

 

Strawberry Update

Strawberries:

  • We will be closed for U-Pick Strawberries on Thursday, 9-16 due to the cool weather to allow the berries to ripen up again.   We apologize to those of you who had made an appointment to pick on Thursday, we have tried to call all to advise you of this and hopefully you got our message.
  • U-Pick Strawberry Situation:   Due to the fact that we have a minimal amount of strawberries this year because of a plant problem, we had to move to an appointment/reservation system.  However, we are no longer able to make any additional appointments as we do not have enough berries this year.  We truly apologize and would encourage you to find another local farm in your area.  If you need help with this, we have a list of other farms available at the market if you call us:  269-244-5690 or a good website to find U-Pick strawberry farms in your area is:  http://michiganfarmfun.com/.
  • If you have been scheduled for U-Pick: We are working hard to be able to accommodate those of you that we have scheduled for berry picking at the time you were scheduled.  But we have already called a number of you to reschedule due to lack of berries.  Once we get through this week, we will have a better idea of how many berries there will be for next week.  If we feel there won’t be good picking, we will call you as soon as we can to advise you of this so you can make plans to find berries elsewhere.
  • Picked Berries:  We hope to have picked berries on the market for about another week.  They are $3.00 a quart, or a flat of 8 for $22 or a case of 16 for $40.  We need you to order flats and cases in advance.  Please call us at 269-244-5690.

Given our berry shortage this year,  we find ourselves in a difficult situation of not being able to satisfy our many loyal customers and having to refer you to other local farms.  We apologize and hope to see you later this year for other produce.    Thanks for your understanding.

Rhubarb:  We are out of rhubarb and will probably not have any more this year…..sorry.

Father’s Day weekend:  We have several recommendations for helping to make Father’s day special this year.  Our bakers are bringing pecan pie (for Father’s Day weekend only), plus their special shortcake for you to make strawberry shortcake.   My Dad tried the shortcake tonight with fresh strawberries, he couldn’t tell which he liked better:  the shortcake or the strawberries he grew!   He truly enjoyed it all!!

Despite the difficult berry year we are having, strawberry season is one of the best times of the year. It seems to signal the change from spring to summer.  Berry season is just too short!

Thanks for buying local goods and produce, we hope to see you soon.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries are Ready!!

U-Pick Berries:  We will open the strawberry picking to U-Pick on Monday, June 13th.  They are $1.30 a quart.    We have had to move to a “reservation/appointment” system this year to schedule customers wanting to pick more than 4 quarts.    If you need more information on how this works, please check our website: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2011/06/strawberry-information-for-2011-last-week-for-asparagus/

If you have left your name and phone number to be scheduled, you should have received a message by now giving you a time.  If you did not, please call us on 269-244-5690.  If you have any questions on U-Pick or need to change the time you were given, please call us and we will try to accommodate you.

We appreciate your patience and support as we try this scheduling system this year.  Please give us your feedback on it, whether it worked well or not, as we constantly want to improve and better serve our customers.

Picked Berries:  We are bringing in a good supply of picked berries daily.  If you ordered flats or cases, you also should have received a message back confirming your order and the date.  If not, please call us on 269-244-5690.   Pricing is $3.00 a quart, a flat of 8 quarts for $22 and a case of 16 quarts for $40.    We sometimes have these on hand when you come in, but it would help us if you could call us and order flats and  cases in advance.

Beth's dog Denim, guarding the strawberries on the market, 6-10-11

Shortcake Available: Our bakers will be baking strawberry shortcake daily through strawberry season for you to pick up when you get strawberries.  Sorry, we can’t help you with the ice cream or whipped topping…..!!

Cherries:  It appears right now we will have a good crop of sweet and sour cherries.  Please check back the last week of June for a better estimate of when they will be ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberry Information for 2011, Last week for Asparagus

Asparagus:  We are winding down the asparagus season, picking less each day now and may have enough to last through this week.  Please call in advance to make sure we have it before you drive out.  269-244-5690.  Thanks for another great asparagus season, we all hate to see it end.

Strawberries: We are now starting to pick a few strawberries each day of an early variety.  These are available for $3.00 per quart at the market.

The majority of our strawberries should be ready starting the week of June 12th, This is our best guess for now, depending on the weather.

Picked Berries will be:  $3.00 a quart; a flat of 8 quarts is $22.00; a case of 16 quarts is  $40.00, when available or ordered in advance.  We are now taking orders for flats and cases, and will call you when they are available.  Please call us on 269-244-5690 to order.

U-Pick Strawberries will be:  $1.30 quart.  Please bring quart containers if you have them.  If not, you may borrow ours to pick in, but bring containers such as boxes, buckets, tubs, to take your berries home in.

New for 2011 – Scheduling/Reservation System

This year we are going to try something new:  a scheduling/reservation system for managing the U-Pick strawberries.  We are doing this for several reasons.

  1. In the past several years, as many of you know, we have had more customers than strawberries, causing us to be picked out within 30 minutes and having to turn customers away.  This is frustrating for us and certainly for those of you who took time off work or got the kids up early to pick berries, only to be turned away.  With the price of gas, it would be even more frustrating this year.
  2. We do not have as many strawberries available for U-pick as we had hoped.  We have one acre which has developed a foliage problem leaving the berries exposed to the heat and sun.  We will not be able to open this field for U-Pick, so this leaves us with about one acre to pick.

We are sorry for the change, but feel this is the best way to handle U-Pick for at least this year given  the limited picking availability.    The scheduling system will allow us to make sure that we will have an ample supply of strawberries  available for you when you come.

How it Works:

1.   For picking 4 quarts or less as a group (not per person):  We know many of you like to come every few days just to pick a couple of quarts for shortcake or to give the kids “the farm experience”.  We will reserve a small section of the field and you can stop in during our berry picking hours (see below) to pick these – no reservations required.  The special area will close each day when picked out.

2.   If you want to pick over 4 quarts, please call (269-244-5690) and give us:

  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • How many people will be picking (adults/children)
  • About how many you want to pick
  • The days that would be best for you
  • Whether you want morning or evening picking

3.    Scheduling:  We will use this information to schedule you for hopefully a time that is convenient for you.  We will call you back and start scheduling as soon as strawberries are ready.   We will try to give you as much notice as possible so that you can plan accordingly.

4.  U-Pick times:  We plan to be open for U-Pick each day weather permitting (closing only for a storm or for berries to ripen due to cool temperatures ) We will have both morning hours, 8 to 11 am,  and this year, because many of you have asked for this, we will try evening hours as well, from 6 to 8 pm.

We hope to be able to accommodate everyone.  If we get into the season and find that we can’t, we will let you know so you can find another source for your berries.  There are other local farms with U-Pick; we have a list of these with websites and phone numbers available at the market.

We appreciate your support and understanding as we try this modified system this year.

Frequently asked questions about strawberries:

How long will the season last? Depends on the weather, but typically about 2 weeks.

What variety of strawberries do you have?  We have several varieties mixed out in our field: Eros, Jewel and All Star.

How much does a quart of strawberries weigh?  About 1 and ½ pounds.

How many quarts in a flat and case?  There are 8 quarts in a flat and 16 quarts in a case.

If you have other questions, please feel free give us a call or send an email.  We’ll try to get it answered.

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Here’s hoping for good weather so that the upcoming berry season can be a good one!  Thanks from everyone at Corey Lake Orchards