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

Mid August Update

Welcome Racers:  We want to welcome all of the racers and volunteers participating in the Three Rivers Triathlon/Duathlon on Saturday, August 20th.  Good luck to each of you and know that when you are finished, there will be fresh apples, watermelon and canteloupe provided by Corey Lake Orchards to refresh you.    You are welcome to participate in our own sporting event if you choose:

  • Duathlon:  Pick a bushel of tomatoes, then carry two large watermelon at a time from the field to the waiting tractor.
  • Triathlon:  Pick a bushel of tomatoes, then carry two large watermelon at a time from the field to the waiting tractor, dig one bushel of potatoes (we will loan you the shovel) and carry them into the market for us!!

Summer Apples:  We have two great summer apples on the market right now.  Jersey Macs and Earli-blaze.  They are both excellent for eating or cooking.  We have samples of each for you to try to see which you like best.   They are available by the bushel, peck, 1/2 peck of pound. For those of you who love the Jersey Mac, this is the last weekend for them. so hurry over.

Baked goods:  Our bakers are offering fresh peach pie this week (because it is finally peach season!!) andfresh apple pie made out of our Earli-blaze apples.   I can personally attest to both of these pies being delicious.  Of course the bakers say it is because of their crust, I say it is because of our fruit.    You decide….

Watermelons are here:  We started bringing in watermelon today.   These are the real thing: Crimson Sweet (striped round with seeds) or Charleston Grey (long green oblong with seeds.)  Sorry, we don’t grow any seedless watermelon as we find seeded watermelon so much tastier.

Canteloupe:   The canteloupe must have loved this summer’s weather, as they are really nice this year, and so sweet.    We have three sizes:  Medium, Large and Extra-large (and even we are shocked by the size of the extra large!)  The season is at its peak right now and won’t last much longer so come out and get some.

Peaches:  We still have Red Haven peaches, available in small eating quantities only, no bushels.  We have a very small peach orchard since we took out a peach orchard last fall.

Sweet Corn:  Our own sweet corn is now gone for the season, but we will be bringing in Stears Sweet corn (white and bi-color) hopefully through Labor Day weekend.

Greenhouse Tomatoes:    We finished taking out the greenhouse this week,  a huge thank you to all of our customers who have faithfully bought greenhouse tomatoes from us since April.  We have a few left to sell, plus all of the remaining green tomatoes we are selling for 50 cents a pound, this is the time to make fried green tomatoes!!

U-Pick Field Tomatoes We are having a very difficult tomato growing year based on a number of field conditions and the weather, beginning with the spring planting.    We had to replant them several times this spring,  which is one of the reasons causing them to be late.    The extremely hot/humid weather in July caused excessive mold/mildew.  Now some of the plants have developed late blight.    There are good years and bad years in farming; and with last year’s tomato crop being so good, this year’s is disappointing.  However,  we still have good tomatoes, with the same great flavor that you are used to getting from us.

Given the need to continue to take care of the tomato plants and keep them as healthy as possible as the tomatoes ripen, we have decided we must postpone U-Pick until at least some time in September.  Knowing our customers are anxious to start canning tomatoes, we will pick them and offer “field tomato seconds” at the same price you could have picked them for: $12 a bushel.  A field tomato “second” is simply a “not so perfect tomato.”   It might have a crack, a skin mark where the tomato touched the wet ground, or be mis-shaped.  These are perfect for canning, you will just have a little extra work to cut some of the spots out.     If you would like these, please call and give us your name, phone number, and quantity desired (limit of 3 bushels per customer until we get everyone some tomatoes).  We will call you as soon as we can get them for you.  269-244-5690.

We will still have tomatoes to pick once we open the U-Pick in September, for $12/bushel.  Check back at the very end of August to see if we have an opening date.  We have about  80  plants that we put in late, which have not even started turning red yet!  So far, these plants are large and beautiful, have not been affected by the blight and are producing lots of tomatoes, if you can just be patient and let them grow and ripen!!  Your patience and support of this change is appreciated as we work through this problem.

Other vegetables on the market:  onions, red potatoes, various kinds of peppers, summer squash, spaghetti squash, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, cabbage, kale and collard greens.

Brandy House:  The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4 for tasting and to learn about how we make brandy.

Fall apples and grapes:  We have a good crop of both this year and will have them available for U-Pick and picked in the market.  They are going to be late this year by about 10 days to two weeks.  Check back the week of September 5th for an update on how they are progressing.

Sorry, no pictures again as my camera has still not turned up from being lost.    I still think it got lost picking corn, if you happened to find a camera in your dozen of corn, please let me know!

Thanks as always for buying local goods and produce.

Beth and everyone else at Corey Lake Orchards