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

Monthly Archive: September 2011

Rain, Rain, Rain…..and where did the month of September go??

Enough with the rain, we have had over 3 inches here in the last few days….definitely taking its toll on all of us, our apple orchard and vineyards.    But, the weather people say it is supposed to clear up by this weekend.  So our warning to you if you are planning to come over and pick apples or grapes is:  It is muddy!!  Very muddy….we have standing water in many of the lanes going in and out of the orchards and are doing our best to find new ways to route everyone in and out.  So…..patience and boots are a requirement for this weekend!!

But if you are able to come pick this weekend, all of our apples and grapes are ready now.  You can pick both the Niagara and Concord grapes as well as all varieties of apples except Honeycrisp, (we don’t have U-Pick Honeycrisp)  McIntosh and Gala (which are already gone.)

We have lots of picked apples on the market, all varieties are now in.  We have some great specials going on some of our varieties, such as Gala and Red Delicious.   We have also picked our pumpkins and have mums, gourds, Indian corn and many other fall ornamentals.

On Saturday, the brandy house will be open from 1 – 4.  Our brandy maker Bruce has been quite busy lately making apple, pear and peach brandy…..you can smell the wonderful aroma when you walk in!

Check out our scarecrows…..and have your picture taken with them!    And if anyone feels like this scarecrow should not be wearing an MSU sweatshirt and and MSU hat, then just make sure I am not looking if you try to switch the hat!!

Our "MSU fan" scarecrow

So, dig out your boots, winter coat, hat and gloves and come on over this weekend!  Fall is definitely here.   (Even if it seems like winter!)

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

Fall U-Pick apples opening on Friday, 9-23

Hi, my apologies for the double email that went out in error yesterday from me, what follows is the email on apples that was supposed to go out…..sorry, the long harvest days are getting to me!

Fall U-Pick apples:  We will open the fall apples on Friday, 9-23 for U-Pick.    The fall apples that will be available to pick are:

  • Cameo***
  • Cortland***
  • Fuji–Early and late varieties***
  • Jonathan**
  • Mutsu*
  • Ida Red*
  • Red Delicious***
  • Red Rome**
  • Northern Spys**
  • Yellow (Golden) Delicious**
  • *** Three stars means we have lots and lots of these apples
  • **Two stars mean we have a moderate amount of these apples
  • *One star means we don’t have many of these

However, please be aware that all of the apples are not as ripe as others.    The apples in green above are ready now.  The others will be better if you can pick them a bit later.  However, we know that isn’t always an option for those who are coming from a distance or who are trying to juggle the many things we all have going on in our busy lives.    So if you are unable to wait for some of the later varieties,  please pick carefully and select the ripest apples from the tree.  We want to send you home with ripe, flavorful apples!  Please call us or talk to any of our market clerks or apple field guide when you come out for more guidance on the best apples.   (269-244-5690).

Information for apple picking:  We are open 8 – 6 daily, please be finished by 6 pm.  Bring baskets if you have them, if not, we will set you up with bags/baskets.  Please dress appropriately for an orchard, where natural hazards exist (bees, tall grass under the trees, the occasional sprig of poison ivy, etc.)   We do not supply any ladders, so if you would like to get that perfect apple that is beyond your reach, please bring your own.

For a description of these and all of the apples that we grow, please go to the apple listing on our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/seasonal-offerings/apples/

Pumpkins:  We started bringing in our pumpkins today from the field.  They range from $1 for the smallest to $6 for the largest ones.  We also have gourds, corn stalks and mums available for your fall decorating.

Bringing in pumpkins from the field on 9-21-11

Denim "guarding" the pumpkin pile

This picture with the big slide in the background reminds me to tell you that when you visit us, you are welcome to use the slide to enjoy with  your families.  We would just ask that the parents/adults along watch their children carefully when using it.    Here’s a family that came out this week, brought a picnic lunch and really enjoyed our old-fashioned slide (they just don’t make them this way anymore!)

Family posing for a picture on the big slide

This little body seems pretty content to eat two apples while his siblings slide!

Brandy Tasting will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4.  Bruce has made some wonderful peach brandy this week.   When you walk into the distillery, you can still smell the aroma….

Apple Dumplings:  Apple dumplings, made out of our own Cortland apples will be here again this weekend.  They are a definite fall favorite.

From all of us here at Corey Lake Orchards, we look forward to seeing you soon to enjoy all of our fall offerings!

Beth

U-Pick Grape Update for Concords and Niagaras

The white Niagara grapes are now open for picking.  We will open the purple Concord grapes on Monday, September 26th.  We are having a very difficult time getting them to ripen given the current weather conditions (the grapes like to have sun and be dry!)   So while we will open on 9-26, please be aware that if you wait another week to come, they will be riper and sweeter.    We anticipate the mechanical harvesters will come in mid-October to pick the Concord grapes, so you have until then to come out to get them.

Concord grapes on the vine 9-20-11

Niagara grapes on the vine 9-20-11

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pricing:  They are 25 cents/pound to pick or if you pick over 100 pounds, they are 20 cents/pound.

When you come to pick grapes, please bring the following if you have them:

  1. Five gallon plastic pails to pick in, this is how we measure how much you pick instead of having to weigh them all.   A five-gallon pail (which is about a 1/2 bushel) weights 20 pounds.  If you don’t have these, you can borrow ours, but bring containers to take them home in.
  2. Scissors or clippers to cut them with.
  3. Small wagons to help you get them out of the vineyard (our rows are very long!)

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about grape picking:

Can I wait and pick the white grapes when I come for the purple concords?  Yes.  We are reserving a block of white grapes for that purpose.   But, if you want both, you should plan to come the week of 9-26 as the white grapes are ready now and need to be picked soon.

What hours is U-Pick open?  We open at 8 am and close at 6 pm.  We ask that you be finished picking by 6 pm.

Can I pick apples and grapes together? Our apples will be ready to pick at the same time as the Concord grapes.  So yes, save room to pick apples to take home and be sure to ask us about our U-Pick apple specials available for grape pickers.

If you have any other questions, please call us at 269-244-5690.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

Mid weekend update on U-Pick apples, Cider, U-Pick tomatoes and Bosc pears

What a beautiful day it was, which brought out so many customers to enjoy the farm.  But wow, were we busy.   Apples, baked goods, and cider, just flew off the shelves!  So, just a few changes:

U-Pick apples:  We had so many customers out to pick apples today that we are now out of McIntosh and Mollie’s Delicious to pick.  We still have some Gala and JonaMac, but that is all until the rest of the fall apples get ready.  We anticipate opening more varieties to pick around 9-23.  But please check back to make sure, since the weather will be the deciding factor.

Cider:  We sold so much cider today that we will have to make more tomorrow (9-18) .  So, we will probably have a gap on Sunday where we will be out.  Please call before you come out for cider to make sure it is available:  269-244-5690.

U-Pick Tomatoes:  We have reopened the tomato field for picking, at $12/bushel.  We are not able to provide any more picked tomatoes by the bushel, but you can pick them yourself.  Call ahead to check on availability, as it is dependent on how many people have picked that day and the weather cooperating to ripen them.    269-244-5690.

Bosc Pears are ready:  If you don’t know this pear, you should.  Bosc pears are an elegant variety, with distinctive characteristics that set them apart from other pears. Those who are familiar with Bosc appreciate their crunchy yet tender flesh and their sweet-spiced flavor.  Plus, they keep wonderfully.  They are available by the bushel and in smaller eating quantities.

Bosc pears, just picked, 9-17-11

Thanks for choosing local products.  Thanks to all of you who came out today and enjoyed the farm with us.  We loved seeing you and hope you had a great visit. If you did, please let us know,  and if there is something we can do to make it better, please let us know that too!

Beth and everyone else at Corey Lake Orchards

 

Mid September Update

As I sit here updating the website tonight with two layers of sweatshirts on and my thick fuzzy slippers,  I wonder what is going on with this weather?  Brrr…and I am avoiding turning on the heat, it just doesn’t seem right to have it on in September.   We just hope there will not be an early hard frost before we can finish our fall harvest.     Here’s what is going on at Corey Lake Orchards:

Cider:  Yes, we successfully made our 2nd pressing this afternoon.  Thanks to the many people who helped us with our equipment issues and got us going again: my son Jay, my husband Joe, our brandy maker Bruce, and the rest of the team here at the orchard who helped pull it all together.    We sampled it coming off the press tonight and declared it “delightful.”  It is a blend of Gala, McIntosh, Mollies Delicious, JonaMac, Honeycrisp and Jonagold.    Free samples available at the market for you to try.   Reminder:  Our cider is not pasteurized, it is the “real” thing.

Apple Dumplings are Back:  Our bakers will have their famous apple dumplings available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  If  you have never tried these, it is a must!

Picked or U-Pick apples in the market:  We now have Mollie’s Delicious, Gala, Jon-a-Mac and McIntosh apples for sale in the market.   You may also pick these four kinds.

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple.  It is a late summer apple and this will probably be the last weekend for them.
  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple.  It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
  • Jon-A-Mac:  This is a good cooking or eating apple.  It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan apple and a McIntosh.
  • McIntosh:  This is the “real” old fashioned McIntosh.  It has a white flesh, is very juicy, slightly tart and smells wonderful.  Great for applesauce or making apple juice.

Available in the market, already picked are:  (Not for U-Pick)

  • Honeycrisp:  Very crisp, excellent sweet flavor with a great bite.

A 20-bushel bin of Honeycrisp just picked!

  • Jonagold: This is a large, crisp juicy apple, both tart and sweet.  We do not have a lot of these this year, so if this is your favorite, call us to reserve them for you.  269-244-5690.

Large and lovely Jonagold apples on the tree

  • Nu-Red:  This is a hard, crunchy, sweet/sour eating apple, that has become my personal favorite.

Fall apples:  The remainder of the fall apples are not ready yet.   Yes, we know it seems late, but they simply are late.  We anticipate opening the remainder of the fall apples around 9-23 for U-Pick.  The cool weather continues to slow things down and we want to make sure the apples are ripe and at full flavor.   We have lots of apples this year, so there will be plenty when we open for picking.   So please let them enjoy a little more time on the tree.  The fall apples that will be available to pick are:

  1. Cameo
  2. Cortland
  3. Fuji
  4. Jonathan
  5. Mutsu
  6. Ida Red
  7. Red Delicious
  8. Red Rome
  9. Northern Spys
  10. Golden Delicious

For a description of these and all of the apples that we grow, please go to the apple listing on our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/seasonal-offerings/apples/

Grape Update:    The white Niagara grapes will open for U-Pick on Friday, September 16th.    We anticipate the purple Concords opening around 9-23, again, depending on the weather.    The grapes will be 25 cents/pound to pick, if you pick over 100 pounds, they will be 20 cents a pound.

When you come to pick grapes, please bring the following if you have them:

  1. Five gallon plastic pails to pick in, this is how we measure how much you pick instead of having to weigh them all.   A five-gallon pail (which is about a 1/2 bushel) weights 20 pounds.  If you don’t have these, you can borrow ours, but bring containers to take them home in.
  2. Scissors or clippers to cut them with.
  3. Small wagons to help you get them out of the vineyard (our rows are very long!)

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about grape picking:

Can I wait and pick the white grapes when I come for the purple concords?  Yes.  We are reserving a block of white grapes for that purpose.

How long will the grapes last?  Once we open, we are anticipate several weeks, but that depends on how many customers come out and how many grapes they pick.

What hours is U-Pick open?  We open at 8 am and close at 6 pm.  We ask that you be finished picking by 6 pm.

Can I pick apples and grapes together?  It looks like our apples will be ready to pick at the same time as the Concord grapes.  So yes, save room to pick apples to take home as well.

Fruit:   This is the last few days for watermelon and peaches.

Tomatoes:  We are still trying to pick tomatoes for everyone who wanted them.  If you haven’t got on our list, please call us at 269-244-5690.     This week as I was unloading a bin of tomatoes, I got to the last few only to find a friendly frog waiting for me!

Friendly frog in the bottom of the tomato bin

Winter Squash:  We have acorn, butternut. buttercup and sweet dumpling squash ready now.

Fall Ornamentals:  We have a good selection of gourds, small white and orange pumpkins to decorate with and some beautiful mums.

Brandy House:  The Brandy house will be open for tasting and tours on Saturday, from 1 – 4.  Bruce would love to see you.  He has been busy trying to make peach brandy this week.

Thanks again for buying local, we hope to see you soon.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards