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

Monthly Archive: October 2011

Halloween Fun & the arrival of Honeycrisp Cider

Today we made a special blend of cider using Honeycrisp apples only.  So for those of you who love Honeycrisp apples, you will like this cider.  We will have it for sale starting Sunday October 30th, $3.00/half gallon.  Please come sample it and let us know if you like it!

As promised, Denim and I donned our Halloween costumes today, along with the bird in the garden.  I think the large bird fared better during the hailstorm, at least it had a large brimmed hat and cape!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U-Pick Grapes:  FYI, we still have both Concord and Niagara grapes to pick.  Now that the frost has hit the vines, you can really find them and there are a lot left.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

Halloween Weekend

Halloween Weekend is here!   We still have plenty of apples, cider, pumpkins and other items for your holiday plans.  Plus, Denim and I will be dressed up in our special Halloween costumes!

Market closing date:   It looks like we will be open until Mid November, based on the number of apples we still have left.    Effective November 1st, we will be open daily from 9:30 to 5:30.   However, you may want to call before you come out to make sure that we have what you are looking for as we will start selling out of some apple varieties.  269-244-5690.

Brandy House Hours and Brandy Sales:  We will continue to have the Brandy House open each Saturday from 1 – 4 for tours, tasting and sales, even after we close the market.

Apple Specials:  Since we are trying to “wind down the season” we have many apple specials going on, call or ask one of our clerks about these.  269-2444-5690.

Cider:  We will continue to make cider as long as there is a demand for it…hint, hint.   The apples we are mixing together for cider now are at their absolute peak flavor so the cider is delicious.  This is the time to get it and freeze it.  If you buy over 10 gallons, it is only $4 a gallon.  Simply pour off a cup from the jug to allow expansion room, then freeze.  When unfreezing, allow it to totally thaw then shake it before pouring to re-blend the flavor.

U-Pick “After harvest” apple gleaning:  There are still plenty of apples to get off the tree or from the ground for $4 a bushel.    This is the perfect way to get some to make a lot of juice/applesauce or to feed animals.

U-Pick Grapes:  Surprisingly we still have some purple Concord and white Niagara grapes yet to pick!

Keeping apples for the winter:  Many of you have asked the best way to store your apples, here is a brief “how to.”  We have copies of this available at the market and will be happy to help you pick out varieties.

  • 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.

We hope to see you this weekend!

Beth and everyone else at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

 

Late Fall Update

Thanks to everyone who made it out to our festivities during the Fall Color Tour this past Sunday.  While the weather didn’t cooperate until later in the day, it seemed like everyone who ventured out enjoyed themselves.  A special thanks to all of the various vendors who set up to sell arts, crafts, jewelry, baked goods, and other goodies, and to the Lake Milton Raptor Center for bringing the Birds of Prey.  Also a special thanks to all of the Corey Lake Orchards employees for their extra efforts in preparing for the Fall Color Tour activities and making them happen.

Since the weather prevented some folks from getting out, we are continuing several of our specials.  In celebration of our 50th anniversary, the Red Delicious apples are still at “roll back” pricing of $5 a bushel, limit 3/customer, until they are gone.  The Honeycrisp apples are Buy 1 bag, Get the 2nd same size bag free.  Our remaining onion bags are on special for buy 2, get the 3rd bag free.  

Stocking up on apples for the winter:   All of our apples are now picked, including the Red Romes harvested this week.  We have several varieties of apples like the Fuji, which store well.  This is the time to buy them to have for fresh eating over the next several months.  We try to close each year on October 31st, but we will remain open as long as we have apples to sell.   However, for the best selection you should get out soon.  We currently still have:  Braeburn, Cameo, Cortland, Fuji, Golden Supreme, HoneyCris0p, Ida Red, Jonathan, Mutsu, Red Delicious, Rome and Spy’s.   This weekend we will have Pink Lady apples, we have been babying these trees along now for several years and will harvest some for the first time.  They are very distinctive in flavor and color, Pink Lady™ apples offer a delicious sweet-tart taste and a crisp slightly dry firm creamy-white flesh. This apple’s tender skin has a pink to reddish-pink blush over a yellow background.

Apple Gleaning:  We will open the apple orchards up for “after harvest” gleaning on Saturday, October 22nd.  This allows you to go in and pick what is left on the trees or on the ground for $4.00 bushel.  This is an economical way to get apples if you want to make a large batch of applesauce, apple butter, juice or get apples for animals.

Pumpkins, Squash and Fall Ornamentals:  We still have a good selection of gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins and squash.

Grapes:  We still have some white Niagara grapes available for picking, and there are a few purple Concords left in the already-picked vineyards.

Cider:  We will continue to press cider through October 30th.  If you want to get large quantities for an event, please call ahead to order it.  There is a discount of $1/gallon when you buy over 10 gallons.    269-244-5690.

Highlights from October 16th Fall Color Tour:

Birds of Prey:  This is the 2nd year the Lake Milton Raptor Center has displayed their birds of prey for our visitors.  They were so popular, they stayed an extra hour.    Check them out at:  http://raptorcenter.org/

 

 

 

 

Another very popular area was the “Bag your own bushel of Red Delicious” for $5 a bushel, manned by George who helped everyone get their bushels packaged up and to their car.  Thanks, George!

Who would have known that our local UPS driver Bob and his lovely wife could charm us with their musical selections that afternoon?

Pies, apple dumplings and more:  There was no shortage of baked goods done by our local bakers Patti and Michaela Eberhard.  Hope you were able to get some as this was their last weekend of baking for the year.  We will definitely miss the baked goods.   We thank them their hard work all year in providing fresh baked goods every weekend!

Mary Wright with jelly, Patti Eberhard with baked goods

Brandy House tours and tasting:  Bruce had many visitors to the Brandy house that afternoon to show them how brandy is produced from the fruit here on the farm.  Remember, you can visit the Brandy house every Saturday from 1 – 4 for a tour and tasting.

All of the Hubbard daughters were present to help in the celebration of the 50th year of the farm.  The pose in a large apple bin is a throwback to the time when they were growing up on the farm and their parents would use an apple bin as a play pen!   It was a lot easier then to get all four of them in the box then now!

From the entire Hubbard family and all of the employees at Corey Lake Orchards, thank you for the past 50 years of buying locally from us.

Help us celebrate our 50th anniversary as a farm during the Fall Color Tour, Sunday, October 16th

Fifty years ago Fabius Farms was purchased by Dayton and Allene Hubbard and renamed to Corey Lake Orchards.    It was originally an apple orchard, which is why we have chosen to celebrate the 50th during apple season.  Since that time it has expanded to include a cider mill, asparagus farm, brandy distillery, greenhouse operation, vineyards and many other changes.    In the past three years,  one of our goals was ensuring that this farm could go on into the future, thus you have seen the various building upgrades and improvements, additional orchards planted, crop expansions,  so we had a solid foundation to continue.

While the buildings and crops have changed, one thing that has remained constant is our loyal and dedicated employees.  We are in awe each day as we watch how hard they work to maintain our orchards, vineyards and fields and to work in the market in a friendly, helpful way with our customers.  Please join us when you see them in thanking them.

Of course, our hat goes off to our loyal, longtime and new customers.  Because of you, we work hard each day to bring to you our very best,  “just picked” produce that brings a smile to your face, tastes wonderful when eaten, and entices you to return as a customer.  We thank you for choosing to come here for your local produce.

To celebrate our 50th, we have several activities planned:

First, we would love to hear your memories of Corey Lake Orchards.  We know many of you are now 2nd and 3rd generation customers.  Please take a minute, visit this link on our website and share your favorite farm memory with us.

http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/50-years-of-memories/

Second,  join us on Sunday October 16th, during the Fall Color Tour, from 11 to 5.  We will have free cider, donuts and coffee.  Local artists will be here,  live music will be playing, a Birds of Prey exhibit will be on from 1 – 3 pm, the brandy house will be open for tasting and tours.  Plus, to thank you as our customers we will be offering many produce specials such as “roll back” pricing on our Red Delicious apples for $5 a bushel (limit of 3 per person), Honeycrisp apple specials:  Buy 2 bags any size, get one free.

Visit the Welcome table, meet members of the Hubbard family, view the poster displaying how we have changed over the years.   You can also share a memory with us by filling out a brief form while you are here.

U-Pick apples:  We will still have U-Pick apples.  While not all varieties are left, there is still enough to take the family out, get a few bushels and enjoy the apple picking experience.

U-Pick grapes :  There are still some white Niagara grapes to pick and a few Concords you can look for.  (The purple concord grapes officially finished this week, but you are welcome to look to see if you can find a few.)

Pick out a pumpkin:  We have many sizes and styles to choose from.

So what if it rains?  The weather people don’t seem very optimistic for Sunday, but rain or shine our events will go on.  That is the advantage of having so many large buildings, we will just move everything under a roof if we need to!

Thank you for the past 50 years and we hope another fifty or more.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

 

Local Honey

Earlier this summer, we started offering a very special local honey, labeled as “Honey from Above.”  This honey is absolutely as local as you can get, as it is made by the Corey Lake Orchards honeybees who live on the roof above the market, and create their golden liquid from the myriad of blossoms and wildflowers of the farm.

Another reason this “Honey from Above” label is special is because those bees are managed by my sister Charlotte, who started beekeeping with her late husband Tom when he became ill.  She thinks he’s smiling down on all the honey his bees are producing.  Our mother, the late Allene Hubbard, was also a beekeeper.  We think she’d be delighted that managed bees have returned to the farm.

Honey from Above is just one of the lines of local honey we carry.  Charlotte has more hives in Schoolcraft, and sells that all-natural honey in various bear sizes, most of them nattily dressed to make them an unusual gift … including the popular “pocket size” 2 ounce bear.

She also brings it in the comb.    If you’ve never tried honeycomb, these small sizes ($4 for a couple of inches) are priced right for a delicious experiment or to take to school for display.  You can chew the comb until all the honey is removed, and then spit out the wax (while no one is looking!)  All profits from sales of the Tom’s Bee-Loved Honey go to Charlotte’s late husband’s charities.

For years we’ve also carried the honey from Babcock Apiaries, right around the corner from our farm on Coon Hollow Road.  Brenda and Corky have been at this since 1993.   It is also beautifully sweet and comes in a nice selection of sizes, such as the popular 2 pound jar that will last you for a while.

Why local honey?  There’s a couple of great reasons.  First, it is reported to help with local allergies, as the bees incorporate into the honey the same pollens that may be bothering you.  Receiving it in small (and yummy!) doses allegedly helps build up immunity.

A second major reason to buy local honey is the same reason we hope you visit us for all your produce:  buying local means you know where it comes from.  According to the August 16th issue of American Bee Journal, a “third or more of all the honey consumed in the U.S. is likely to have been smuggled in from China and may be tainted with illegal antibiotics and heavy metals.  A Food Safety News investigation documented that millions of pounds of honey banned as unsafe in dozens of countries are being imported and sold here in record quantities.”  This same publication has reported on high fructose corn syrup being substantially mixed with honey, and sold as pure honey.

We’re happy to have local suppliers ensuring we bring you tasty, quality pure honey.

Beth, on behalf of my favorite beekeepers!