Just a final reminder that since we had a small apple crop this year due to the spring frost, we plan to close early this year. You have only a few days left to get things you want for the winter. Our last official day for the year will be Sunday, October 14th.
Fall Color Tour: The Three Rivers Fall Color Tour is also Sunday, October 14th this year. We will be one of the many stops and will have extra activities that day such as: art vendors, the Birds of Prey Exhibit from 1 – 3, fresh donuts made by the Immaculate Conception Church group, produce samples, etc. In addition, we will have our distillery open that afternoon and will be making brandy. This will give you a chance to see how brandy is made, feel the wonderful warm steam coming off the still and smell the fruit aroma. (sorry we will not have any tastings that day.) You can view the entire fall color tour brochure here: http://rivercountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Color-Tour-Brochure-FINAL-2012.pdf
The following apples are available in the market and going fast. By this weekend, we will probably only have Red Delicious available.
- Red Delicious (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
- Red Rome (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
Cider: This week’s cider blend is gala, golden delicious, red delicious, rome, fuji, grimes golden, jonathan, cameo, jonamac, honeycrisp, cortland and braeburn. Because there were so few apples, our crew went back through and gleaned every possible tree to come up with enough to make this blend which is comprised of almost every apple we grow. It’s delicious!
Baked Goods: This weekend we will have Apple, Blueberry, Peach and Cherry pies, along with the famous apple dumplings. In addition there will be pumpkin cupcakes, monster cookies, caramel apple cookies, and those wonderfully decorated cut-out sugar cookies in fall and Halloween shapes. Your last chance to get baked goods for the year and put an extra pie in the freezer for Thanksgiving!
U-Pick Grapes: There are still purple Concord grapes to pick, but they are very ripe and splitting. If you plan to make juice or wine, they would be okay to still get them.
Fall Ornamentals and Jack O’Lantern pumpkins are here: We still have some mums, white pumpkins, cinderella pumpkins, pie pumpkins, painted pumpkins, gourds, and a few Jack o’ lantern pumpkins left.
Winter Squash: We have buttercup, hubbard, heart of gold and sweet dumpling squash left.
Onions: This is the time to be buying your onions to store for the winter. We have them in mesh bags and still have red, yellow and white available, all sweet onions.
This is the first time the Fall Color Tour and our closing day are on the same day…..so in addition to the extra activities we will be having closing day specials. We have mixed feelings about closing early this year, as it means saying goodbye for the year to our wonderful and loyal customers who have stood with us during this difficult year. Because it was a difficult year for all Michigan fruit growers, we were able to welcome some new customers who found us when your local farms didn’t have some of the fruit that we were fortunate to have. But because of the difficult year, we are “more than ready” for the farm to kick into a slower rhythm of pruning, equipment maintenance, planning and some long overdue naps!
I would like to take this chance to thank all of our hard working, dedicated and loyal employees and ask you to do the same when you see them as without them there could not be a “Corey Lake Orchards.”
- The ones “behind the scenes” who are planting, growing, maintaining, harvesting and pruning everything: Rocho, Teresa, Rudolf, Tom and Rambo.
- My son Jay who oversees the IPM program (integrated pest management), manages the irrigation (no small job this summer!) maintains the equipment and does about every other job that we need help with.
- Our friendly and knowledgeable market crew led by Cathy and Michaela, supported by Teri, Nancy, Patti and Jan. They go out of their way to make sure every customer leaves satisfied.
- A special thank you to Cathy who plants and maintains the flower beds that surround the market, the “sign garden” and the many planters around the market. The flowers were incredible this year!
- Special thanks to Michaela and Patti, who not only help at the market during the day, but go home at night and freeze our fruit as it is in season and bake all of those wonderful treats they sell on weekends.
- Special thoughts go out to our brandy-maker Bruce who has been severely ill and hospitalized since August–we miss him and want him back.
- Thanks to the seasonal employees and other family members who pitch in and help us thru some of our peak times.
- Thanks to the local suppliers of honey, artwork, cards, bags, towels, brittle, jams and other items that add to our offerings.
On behalf of my father and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you as always for buying local. Have a great winter and we promise to send those occasional emails that keep you up to date with what’s happening here at the farm as we prepare for our 2013 season.