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

Mother’s Day Weekend update!

Do you want to know more about how to find and prepare morel mushrooms?  Local author and biologist Vic Eichler will be at the market on Saturday afternoon, May 11th at 1:30 to give a presentation about morel mushrooms and answer your questions.  Several of his books will be available for sale, including the popular Morel Mushrooms in Michigan and other Great Lake States, Polished Petoskey Stones and Charlevoix Stones.  

Asparagus:  We should have plenty of asparagus this weekend, unless it cools down too much, which will slow it down.  Please see the end of this for some really interesting information about the nutritional value of asparagus.

Rhubarb is finally here, available by the pound.

Plants for sale:   We currently have a selection of cold crop plants: cabbage, kale, brussell sprouts, lettuce, broccoli, swiss chard, etc.   We also have many varieties of tomato plants for sale.    This weekend we will get our pepper and eggplants in–while it is okay to pick these up now, you should wait to plant them until this next cool spell is done.  In a few weeks we will have our “vine” crops:   squash,  melons and cucumbers.

Flowers for a cutting garden.  Many of you have admired the cutting garden that we put out each year by the market.  If you would like to start some of your own, we still have some left.    The annuals we use in the cutting garden are:  cosmos, snapdragons, asters, zinnias, and gomphrena.

Mother’s Day ideas:     This year, consider some of our special Mother’s day items we are putting together. Many of our local vendors will have their items on the market this weekend.  This will include local honey, cards, art and Ruth’s famous pecan and cashew brittle.  We have a nice variety of flower pots and hanging baskets.

Baked Goods for Mom:    This weekend we will have the following:

  • Cookies:  Large, pastel flower cut outs, Monster and Zucchini Chocolate Chip
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry. Cherry. Cherry Berry and Peach.  Note: Peach pies will be only offered a few times this year until peach season as our frozen peach supplies are limited.  We are making peach available for Mother’s Day weekend.  In addition, since rhubarb is now ready, they will have rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb pies as well!
  • Sugar Free Pies need to be ordered in advance
  • Also 12 Grain Bread, Whole Wheat Bread and Cinnamon Rolls

  Salad for Mom:  We still have large tomato plants for the patio or to set outside—they are already blooming, staked and some have little tomatoes on them.  Pair these with one of our lettuce bowls that can be put outside, the lettuce can be picked and it grows back! Add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have the healthy gift of a fresh salad!

An arranged flower container for the patio or door step for Mom. This year we are combining the best of two things, Cathy’s skills in creating beautiful  flower containers and Beth’s love of collecting vintage items, especially with fruit on them.  Come see the many unique containers available for sale at all price ranges.  If you have a container you would like Cathy to plant, bring it over.

 The Brandy House will be open on Saturday.  Bruce will be open for brandy and wine tasting along with tours of our distillery, on Saturday, May 11th from 1 – 4, and then all Saturdays for the rest of our 2013 season.  Ask to try our new “2D” grape brandy–I tried it today myself and was impressed.   He will be happy to give you some ideas on how to blend our brandies into some wonderful drinks for Mom.

Happenings on the farm:    This has been an exhausting but rewarding week for planting.  We put in 700 new blueberry bushes, replaced 70 pear trees, planted 80 new peach trees and 20 new plum trees.    Today we planted part of our new 4-acre U-Pick apple orchard.  This orchard is specially designed with a wide range of varieties and smaller trees to enhance the U-Pick apple experience in the future.  We just all have to be patient now for about 4 – 5 years!!

The fruit trees blooming this week were stunning.  In 50 years we have never seen so many blossoms on the trees–which is not unexpected due to the fruit loss we experienced last year.  And alas, we also had to start irrigating this week–a big thanks to Jay and the crew who had to get all the systems into a “go” mode, not easy after the irrigation is put away for the winter.

It was “all hands on deck” for the many steps involved in planting the blueberry bushes


Replacing pear trees–surrounded by this year’s stunning blooms

Jay searching for the right irrigation coupler, in front of the blooming pear orchard

The first several rows of the new U-Pick apple orchard

Happenings on the market:   We started some market renovations this week which we hope you will like.  We took the asphalt siding off the barn and restored it back to the original wood, we still have one side to go, so please excuse our temporary construction “mess.”  We also did some cement patching of the original 50 year old market floor.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.  This Mother’s Day will remind me and many of you of how much we miss my mother.   But her legacy and spirit continues as we all work to keep the farm and market in the manner in which she and my Dad started.  We like to think she would be pleased with the work we are doing.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local!  Hope to see you this weekend.

 Special information on asparagus below:

Finally–for those who want to know more about the nutritional value of asparagus, Read on!  Tell us if you like this kind of info and we will try to put it together for other produce.  Thanks to Cathy for compiling this!  I learned a lot about asparagus that i didn’t know!!

Bet you didn’t know asparagus was so good for you…….

Not only is it delicious, but it is packed with nutrients –more than any other vegetable.   Consume only moderate amounts if you suffer from gout because it raises uric acid levels in the body.   Nutritionally speaking, the white variety doesn’t compare to the benefits of the green variety.   Asparagus has only 4 calories per spear or 40 calories per cup and is loaded with all these health benefits.


Fiber (3 grams/serving).    Acts as a prebiotic by stimulating “friendly “bacteria which keeps the digestive system healthy

Folate (iron).   Vitamin B helps prevent cardiovascular disease, liver disease, birth defects.   Promotes energy, healing and fights infection

Vitamin K – essential for healthy blood clotting and strong bones.

Low Sodium and low carbohydrates

No Fat or Cholesterol

Vitamin C – a strong disease- fighting antioxidant

Potassium – to support kidney function

Vitamin E – helps minimizes skin damage from sun exposure, also keeps heart & immune system healthy

Glutathione, which is an anti-inflammatory to help with arthritis

Vitamin A – to promote good vision

Antioxidants (including Zinc) to help fight cancer

HOW TO BUY & STORE:     Fresh is always best but it will keep in the refrigerator for days.    Storing with the stem end in cold water (put in plastic and cover) helps keep it fresh longer.

PREPARATION TIP:   You do not need to cut off the ends of our asparagus.  We pick it where it naturally breaks so it will not be tough.    Rinse in cold water before eating.    It can be  boiled, steamed, roasted, sautéed, grilled, pickled, or eaten au natural (raw).   Be sure to keep cooking time to a minimum as overcooking ruins the flavor, texture and nutritional value.


·         Grilled:   Toss asparagus in olive oil (or lightly brush).  Grill directly on grate over medium heat (or use non-stick tin foil).   Turn once after 3-5 minutes.   Cooking time depends on how crisp you prefer, usually 6-10 min.   Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, or other favorite seasonings.

·         Boiled:   Add asparagus to pot of boiling water (optional salt, pepper, and butter)   Boil until bright green (about 3-4 minutes).   Rinse under cold water until cool.   This method is best for cold asparagus recipes.

·         Steamed:   Cook in basket or colander over simmering water until bright green and crisp (about 5 min)

·         Microwave:   Put 1 lb fresh spears in micro-wave safe rimmed plate or shallow dish.   Add ¼ cup of water and cover tightly.   Microwave @ 100% for 4-7 min for spears (4-5 min for pieces)   Stir or turn half way through cooking time.   When cooked you may drizzle lemon juice &/or butter for more flavor.

·         Sauteed:    Heat oil or butter in frying pan-add asparagus.   Cook about 5-7 minutes – stirring often

·         Roasted:    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.   Spread spears on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and roll them around to coat lightly.   Roast spears for about  10-15 min – shaking the pan to roll them around for even browning.   Test with a fork to determine doneness.   Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, garlic or other seasonings.

Raw:   Shave it lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or thinly slice it on an angle – then toss it in a salad.