Sweet Cherries: We have a good crop of Sweet cherries this year, but not the bumper crop like we had last year. We lost about 20% of them during the May frost.
Picked Sweet cherries are now available in the market for $4.00 a quart.
U-Pick Sweet cherries will open on Saturday, June 22nd.
- We have four different kinds in our small orchard across the street from our market. Please realize that we have an older orchard with about 15 – 20 very large trees. Some of the trees are ready now and some will ripen over the next week. We have several colors: Dark red (black), Red, Yellow, and Red/Yellow blush. In addition, be aware that the recent rains have caused some trees to have spoilage issues.
- Pricing: $1.50 per pound to pick
- Picking hours are 8 – 6 daily, we ask that you finish picking by 6:00 pm.
- The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet). Please bring your own ladder.
- Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy/sumac in the orchard area, among other hazards.
- Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.)
- Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
- Length of the season: It will depend on the weather and how many people come out each day. Typically within the first several days the bottoms of the trees get picked out and then without a good tall ladder, the picking gets difficult.
- Sour Cherries: We have a very small crop of sour cherries this year (25%) as they were in their critical bloom stage when we got the frost on Mother’s Day weekend. So, we lost about 75% of them. We expect them to be ready around June 28th, again, depending on the weather. We will have them available for U-Pick and we are working on trying to bring picked tart cherries in from another local farm. Please check back with us around June 26th for more information on this as well as pricing, if we can get them at a reasonable price locally, we will start taking orders for them.
Strawberry Update: We hope to have strawberries through this coming weekend, June 23rd and part of next week.
- Picked Strawberries are available in the market daily now at $3.25 a quart.
- U-Pick Strawberries: We will have the U-Pick fields open this weekend, opening at 8:00 each day, closing at 11 or earlier if we get picked out. We still have good picking available, but as the early berry rows phase out, we will have fewer to pick each day, so you need to come early. More information on Strawberry picking can be found below:**
Summer veggies: We are beginning to bring in lettuce, kale, swiss chard, green onions and peas. We still have greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s salad time! Please check out our new U-cut herb garden to put some additional zest into your salad.
The Brandy House will be open this Saturday from 1 – 4 for tours and tasting, please stop in.
Baked Goods. Sorry we sold out of everything so quickly last weekend, looks like everyone wanted Father’s Day goodies. Based on demand from last weekend our bakers are already baking extra so we have more supply. If there is something you really want, to make sure you can get it, please feel free to order in advance by calling the market, 269-244-5690. This Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will have:
- Pies: cherry, cherry-berry, blueberry, strawberry-rhubarb
- Cookies: cut-outs, monster and lemon
- Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, and a new one: vegetable ranch (a must try–I got to sample it early!)
- Cinnamon rolls
Bakery and Market restoration update: Work is progressing on the bakery, so please take a peek next time you are out. The majority of the electrical is done, the drywall is going up, and we expect kitchen equipment to be arriving soon. Check out the doors that we had made locally, by Dustin White. Dustin is also the one who restored and repainted the barn earlier this spring. Last night, he worked to hang the many antiques that the Hubbard family has collected (and even used) here on the farm. (He does great restoration work and builds furniture out of old wood—we have his business card at the market.)
Corey Lake Orchards Honey is here! Did you know that a honeybee has to visit approximately two million flowers to create a pound of honey!
- There are easily that many flowers here on the farm. Honeybees pollinate our strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, watermelon—practically everything you love getting from Corey Lake Orchards. Honeybees will fly about three miles for blossoms, but we’re pretty sure they felt no need to leave the farm to find nectar.
- We’re already sharing the results of their hard work—tasty strawberries. We now have another product of their hard work, Corey Lake Orchards Honey.
- This year’s extra-sweet, light in color, predominantly fruit blossom honey is available in various sizes, in easy-to-reuse canning jars. We even have it in the comb, just like the bees eat it! It is 100% pure Corey Lake Orchards honey.
- Corey Lake Orchards Honey is all all-natural. Our beekeepers use NO chemicals in their hives; they don’t filter honey (but do strain it); they don’t heat it. Filtration and heat give honey a longer shelf life, but strip away many of the pollens and antioxidants that provide honey’s healthful benefits. This honey is as close to “just-from-the-hive” as you can get, without the risk of stinging! Because it isn’t heated or filtered, and because of its high natural sugar content, it may crystallize faster as all pure honey does. If so, simply set the jar in the sun to re-liquefy it.
- My sister Charlotte has about a dozen hives here on the farm. Later this summer we’ll be hosting a ‘Meet the Beekeeper’ session where she’ll talk about this essential, critical insect, and let you see bees (contained behind glass.)
- All profits from the sale of Corey Lake Orchards Honey go to her late husband’s favorite charities of Meals on Wheels, and Loaves & Fishes. Please purchase a jar, knowing you’ll be enjoying pure, extra sweet honey on your biscuit, yogurt or in coffee while helping feed the hungry of SW Michigan at the same time.
Happenings on the farm this week: We spent a lot of hours picking strawberries this week, (our crew of 3 picked close to 2000 quarts!). Once again, we took up our fight against the weeds, pruned around our orchards and continued maintenance on the blueberry field. One of the constant chores is trying to get to all of our various crops and orchards to assess their health and well being–we have to divide and conquer just to make sure one of us has been to all of our “back forties.” On one of my checks today I caught this young deer feasting in the vineyard (yesterday they ate all of the red-leaf lettuce). Yes, another of the joys of farming!
Asparagus is now gone for the season—wasn’t it wonderful to have it for a full 6 weeks? Just in case you wonder what happens after you stop picking asparagus, the stalks go to seed and look like ferns. The ferns store the food in the roots, which is required to have a good crop the following year.
Happy First Day of Summer, Beth and Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.
**Strawberry U-Pick Information:
- U-Pick Strawberry times: We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 11:00 am.
- Our goal is to always have good picking for our customers. So we will close the field when all the picking for that day is complete. Depending on how many people come out in a given day, there could be some days that we will close before 11 am. Picking will be on a first come, first serve basis. Given the cooler weather this June, we may have to close on certain days for ripening.
- To get the latest picking information, check our website, our facebook page or our answering machine. You can call the night before or the morning you are trying to come to make sure we are open. With the price of gas, we wouldn’t want anyone to make a trip only to find out we are closed!
- Location: The strawberry fields are located on AL Jones Road, between Corey Lake Road and M-60. You may go directly there, just look for the signs as to where we are picking each day.
- U-Pick Strawberry pricing will be $1.50 quart. Please bring quart containers if you have them, if not, you may purchase or borrow ours but bring containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to put them in to take home.