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

Monthly Archive: August 2013

Mid August Update

The update for this week will not be much different than last week because we are still waiting for some summer days to ripen our fruits and vegetables.  Due to another week of unseasonable cool weather, we need to move back our dates on when we think things will be ready….so again, we ask for your continued patience.

  • Tomatoes by the bushel and U-Pick tomatoes:  Hopefully the week of August 26th
  • Pears:  First week of September
  • Watermelon:  Week of August 26th
  • Plums:  First week of September
  • Grapes:  Middle to end of September (have a huge crop this year)
  • Fall apples:  Hopefully starting mid-September thru October (have a good crop this year and plan to have U-Pick again)

Our apple trees are just loaded

Our grapes are loaded also, please plan to pick here in the fall

Peaches:  Red Haven peaches are on their way out and we have now moved into picking Flamin’ Fury.   We are only able to sell peaches in small eating quantities (2 lb quart and a 4 pound box), not by the bushel.  We simply don’t have a large enough orchard of mature trees and our new peach orchards are not at peak production.  We may be able to sell pecks or 1/4 bushels later.

Cantaloupe:  We have finally been able to start picking cantaloupe, however we have a short supply due to the cool weather.

Sweet Corn:  This will be our last weekend for our sweet corn.

Blueberries:  We expect to have picked and U-Pick blueberries for about one more week.  The type we have to pick right now are Elliots—they are small, but very sweet.

Apples:  We have two good summer apples right now, for eating or cooking, Jersey Mac and Earli-blaze.  We currently have a special on Jersey Mac apples that have been sorted into “seconds” if you would like to make applesauce.  Earli-blaze is one of our favorite summer apples.  We think it makes the best apple pie so we have been busy peeling, cutting and making them into pies all week.  If you like apple pie, you will want to try one soon made with these fresh apples.

A 4 person team has been peeling and cutting Earli-blaze apples for days. The peelers they use are available for sale here.

Other vegetables we have are:  green beans, swiss chard, kale, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash,  peppers, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts,  new potatoes,  and eggplant.   These are picked daily, for best selection and availability–shop early.  We have limited supply of some of the vegetables right now due to the cool weather.  We have fresh herbs available to pick, just bring your recipe and snip what you need from the U-Pick herb garden located by the pine tree.

Sunflowers and gladiolus are available now.

The Triathlon is Saturday, August 17th.  We are once again pleased to help sponsor this event and look forward to seeing the racers.  There will be fresh fruit waiting for you when you finish provided by us.  As always, we welcome you to try our own farm Triathlon if you are up to the challenge:

  • Event 1:  Carry two 50-pound bags of flour from our loading dock into our bakery (a mere 100 feet–with a hill involved)
  • Event 2:  Pick up four of our onion bundles in each hand and hold them up high for about 5 minutes while the person hanging them takes them from you.  (Each onion bundle averages 8 lbs)
  • Event 3:  Pick corn along side us….be careful ground is uneven, wet and muddy, corn is slippery and cold from heavy dew, pile up 40 ears in one arm, leaving your other arm free to keep picking, then run as fast as you can back to the tractor where the box is waiting for you to fill.

Good luck racers!!

Happenings on the farm this week:  All of us spent most mornings looking for the sweatshirts that we left somewhere the previous day when we took them off when it finally warmed up.    Picking sweet corn in the cool wet fields at 6:30 each morning can really wake one up!  The field crew started the onion harvest this week and you will notice them starting to hang in one of our back buildings.  The market crew tried to take a few minutes here and there to get organized for fall, ordering supplies we need for apple and grape season.  Cathy started planning for the annual Fall Color tour which will be October 13th this year.

Just dug white sweet onions hanging to dry and cure

We made a lot of progress on our cold storage building construction, the cement floor went in today.  We are moving quickly on this as we need it ready in time for the apple harvest.

The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4, if you haven’t done this recently, please come out.  We think you will enjoy the experience and talking to Bruce.

Bakery Update:  If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new bakery, please do.   We are making lots of different fruit pies, cookies, bread, brownies and cupcakes.  This weekend we will have special cookies to help celebrate the Triathlon.

Once again we request your  patience and understanding as we continue to grow the bakery and struggle thru some of the weather related produce issues.  Please continue to give us feedback (both good and bad) so we can learn and continue to improve.  If you ever have something you are not happy with, whether it be a baked good or fresh produce, please tell us and we will make it right.  Our customers are the most important thing about our business!!

Thank for buying local,

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

First week of August

Is it just that there is so much going on at the farm right now that time seems to be flying by this summer or is everyone feeling the same?  And….where is summer?  While everyone is loving these beautiful days and cool nights, our heat loving crops are not.  So….your continued patience is required as everything is not ripening like it should be.    So, here is our best guess, but of course—depending on the weather.

  • Peaches:  Just starting to come in now
  • Tomatoes by the bushel and U-Pick tomatoes:  Hopefully the week of August 19th
  • Pears:  First week of September
  • Melons (Cantaloupe):  A few are starting to come in now each day
  • Watermelon:  Week of August 19th
  • Earli-blaze apples:  Week of August 19th
  • Plums:  First week of September
  • Grapes:  Middle to end of September (have a huge crop this year)
  • Fall apples:  Hopefully starting mid-September thru October (have a good crop this year and plan to have U-Pick again)

Bakery Update:  If you haven’t had a chance to check out the new bakery, please do.   We opened last week and are now open 7 days a week.  We will be adding more items this weekend as we continue to ramp up to full production.    This weekend we will have:

  • Pies:  Peach, Peach Glaze, Apple, Chocolate, Cherry and Blueberry
  • Cookies:  Lemon, Monster and Zucchini chocolate chip
  • Bread:  Cinnamon and Whole wheat
  • New items:  Brownies and Coca-Cola cupcakes (these are amazing!)

We request your patience and understanding as we continue to grow the bakery.  It has been difficult to forecast demand:  the good news is we are having lots of traffic through the bakery, the bad news is, we have disappointed some customers by selling out of popular items early.  We have even made a few mistakes (sorry to the person who bought a cherry pie and got blueberry)…please continue to give us feedback (both good and bad) so we can learn and continue to improve.

Peaches:  Red Haven peaches are finally ready.  However, given the cool nights we are not picking huge quantities so we may sell out on some days.    We are only able to sell peaches in small eating quantities (2 lb quart and a 4 pound box), not by the bushel.  We simply don’t have a large enough orchard of mature trees and our new peach orchards are not at peak production.  We may be able to sell pecks or 1/4 bushels of some of our later varieties.

Many of you have enjoyed watching our young peach trees “grow up” and produce fruit.  Some customers have been concerned about the peach trees “leaning” or being crooked.  We even found a helpful (?) person one day who came by and wanted to stake and help straighten them!  These little peach trees are growing up on a pretty windy and wet area, thus, this is the result.   The horticulture term for this is that these trees are now “committed” given their root structure and trunk size and cannot be straightened.    We are happy that these trees are “committed” to our farm and hope we can all continue to watch them grow and prosper, even if some of them have decided to be different by leaning!

Tomatoes:  We have good field tomatoes in the market now and lots of “mini” tomatoes….5 varieties, come see which kind you like best.

Sweet Corn:  We expect to have our sweet corn for about one more week.  So don’t delay in getting your fill of it while it is in season or for freezing.  This past Saturday we had a “Buy one, Get one free” or “Buy one, Give one free.”  Thanks to everyone who got sweet corn, we donated 25 bushel to the Loaves and Fishes Kalamazoo warehouse which provides food for local food banks.

Blueberries:  We expect to have picked and U-Pick blueberries for about one more week.  The type we have to pick right now are Elliots—they are small, but very sweet.

Jersey Mac apples:  We have a great summer apple right now, for eating or cooking.    We are using them in the bakery right now and the apple pies are exceptional.

Other vegetables we have are:  green beans, swiss chard, kale, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cabbage, peppers, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts,  new potatoes, eggplant and radishes.   These are picked daily, for best selection and availability–shop early.  We have fresh herbs available to pick, just bring your recipe and snip what you need from the U-Pick herb garden located by the pine tree.

Sunflowers and gladiolus are available now.

The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4, if you haven’t done this recently, please come out.  We think you will enjoy the experience and talking to Bruce.

Parking:  Our new parking lot seems to raise lots of questions and comments….you are welcome to park in the new lot or in the driveway by the market like many of you have done for years.    Certainly on days where it is pouring down rain or you are coming to get a bushel of corn, (or you just don’t feel like walking up the hill,)  pull up and try to park close.  We would just ask for everyone’s help that when we are really busy, please try to leave the handicapped spot by the market open and other close spots for those who really need to park close (for whatever reason…)   We have help available if you need it to carry your purchases to your car.

Thank you for buying local, hope to see you soon.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our bakery is now open!

We opened our bakery today!  So now you can get baked goods here every day..  We’re anxious for everyone to come out and see it and enjoy some treats.  Our bakers are busy ramping up production and will continue to add more offerings as time goes on, including donuts and cider slushies during apple season.  We will have a grand opening in the near future, we have a lot of people we  want to formally thank who designed, constructed and supported us along this journey.

Owner Dayton Hubbard, the first customer of the day to get some chocolate pie–his favorite

Michaela posting the pie varieties of the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what about this unseasonably cold weather?  There’s good news and bad news from our view:  the good news is it is keeping crops like blueberries around longer–we still have plenty for sale and plenty for you to Pick–you can pick blueberries between 8 am and 6 pm every day now until they are gone.    The bad news is it is continuing to delay other summer fruit like peaches, melons and field tomatoes that everyone has been waiting for.    Hate to tell you this but it looks like it could be another week for these.

The weather patterns this year (so hot and now cold) caused all of our green bean and sweet corn plantings to be ready all at the same time.  The good news is we have LOTS of green beans and corn right now (please come help us out by getting some), the bad news is, they will be done and over early this year.  So don’t delay–if you intend to freeze or can beans or corn….please call us to get bushels now.  269-244-5690.

Please come help us find homes for all of this sweet corn

Summer Apples:  Finally, we have a good summer apple that has started, Jersey Mac’s.  It is similar to the taste of a MacIntosh– it is nice to have a fresh Michigan apple again.

Other vegetables we have are:  green beans, swiss chard, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cabbage, peppers, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts,  new potatoes, eggplant and radishes.   These are picked daily, for best selection and availability–shop early.  We have fresh herbs available to pick, just bring your recipe and snip what you need from the U-Pick herb garden located by the pine tree.

Cut flowers, sunflowers and gladiolus are ready now,  we cut them for sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Bring your vase or arrange a bouquet and take home in a plastic bag or cup.

The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4, you must try our new strawberry brandy and talk with Bruce on some good drink ideas he has.

We were pleased to host the annual group of Camp Tavor bikers this past Sunday, who biked from Chicago to the camp across the lake from our market.  We hope the vegetables, fruit and baked goods they enjoyed while here helped ease some of the aching muscles.

So from everyone at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon.   Beth