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

Monthly Archive: October 2013

Happy October!

Here we are already into October and we are still waiting for some apples and the Concord grapes to fully ripen.    In the meantime, here’s what is going on at the orchard, vineyard, bakery, cider mill and brandy distillery:

Picked apples in the market:  We have the following varieties available in the market now, in small quantities as well as bushels.  As more apples come into the market, in order to make room, we are offering many specials each week with apples at half-price.    Call or come out to see what is available.  269-244-5690.

  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple.  It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
  • Jon-A-Mac:  This is a good cooking or eating apple.  It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan apple and a McIntosh.
  • McIntosh:  This is a classic tart, round/flat apple which is ultra-juicy with a very white flesh.  It is wonderful for applesauce, pies and cider and of course just to eat.
  • Cortland:  This is an old fashioned apple which is excellent for baking.  It is a descendent of the McIntosh, but a bit sweeter,  it also juices well.
  • Honeycrisp:  This seems to be many people’s favorite, it is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it.  Great for eating fresh or using in salads.
  • JonaGold:  This is a large, lovely apple for fresh eating and cooking.   It combines the best qualities of a Jonathan and a Golden Delicious.  It is very crisp, with shades of tart and sweet in each apple.
  • Jonathan:  A very popular apple for fresh eating and cooking.  It has a spicy tangy flavor, a favorite for making apple butter or taffy apples.
  • Braeburn:  Sweet with a hint of tart and a firmness that stores well.  They are great bakers too.
  • Cameo:  A firm-textured, crisp and sweet tart apple.  Great for snacking or baking and is an outstanding dessert apple.  Keeps well in coldest part of refrigerator.
  • Fuji:  This is an apple with sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  It is a very good keeper.
  • Northern Spy:  This  is an antique apple that cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes…..very popular for apple pie.
  • Golden Delicious:  A gingery-smooth, sweet taste lies under a thin skin.  Great for applesauce, cider, pies or other desserts.

Fall apples:  The remainder of the fall apples are not ready yet.  We have lots of apples this year, so there will be plenty for whether you want them already picked or to pick your own.   You do not need to call ahead to reserve any apples this year…when we start picking each variety by the bushel–we should have them on hand after they start for several weeks.   (except for the Mutsu–see note below.)

The apples that are yet to come into the market are:

  • Golden Supreme– early October
  • Ida Red-early October
  • Mutsu–early October**(very few trees of these–call ahead to place order)
  • Pink Lady–mid October
  • Red Delicious–early October
  • Red Rome-mid October

2013 Apple pricing:  All of our picked and U-Pick apples are the same price this year (except for Honeycrisp).  You can mix and match any variety of half-bushels for the bushel price.  Again, weekly we are putting different varieties of apples on special at half-price.

  • Bushels:  $24
  • Half bushels:  $13
  • Pecks (1/4 bu): $7
  • 1/2 pecks: $4
  • By the pound:  $1

Honeycrisp pricing:  (No U-Pick) Honeycrisp apples are priced at $2 pound, $8 a half peck (around 5 pounds) and $16 a peck (around 10 pounds.)     We have picked a lot of Honeycrisp this week so they are now on special, buy 2 bags, get one free.

For our customers who use a lot of apples,  we are offering a “buy or pick 3 bushel special” this year when you buy apples by the bushel.

  • The 3 bushel special is good on all of the $24/bushel apples purchased by the bushel, (not by the peck) whether we pick them or you pick them.  (Not on Honeycrisp since they are priced differently.)
  • Please ask us for a punch card if you plan to get that many during the entire season.  You do not need to get them all at the same time if you continue to bring in your punch card.  The price will be adjusted when you get your 3rd bushel.  If you get more than 3,  any bushels purchased after that will be $20.

For a description of these and all of the apples that we grow, please go to the apple listing on our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/seasonal-offerings/apples/

Fall U-Pick apples:   The following apples are available for U-Pick.  Not all of them are as ripe as others, so please pick carefully.

  • Cameo
  • Cortland
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Golden Delicious
  • Ida Red
  • Jonathan
  • Jonagold
  • Northern Spy
  • Red Delicious

Information for apple picking:  We are open 8 – 6 daily, please be finished by 6 pm.  Bring baskets if you have them, if not, we will set you up with bags/baskets.  Please dress appropriately for an orchard, where natural hazards exist (bees, tall grass under the trees, the occasional sprig of poison ivy, etc.)   This year it has been particularly difficult to mow next to the  trees, because the trees are so full of apples that the branches touch the ground.  We do not supply any ladders, so if you would like to get that perfect apple that is beyond your reach, please bring your own.

Apple Gleaning:  Many of you are looking for a way to get apples inexpensively for feeding horses, deer, or even juicing and canning in large quantities.  This year due to the size of the apple crop we will probably be able to open our end of year gleaning, where you can pick what is left on the ground or on the tree, for $4 a bushel.  This will not be until sometime in late October when the harvest is complete.

U-Pick grapes:  The White Niagara grapes and Purple Concord are open for picking .  However, the purple concords are still not as ripe as we would like.  We would advise you to wait if you can to allow the Concord grapes to get riper, the foliage is very thick this year.   We are sorry we don’t have any good answers on when or if they will ever all ripen like they should.    Based on what we see and how difficult the picking has been for those who are trying it—it could be several more weeks before they all ripen.   At this point we would recommend that you not drive a long distance if you are trying to get a lot of Concord grapes.

  • Picking hours:  Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6.
  • Please check in at the main market on Corey Lake Road before you start.  You will be directed to the vineyard in which we are picking that day and be given rows to pick on.
  • Pricing:  They are 25 cents/pound to pick or if you pick over 100 pounds, they are 20 cents/pound.    A 5 gallon bucket, filled to the top weighs approximately 20 pounds which is also equivalent to a half bushel.
  •  If you pick over 100 pounds of grapes, that is $4 a bucket, (20 cents lb)
  • If you pick less than 100 pounds, it is $5 a bucket (25 cents lb).

When you come to pick grapes, please bring the following if you have them:

  • Five gallon buckets to pick in, this is how we measure how much you pick instead of having to weigh them all.   If you don’t have these, you can borrow ours, but bring containers to take them home in.  You can also purchase pails from us for $4.00.
  • Scissors or clippers to cut them with.
  • Small wagons to help you get them out of the vineyard (our rows are very long!)

The fall bakery items we are offering are:

  • Pies:  apple, cran-apple, pecan, pumpkin, blueberry and peach
  • Apple Dumplings
  • Pumpkin cupcakes
  • Cookies–several varieties
  • Cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns
  • Bread:  cinnamon, whole wheat and 12 grain
  • Slushies:  Cider and grape
  • Donuts:  apple cider, pumpkin and buttermilk
  • Carmel apples

Cider:  We will be pressing cider every Thursday evening, so a fresh batch will be available around 8:30 on Friday mornings.    Cider pricing this year is $6 a gallon, buy 3 or more gallons at the same time at $5 a gallon.

Fall ornamentals, pumpkins, mums, sweet potatoes and squash:  We have a good selection now of mums, pumpkins, gourds, indian corn and winter squash to choose from, in addition to Diane’s painted pumpkins.

Spookley Storybook:  Please check out our large storybook about Spookley the square pumpkin in the yard by the pumpkin wagon.  There are 12 storyboards to walk children through.  It is a wonderful story about a pumpkin that grows square instead of round, gets teased and bullied because he is different, than something happens on the farm where Spookley ends up saving all of the pumpkins—and I won’t give the rest of the story away.  This story has some great teachable moments about how all of us need to value the unique and different qualities that individuals have.

For planning purposes, the annual Fall Color tour is October 13th this year….there will be lots going on here at the farm that weekend, pick up a brochure when you are here.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you during our fall season!