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

End of May update

Produce available on the market this weekend includes asparagus, rhubarb, romaine lettuce, salad mix, spinach, kale, and cucumbers/tomatoes from our greenhouse.

We are starting to bring in the long English cucumbers from the greenhouse now

Asparagus Update: We expect to have asparagus on the market until mid-June, so keep enjoying it while it is in season.

Strawberries: We will have a great crop of strawberries and it looks like they will ready by the middle of June for U-Pick and pre-picked. We are now taking orders for picked strawberries. The price is the same as last years:  $3.25 quart or $24.00 for a flat of 8 quarts.  Call us if you would like to get on our list:  269-244-5690.

Bedding Plants and Flowers: We have flats of vegetables, tomatoes, flowers and herbs that you can mix and match for your gardening needs. We have a good selection of hanging baskets and pre-made flower arrangements in unique pots.  Hurry out, we will not be getting any more in this year.

Bakery: This weekend in the bakery we will have available: 

  • Cookies: frog shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, M&M’s, choc, chips and peanut butter)  and lemon.
  •  Pies: Apple, blueberry, blueberry-rhubarb, cherry, peanut butter, rhubarb, and strawberry-rhubarb.
  •  Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Frozen slushies: apple cider and black cherry Concord grape

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at 269-244-5690.

  • A final note from the bakers: We were really pleased that the blueberry-rhubarb pies were such a hit!! It was our top selling pie all weekend long (even surpassing our always popular strawberry rhubarb)! A big thank you to everyone who made it out on such a beautiful weekend. You kept us very busy and the donut machine in constant motion.
  • We have some good news, today we installed a freezer in the front area of the bakery. We will be offering “take and bake” frozen pies! These will be our famous home-made pies, complete with baking instructions. All you need to do is put it in your oven.  You can now have warm pie for dessert, and the same aroma you smell in our bakery should be in your own kitchen.

Update from Becca: The front garden is almost fully planted for the summer , and those of you here the past week have probably noticed that we planted the terrace garden east of the market. I seeded most of my bedding plants in March and April, so it has really been satisfying to get the majority of them in the ground. If you drop by the market, you will see me weeding furiously most days.

A note: if your family kitchen generates a lot of food scraps (coffee grounds, egg shells, asparagus ends, vegetable peels, etc.), please talk to me about adding that waste to my compost pile! I’d love to put it to good use rather than thrown out in the trash. Leave me a message at the market or call me for more information. (269) 244-5690.

Bee Update: We have two beekeepers managing nearly 40 hives at various locations on our farm. With honeybees pollinating a third of the food we eat, and nearly 100% of what we grow here at Corey Lake Orchards, this insect is very critical to our survival, and yet as you’ve probably seen in the news, honeybees are struggling to survive.

On our farm, they gather nectar and pollen from the plants and make cherries, apples etc. for us in the process. They also make honey which we sell at the market (packaged in the honey bears with hats). You can learn more about bees, and how we can all help them, in about a month at our upcoming ‘Meet the Beekeepers’ sessions at the market. You will meet my sister Charlotte (the one brave enough to take off her hood for the picture), who speaks locally and nationally about honeybees (for more info, see www.hubbardhive.com) Weather permitting she’ll bring live bees in a cage and talk about them and answer questions.

Charlotte and crew keeping bees in April.

Happenings on the farm this week: 

It was actually a slow week on the farm, having gotten everything planted last week. One of our absolute favorite things was watching it rain on Tuesday–we got a half an inch, which our orchards, vineyards and plants were most thankful for. On the cooler mornings, our crew worked in the greenhouse, continuing to train our already very tall tomato plants to grow taller….we now have to use a step ladder to continue to tie them to the trellises!

Very tall tomato plants, 5-29-14

Some of the clusters of tomatoes are so large we have to use clips to hold up their weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our daily farm checks, we have been scrutinizing the “fruit set” on our crops. We are now able to estimate the damage that was caused to our fruit by a “trifecta” of events—the trees went into winter stressed from how much they produced in 2013, the severe winter (many days at -20 degrees) caused “winter injury” to trees and bushes, and the frost event on May 15th/16th froze out what was in bloom at that time. Many of you have commented you have seen your own bushes and flowers not “coming back” or producing any flowers this year….much of this is due to winter injury.  So far, this is what we think we will have:

  • Strawberries:  Great crop!
  • Sweet Cherries:  About 5% of normal crop
  • Tart Cherries:  About 40% of normal crop
  • Blueberries:  About 60% of normal crop (and we were very lucky)
  • Peaches:  No peaches
  • Plums: About 25% of normal crop
  • Pears: About 25% of normal crop
  • Apples: Variety dependent, about 50% overall
  • White Niagara Grapes:  25% of normal crop
  • Purple Concord Grapes:  60% of normal crop

We’re providing these estimates to you now and will update them as we learn more.  For those of you who can and freeze a lot of fruit, you may want to ration some fruits we will be short of.

Blueberries blooming on 5-29-14, their blossom is such a delicate bell-shaped blossom–beautiful

Earli-blaze apples are just loaded this year, it is an early summer apple, tart, and great for pies and sauce

We have all endured these kind of years before (remember 2012?) so this will be another year where we will all learn to like vegetables even more than we do now!!  Despite the shortage of fruit, we remain committed to continuing to give you a great farm experience, delicious fresh-picked fruits and vegetables and the very best from our bakery.  We value you as a customer and we truly appreciate your business and buying local.

Thanks—from everyone at Corey Lake Orchards