With today’s heat, we are finally ready to believe spring is here….hooray! We’re grateful to see the sun and to have its warmth in the soil so that seeds will start sprouting and plants will start growing.
The fruit trees are beginning to bloom, which we think is one of the loveliest things to see around our farm in the springtime. If you drive by, cherries across from the market have started blooming. Pears, plums and apples will be close behind. You’re welcome to take your fill of pictures. Sadly, you won’t see much life in the peach trees on Corey Lake Road east of the market, there are no buds or blossoms, so it appears we have lost the peach crop for 2014.
The market was bustling today with all-hands-on-deck to scrub, rake, sweep and clean out any remnants from last season to be ready to welcome our customers. It was a pleasure to do this as the bakers were making pies – the aroma wafting through the air reminded us how much we have missed the bakery!
Here’s what we have available now:
Asparagus! We are starting to pick every day and have bulk quantities available. We are pricing it at $2/lb. for under 10 lb. and $1.75/lb. for orders of 10lb. or more. It is such a nice, fresh flavor to have in the springtime. We think we’ll have a constant supply, but as always, you’re welcome to call before you come to have us set some aside for you. (269) 244-5690.
Rhubarb: We will have rhubarb available starting Friday, May 9th. Given the heat the past few days, we anticipate having a hearty supply.
Plants, plants and more plants: We have most of our plants in now for you to come select from. Some of the plants we have seeded and grown in our own greenhouse, but most of them come from a local source that we have bought from for over 25 years, Schram’s Greenhouse in Portage. This gives us confidence that you are getting a good plant when you get them here.
- Flats of Vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, eggplant, many varieties of peppers and onion sets
- Flats of Flowers include: asters, celosia, cosmos, gomphrena, impatiens, lobella, marigolds, morning glories, moss rose, nasturtium, ornamental cabbage and ornamental kale, pansies, petunias, salvia, snapdragons, verbena, vinca, and zinnias. There are different colors and heights to choose from.
- Herbs (sold by the pot) include: basil, dill, lemon balm, many mints, oregano, thyme, sweet marjoram, and parsley
- Flats of Tomatoes: Many varieties including mini tomatoes and regular tomatoes
- Many types of hanging flower baskets
- The “vine” crops are yet to come: melons, squash and cucumbers (probably a week away)
We would recommend that you let these plants “harden up” outside for a few days before planting in the ground, as they have just left their warm greenhouse environment, especially tomatoes, pepper and flowers. Cold-crop items are fine to plant now.
Greenhouse tomatoes: We still have beautiful, large, but unfortunately still green tomatoes in the greenhouse. It looks like it will be at least a few more weeks until that first BLT.
Bakery opens Friday, May 9th, for the year! Our offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Large Flower Cut-Out sugar cookies, large Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal) and Iced Lemon
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Chocolate Cream, and Strawberry Rhubarb and Rhubarb (fruit pies made from our own produce we preserved last year)
- Bread: 12 Grain Bread, Whole Wheat, Cinnamon
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
So….where are the donuts? We will start making donuts on Memorial Day Weekend. We’ll be making special summery flavors as different fruits come into season, like cherry, blueberry, and other flavors.
Mother’s Day gift ideas:
- Our local vendors have their items on the market now. These include: local honey, maple syrup, cards, art and Ruth’s famous pecan and cashew brittle.
- Why not buy Mom a “living” salad? We will 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. They’re planted with cold-tolerant greens that can be put outside now, and the lettuce can be picked and it grows back! Grab a basil plant in one of our colored pots, then add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have a healthy gift she can continue to enjoy.
- An arranged flower container for the patio or door step for Mom. Once again we will be making up special containers with flowers and herbs. Come see the many unique containers available for sale at all price ranges. If you have a container you would like us to plant, bring it over and tell us what you would like in it.
Our terrace garden to the east of the market is still a work in progress, so we apologize for the pile of materials in the corner of our parking lot. However, we think you will love the final result, especially as the plants start to fill!
Another family milestone: My Mother’s Day is even more special this year as my son Chad graduated last weekend from the University of Michigan’s Business School. Chad has worked here most summers and is a familiar face to many of you. We are so proud of him.
So on behalf of everyone here at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local and really hope to see you out this weekend or soon.