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

Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries……and a good Father’s Day to all!

Daughter Charlotte offers fresh honey to customers as dad Dayton Hubbard looks on, 2013.

For Father’s Day, consider an outing to the farm.  We will have U-Pick strawberries happening on Sunday morning, fresh donuts coming out of the bakery and a special beekeeping presentation at 1pm! Charlotte Hubbard is a nationally known beekeeper and speaker AND one of Dayton’s daughters! She keeps almost 40 hives on our farm and will be giving a talk that will be fun and enjoyable for kids and adults starting at 1pm on Sunday. You will have the opportunity to explore an empty hive, try on bee suits, sample honey, and more.

Asparagus will be done this weekend.  The last picking will be Friday, so we will have it until we run out.  It is always so sad to have asparagus season end and have to wait another whole year.

Greenhouse tomatoes have really slowed down.  They are now $2 a pound and we sell out quickly each day.   We also have greenhouse cucumbers, though they usually sell out pretty fast.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:   

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, blueberry rhubarb, cherry, chocolate,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), peanut butter, rhubarb,  strawberry rhubarb, and fresh strawberry glaze.
  • Cookies: frog shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter) and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and black cherry concord grape blend.
  • If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A final note from the bakers: This weekend we will be offering a new pie, Strawberry Glaze.  This pie is made using our own fresh picked strawberries with a glaze mixture, topped with whipped cream.  It is a cold pie, the strawberries are not cooked, so they retain their great “just picked” flavor.  If you tried our fresh blueberry or peach glaze pies last year, it is very similar to those.  It is definitely a must try if you love strawberries!! And….we think it would make a great Father’s Day gift. We can only make this pie when strawberries are in season, so we will offer them for about 2 weeks. See you this weekend! – The Bakers

A strawberry glazed pie ready to be topped with whipped cream!

Strawberry season has finally arrived. The weather continues to be perfect for strawberry growing: cool nights and rain give them a nice size and help them ripen very evenly.

We picked a lot of beautiful strawberries today!

We are still picking our early strawberries and bringing in a lot more each day. We have filled our flat orders that we had taken, so most days we will have picked strawberry flats (8 quarts) available for you to pick up on the market.  These run $24. It is always best to call ahead to place an order, (269) 244-5690.

U-Pick strawberries:

  • Will open on Sunday, June 15th (See hours below)
  • Location is on AL Jones Road close to M60 by the old barn
  • U-pick strawberry pricing will be $1.75  quart.
  •  There is about 1.5 pounds in a quart of strawberries
  • Please bring  quart containers if you have them. If not, you may borrow ours for picking and bring your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • Depending  on the weather, expect strawberry picking to last 10 days to two weeks
  • Best picking is now as this week’s heat is really bringing them on.
  • However, we rotate picking in 3 fields to ensure good picking each day
  • If  you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance and so we can try to schedule you in on a day when we have lots of berry availability. Ask to be put on our “large quantity list.” (269) 244-5690
  • We welcome customers who want to take advantage of being on a farm and enjoying the U-Pick “experience.” We know there are many families who would like to have their children understand where their food comes from and how it grows. For this group, the experience is almost more important than how many berries are picked. If you are newcomers to strawberry picking, let us know when you arrive and we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.

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 12:00 pm daily
  • We are offering two afternoon picking options this year: Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 pm
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.

Update from Becca:  Out of the “yarden” this weekend: chard, kale (curly, red Russian), lettuce (romaine and salad mix), cilantro, kohlrabi, and peas. We’ll also be opening the u-pick herbs. Check this out in the large metal tub at the edge of the parking lot, smells are free!!  Bring your recipes and cut or pinch off what you need.

I’d like to take a minute to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot, usually in reference to the tall, scraggly-looking flowers. “Why the weeds?” Short answer: I like bees and complex ecosystems. Long answer:

This is a gardening practice that works like this: upon hearing the buzz of bees, cabbage loopers and slugs stop eating the leaves of my produce and drop to the ground to hide, because these pest insects associate these vibrations with the sound of predatory wasps looking for a meal.

We see weeds, and the bee sees food.

Now that early spring mustard, turnips, radishes, and arugula have gone to flower, I’m happy to report the bees have taken notice and have begun visiting my garden. As an added benefit, these flowers also attract omnivorous wasps, a lovely group of insects that feed on both insect pests and pollen (and haven’t stung me…yet).

These insects aren’t so numerous that they would scare kids playing on the slide and the swing: only when the market is quiet and I take a moment to listen do I hear the thrum of insects at work.

There are many things besides bees and wasps. I went weeding at dusk the other night and was pleasantly surprised to find ladybugs all over my bolting spinach, filling up on pollen until they can find more aphids and whiteflies to eat. While thinning seedlings, I often see ants dragging root maggots and scale insects that have become their prey back home. I find tiny, elegant spiders filling up on thrips. I’m sure there are others yet.

Of course I observe plenty of harmful insects living unencumbered in my garden, or at least I observe their effects. This year I had a terrible flea beetle problem on my arugula, so much so that I couldn’t sell it. I considered applying a pesticide, but the organic program-approved chemical I could have applied would have killed the flea beetles…and the lady beetles (ladybugs) and bees and a host of beneficial insects right along with it. With a sigh, I chose ants over arugula, and while I’m sure I now saved beneficial insects, well, I also have a whole row of weedy, hole-ridden leaves. I can only hope that nature will tilt the balance again, and that so many flea beetles will attract a large predator population.
Update from Beth:  Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, grandfathers, stepdads and all. This Father’s Day for sure, I will be remembering Dad, like I do every day. The reminders are easy: in the beautiful greenhouse tomatoes that he potted that we pick each day or in the strawberry fields that he planted which are so laden with berries. It is a daily pleasure for all of us at Corey Lake Orchards to continue his legacy.

Have a great weekend! Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.