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

Labor Day Weekend: U-Pick Apples, Summer’s Bounty, Fall Begins

Happy Labor Day Weekend! We will be open all weekend from 8 – 6 daily, including Monday.  The market is the fullest it has been in years as both summer and fall produce fill the shelves. Special treasures to find in this longer-than-normal post: potatoes, u-pick apples this weekend!, u-pick tomatoes, bulk basil, and at the end a fall apple update on which varieties we will have and when.

In the market we have:

  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), cucumbers, kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, green beans, black beans, brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds) and shallots.
  • Blueberries:  We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints up to 1o pound boxes.) This is the last weekend for blueberries–it has been wonderful that they have lasted so long this year.
  • Fall red raspberries: Our local supplier is bringing in a few pints each day, they go quickly!
  • Cantaloupe: Our own melons are ready and coming in every day. We have them in all sizes. We pick them ripe and ready to eat—they are really sweet this year.
  • Watermelon: Lots of beautiful watermelon coming in, fresh picked daily. We guarantee them! If you ever get one that isn’t delicious, let us know.
  • Fredonia Grapes: This is a seeded dark blue grape, similar to a Concord.  Available this weekend in small quantities of a 2 quart box or 1 quart.
  • Picked Tomatoes:  Field tomatoes are coming in plentifully now, along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes.   We have bushels of first-quality tomatoes available, please call ahead and order if you would like some, but we’ll hopefully have some on hand all weekend.
  • Finally---tomatoes are coming in!

    Finally—tons of tomatoes are in!

  • U-Pick Tomatoes: We have opened the u-pick field, but until they are plentiful, we are scheduling customers so that we can make sure people can get what they want without having to worry about an over-picked field. So if you want to come out in the next few weeks, please call the market and ask to be put on our u-pick list.
  • Potatoes: We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. Today we harvested all our potatoes for the year, so they are now available by the bushel for your fall/winter use. They are $20 a bushel, which makes them less than 50 cents a pound. Bring containers to put bushels in, preferably crates or something similar so air can circulate through.

    Harvesting russet baking potatoes

    Harvesting russet baking potatoes

  • Bagged onions:  Our sweet candy onions (red and yellow) and our white superstar onions have now been cleaned and bagged. They have been dried and cured and will keep for you, so stock up if this is your last weekend in the area.
Bagged onions ready to go...10 pound bags of yellow and white for only $8

Bagged onions ready to go…10 pound bags of yellow and white for only $8 (Red are $9)

  • Herbs: We will have our normal variety of herbs available. We will have bulk sweet basil on the market this weekend for those of you who want to make pesto. Please call ahead if you want some as our basil is very popular.
  • Fresh cut flowers and mums
A happy customer with a cinna-monkey and 3 flowers to match her dress!

A happy customer with a cinna-monkey and 3 flowers to match her dress!

 

Mikaela unloading the mums she grew on our farm.

Mikaela unloading the mums she grew on our farm.

Bartlett Pears:  We hope to start picking some Bartlett pears this weekend. Check back with us to see if we were able to.

Apples are here!

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time. Not available by the bushel.
  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. Available by the bushel.
  • Earli-blaze:  This is a good cooking or eating apple, and it particularly makes a wonderful apple pie. We sell this apple to bakeries (including our own) for apple pie. We have them available by the bushel.
  • Paula Red:  Good cooking or eating apple, it is a cross between a Cortland and a MacIntosh, so it is thin-skinned.  Good for apple sauce. Not available by the bushel.
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A truck load of Earliblaze apples picked today–one of our best summer apples

  • Exciting news!!  We are opening up u-pick apples this weekend for you to be able to pick your own Gala apples. Gala is such a versatile, good apple and they are just beautiful this year. We know that many of you will be around for the weekend and would like to have the “apple picking experience” with your family, especially so that the kids can take their teacher an apple they picked themselves!! (Do they still do that??)
  • Gala apples can be picked on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday.  Please check in at the market to get directions and containers.
Gala apples ready to be picked this weekend!  They will be easy and fun to pick.

Gala apples ready to be picked this weekend! They will be easy and fun to pick.

  • Apple Pricing for the year:  Our apple pricing will be the same as last year, and is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties all the apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $4 a half-peck, $2 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.  **When we have bushels available. Please see apple update at the bottom.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, choco-butter, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
Cookies: Apple and flower cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon.
Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
Slushies: Apple cider and white grape peach.

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

A note from the bakers: This weekend will be the last weekend for peach pies, and it will be the beginning of fresh dutch apple pies,  using fresh earli-blaze apples that are now available in the market! See you this weekend! -the bakers

Concord and Niagara grapes: The most common question on the market right now is “When will the grapes be ready?!” Please check back about September 9th and we will hopefully have an opening date by then. Before we open, we will want them to be at their full ripeness and sugar content, so it may be closer to the middle or end of September before we open (weather dependent of course). We will have plenty to pick. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds.

Fall apple update:

  • Our goal this apple season is to satisfy as many customers as we can with fresh quality apples. We will offer both pre-picked and u-pick apples this year, but due to Michigan’s extreme winter weather and the late spring frost, we won’t have a full crop. The extent of the damage varies by variety and depends on whether or not they were in full bloom at the time of the spring frost. Michigan overall has a good crop of apples, our southwest location was just the wrong place at the wrong time on May 15th.
  • Below you will find a list of which apples we will have and when we think they will be ready. This is our best guess – even now, we can’t be 100% sure. We will be happy to help you when you call or stop by the market to recommend other apples you can try in place of ones that aren’t plentiful this year. Who knows, you might learn to like a different apple better than one you have loved for years!
  • We know how important the u-pick experience is for many of you, therefore we will be having u-pick on several varieties starting this weekend with Gala. For those families who really enjoy bringing your kids out for the experience of picking apples during the beauty of autumn, you will still be able to do that. Check our website or call us for when later u-pick varieties will be available.
  • We will take orders on the varieties that are in short supply and honor as many as we can.
  • When each apple variety is available on the market, we will send that information out in an email and post it on our website. You can also call us at 269-244-5690.
  • On a personal note, when I walk through the apple orchards this year, it is hard to believe that just last year we had such a bumper crop and so many apples. The sad part is also seeing how the severe winter killed 10% of our trees. If you are out in the orchard this year and wonder why there are trees cut down and missing—this is why.
  • We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our customers and hope you will be loyal in both years of bumper crops like 2013, years like 2012 when we didn’t have hardly any, and now this year where we have plenty of some varieties but not others.
  • Fall Apple Availability and Forecasts for when they will be ready:
  1. Braeburn–mid October-few
  2. Cameo–late September–few
  3. Cortland–mid September-few
  4. Fuji–mid October–fair amount
  5. Golden Delicious–late September–fair amount
  6. Golden Supreme– early October –few
  7. Honeycrisp–mid September –few
  8. Ida Red-early October–few
  9. Jon-a-Mac–few
  10. Jonathan-late September–few
  11. Jonagold–late September–none
  12. McIntosh–early September–few
  13. Mutsu–early October–few
  14. Northern Spy–end of September–good supply
  15. Pink Lady–mid October–few
  16. Red Delicious–early October–good supply
  17. Red Rome-mid October–good supply
  • Apple Cider:  We anticipate beginning to press cider about the middle of September when we have a nice blend of apples.
  • Fall and apple season is on its way and we are looking forward to it!

This Labor Day will mark the 9th year since the loss of Allene Hubbard, my mother who started this beautiful farm market. We all work hard to honor her legacy by maintaining the market in the spirit she imparted to all of us. Thank you to all of the customers who continue to think of her and share her memory with us.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we wish you a safe and great Labor Day weekend.  We hope to see you.     Beth