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

Monthly Archive: September 2014

U-Pick Grapes, U-Pick Apples, Cider, Dumplings, and Spookley…

We are loving this weather and delighted that the weather people have told us it will be here through the weekend. It will be a great few days to be out on the farm. Here’s what we will have this weekend.

Summer vegetables are winding down as fall produce fills the market. We still are picking some of these daily, but not huge quantities: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), kale (red Russian, Tuscan, and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, brussels sprouts, black beans and herbs.

We have lots of fall squash now: acorn, butternut, buttercup, spaghetti squash, and heart of gold. Sage bundles are ready for those who want them. $1 for small bundles and $2 for large bundles. Fall cauliflower is here–huge and beautiful.

Apple cider is here! Our cider is not pasteurized or treated in any way–just pure squeezed apples! It has been flying off the shelf so we have already adjusted our pressing cycle to make it on demand….but…there is a chance we might run out in any given day, so always feel free to call us to make sure we have it before you drive out.  269-244-5690.

Picked Tomatoes: Tomatoes are slowing down with the cool weather and we are no longer taking orders for bushels of tomatoes. We will continue to have them for sale by the pound until the first frost.

U-Pick Tomatoes: The U-Pick tomato field is open 8 to 6 daily, you can pick your own for $14 a bushel. It will be open until the first frost. You do not need to call ahead to come as we have gotten through everyone on the list who signed up for U-Pick – please just come to the market to check in. We appreciate everyone’s patience this year with tomato picking as we had to work through the weather issues. The tomatoes are really beautiful this year.

Fall Ornamentals: Pumpkins, gourds, specialty pumpkins, rainbow corn and popcorn, and small hay bales are ready for your fall decorating. Diane’s famous painted pumpkins are on the market too.

Diane's famous painted pumpkins are here

Diane’s famous painted pumpkins are here

Potatoes: We have white, red, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. We’ve 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.

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. Shallots and special cipollini cooking onions are also available.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, pear, pecan, fresh pumpkin
  • Apple Dumplings
  • Cookies: apple and lady-bug cut outs, monster (oatmeal, m&m’s and peanut butter), oatmeal raisin, lemon
    Bread: whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
    Cinnamon rolls 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 bakersApple Dumplings are here! Starting this weekend we will have apple dumplings available in the bakery. We take a whole Cortland apple, peel it, core it, and wrap it in our pie dough. We then bake the apples in pans with our special cinnamon caramel sauce. Fall is the only time we can make them and they are wonderful! We will have apple dumplings available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday now thru Fall Color Tour (October 12).  Reminder that we have our Northern Spy frozen apple pies on special since it is apple season….you can buy three large pies for $25. Stock up for the winter. See you this weekend! -The Bakers

It was very hard to not go get a spoon when the apple dumplings came out of the oven today

It was very hard to not go get a spoon when the apple dumplings came out of the oven today!

We put plenty of apples in our pie--after the crust that is the next best part.

Apples pies ready to go in the oven…We put plenty of apples in our pie–after the crust that is the next best part!

Picked grapes:  We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes, they are $20 a bushel, please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them.

Concord grapes--looking good for picking over the next several weeks.

Concord grapes–looking good for picking over the next several weeks.

U-Pick grapes:  we will open for U-Pick on Sunday, September 28th, for  both the white Niagara and the purple Concord.

  • Picking hours:  Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6, except for Tuesday and Thursdays, where we will stay open until 8 pm (please check into the market by 6pm).
  • 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).
  • Sugar Content:  When the grapes were tested on 9-23, the Concords’ sugar solid was at 13.2 and the Niagaras’ was at 14.8. Both of these will have gone up by the time we open on Sunday–but the bottom line is: yes, they have plenty of sugar and are sweet.

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!)

How is the crop and how long will the grapes last? We have around 50 acres of grapes for U-Pick this year and think they will last up until the first hard frost, that depends of course on the weather and how many customers we have. If you want white Niagara grapes, we would encourage you to come earlier than later, as we have only 1 block of those for picking.

Why can’t I smell the grapes this year? For those of you who have been coming here annually, you know that one of the most wonderful things about coming to the market during the fall….is that extraordinary sweet aroma from our vineyards. The reason it isn’t wafting through the breeze is that most of the white grapes around our market we lost due to the winter injury–no grapes, no smell. However, if you are picking apples, you will smell the grapes once you get there, and of course when you are picking grapes–you can immerse yourself in that wonderful aroma.

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 (like Honeycrisp) 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 or visit our official page here.

U-Pick apples:  We are open 8 to 6 daily for U-Pick apples. The varieties you can  pick now are: Red and Golden Delicious,  Cameo, Fuji and Northern Spies. Please realize that when you go out to the U-Pick orchards and see so many tree with no apples, some trees that have died, plus some with few apples, that this is due to the severe winter followed by a May 15th frost. It impacted some varieties severely.  We will continue to mark trees which still have good picking to ensure you have a good picking experience and on weekends our orchard guide, George, is there to help you find what you are looking for.

Picked Apples on the market.

  • 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.  Hurry, we only have a few of these left
  • 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.   Hurry, we only have a few of these left
  • 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.  We will have these off and on as we pick them during the season, so feel free to call ahead before you come out.
  • 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.
  • 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.  We are only picking a few of these as they ripen, so they are not available by the bushel yet.
  • Fuji: This is an apple with sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  It is a very good keeper.  We are only picking a few as these begin to ripen, so they are not available by the bushel yet. 
  • 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. We are only picking a few of these as they ripen, so they are not available by the bushel yet.
  • Gone for the year:  Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Mollies Delicious, Earliblaze and Jonagold.

Pumpkins: We have lots of pumpkins for sale, ranging from huge to small, but this year we have moved them to the parking lot area to make it easier for you to take to your car.  You can’t miss them, right beside the vineyard and in front of the old white truck.

The Spookley Storybook:  Please check out our large storybook about Spookley the square pumpkin in the yard by the farmhouse.  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 we 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.

Photo opportunities:  There is no lack of places to take your fall photos, but here are a couple of places set up just to get the group photo….

Ultra large pumpkins, squash and watermelon grown by Keith Whitford--no wonder he took first place at this year's fair.

Ultra large pumpkins, squash and watermelon grown by Keith Whitford–no wonder he took first place at this year’s fair.

Will your kids pose as still as Denim did for a picture??

Will your kids pose as still as Denim did for a picture??

Happenings on the farm this week: Unfortunately, our farm was the victim of a theft this week. Many of you have called, stopped by or emailed to tell us how sorry you are about that–we appreciate your thoughts and concern. It is unfortunate that all of us live in a world where these things continue to occur. Two of our ATV utility vehicles were taken which we use for the U-Pick grape picking to get customers and their grapes up and down the long rows—so this was very untimely with us opening this Sunday. For those of you following all of the “downs” we have had this year due to crop losses due to the weather, this one sure added another blow to us.

Remember those words I shared with you in last week’s update:  “Farming is about the most unpredictable thing you can venture into—so you have to be able to embrace change, be very flexible and let nothing surprise you! ” This surprise went from shock and disbelief, to some anger and real discouragement. Yes, your words of encouragement and ongoing support are a wonderful help right now for all of us here as we begin the final home stretch of our fall season! We’re grateful for all the kindness our customers have shown us this week.

Thanks as always for buying local, Beth & everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Mid-September: Cider, Fresh Pumpkin Pie, U-Pick Apples and More!

Summer vegetables are winding down as fall produce fills the market.  We still are picking some of these daily, but not huge quantities:   zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), kale (red Russian, Tuscan, and curly from Becca’s garden), lettuce (limited supply), eggplant, Brussels sprouts and herbs.

We have lots of fall squash now:  acorn, butternut, buttercup and heart of gold. Sage bundles are ready for those who want them. $1 for small bundles and $2 for large bundles.

squashinwagonres

Fresh harvested sage made the whole market smell like Thanksgiving dinner being cooked

Fresh harvested sage made the whole market smell like Thanksgiving dinner being cooked

Apple cider is here! This morning we did our first pressing of apple cider for the year! We know you’ve been waiting a long time for this (we have been too). Our cider is not pasteurized or treated in any way–just pure squeezed apples!  We always press on Thursdays,  let the juice blend and settle in our cold storage overnight, then jug it on Friday mornings for sale at the market. We will be pressing every Thursday throughout the season. Because there is a chance we will run out mid-week before the next pressing, feel free to call ahead to make sure we have it before you drive out! (269) 244-5690.

Picked Tomatoes: Tomatoes are slowing down with the cool weather and we are no longer taking orders for bushels of tomatoes. We will continue to have them for sale by the pound until the first frost.

U-Pick Tomatoes: The U-Pick tomato field is open 8 to 6 daily, you can pick your own for $14 a bushel.  It will be open until the first frost. You do not need to call ahead to come as we have gotten through everyone on the list who signed up for U-Pick.  We appreciate everyone’s patience this year with tomato picking as we had to work through the weather issues. We hope it was worth the wait—the tomatoes have been beautiful this year.

Fall Ornamentals: Pumpkins gourds, specialty pumpkins, rainbow corn, and small hay bales are ready for your fall decorating. Diane’s famous painted pumpkins are on the market too.

We have just about every kind of pumpkin you can imagine......from XXL to small to colored to warty....

We have just about every kind of pumpkin you can imagine……from XXL to small to colored to warty….

Potatoes: We have white, red, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. We’ve 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.

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. Shallots and special cipollini cooking onions are also available.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:
Pies:
apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, pear, pecan, and fresh pumpkin.
Cookies: apple cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon.
Bread: whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
Cinnamon rolls 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:  With fall definitely in the air, we are beginning to change our offerings to your fall favorites. This week we began roasting our fresh pie pumpkins to make our pumpkin pie. If you have never tasted a truly scratch-made pumpkin pie, it definitely is a must! We will also be offering our wonderful pecan pies starting this weekend! Plus…caramel apples.   And….the bakers were happy to see the boxes of Cortland apples coming into the market area—Cortland are the only kind they use for making their special apple dumplings—so hopefully next weekend we will have those.  See you this weekend! -The Bakers

Black beans:

  •  Many of you have asked about the black beans for sale at the market. Each year several of our employees grow them for their own use, this year they got carried away during planting and before we knew it there were 12 long rows! So on the market they came. We think it’s working out pretty wonderfully! The plants grow, and after the pods develop they are left to dry on the stalk. After they’ve dried completely (pictured), we cut the plants down, lay them out on tarps, and beat them to break the shells open. We then clean off what we can before pouring them into buckets. Next comes one more cleaning: we toss them in shallow pans while running a fan to blow away the rest of the shells. And voila! We put them into 2# bags for you to enjoy.
  • If you haven’t tried them yet, please do. Being so fresh, they cook up much faster than those you’d buy from the supermarket, usually within an hour without even soaking them first. Of course, it depends on how you like your beans, and three months from now after they’ve dried even more it will take a bit longer. But you really can tell the difference when you compare the flavor, texture, and cooking time to beans that have been sitting for six months (or over a year sometimes).
  • And yes, we will be planting more next year!
Dried black bean stalks ready to be harvested.

Dried black bean stalks ready to be harvested.

Apples are here!

  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. We started our second picking of these today so we have plenty available. This is one of the best all around apples for fresh eating and the perfect size for packing for lunches and snacks.
  • 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.  We will have them off and on now as the season continues (picking them as they continue to ripen over the next month).  So if Honeycrisp is the only apple you want–you may want to call ahead to make sure we have them before you drive out.  We sell these by the pound ($2/lb.) as well as by the quarter peck, half peck, and peck.
  • 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.
  • Macintosh apples: Sadly, these have come and gone for the year already. Due to the May frost which severely impacted this variety, our entire harvest was 9 bushels!! However, we highly recommend Jon-A-Mac as a great substitute—a cross of Jonathan and Macintosh, it brings the best of the Macintosh into the apple with the thin skin, white flesh and Macintosh flavor with a little bit of the mellow Jonathan tang.  Once you try these, you may not go back to Macintosh.
  • 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.  We only have a few of these left and are out of bushels.
  • 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.  An old favorite for cooking and eating. Very big this year!
  • NuRed: A variety of Rome, but with more of a tart flavor and crunch than Romes.   Beth’s personal favorite!  (Better than Honeycrisp!)

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 (like Honeycrisp) 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 or visit our official page here.

U-Pick apples: We will open U-Pick apples on Saturday, September 20th for the season.   Not all of the apples are ready, so if you can wait another week, we highly recommend that you do, coming on September 27th or after would be better. With one more week the apples will have much more color and flavor.  If this is the only weekend you can fit in your annual apple picking experience, we will have our apple guide in the orchard this weekend to help you find some of the trees that are riper, you will just need to be a bit careful to pick the mature apples for now.  The varieties you can “spot pick” this weekend are:  Red and Golden Delicious, Nu-Red, Gala and possibly a few Northern spies.

Concord and Niagara grapes: We will open for u-Pick grapes, both Concord and Niagara on Sunday, September 28th…We will be open daily from 8 to 6.  Late picking is on Tuesday and Thursday evening (until 8) , but need to be checked in by 6 pm.

We will have plenty to pick when they are ripe. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds. Note: Some of you are asking about trying to come after work to pick grapes. To accommodate this, we will stay open late on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for grape picking only.

Happenings on the farm this week: Picking apples consumed our week….and resulted in some surprises. Farming is about the most unpredictable thing you can venture into—so you have to be able to embrace change, be very flexible and let nothing surprise you! (I am still working on all of those!) Thankfully surprises can be both good and bad—-like finding out the entire Macintosh crop was 9 bushels (sad sigh….) but then picking four more times the Cortland than you expected—and bonus–because there were so few on a tree, they had space to grow and are delightfully large!

When my dedicated, hard-working and creative staff got the challenge from me to come up with some fall decorating ideas—they exceeded my expectations!   Knowing my love of antique tools and farm implements, their theme became “Memories of yesterday–all things old.”    Here’s just a few example of some of the displays they worked on today—and there are more to come! Special thanks to Teri and Cathy for the ideas and getting things going. Our famous old white truck will be out soon, loaded with pumpkins! Great places for some photo opportunities!

schayrakeres

mowingtoolres

Becca holding up a Cortland.

Becca holding up a Cortland.

Thanks again for buying local—hope to see you soon. Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards.

PS: Becca is doing a presentation on her two years beekeeping in Paraguay at the Kalamazoo Bee Club on October 8th!  You can find more information on this event here if you’re interested in attending.

Fall…and Yes! We Have Honeycrisp Apples!

As I write this a cold wind is making us shiver as we go about our tasks on the farm and outdoor market, making us all wish we could work in the bakery today!  But I’m trying to keep to my goal of not continuing to “whine” about the weather so I’ll stop right there….as anyone in this area totally understands how we feel!  In the market now we have:

Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, fall squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), kale (red Russian, Tuscan, and curly from Becca’s garden), lettuce (limited supply), eggplant, black beans, Brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds), shallots and herbs. 

Yeah...finally starting picking our winter squash today.

Yes…finally starting picking our winter squash today.

Picked Tomatoes: Big, beautiful field tomatoes are still coming in plentifully along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes from the field and sun sugar cherry tomatoes from Becca’s garden. We have bushels of first-quality tomatoes but please call ahead and order if you would like some. For those of you who have been on our waiting list for either firsts or seconds tomato bushels, we have gotten through those lists. If you think somehow you were missed please call us, unless we have just added you in last few days. (269-244-5690).

U-Pick Tomatoes: U-Pick tomatoes are now getting more plentiful and we are just about through calling all of the list of customers who want to pick tomatoes.  As soon as we get through the list of everyone who has asked to pick, we will open up the field daily and you will not need to schedule ahead. We anticipate this happening around September 20th.

Fruit: We will harvest our great tasting cantaloupe for just a few more days and we have lots of watermelon coming in. Small containers of seeded Fredonia grapes are available. Fall raspberries are here, several pints a day! Pears are now gone.

Fall Ornamentals: Pumpkins are coming in for those who like to set some around for decoration as well as gourds.  Diane’s famous painted pumpkins will be arriving soon as she is painting them right now!  A nice selection of mums are available as well.

I could look at wing-gourds forever---they are each so unique, have your kids look for ones that are shaped like animals!

I could look at wing-gourds forever—they are each so unique, have your kids look for ones that are shaped like animals!

Potatoes: We have white, red, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. We’ve 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.

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.

Apples are here!

  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. We started our second picking of these today so we have plenty available. This is one of the best all around apples for fresh eating and the perfect size for packing for lunches and snacks.
  • 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.  We will have them off and on now as the season continues (picking them as they continue to ripen over the next month).  So if Honeycrisp is the only apple you want–you may want to call ahead to make sure we have them before you drive out.  We sell these by the pound ($2/lb.).
  • 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. We will start picking these on 9-12 and so they should be here this weekend.

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 (like Honeycrisp) 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 or visit our official page here.

U-Pick apples: We will open U-Pick apples again when we have several varieties available, our best guess right now would be around September 19th or later, but please check back with us as it is weather dependent.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:
Pies:
apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, pear, and strawberry rhubarb.
Cookies: Apple cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon.
Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
Cinnamon rolls 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. We’d love to hear your feedback for those of you who have tried the pear pie….did you like it? 

Concord and Niagara grapes: We appreciate everyone’s interest and the many calls we are getting on U-Pick grapes. We have taken our first sugar sample and the grapes are just not there yet, certainly running late this year. Our best guess is a possible opening for U-Pick the week of 9-28.  Stay tuned to our website or call in about another week to see if we can confirm an opening date.

We will have plenty to pick when they are ripe. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds. Note: Some of you are asking about trying to come after work to pick grapes.  To accommodate this, we will stay open late on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for grape picking only.

Happenings on the farm this week: 

We have been working on getting all of our fall apple equipment ready to roll, including the apple grader/sorter and the cider mill. Every year this is one of those “keep your fingers crossed” to see if everything will run given that it hasn’t been used for a year, especially as we are continuing to use the original grader that my parents installed at the farm 50 some years ago and the same cider press some 30 years ago!  Replacement parts aren’t found easily and our repairs are usually quite creative–but they work.

We delivered about 200 lbs. of produce to Full City Café this week alone – we love their food (and now it’s sort of like our food). We’ve also made deliveries to a few other restaurants in the past week. Becca especially likes coordinating restaurant orders and it is pretty fun to know that our produce is being shared with so many people.

Some of you driving by the farm this week will have seen the crew out on a very tall piece of equipment getting to the tops of our very tall sweet cherry trees….we are taking some significant height off of them to make them more productive, plus for sure, easier to pick!  As we trim, the cherry wood logs will be used for firewood, all of the small branches are being chipped up for compost use in our blueberry field–so all in all a project that re-uses and recycles as an added benefit!

ctrim1

ctree2

As always, everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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,  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–September 13, few
  10. Jonathan-late September–few
  11. Jonagold–late September–none
  12. McIntosh–mid 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 towards the end of September as we need enough apple varieties to be ready to make a nice blend.

 

 

Our Fall Transition has begun…

This week begins our transition into fall. We noticed it immediately after catching our breath after the busy Labor Day weekend… Our lake customers have returned back home for the season, kids have started school, everyone’s garden is giving out its final burst of vegetables. Some of our own vegetable fields are beginning to slow down, the grapes are beginning to smell wonderful, pumpkins and fall mums move us into a fall color scheme, and apple harvest has begun. So this update is to give everyone information on what we have now and when things are coming:

Pretty content customers enjoying items from our bakery while Mom shopped on Labor Day weekend.

Content customers enjoying items from our bakery while Mom shopped on Labor Day weekend.

Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, black beans, brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds), shallots and herbs. Note: this is the end of the sweet corn, if you want us to save some for you, call ahead. Sadly, the great-tasting green beans that we have had are now gone for the year. Fall squash will be starting next week.

Picked Tomatoes: Big, beautiful field tomatoes are coming in plentifully along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes from the field and sun sugar cherry tomatoes from Becca’s garden. We have bushels of first-quality tomatoes available but please call ahead and order if you would like some. For those of you who have been on our waiting list for either firsts or seconds tomato bushels, we are rapidly getting those orders out and if you haven’t heard from us should be getting a call soon.

U-Pick Tomatoes: U-Pick tomatoes are now getting more plentiful and we are more than halfway through the list of customers who want to pick tomatoes. So again, you should be hearing from us soon to get you out to pick. As soon as we get through the list of everyone who has asked to pick, we will open up the field daily and you will not need to schedule ahead.

Fruit: We will harvest our great tasting cantaloupe for just a few more days and we have lots of watermelon coming in. Small containers of seeded Fredonia grapes are available. Fall raspberries are here.

Blueberries are now gone for the year—it was so great to have such a long season on them. It will be hard to start using them from the freezer now.

Potatoes: We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. We’ve 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.

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.

Apples are here!

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. We only have a few more bags of Mollie’s.
  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. We started our second picking of these today so we have plenty available. This is one of the best all around apples for fresh eating and the perfect size for packing for lunches and snacks.
  • 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. We have just a few of these left, call us if you want us to save you some.

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 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 or visit our official page here.

U-Pick apples: We will open U-Pick apples again when we have several varieties available, our best guess right now would be around September 19th, but please check back with us as it is weather dependent.

Golden Delicious on 9-5-14, need to get more size, color and flavor before they are ready to be picked.

Golden Delicious on 9-5-14, need to get more size, color and flavor before they are ready to be picked.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:


Pies:
apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, choco-butter, coconut cream, dutch apple, pear, and strawberry rhubarb.
Cookies: frosted apple cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon.
Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
Cinnamon rolls 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 we will be starting our fresh pear pies!  They will be in limited quantities but we should have enough pears to be able to make them for several weeks, and possibly enough for frozen take and bake. If you would like one, please call ahead and have us save one for you! See you this weekend! -the bakers

Concord and Niagara grapes:   We appreciate everyone’s interest and the many calls we are getting on U-Pick grapes. We plan to take a sugar sample next week so by September 12th we can hopefully set an opening date. 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. Note: Some of you are asking about trying to come after work to pick grapes.  To accommodate this, we will stay open later on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for grape picking only.

Concord grape are coming along, but you can still see some red and green and they need to be fully ripe before we open for picking.  9-5-14

Concord grape are coming along, but you can still see some red and green and they need to be fully ripe before we open for picking. 9-5-14

A nice cluster of Niagara grapes ripening on 9-5-14

A nice cluster of Niagara grapes ripening on 9-5-14

Happenings on the farm this week: 

First, we all survived Labor Day weekend….and while we loved having all of you customers here, we do have to admit, we were exhausted by the end of Monday evening, no football watching for us!  An extra thank-you to all of the market clerks who scurried around those 4 days keeping things on the shelves and taking care of our customers in the very friendly and helpful way in which they do. Labor Day weekend is always bitter sweet as we say good-bye for the year to many of the lake customers.

We had a nice visit from our friends Keith and Lisa who own Full City Café in Portage, Michigan. They make an effort to buy from local farms all over our area and their food is better and tastier for it! This week CLO helped to supply them with peppers, cabbage, and over 60 lbs. of tomatoes. We’ve worked with them periodically but this was the first time they made it to the farm.

Because I love coffee, I am frequently in the bakery refilling my cup in the mornings and always pretty amazed and in awe of what I see that goes on to make the final products such as:

This is the start of what it takes to make cinnamon bread and rolls

This is the start of what it takes to make cinnamon bread and rolls

Then it gets lovingly rolled  up and patted into shape

Then it gets lovingly rolled up and patted into shape

When I see their breads rising so beautifully in the mornings it does cause me to pause to look at it.

When I see their breads rising so beautifully in the mornings it does cause me to pause to look at it.

When I ask them if they ever get tired of making that long roll of cinnamon dough each morning, they say no, they love to do it!   And for that, we are all thankful.

Apple Harvest started seriously this week with the Gala harvest.  We have two amazing workers who have picked all of the Gala apples in just 3 days—and are skilled to not bruise any, which is one of the most difficult things about picking apples.

Starting the morning off with empty boxes.

Starting the morning off with empty boxes.

A finished box of Gala ready to be taken to the cold storage

A finished box of Gala ready to be taken to the cold storage

We are blessed to have such a great team of employees–please thank them when you can for all of their labors.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Looking forward to seeing you soon.     Beth

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,  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.