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.
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.
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!
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:
- Braeburn–mid October-few
- Cameo–late September–few
- Cortland–mid September-few
- Fuji–mid October–fair amount
- Golden Delicious–late September–fair amount
- Golden Supreme– early October –few
- Honeycrisp–mid September –few
- Ida Red-early October–few
- Jon-a-Mac–September 13, few
- Jonathan-late September–few
- Jonagold–late September–none
- McIntosh–mid September–few
- Mutsu–early October–few
- Northern Spy–end of September–good supply
- Pink Lady–mid October–few
- Red Delicious–early October–good supply
- 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.