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

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.

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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!

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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.