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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
- 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
- Jonathan-late September–few
- Jonagold–late September–none
- McIntosh–early 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 about the middle of September when we have a nice blend of apples.