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

All good things must come to an end….at least for 2014…

Thanks to everyone who came out this past weekend, especially Sunday for the special Fall Color Tour events. Based on the size of the crowds, we think that was just about everybody. It was great to see everyone having fun on the farm and enjoying the beautiful day. Even when the donut line got long….no one seemed to mind.

A few people out for the Fall Color Tour.

A few people out for the Fall Color Tour.

Once again, it is time for us to wrap up our season, and with the smaller apple crop, sooner than we would like. So our last “official” day for the market and bakery with our normal 8 to 6 hours will be this coming Sunday, October 19th. After the 19th, we will be around from 9 until 5 for a few more weeks, for those who might still be coming to pick grapes, do apple gleaning, buy brandy, or purchase what produce we still have available.

So….if you have not gotten your fall produce, now really is the time.  Here’s what is what we still have:

Fall squash: acorn, butternut, buttercup—these will keep for a few months yet if you can store them in a cool, dry spot.

Fall Ornamentals: Mums, 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. Great picture taking spots amongst all of these ornamentals.

Apple cider: We pressed cider for the last time on Monday, October 13th, and will have it till it runs out, hopefully through the weekend.

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 through the winter–so stock up. Special cipollini cooking onions are also available.

And of course, kale (multiple kinds), potatoes, dried sage, rosemary, oregano, and other herbs. Basil is now gone for the year.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, fresh pumpkin, pecan
  • Apple dumplings
  • Cookies: pumpkin shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), caramel apple, and lemon
  • Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns
  • Pumpkin cupcakes
  • Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin
  • Slushies: Apple cider and grape blend

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

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.

Second reminder:  We will also be baking pies for Thanksgiving again by order only. You can pick up and fill out an order form for Thanksgiving in the bakery now through October 19th, or call us to fill one out for you (269-244-5690). The pick up date for Thanksgiving pies will be on Wednesday November 26th.

A note from the bakers: This is the final weekend the bakery will be open. With that being said, it is always bittersweet to see each season come to a close…on one side we will miss seeing all of our wonderful customers, on the other it will be nice to able sleep in past 4 am. Everyone in the bakery would like to thank you for the wonderful season and we look forward to seeing and serving all of you next year! See you this weekend!-The Bakers

Local Meat: The freezer still has some meat, but it’s going fast. If you want bacon, pork chops, or ground sausage before it sells out, give us a call and we’ll put it on hold for you. Thanks to local friends at Rolling Meadows Farms in Jones for helping us keep in stock this year.

Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes (white Niagara and the purple Concord)- $20 a bushel. Please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them. We also sell pre-picked grapes in smaller quantities as well. Often folks ask us what to do with these grape varieties—they are primarily used for making juice, wine or jelly. However, if you don’t mind the seeds, they are great to eat just fresh. We have recipes at the market for how to use them.

U-Pick grapes: We are open for both the white Niagara and the purple Concord. We have plenty of Concord, though but the Niagara are not as plentiful.

Everyone is asking how much longer we will have grapes…..it is always hard to predict how many customers will come out and what the weather will do, but it seems like we will have the purple Concord grapes until the first hard frost.  With the rains, coming sooner than later is best.

  • 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).

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).

U-Pick apples:

We have completed the apple harvest and we a re now open for end of year “apple gleaning”–this is a great way for folks trying to get a lot of apples to do it very economically. You may pick apples left on the tree or off the ground for $5/bushel. So for those people who want to press their own cider, make a huge amount of apple sauce, get “animal” apples, etc., this is the time. For best availability of the types of apples and quality—you will want to come out within the next several weeks. Please check in with the market first.

Picked Apples on the market–we have some of the following left, but going fast:

  • 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 (good amount left)
  • 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 (few left)
  • Northern Spy: This is an antique apple that cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes…..very popular for apple pie (good amount left)
  • Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste lies under a thin skin. Great for applesauce, cider, pies or other desserts (good amount left)
  • Red Delicious: A sweet eating apple which is an old favorite. Excellent keeper (good amount left)
  • Red Rome: Bright red, tart apple for eating or cooking with a pink tinge when you bite into it…makes a nice looking applesauce (good amount left)
  • Pink Lady–very hard, tart, apple with a beautiful pink cheek
  • Gone for the year: Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Mollies Delicious, Earliblaze, Jonathan, Cortland, JonaMac, Mutsu, Ida Red, Fuji, Gala, Cameo

Apple pricing for the year:  With the exception of Honeycrisp, apples are: $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 our official page here.

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.  If you are looking for pumpkins after October 19th, we recommend Riley Pumpkin Farm which is located in Three Rivers, follow the signs to Ferguson Road off of Broadway.

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.

Happenings on the farm this week: We do have to admit that on Monday, all of us were a bit dazed and operating on auto-pilot after all of the hours we worked getting ready for the Fall Color Tour. The rains that came slowed things down a bit and actually seemed very nice for us! This week, in between the rainstorms, we are working back in the fields again preparing them for next year. Yes, all of those tomato stakes which held those plants up so valiantly are now out of the ground and stored for next year. This afternoon, the crew is getting pruning equipment ready so we can start into the apple orchards. Once we get a hard frost killing off the grape vines, we will start trimming the Concord grapes.

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Beautiful colors at the market, open just a few more days.

So to all of our customers, we say thank you. It has been our pleasure and joy to share our farm and all of its bounty with you. Especially this year, with the loss of my dad and so many transitions at the farm, your support has meant everything to us. We will certainly miss you during the winter as the farm moves into its slower pace. We promise to keep you updated and look forward to another season with you in 2015.

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