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

Greenhouse Tomatoes and Peppers, Kohlrabi, Farmers Markets, and a Strawberry Update

Available at the market: 

Asparagus: $2.25/lb. for green asparagus ($2/lb. if you buy ten pounds or more). $2.50/lb. for purple asparagus. We think we’ll have asparagus for at least another week or two but if you’re worried about stocking up and freezing it for the winter,now is the time to buy.

Greenhouse Produce: tomatoes are really coming in now. $2/lb. So time for those BLT’s! We bake the bread, grow the lettuce, and sell bacon in the freezer in the bakery! Greenhouse cucumbers, are available for $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers). Greenhouse peppers will be available this weekend as well.

Greenhouse tomatoes looking good.

Greenhouse tomatoes looking good. They are growing extra large this year–perfect size for a sandwich.

Rhubarb: $2.50/lb.

From Becca: Kohlrabi ($2.25/lb.) and kohlrabi greens ($2/large bunch) both from the hoophouse. Lettuce from the schoolhouse and from the hoophouse, $3/half pound bag. Basil from the hoophouse, $1/bag. Limited amounts of kale, $3/half pound. Leeks: $2/lb. As always, my produce is grown without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you – 269 244 5690.

Lettuce growing at the schoolhouse, 5/27.

Lettuce growing at the schoolhouse, 5/27.

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Kohlrabi and kohlrabi greens.

Not familiar with kohlrabi? It does look sort of like an alien….In flavor it’s a cross between a turnip and a cabbage…savory and robust. Its texture is more like a beet, I suppose. It’s getting trendy and there’s a lot of great recipes out there, including a few we’ve printed out for you to pick up when you’re at the market. If you’ve never cooked with kohlrabi greens, think of them like collards: heavenly and full of flavor, and requiring a longer cooking time than kale or chard. I posted a recipe on how I cooked them for dinner tonight here.

The u-pick herb garden is looking great right now with parsley, sage, dill, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, spring onions, and more. There’s also a little bit of cilantro (more on the way) and the start of some other herbs. As always, u-pick herbs are $1/bag.

Plants: 

  • Lettuce bowls: these are living salad bowls where you can harvest the lettuce yourself and it will grow back, giving you a nice salad every week for a long time. $12/bowl.  Hurry, we only have a few left.
  • Basil pots: Large Genovese basil plants already bearing lots of large leaves for you to set on your porch. $7/pot.
  • We still have a wide variety of bedding plants. Bedding plants do sell out sometimes so if you need us to set something aside for you call ahead and let us know! 269 244 5690. Here’s what’s left:
  • Vegetable Plants: kale, peppers, cucumbers, tomato, squash, melons, eggplant. We also have seed potatoes and onion sets.
  • Perennial Flower Plants: yarrow, sweet William, coneflowers, delphinium, baby’s breath, daisies, statice, bee balm, rudbeckia, black-eyed Susans and salvia. We have them in many color choices!
  • Annual Flowers: asters, cosmos, gomphrena, impatients, lobelia, marigolds, morning glories, nasturtium, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, petunias, salvia, snapdragons, verbena, vinca, and zinnias. There are different colors and heights to choose from.

Strawberry Update:

Everyone is anxious for Michigan strawberries and ours will be here within a few weeks depending on the weather. Our best guess is that we will have picked berries available in the market the week of June 8th and hopefully U-Pick will be available the week of June 15th. This year’s strawberry pricing will be:

  • Picked Berries: $3.50 quart, $26 for a flat of 8 quarts. Please call 269-244-5690 to place your order and we will call you when they are ready.
  • U-Pick Berries: $1.75 a quart. Next week we will post the U-Pick hours for the year.

Locally made yogurt: We are carrying thick Greek-style yogurt from Mattawan creamery. All of their yogurt is made from the grass fed/pastured Jersey cows at Moonique dairy in Vandalia. They use this milk plus a 5-strain probiotic culture to make this creamy yogurt, so it is just plain good and simple stuff! Can’t wait for strawberries and blueberries to be ready to add to it. It is available in quarts and pints. Find this in the cooler on the market with the Michigan-made cheese and eggs.

Meat: We should be getting in some meat from Drake’s Country Cuts in Cassopolis, Michigan. Call for more information.

From the Bakery:  

This weekend we will be bringing back a favorite from last year: Vegetable Bread! A lot of you have been asking about it so we will begin baking it fresh this weekend and will have it daily. Also this weekend we will have a new Honey Oatmeal bread! Come try both of these. Please feel free to call and order in advance at 269-244-5690.

This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts:  (Just Saturday and Sunday this week) cherry, buttermilk and blueberry
  • Beginning on Friday June 5th, we will have donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Cookies: Cut out, Monster, Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Double Chocolate
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Multi-Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Welch’s juice as well as jelly is now available in the bakery. We are Welch’s Growers and are pleased to offer products made from our grapes!

Happenings on the farm this week:

With the start of summer comes the start of farm market season. Starting this Tuesday, you can find us at the Texas Township Farmers Market from 3pm – 7pm. Becca will be selling produce and baked goods (and hopefully at some point doing wine and cider tastings!). For the second year in a row we’re teaming up with The Huss Project in Three Rivers to sell produce at the Three Rivers Farmers Market. You can find our produce there on Thursdays along with produce from Bair Lane Farm and White Yarrow Farm.

This week we did a lot of “holding on to our hats” as the high winds and rains came. We were delighted in the one inch of rain we got, and a little less delighted with the winds which broke plants and took a layer of plastic off our greenhouse (don’t worry – we got it back in place today!). The rain gave a huge growing boost to our field crops, orchards and vineyards, so we’ll take the good with the bad.

The week we put in about 2000 tomato plants, 600 pepper plants, 150 squash plants, 600 melon plants, 500 cucumber plants and 600 more cauliflower plants. Yes, we were busy!

Many of you have asked what all this plastic is in our fields, it is the mulch system we use for planting vegetables.  We have it every year, but this year it is closer to the road.

Many of you have asked what all this plastic is in our fields, it is the mulch system we use for planting vegetables. We have it every year, but this year it is closer to the road.

Planting cucumbers, both slicers and pickling into the plastic mulch.

Planting cucumbers, both slicers and pickling into the plastic mulch.

Perfect rows of tomato plants going in!

Perfect rows of tomato plants going in!

If you were driving by this week you might have seen around 10 people hovering over a blueberry bush, a strawberry row and in the peach orchard. This week we hosted the USDA’s Farm Service Agency training for their field inspectors. The Farm Service Agency is a critical resource for farms to assist with disaster relief, conservation programs and financial services. The services they provide for farms like ours are growing more important each year due to the weather extremes. We greatly appreciate their efforts and all they do for Michigan farmers.

The FSA trainers preparing before they head out to the fields

The FSA trainers preparing before they head out to the fields

From Becca: One of the joys of the hoophouse is its own little ecosystem. I seem to find something new every day. Yesterday it was a tiny garter snake, relaxing between the kohlrabi heads. Last week, it was the foundress of a yellow jacket hive, tucked under my lettuce (luckily I saw it before I grabbed the leaf it was resting on). At dusk when I go to close it, I try to guide out the moths and butterflies trapped inside. In the morning, I find the absolutely beautiful dragonflies sleeping on the tomato trellises, ready to wake up and eat the aphids and gnats and other bothersome bugs…I’m not sure which of these are “good” species or “bad” species. The snake probably eats toads that are eating bugs that are both pollinating flowers and spreading disease…I’m not a fan of yellow jackets or their stings but they too eat insects that eat my plants.

Quite glad I didn't grab this lettuce leaf without looking first.

Quite glad I didn’t grab this lettuce leaf without first looking at it.

Fresh hoophouse tomatoes are on the horizon.

Fresh hoophouse tomatoes are on the horizon.

Of course, in the midst of this I have tomato plants that are now three feet tall, green beans that are producing mounds of flowers (soon to be produce!), tiny pepper plants, basil, more…it has been very exciting experiencing this first spring in the hoophouse and makes me excited for time to come.

We had a great Memorial day weekend with so many farm visitors. The bakery seemed to be the most popular spot. So we appreciated everyone who came out. Here’s wishing you a good end of the month and we appreciate you buying local. Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards.

A customer from Chicago who ate 4 Pistachio muffins, then bought more to take home!  Thank you for letting us know how much you liked them.

A customer from Chicago who ate 4 Pistachio muffins, then bought more to take home! Thank you for letting us know how much you liked them.