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

Mother’s Day Update: Fresh Asparagus, Local Meat and Cheese, Bakery Bounty, and More!

We are now open for the 2015 season!  As always, we will be open 8am to 6pm, seven days a week! We had a fantastic opening weekend. Great weather, fresh baked goods, and the first taste of asparagus brought lots of folks out. It was so nice to see everyone again after winter.

Here’s what we have available now:

Asparagus! We are starting to pick every day and have bulk quantities available as well. We are pricing it at $2.25/lb. for under 10 lb. and $2.00/lb. for orders of 10lb. or more. We think we’ll have a constant supply, but as always, you’re welcome to call before you come to have us set some aside for you. (269) 244-5690. This weather is giving us some of the best yields we have ever had—so we really have lots of asparagus right now! (Special note to Bob R., please call us about your order from last week, we are unable to get hold of you!)

Rhubarb: $2.50 pound

Plants, plants and more plants: We have most of our plants in now for you to select from. Some of the plants we have seeded and grown in our own greenhouse, but most of them come from a local source that we have gotten them from for over 25 years, Schram’s Greenhouse in Portage. This gives us confidence that you are getting a good plant when you get them here.

  • Flats of Vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, onion sets
  • Flats of Flowers include: asters,  cosmos, gomphrena, impatients, lobelia, marigolds, morning glories,  nasturtium, ornamental cabbage and ornamental kale, pansies, petunias, salvia, snapdragons, verbena, vinca, and zinnias. There are different colors and heights to choose from.
  • Herbs (sold by the pot) include: basil, dill, lemon balm, many mints, oregano, thyme, sweet marjoram, and parsley
  • Flats of Tomatoes: Many varieties including mini tomatoes and regular tomatoes
  • Seed potatoes:  Norland Red and Yukon Gold
  • Many types of hanging flower baskets
Two of our favorite baskets is the Chenille plant (lipstick plant) and the Strawflowers

Two of our favorite baskets: the chenille plant (lipstick plant) and the strawflowers

Plants which are coming soon:

  • The “vine” crops are yet to come: melons, squash and cucumbers as well as eggplant, many varieties of peppers will be here mid-May

We would recommend that you let all plants “harden up” outside for a few days before planting in the ground, as they have just left their warm greenhouse environment, especially tomatoes and flowers. Cold-crop items are fine to plant when you get home.

Many flats of flowers available

Greenhouse produce: We still have beautiful, large, but unfortunately still green tomatoes in the greenhouse. It looks like it will be at least a few more weeks until that first BLT. Cucumbers and peppers (new this year) are coming along well in the greenhouse–maybe some in about a week!

Plenty of beautiful green tomatoes---just need them to turn red

Plenty of beautiful green tomatoes—just need them to turn red

Growing greenhouse peppers is new for us--so exciting to see the baby peppers coming!

Growing greenhouse peppers is new for us–so exciting to see the baby peppers coming!

From Michaela:  Ah, what a relief to have our first week behind us already! While we enjoy having our wonderful customers back, our first week is always full of surprises that include recalibrating the ovens and getting all the equipment up to par. We are looking forward to seeing you all this Mother’s Day Weekend, and we are going to be baking all kinds of goodies for you! Many new things, so please give us your feedback.  Please feel free to call and order in advance at 269-244-5690.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Flower Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, and Ginger Molasses
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb and Rhubarb (fruit pies made from our own produce we preserved last year)
  • Bread: Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Multi-Grain, and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie Dough, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wildberry and Raisin Bran

Michaela and Patti making strawberry-rhubarb pies….mmm…

So….where are the donuts? This has been a frequently asked question! We will start making donuts on Memorial Day Weekend. We’ll be making special summery flavors as different fruits come into season, like cherry, blueberry, and other flavors as we did last year.

Meat: This year we are getting meat from Drake’s Country Cuts in Cassopolis. They are a 3rd generation butcher shop currently owned by Thom and Carrie Colley, who are the hands-on owners. They have created an extensive selection of USDA-certified meat cuts and choices, which are hormone and antibiotic free. During asparagus season, one of their offerings will be asparagus brats made with our asparagus! We will continue to add meat products over the season so stay tuned for additions and new items.

Cheese:  We are stocking Michigan-made cheese from Reny Picot in Benton Harbor. The varieties are:  Smoked Gouda, Gouda, Brie Rounds and Wedge Fontina.

Eggs are back! We will be carrying brown eggs from Sunrise Acres in Hudsonville, Michigan, which are hormone and antibiotic free.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas:

  • Our local vendors have their items on the market now. These include: local honey, maple syrup, cards, art and Ruth’s famous pecan and cashew brittle. 
  • Why not buy Mom a “living” salad? We will have large tomato plants for the patio or to set outside—they are already blooming, staked and some have little tomatoes on them. Pair these with one of our lettuce bowls. They’re planted with cold-tolerant greens that can be put outside now, and the lettuce can be picked and it grows back! Grab a basil plant in one of our colored pots, then add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have a healthy gift she can continue to enjoy.

    Salad bowls and tomato plants.

    Salad bowls and tomato plants.

  • An arranged flower container for the patio or door step for Mom. Once again we have made up special containers with flowers and herbs. Come see the many unique containers available for sale at all price ranges. If you have a container you would like us to plant, bring it over and tell us what you would like in it.

Brandy: Brandy is available: apple (oak aged and glass-aged), cherry, pear, Niagara grape, and Concord grape. We expect to open our Saturday tastings and tours a bit later in the season.

From Becca: I’m harvesting the last of the kale I over-wintered, which is exceptionally sweet and tender. If you want some, call ahead. It looks like it’ll be a couple of weeks before I can harvest new kale, so get on it! I’ll also be harvesting fresh lettuce (both romaine and lettuce mix) from the hoophouse and schoolhouse. As with the kale, lettuce will be $3/half pound bag.

This week I got my first tomatoes and eggplants in the ground in the schoolhouse garden, while my hoophouse tomatoes are currently flowering and the green beans are getting their first true leaves! Yay May. I predict radishes within a week from the schoolhouse, and peas and spinach within a couple of weeks. This rain will really help stuff grow!

I will be doing a garden planning workshop on Saturday, May 16th at 2 p.m. for anyone interested in gardening basics. I’m going to talk about planting schedules for our area, companion planting, soil management, and local garden resources. Some of you may know I used to work as an Agricultural Extension Agent so hopefully this will be a fun, approachable workshop even for people who have never planted a thing. RSVP if you think you’ll be coming (call or just reply to this email).

Happenings on the farm: Peaches are blooming!   Check out the pink peach blooms in the orchard along the road by the market. Seeing these after the last few years of no peaches gives us such joy.

Peach blossoms with cherry blossoms in the background.

Peach blossoms with cherry blossoms in the background.

This week we have spent a lot of time picking asparagus (did you know it grows an inch an hour when it is in the 80’s?). Sometimes the team feels like when they finish, its grown so fast it’s time to start over again!

Speaking of asparagus, we are going to offer a special U-pick asparagus event on Saturday May 16th, weather permitting. This is for those folks who want to see how asparagus grows and have the experience of picking their own few pounds.  This will include a walking educational tour (about 1/4 mile round trip to the field) where we will show you what is growing and how it grows (the real information from the real farmers). Please check next week’s update for more information and the times for these. If folks enjoy this, we’ll try to offer it on more weekends in May.

So on behalf of everyone here at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local and really hope to see you out this weekend or soon.  Our very best to all of the mothers, may you have a great day!