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

Monthly Archive: August 2015

Peaches, Pears, Plums, Perfect!

So we have gone from the dog days of summer to fall, all in another Pure Michigan week!  The feel of fall had us wanting soup and scurrying around even more to get ready for apple and grape season. So be sure to check out our apple forecast below and at our apple page, which we’ll update throughout the season.

Conventionally-grown produce available at the market: 

  • Apples, Earli-Blaze (more info below) and a few early Gala
  • Beans! October Beans now coming in, call to make sure we have them.
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Cut Flowers
  • Eggplant
  • Melon
  • Mums:  Large decorative ones to small ones, all colors
  • Onions, very sweet in red, white and yellow varieties
  • Peaches (more info below)
  • Pears, Bartlett (more info below)
  • Peppers! A rainbow of Bell Peppers. Sweet Red Mini Peppers. Sweet Banana Peppers and Hot Hungarian Peppers.  Available by the bushel if you need them
  • Plums- Stanley Prune
  • PotatoesYukon Gold, Red Norland, Russets and Adirondack Blue
  • Shallots
  • Squash:  Yellow Summer Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Butternut squash and zucchini
  • Sweet Corn (our corn is gone for the year and we are carrying Stears corn, hopefully through Labor Day weekend, when it is available)
  • Tomatoes, red, yellow and green
Nice selection of mums available

Nice selection of mums available

These large decorative mums are very nice

These large decorative mums are very nice

Bartlett pears:  The Bartlett pear is a good eating and canning pear, very sweet and juicy. We did not have a very large crop this year, so with fewer pears on the tree, they are nice sized.  We will have them about one more week.  If you have already called us to reserve bushels, you should have received a call that they were ready, if not, please call us or come and get them.  If you would still like some, please call the market and let us know how many you would want and we can save them for you. 269-244-5690. Pricing is $28 a bushel, $15 a half bushel, $9 a peck and we also have them in eating size quantities.

Earli-blaze apples:  This is one of our favorite summer apples and once you try it, you’ll want them every year. It is a tarty, crisp apple that can be eaten or used in pies or sauce. It is one of two apples that we use in the bakery exclusively for pies because we believe it makes such a wonderful pie. We have samples out, come try one! They are available by the bushel ($20) or in smaller eating quantities.

Peaches: We are now picking our last main peach which is Flamin’ Fury, which we believe is the best peach we grow.    We also have them in smaller eating quantities in a one-quart box for $4 and a two-quart box for &7.50.  See below for a delicious recipe one of our customers shared (Thanks Nancy H!)  Updated on 8-29-15:  We are now out of pecks (1/4 bushel) or any larger quantity, sorry, they went fast!

Tomatoes: Field tomatoes are coming in stronger now but with the cooler weather still slower than both you and we would like.  So sorry!. We are taking orders for bushels of tomatoes, both firsts and seconds, and we will call you when we can fill your order– 269-244-5690. We have started calling customers on both of these lists.  We will do our very best to fill all the orders, but it is going to take us a while.  Many home gardens and other local farms have been hit with tomato blight which has increased the demand for tomatoes and we know everyone is ready to can like right now.  U-Pick tomatoes….While we were hopeful that we would open the U-Pick field  this week, this cool weather is going to slow them down again. Patience please, we want there to be good picking when we open the field, at this point we are thinking it will open sometime the first week of September.

Really, Really, the tomatoes are there and they will ripen at some point!!

Really, Really, the tomatoes are there and they will ripen at some point!!

Potatoes:  We are now harvesting bushels of potatoes for those who use a lot or want to keep them for the fall/winter.  We have both Yukon Gold and Red Norland available at $20 a bushel, a great price considering a bushel of potatoes weighs about 60 pounds!

Green Tomatoes:  We have lots of green tomatoes due to shutting down the greenhouse for the year.  They are at great prices, all sizes as they “must go!”  If you haven’t tried fried green tomatoes or other favorite recipes like green tomato pie, this is the time, as they are only 50 cents a pound or $6 for a half bushel.  Many of our customers get these annually for green tomato relish (this is the same relish you buy to put on brats or hot dogs–just google it and you’ll get many easy recipes to try.)

grentomres

Naturally grown produce from Becca: Looking for lettuce? It’s in the pop cooler! With the heat, I’ve begun sticking a lot of my greens in there, as well as carrots and occasionally some other things. As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you as often we sell out fast – 269 244 5690.

  • Sweet Peppers: Bell, Round of Hungary, Shishito, Poblano, and maybe a few other varieties.
  • Tomatillos
  • Jalapeno Peppers (25c/each), and Capperino Peppers (5/$1) from the hoophouse. These are like pimento (pimiento) peppers, just smaller. Great for shish kebabs, stuffing and pickling. Slightly spicy. though much less spicy than jalapenos.
  • Big Beef Slicer Tomatoes ($2.50/lb.), and a few Heirloom Tomatoes. I also have boxes of Plum Tomatoes which are sort of like a cross between a Roma and a Slicer…slicer flavor and texture but smaller and with few seeds.
  • Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Sakura Cherry Tomatoes, and Garden Peach Mini Tomatoes (yellow with a pink blush and a peach nose – truly wonderful on a sandwich).
  • Red Russian, Curly, Siberian and Tuscan Kale, $3/half lb. bag.
  • Lettuce. Very little until fall plantings come in – call ahead.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag or loose for $1/oz. Now is the time to order basil for pesto if you want it. Please call ahead with how much you’d like so we can make a bag for you. 269 244 5690.

The u-pick herb garden is open for u-pick at $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh! Some of the herbs are waning at the end of the summer, so ask if you can’t find something.  We know some of you just want to get your herbs already picked, so we are going to try to have some of the more popular herbs available picked and ready.

Brandy is available as is Cherries Jubilant Hard Cider and Kaiser Cyser (the traditional name for an apple-honey wine). Kaiser Cyser is a very strong-bodied wine, best served chilled. Both the cider and the cyser are now about ten months old. We will have open tasting at the market from 1pm-3pm on Saturday for people who would like to sample.

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew Brittle
  • Honey and Maple Syrup
  • Gift Items

From the Bakery:  This weekend we will have our Fresh Peach Glaze Pies. This will probably be the only weekend for them, so if you want one you need to come out on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday or feel free to call us and order ahead for these or anything else you might want.  269-244-5690.

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.
  • Fruit Pies: Peach, Apple, Blueberry,  Berry-peachy, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
  • “Take and Bake” Pies available in our freezer
  • Specialty Pies: Fresh Peach Glaze
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, Triple Berry, Double Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Crinkles
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Whole Grain,  and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry-Almond, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran, and Lemon-poppy seed
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies: Welch’s White Grape or our own Apple Cider

Fruit Outlook: 

  • Watermelon: late August or first week in September (we hope!)
  • Stanley Prune Plums: probably the last week of August. If you would like some of these to can, please call us and get added to our list, we’ll call you when they are ready. (269-244-5690)
  • Grapes: mid to late September
  • Apples: We feel fortunate to have a good fall crop this year  and will have them picked plus offer U-Pick.  They are coming along really well, these cool nights have given them time to grow and color up nicely. Below and in a special section on our website where you can refer to this as things change, is our projections on when they will be ready, plus other good info.
Jon-a-mac apples, won't these be fun to pick??!!

Jon-a-mac apples, won’t these be fun to pick??!!

Variety       Expected availability U-Pick Available Approximate Week Ready Should order in advance
Earli Blaze good all picked 23-Aug no
Molly’s Del good yes 31-Aug no
Gala Lots yes 7-Sep no
Jona Mac good yes 7-Sep no
Macintosh good yes 7-Sep no
Honey Crisp good no 14-Sep no
JonaGold few yes 21-Sep yes
Jonathon good yes 21-Sep no
Nu-Red few yes 21-Sep yes
Cameo good yes 28-Sep no
Cortland good yes 28-Sep no
Golden Delicious lots yes 28-Sep no
Northern Spy good yes 28-Sep no
Golden Supreme few no 5-Oct no
Ida Red few yes 5-Oct yes
Mutsu few yes 5-Oct yes
Red Delicious lots yes 5-Oct no
Rome lots yes 12-Oct no
Braeburn Few yes 19-Oct yes
Fuji good yes 21-Oct no
Pink Lady few yes 27-Oct yes

Happenings on the Farm This Week:

Peach brandy:  Many hands helped get the pits out of peaches and smash them for fermenting and today we ran a batch of peach brandy.

The annual “taking out the greenhouse” is quite a chore and always leaves us a bit sad about seeing it go.  This was the first year we have done our greenhouse tomatoes without Dad here to supervise us. We are pretty pleased with how many lovely greenhouse tomatoes we had.

It is quite a job to cut these plants down and "de-trellis" them

It is quite a job to cut these plants down and “de-trellis” them

Cleaned and ready for next year!

Cleaned and ready for next year!

Sunday morning, Beth hosted her 1975 TRHS classmates for breakfast who had their 40th reunion the evening before.  It was one sure way she could see everyone again without having to leave the farm!!! Many had not been back to the farm since graduation in 1975, so it was fun to have them see all of the changes since then plus hear all of their stories about coming to the farm in their childhood.
Of course none of us thought we had aged at all!!

Of course none of us thought we had aged at all!!

All of us at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local! We also thank Nancy H. for sharing the following peach cobbler recipe with us!
Here is a Peach Cobbler recipe I have made twice and family are in love with it.  It is from the Salt Lick restaurant in Austin, Tx.  Their recipe called for canned peaches (ick) and I substituted Corey Lake Orchard fresh peaches. -Nancy

Batter:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 c flour
1 c sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2/3 c room temperature milk
1 room temperature egg
Filling:
4/5 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
Melt butter and place in a 9×13 pan.  Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Stir in egg and milk.  Pour this mixture over melted butter in pan.  Mix sliced peaches with sugar and spices and spread over batter–DO NOT STIR.  Bake 34 to 45 min at 350 degrees or until golden brown.
All enjoy, Nancy H.

 

 

Things are just peachy here mid-week

Much to our surprise, our little peach trees produced more peaches than we originally expected, so finally we are able to sell them in larger quantities.  So, for a limited time only, we will have Flamin’ Fury peaches, which is a large, freestone, very sweet peach, available by the peck (1/4 of a bushel)  for $15 or 2 pecks (which is a half bushel) for $25.  This makes them $50 a bushel which is very competitive for what peaches are going for in the state.  I believe that Flamin’ Fury is the best peach that we grow!

Since we don’t know how long we will have them, it will be first come, first serve, but we will be happy to reserve them for you if you call us at 269-244-5690.

Beth

 

 

The Dog Days of Summer…

We warned you last week that the summer crops would be finished before we know it, and sadly, some of them are now gone–hard to believe we will need to wait another year to have fresh green beans and blueberries. Some folks have referred to the oppressive heat of this past week as the “dog days” of summer, which made me wonder where that phrase came from, so I looked into it. Originally the phrase referred to the the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.

To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year. The phrase “dog days” was translated from Latin to English about 500 years ago. Since then, the original meaning has been lost and it has taken on many new meanings, mostly used as a declaration by folks that it is really, really hot.  Hot enough that for those who work outside, it is almost unbearable. And for the average crop, it makes them grow really, really fast, which is why we have a field full of over-sized green beans and corn that matured too quickly making them inedible.

Conventionally-grown produce available at the market: 

  • Apples, Earli-Blaze (more info below)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Cut Flowers
  • Onions, very sweet in red, white and yellow varieties
  • Peaches (more info below)
  • Pears, Bartlett (more info below)
  • Peppers! A rainbow of Bell Peppers. Sweet Red Mini Peppers. Sweet Banana Peppers and Hot Hungarian Peppers.  Available by the bushel if you need them
  • Plums
  • PotatoesYukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
  • Shallots (more info below)
  • Summer Squash and Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Corn (our corn is gone for the year and we are carrying Stears corn, hopefully through Labor Day weekend, when it is available)
  • Tomatoes (we are now getting them from the field, finally!!)
  • Zucchini

Bartlett pears: We started picking our Bartlett pears this week, they are earlier than we had anticipated.  The Bartlett pear is a good eating and canning pear, very sweet and juicy. We did not have a very large crop this year, so with fewer pears on the tree, they are nice sized.  We will have them about a week.  If you have already called us to reserve bushels, you will be receiving a call that they are ready.If you would like to get some, please call the market and let us know how many you would want and we can save them for you. 269-244-5690. Pricing is $28 a bushel, $15 a half bushel, $9 a peck and we also have them in eating size quantities.

Earli-blaze apples:  This is one of our favorite summer apples and once you try it, you’ll want them every year. It is a tarty, crisp apple that can be eaten or used in pies or sauce. It is one of two apples that we use in the bakery exclusively for pies because we believe it makes such a wonderful pie. We have samples out, come try one! They are available by the bushel ($20) or in smaller eating quantities.

Peaches: The Red Haven peaches are gone for the year and we are now picking Coral Star and beginning to pick a few Flamin’ Fury, which will be our last August peach.  We have them in a one-quart box for $4 and a two-quart box for &7.50 and in pecks (1/4) bushel for $15.   We hope to have our peaches about one more week to 10 days.

Lindsey's daughter, enjoying a baby peach (Lindsey works in the bakery for us and on the market)

Lindsey’s daughter, enjoying a baby peach (Lindsey works in the bakery for us and on the market)

Tomatoes: Field tomatoes are coming in stronger now, while we continue to still pick beautiful tomatoes out of our greenhouse. We are taking orders for bushels of tomatoes, both firsts and seconds, and we will call you when they begin to come in – 269-244-5690. While we were hopeful that we would open the U-Pick field in about a week, this cool weather is going to slow them down again. Patience please, we want there to be good picking when we open the field, so it could even be a few more weeks. There are plenty of tomatoes there, it may be that you just have to wait until September.

Shallots: If you have never used a shallot, you should try them!  Many recipes call for these as they combine the best of scallions, garlic and onion. Most of us prefer using them in recipes that call for raw onions (dips and salsas) because their texture is smoother and their flavor creamier and more balanced than an onion’s. They also keep longer than onions, until April or even May.

Sarah hanging shallots up for drying

Sarah hanging shallots up for drying

Naturally grown produce from Becca: Looking for lettuce? It’s in the pop cooler! With the heat, I’ve begun sticking a lot of my greens in there, as well as carrots and occasionally some other things. As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you as often we sell out fast – 269 244 5690.

  • Sweet Peppers Bell, Round of Hungary, Shishito, Poblano, and maybe a few other varieties.
  • Leeks
  • Jalapeno Peppers (25c/each), and Capperino Peppers (5/$1) from the hoophouse. These are like pimento (pimiento) peppers, just smaller. Great for shish kebabs, stuffing and pickling. Slightly spicy. though much less spicy than jalapenos.
  • Big Beef Slicer Tomatoes ($2.50/lb.), and a few Heirloom Tomatoes. I also have boxes of Plum Tomatoes which are sort of like a cross between a Roma and a Slicer…slicer flavor and texture but smaller and with few seeds.
  • Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Sakura Cherry Tomatoes, and Garden Peach Mini Tomatoes (yellow with a pink blush and a peach nose – truly wonderful on a sandwich).
  • Red Russian, Curly, Siberian and Tuscan Kale, $3/half lb. bag.
  • Lettuce. I’ve got one more harvest to do this week, and afterwards lettuce may be in short supply until fall plantings come in.
  • Carrots, $3/lb. for large carrots and $1.50/lb. for small carrots. I grow several varieties, including yellow and white carrots! They are very sweet.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag or loose for $1/oz. Now is the time to order basil for pesto if you want it. Please call ahead with how much you’d like so we can make a bag for you. 269 244 5690.

The u-pick herb garden is open for u-pick at $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh! Some of the herbs are waning at the end of the summer, so ask if you can’t find something.  We know some of you just want to get your herbs already picked, so we are going to try to have some of the more popular herbs available picked and ready.

Brandy is available as is Cherries Jubilant Hard Cider and Kaiser Cyser (the traditional name for an apple-honey wine). Kaiser Cyser is a very strong-bodied wine, best served chilled. Both the cider and the cyser are now about ten months old. We will have open tasting at the market from 1pm-3pm on Saturday for people who would like to sample.

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew Brittle
  • Honey and Maple Syrup
  • Michigan made chips
  • Gift items

From the Bakery:   We are starting to make up “take and bake” pies, as many of you who are packing up to go home soon from the lake want to take the taste of a Corey Lake Orchards Pie home with you.  Ask about them when you are in the bakery (they are in the freezer).  Please feel free to call us and order ahead for what you might want.  269-244-5690.

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.
  • Fruit Pies: Peach, Apple, Blueberry,  Berry-peachy, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
  • Specialty Pies: Chocolate
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, triple berry, double chocolate chip, and Chocolate Crinkles
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Whole Grain,  and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry-Almond, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran, and Lemon-poppy seed
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies: Welch’s White Grape/Peach or our own Apple Cider

Fruit Outlook: 

  • Watermelon: late August (we hope)
  • Stanley Prune Plums: probably the last week of August. If you would like some of these to can, please call us and get added to our list, we’ll call you when they are ready. (269-244-5690)
  • Grapes: mid to late September
  • Apples: Fall apples probably mid to late September, we have a good crop and will have them picked plus offer U-Pick.  In next week’s update, we will provide a listing of the fall apples and approximate dates they will be ready.
So many Gala apples on the trees, U-Pick apples is going to be very fun this fall!

So many gala apples on the trees, U-Pick apples is going to be very fun this fall!

The Three Rivers Triathlon is Saturday, August 22nd. We are once again pleased to help sponsor this event and look forward to seeing the racers. There will be fresh fruit and donuts waiting for you when you finish. Good luck racers!! As always, we welcome you to try our own farm Triathlon if you are up to the challenge:

  • Event 1: Climb a 16 foot ladder with a picking bucket around one side of your body, fill the bucket which holds about 40 pounds of pears, climb down the ladder, hold the picking bucket over a large bin and ease the pears out into it.
  • Event 2: Carry bushels of potatoes (60 pounds each) on uneven surfaces across the field, across irrigation lines (oops watch for the mud) and to the waiting truck.
  • Event 3:  Carry 50 pound bags of flour and sugar into our bakery, must move around baskets of produce, open the door, and use squat positions to fill the lower shelves where we store it.

….No takers?

Happenings on the Farm This Week:

We harvested all of the Earli-blaze apples and the Bartlett pears, in those dreadfully hot days, which made the task even harder.  Picking pears is probably the most labor intensive job on our farm and we are thankful for the same crew who has been here for 15 plus years who do the job every year.  Once the pears are harvested, the market crew takes over to get them packaged in bushels all they way down to a 1-quart box for sale.

PIcking pears is such hard work, by the end of the day they feel like they have picked rocks.

PIcking pears is such hard work, by the end of the day they feel like they have picked rocks.

Terri making quart boxes of pears

Terri making quart boxes of pears

As we begin to gear up for fall, several annual jobs got started.  We had to clean our apple grader and get it ready for the season.  Any time we are sorting apples you are always welcome to come back and watch.  Our apple grader is probably 60 some years old and still going (thankfully!).  As we prepare for the apple harvest, making sure all of our apple bins are repaired and ready to go is a must.

Makala took on the task of deep cleaning the grader for the year, thanks!

Makala took on the task of deep cleaning the grader for the year, thanks!

David getting our apple boxes ready for the harvest.

David getting our apple boxes ready for the harvest.

This weekend we will have the corn in our corn crib for kids to enjoy. Check it out.  Also, our new corn hole games arrived this week courtesy a local artist and friend of the farm. Apparently there are rules, but you are welcome to ignore them and simply enjoy the game as you like to play it.

 

Teri sneaking away from the market to try her hand at corn hole.

Teri sneaking away from the market to try her hand at corn hole.

 

 

All  of us at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.

 

 

 

The bounty of August continues…..

We have an abundance of corn, melons, cucumbers and green beans right now—but these crops will be finished before we know it.  So, please come enjoy them while they are here and fresh.

Conventionally-grown produce available at the market: 

  • Apples, Jersey Mac and Lodi  (more info below)
  • Blueberries (more info below)
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe, (they are incredibly sweet this year because of the cool nights and dry weather—we have lots of them and have had a buy 2, get one free special on them this week which we hope to continue through the weekend if they remain plentiful)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cut Flowers
  • Green Beans, Picked or U-Pick
  • Onions, very sweet and red, white and yellow varieties
  • Peaches (more info below)
  • Peppers! A rainbow of green, orange, yellow, purple, and red bell peppers. Sweet red mini peppers. Sweet banana peppers and hot Hungarian peppers.
  • PotatoesYukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
  • Summer Squash and Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Corn (now available by the bushel as well)
  • Tomatoes (we are now getting them from the field, finally!!)
  • Zucchini

Peaches: Finally we are picking our small crop of Red Haven peaches. Hooray! Only about half of our Red Haven peach trees have any fruit on them, so we will only be able to sell them in small eating quantities: one-quart box for $4 and a two-quart box for &7.50. We are supplementing our Red Haven peaches with some from Schultz’s Fruitridge Farm in Mattawan. Our next variety, Coral Fury, should be ready in about another week to 10 days.

Picked and U-pick blueberries continue: 10-pound boxes: $25, 5-pound boxes: $13.50, quarts: $5 or pints: $3.00. The blueberry variety is now Liberty,  coming from Brookside Farms in Paw Paw, Michigan.  For picking your own blueberries, we would recommend Brookside Farms as a great place to go.  Their phone number is 269-657-3500 or find them online at:  http://brooksidefarmsmi.com/.    We have a few of our last variety left (Jersey’s, which is a very small but popular berry). If you are already here and want to try to pick a few, let us know.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes continue to be in short supply as our greenhouse tomatoes are ending and our field tomatoes are just starting.  We are taking orders for bushels of tomatoes, both firsts and seconds, and we will call you when they begin to come in – 269-244-5690. We will have U-Pick tomatoes when they get ripe…We will continue to update you, meanwhile patience is appreciated.

Naturally grown produce from Becca: Looking for lettuce? It’s in the pop cooler! With the summer heat, I’ve begun sticking a lot of my greens in there, as well as carrots and occasionally some other things. As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you as often we sell out fast – 269 244 5690.

  • A variety of Sweet Peppers (50c/each). Standard bell, sandpiper, round of Hungary, shishito, the first ancho poblanos, sweet Romani, and maybe a few others.
  • Jalapeno Peppers (25c/each), and Capperino Peppers (5/$1) from the hoophouse. These are like pimento (pimiento) peppers, just smaller. Great for shish kebabs, stuffing and pickling. Slightly spicy. though much less spicy than jalapenos.
  • Big Beef Slicer Tomatoes ($2.50/lb.), and a few Heirloom Tomatoes. I also have boxes of Plum Tomatoes which are sort of like a cross between a Roma and a Slicer…slicer flavor and texture but smaller and with few seeds.
  • Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes, Sakura Cherry Tomatoes, and Garden Peach Mini Tomatoes (yellow with a pink blush and a peach nose – truly wonderful on a sandwich).
  • Red Russian, Curly, Siberian and Tuscan Kale, $3/half lb. bag.
  • Lettuce. I’ve got one more harvest to do this week, and afterwards lettuce may be in short supply until fall plantings come in.
  • Carrots, $3/lb. for large carrots and $1.50/lb. for small carrots. I grow several varieties, including yellow and white carrots! They are all very sweet. Carrots are a surprising amount of work to grow, but every time I bite into a fresh carrot, it seems worth it. The flavor is just outstanding.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag or loose for $1/oz. Now is the time to order basil for pesto if you want it. Please call ahead with how much you’d like so we can make a bag for you. 269 244 5690.

The u-pick herb garden is open for u-pick at $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh! We know some of you just want to get your herbs already picked, so we are going to try to have some of the more popular herbs available picked and ready.

Brandy is available as is Cherries Jubilant Hard Cider and Kaiser Cyser (the traditional name for an apple-honey wine). Kaiser Cyser is a very strong-bodied wine, best served chilled. Both the cider and the cyser are now about ten months old. We will have open tasting at the market from 1pm-3pm on Saturday for people who would like to sample.

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew Brittle
  • Honey and Maple Syrup
  • Michigan made chips
  • Michigan-made Sanders Dark Chocolate Fruit Dip
  • Gift items
  • Gift baskets:  We often get requests to create a gift basket for someone’s special day, feel free to call us if you would like something created.
A birthday basket we made up last week

A birthday basket we made up last week

From the Bakery:  Whew, you have kept us busy making pies, please feel free to call us and order ahead.  269-244-5690.

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.
  • Fruit Pies: Peach, Apple, Blueberry,  Cherry Berry, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
  • Specialty Pies: Fresh Blueberry Glaze, Coconut Cream.
  • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, triple berry, double chocolate chip, and Chocolate Crinkles
  • Bread: Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Whole Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry-Almond, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran, and Lemon-poppy seed
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies: Welch’s White Grape/Peach or our own Apple Cider
Having trouble keeping up with peach pie demand!

Having trouble keeping up with peach pie demand!

Fruit Outlook: 

  • Watermelon: mid to late August
  • Plums: Some eating varieties around mid- August, but the Stanley prune plums probably the last week of August. If you would like some of these to can, please call us and get added to our list, we’ll call you when they are ready. (269-244-5690)
  • Pears: late August, probably the last week. Please call to get on our Bartlett pear bushel list (269-244-5690)
  • Apples: Fall apples probably mid to late September (Earli-Blaze apples sooner)
  • Grapes: mid to late September
There are so many plums on the  tree the branches can barely support them

There are so many plums on the tree the branches can barely support them

Happenings on the Farm This Week:

Hard to believe summer is almost over and apple season will soon be here. What a wonderful time to be on the farm. We can truly eat the rainbow every day, tomatoes, red potatoes, cantaloupe, peaches, cucumbers, kale, blueberries, onions and purple cauliflower…it’s absolutely stunning to look out over the market at the beautiful produce with the lake in the background. Between huge onion, corn, and melon harvests we love seeing kids on the playground enjoying the last few weeks of summer, before you know what…

One of the most interesting parts of the market is all the peppers this time of year! Of course, most people are familiar with bell peppers and jalapenos. Capperinos, a hot cherry pepper that’s great for stuffing and kebabs, are less well-known.

Sweet corn is hitting its prime. Now is a great time to buy it to can or freeze. I’ve been playing with new ways to use sweet corn – a new recipe, spicy corn soup, joins an old favorite (corn fritters). We had so much come in this week we were able to pick and donate over 100 bushels to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes. Since they’re the central food bank for our region, they were able to come pick it up in their truck, and they will be able to distribute it to smaller local banks.

We’ve only got two more markets days at Texas Township Farmers Market, so if you’re one of our customers in Kalamazoo County try and catch us there.

We’re in full planning mode for fall, so much to get ready in so short of a time—so we’ll take a deep breath and somehow, just like always, we will have everything ready in time.  Meanwhile, do enjoy the bounty and colors of August.

All  of us at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.

 

The Smells of Summer: Fresh Sweet Corn, Newly Dug Onions, Vine-Ripe Melon, and Peach Pie

August is the month where the market starts to “burst at the seams” as we try to find spots to put out the produce that comes in each day. The medley of bright colors, smells, textures, shapes and sizes of the summer bounty adorns the market. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, just ask, as it may just be in a different spot than it was last time you were here.

Conventionally-grown produce available at the market: 

  • Apples, Jersey Mac and Lodi  (more info below)
  • Blueberries (more info below)
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe, (added a new variety this year called “sugar cube”, they are personal size melons for 1!)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cut Flowers
  • Green Beans, Picked or U-Pick
  • Onions, very sweet and red, white and yellow varieties
  • Peaches (more info below)
  • Peppers! Bell Peppers, Sweet Banana Peppers, and Hot Hungarian Peppers
  • PotatoesYukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
  • Summer Squash and Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Corn (now available by the bushel as well)
  • Tomatoes (still from the greenhouse, no field tomatoes yet (more info below)
  • Zucchini
Cathy putting out the new variety of cantaloupe we are growing called "'Sugarcube"

Cathy putting out the new variety of cantaloupe we are growing called “‘Sugarcube”

Peaches: Finally we are picking our small crop of Red Haven peaches. Hooray! Only about half of our Red Haven peach trees have any fruit on them, so we will only be able to sell them in small eating quantities: one-quart box for $4, a two-quart box for &7.50 and possibly some pecks (price is to be determined).  We will be picking them tomorrow (Friday 8-7) and thus, hope to have them that afternoon and over the weekend. After we sell these Red Havens, there will be a gap until our next variety ripens.

Lodi Apples: They are all harvested and in our cooler, so this is the end of them. This variety makes a delightful tart applesauce and can be used in pies, breads and other recipes. Summer apples are not “keepers” so once you get this apple, you want to refrigerate it and use it soon. They are priced at: $20 a bushel, $12 a half-bushel, $7 a peck, or a half-peck bag for $4. We’ll also have samples for those of you who want to try this mouth-puckering apple.

Picked and U-pick blueberries continue: 10-pound boxes: $25, 5-pound boxes: $13.50, quarts: $5 or pints: $3.00. The blueberry variety is now Draper, which is a nice large, sweet berry that keeps very well, coming from Brookside Farms in Paw Paw, Michigan.  For picking your own blueberries, we would recommend Brookside Farms as a great place to go.  Their phone number is 269-657-3500 or find them online at:  http://brooksidefarmsmi.com/.    We have a few of our last variety left (Jersey’s, which is a very small but popular berry). If you are already here and want to try to pick a few, let us know.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are going to be in short supply for a while as our greenhouse tomatoes are ending and our field tomatoes are simply not turning red. As many of you know, my Dad prided himself on having the first tomatoes in the state ready, looks like now we might get an award for the latest tomatoes ever. We are taking orders for bushels of tomatoes, both firsts and seconds, and we will call you when they begin to come in – 269-244-5690. We will have U-Pick tomatoes when they get ripe…which they eventually did last year so we assume they will this year. We will continue to update you, meanwhile patience is appreciated.

Naturally grown produce from Becca: Looking for lettuce? It’s in the pop cooler! With the summer heat, I’ve begun sticking a lot of my greens in there, as well as carrots and occasionally some other things. As always, my produce is grown with organic standards in mind without synthetic chemicals. If you want, call ahead and we’ll set some aside for you as often we sell out fast – 269 244 5690.

  • Green Beans from the hoophouse, $3/lb., last ones of the season as I pulled the plants to seed fall and winter produce!
  • Bell Peppers ($1/each), Jalapeno Peppers ($0.25/each), and Capperino Peppers (5/$1) from the hoophouse. These are like pimento (pimiento) peppers, just smaller. Great for shish kebabs, stuffing and pickling. Slightly spicy. though much less spicy than jalapenos.
  • Big Beef Slicer Tomatoes ($2.50/lb.), and a few Heirloom Tomatoes. I also have boxes of Plum Tomatoes which are sort of like a cross between a Roma and a Slicer…slicer flavor and texture but smaller and with few seeds.
  • Red Russian, Curly, Siberian and Tuscan Kale, $3/half lb. bag.
  • Lettuce. After this weekend, lettuce may be in short supply until fall plantings come in.
  • Carrots, $3/lb. for large carrots and $1.50/lb. for small carrots. I grow several varieties, including yellow and white carrots! They are all very sweet. Carrots are a surprising amount of work to grow, but every time I bite into a fresh carrot, it seems worth it. The flavor is just outstanding.
  • Basil from the hoophouse and from the field, $1/bag or loose for $1/oz. Now is the time to order basil for pesto if you want it. Please call ahead with how much you’d like so we can make a bag for you. 269 244 5690.

The u-pick herb garden is open for u-pick at $1/bag, look for the bags and scissors hanging on the large bird overlooking the garden. Bring your recipes and pick them fresh! We know some of you just want to get your herbs already picked, so we are going to try to have some of the more popular herbs available picked and ready.

Brandy is available as is Cherries Jubilant Hard Cider and Kaiser Cyser (the traditional name for an apple-honey wine). Kaiser Cyser is a very strong-bodied wine, best served chilled. Both the cider and the cyser are now about ten months old. We will have open tasting at the market from 1pm-3pm on Saturday for people who would like to sample.

Other Local Products:

  • Thick Greek-style yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cards
  • Pecan and Cashew Brittle
  • Honey and Maple Syrup
  • Michigan made chips
  • Michigan-made Sanders Dark Chocolate Fruit Dip
  • Gift items

With our previous meat supplier, Drakes, unable to supply us, we are going to take the winter to find a new supplier, so we will not have meat for the rest of this year. Our deepest apologies. There is a lot of regulation around this to ensure consumer safety, and we want to make sure we get you high quality products.

From the Bakery:  Our update will be brief this week as with the news of peach pie finally available, there really is nothing more to add! This weekend in the bakery we will also have:

  • Donuts: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Cherry, Buttermilk and Blueberry.  
  • Fruit Pies: Peach, Apple, Blueberry,  Cherry Berry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Rhubarb
  • Specialty Pies: Fresh Blueberry Glaze
  • Cookies: Zucchini-Chocolate Chip, Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses and Chocolate Crinkles
  • Bread: Blueberry-Zucchini, Cinnamon, Whole Wheat, Vegetable, Honey Oatmeal, Italian, Whole Grain, Tuscan, and Hamburger Buns/Hot Dog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns
  • Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry-Almond, Pistachio, Wildberry, Raisin Bran, and Lemon-poppy seed
  • Dessert Bars: Cream Cheese Cookie, Caramel Brownie, Mississippi Mud, Tiramisu, Lemon, Chocolate Truffle, Peanut Butter Mousse Brownie, Chocolate Caramel Mousse Brownie
  • Frozen Slushies: Welch’s White Grape/Peach or our own Apple Cider
 Fruit Outlook: 
  • Watermelon: mid to late August
  • Plums: Some eating varieties around mid- August, but the Stanley prune plums probably the last week of August. If you would like some of these to can, please call us and get added to our list, we’ll call you when they are ready. (269-244-5690)
  • Pears: late August, probably the last week. Please call to get on our Bartlett pear bushel list (269-244-5690)
  • Apples: Fall apples probably mid to late September (Earli-Blaze apples sooner)
  • Grapes: mid to late September

Happenings on the farm this week:

Thank you to the family who donated some great little trucks, tractors, and wagons to our new corn crib area (still trying to find the corn). For all of the little ones who have asked this week if they can play with them, the answer is of course!

We hosted our friends from Camp Tavor who did their annual bike ride from Chicago to the camp across the lake from us.

tavorres

The USDA’s farm service team was back again this week to conduct more training on the farm, using their new GPS backpack technology.

The Farm Service Agency team measuring our sweet corn field with back pack GPS

The Farm Service Agency team measuring our sweet corn field with back pack GPS

It’s National Farmers Market Week.  So here is a huge thank you to Becca and her Mom for all they do to get our baked goods and produce to  the Texas Township Farmers Market on Tuesday.  Also, our thanks to Rob V and the team from The Huss Project (and *culture is not optional) for taking our baked goods and produce to the Thursday Three Rivers Farmers Market.  Last, a thank you to the many customers who find us at the farmers market and also come visit us at our farm location.

With so many items to harvest, this is our main activity each day. Because we pick everything fresh for the day, the dedicated crew brings in multiple loads each morning. Right now the afternoons are spent beginning to harvest the 45,000 onion sets we planted. Each onion is pulled, bundled together and then tied.  Then we hang them in the market and the “onion barn.” The purpose of this is to cure them so they will keep for a long time (usually 4 – 5 months.)   Once they dry in 2 – 3 weeks, we will pull them back down and bag them. You are welcome to buy them by the bunch and hang them in your own dry area to finish drying if you would like.

A load of onions coming in to be hung

A load of onions coming in to be hung

Yesterday I hung the onions on the market. The pungent smell and dirt flying in my face as I lifted them onto the same nails that have been there for 40 some years, brought back memories of hanging them with Dad. When Dad harvested the onions, he commandeered  a large crew and set out on a mission to “get the job done.”  They would harvest most of the day, then bring in truck loads by mid afternoon. The crew would have two fork lifts going across the market and would be hanging them at a feverish pace,  with dirt and onion skins flying, oblivious to the customers trying to shop who quickly figured out they better stay out of the way!

Then there was Mom, cringing at the level of activity decimating her orderly market.  I don’t recall any customer being upset about the mess on those afternoons, in fact, they were actually quite fascinated to watch the market be transformed. For Dad, harvest was the priority, for Mom, it was always about the customers and the market. While their two missions may have seemed in conflict on onion-hanging days, in reality they were the same. For Dad, growing and harvesting a worthy crop was all about the customer, despite his methods of getting it on the market!

I choose to hang the onions a bit differently. Several of the market clerks help me do a section at a time, we use a small step stool instead of a noisy lift truck, and we clean up as we go, very mindful of the customers in the area! We try not to hang a bundle where someone’s head will knock into it. In continuing my parent’s legacy, I have had to take on both of their roles. We all work very hard to please our customers and we hope that it shows.

As always, everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. Hope to see you out at the farm soon.