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

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.