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

Labor Day Weekend: U-Pick Apples & Plums, Summer’s Bounty, Fall Begins

Happy Labor Day Weekend! We will be open all weekend from 8 – 6 every day, including Monday.  The market is chock full as both summer and fall produce adorn the shelves, and we will be opening u-pick for apples and plums.

Conventionally-grown produce available at the market: 

  • Apples (more info below)
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Cut Flowers
  • Eggplant
  • Melons (both Cantaloupe and Watermelon)
  • Mums:  Large decorative ones to small ones, all colors
  • Onions, very sweet in red, white and yellow varieties
  • 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 (more info below)
  • PotatoesYukon Gold, Red Norland, Russets 
  • 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 and mini-tomatoes (special on 1/2 bushels of green tomatoes:  $5)
  • U-Pick tomatoes:  See info below

Apples are here!

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time.
  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
  • Jon-A-Mac:  This is a good cooking or eating apple.  It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan apple and a McIntosh.
  • Earli-blaze:  This is a good cooking or eating apple, and it particularly makes a wonderful apple pie. We sell this apple to bakeries (including our own) for apple pie. (These apples are specially priced at $20 a bushel)
  • 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. We are starting to bring a few in and will have some this weekend, sold by the pound only.($2)

Apple Pricing for the year:  Our apple pricing will be the same as last year, and is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples will be: $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 forecast below and at our apple page, which we’ll update throughout the sea0son.

Apples: Exciting news! We are opening up u-pick apples this weekend for you to be able to pick your own.  The varieties available will be:  Gala, Jon-A-Mac, and Molly’s Delicious. We know that many of you will be around for the weekend and would like to have the “apple picking experience” with your family, especially so the kids can have apples they picked themselves for their lunch box and to give to their teacher !! (Do they still do that??)

  • Apple picking will be available on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday, during the hours we are open which is 8 until 6.  We need everyone checked out by 6, so you must be in the apple orchard by 5:30 to be able to pick.   Please check in at the market to get directions and a bag to pick them in.
  • After this weekend, the U Pick will close again until more apples are ready, please check back for a date probably mid to the end of September.

    Who wants to pick Jon-a-Mac apples this weekend from this tree??!!

    Who wants to pick Jon-a-Mac apples this weekend from this tree??!!

    Stanley prune plums are ready!  This purple plum is an old time favorite with juicy, sweet yellow flesh, good for eating and expecially good for canning because it is free-stone.  We have samples available for you to try! The plums also make great dried fruit–prunes.  We have them picked or you can pick your own this holiday weekend–Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday during our normal hours. Pricing is:  $40 a bushel, $22 a half-bushel, $12 a peck (1/4 bushel), 2-quart box:  $6 and 1-quart box:  $3.

    Granddaughter Emma Grace thinks the plums are delicious!

    Granddaughter Emma Grace thinks the plums are delicious!

    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.

    Peaches: We have picked our last main peach of the year and will only have them a few more days.  We will have one more late peach which will be ready in mid-September, which will be available in small eating quantities only.  It is going to be hard to not have these great peaches to eat, isn’t it?? They were really good this year and we appreciate all of you who came and got some.

    Tomatoes: We have had to make a difficult decision on our U-Pick tomatoes.  We are sorry to inform you that we are not going to be able to open for U-Pick this year after all. We are very concerned about the tomato blight that is rapidly spreading through home gardens and other farms in our area and throughout the state. We have a small amount of it starting on ours and we need to protect the health of our plants, as right now, our tomatoes are beautiful. The blight is so prevalent in Michigan there is a website and map which tracks where it is and how bad it is (if you are interested!!). Working against us right now is the weather, the hot-humid days and some cool nights are the worst…the blight spreads from plant to plant by contact, which is why we will not be able to have U-Pick; many people touching the tomatoes spreads the disease.

    We are sorry as many of you have been waiting to pick tomatoes here as you do every year. We will still have tomatoes (we anticipate there are over 300 bushel out there that need to ripen and be picked). Instead of Pick-Your-Own, we will pick them for you! The U-Pick tomato price this year was going to be $14 a bushel, so we will pick first quality tomatoes, for $17 a bushel ($2 savings from the $19 price we had set for picked tomatoes). Or you can sign up on our seconds list (we have limited quantities of these, for $13 a bushel)

    If you are one of the customers that has been waiting to pick, please call the market at 269-244-5690 and we have started a special list for this. When you call, please tell us how many you are looking to get, when you ideally would like them, and how to contact you.  Weather permitting, we expect most of the tomatoes to ripen over the next several weeks allowing us to fill orders. We will begin to fill these orders along with the other orders we had been taking for picked tomatoes.

    We apologize for this and are doing our very best in this situation to be fair and accommodate everyone with tomatoes! Unfortunately, we cannot help what Mother Nature does sometimes.

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

    Really, Really, the tomatoes are there, I estimate about 300+ bushels!!

    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!

    If you have not taken the opportunity to walk around the terrace garden, we invite you to do so! It is always open to customers. Right now, most flowers are in bloom and look wonderful.

    The terrace garden is in full bloom.

    The terrace garden is in full bloom.

    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. After this weekend, I will have to clean out my hoophouse and with it most of my tomato plants, so this may be your last opportunity to get naturally-grown slicers or little orange cherry tomatoes from me.

    • 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. We will also be premiering a blueberry mead this weekend. It is sweeter with a milder flavor than the cyser.

    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 in the bakery we will have fresh pear pies. With pears being in season, this is a great time to enjoy this unique and wonderful pie! We will also have pecan pies and we are changing to our fall donut flavors which are apple cider, pumpkin, and buttermilk. (We have been listening—you have been asking for these for weeks!!) If you are going to have a holiday BBQ don’t forget we make hamburger and hotdog buns. Please feel free to call ahead and order, especially large orders for your get-togethers. 269-244-5690.

    • Donuts: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday: Apple cider, Pumpkin, Buttermilk. 
    • Fruit Pies: Peach, pear,  Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
    • “Take and Bake” Pies available in our freezer
    • Specialty Pies: Pecan
    • Cookies: Cut Out, Monster, Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, Triple Berry, 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 or our own Apple Cider

    Grape Update: We will take a sugar sample of grapes the week of 9-14, then hopefully we can determine an opening date for both the purple Concords and the white Niagara’s. Best guess now is the  white grapes could be ready the week of 9-21 and the purple grapes the week of 9-28. But it depends on the weather. Before we open, we will want them to be at their full ripeness and sugar content. Please check back with us after September 16th. We will be giving you more information on grape picking and pricing next week.

    Apple Estimate Chart:

    Variety       Expected availability U-Pick Available Approximate Week Ready Should order in advance
    Earli Blaze good all picked ready now no
    Molly’s Del good yes ready now no
    Gala Lots yes ready now no
    Jona Mac good yes ready now no
    Macintosh good yes 7-Sep no
    Honey Crisp good no Some ready now 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:  Keeping this update short as this week has been a tough one with the heat and need to harvest so many things. So, it has been a busy week for sure, with many preparations in motion to be ready for this 4 day holiday weekend, so properly named “Labor” Day!

    This Labor Day will mark the 10th year since the loss of Allene Hubbard, my mother who started this beautiful farm market. We all work hard to honor her legacy by maintaining the market in the spirit she imparted to all of us. Thank you to all of the customers who continue to think of her and share her memory with us.

    Here’s wishing everyone a safe and good holiday weekend.  We thank all of you for buying local and hope to see you out at the farm this weekend!

    Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards