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

Monthly Archive: December 2015

Happy New Year! All the best for 2016!

While we are officially closed for the year, we still have items if you need them and we can make an appointment:  brandy, wine, hard ciders, frozen apple pies and a few Fuji apples. Just call us at 269-244-5690.

We do have an abundance of naturally grown produce coming out of Becca’s hoophouse.  After  indulging in many sweet and rich foods over the holidays, I find myself craving something fresh, green, healthy and homegrown!  This is the first winter for the hoophouse, and it literally takes my breath away when I walk in to be amongst such beautiful, growing  produce.   I am really enjoying trying to find new ways to use spinach and kale and it finds itself on my plate daily in some form!

Naturally Grown Produce:  If you’d like to buy some, please call ahead and let us know what you want (269 244 5690) or check out the small table/fridge at World Fare in downtown Three Rivers where we are stocking it with kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions, carrots, and more as Becca harvests this winter. With the winter roads and snow around the market, this is another way for you to access fresh produce from the hoophouse plus do your other shopping in downtown Three Rivers. We’re also happy to reserve items for you and put your name on them in the fridge, just give us a call at 269 244 5690.

Happenings on the farm: We finished trimming all of the purple Concord grapes and have now started the Niagaras. The weather cooperated by finally getting cold so we could start these sensitive grapes. The lack of snow is actually helping us to find and save potential new trunks for our plants where the last several winters have killed off the main trunk. Tedious, slow, but such necessary work.

Becca wanders up to the brandy house daily to check on ciders and experiment with meads, when not tending to the hoophouse. From Becca:

A big thank you to stepdad Marshall who helped anchor the west wall of the hoophouse. Heavy winds all year had shifted the wall east about an inch! Looks like this issue is now taken care of. There are still a few things I’d like to do to make sure a heavy snowload doesn’t collapse the arches…it’s really overwhelming to think that a wet, heavy snow could easily load 10 tons of weight onto the frame. (The greenhouse where we grow our tomatoes has a arch design with about 30% more steel in the frame, so it’s a lot stronger and far less worrisome in winter conditions.)

During the winter, certain plants keep growing (like onions, lettuce, spinach, and kale) while other plants stay in hibernation…making the hoophouse a sort of walk-in refrigerator. Of course, there’s still lots of weeding to do, which is something we try and do on warm days when it can be 65-70 inside the house!

Like Batman, Becca has her own Fortress of Solitude.

Like Batman, Becca has her own Fortress of Solitude.

A living refrigerator, complete with specialty long radishes.

A living refrigerator, complete with specialty long radishes.

 

As the calendar turns to the new year, we are well in the midst of planning for this upcoming season.  Lots of reflection time of what we did well last year, what we need to work on, what we didn’t get done, what’s on our wish list, and most important, what we could do to enhance the experience for our customer.  And of course, a winter favorite, perusing the seed catalogs!  The greenhouse tomato seeds have been ordered and will be planted next week in order for you to enjoy a BLT in late April and May!

Happy New Year from everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Happy Holidays from all of us at Corey Lake Orchards!

While we are officially closed for the year, we still have items that you may be interested in, especially for the holiday season and will be happy to meet up with you by appointment (269-244-5690).  Here’s what we have:

Apples: Fuji:  These are the best keeping apples, so they are still crisp with the sweet/tart hints in each bite.   Pricing is$24 a bushel, $13 1/2 bushel, $7 peck or $4 for a 1/2 peck. 

Naturally Grown Produce:

It is absolutely delightful to be eating fresh spinach, kale and beautiful lettuce from Becca’s hoophouse this time of year. If you’d like to buy some, please call ahead and let us know what you want (269 244 5690) or check out the small table/fridge  at World Fare in downtown Three Rivers where we are stocking it with kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions, carrots, and more as Becca harvests this winter. We have some apples, potatoes, and black beans there as well. With the winter roads and snow around the market, this is another way for you to access fresh produce from the hoophouse plus do your other shopping in downtown Three Rivers. We’re also happy to reserve items for you and put your name on them in the fridge, just give us a call at 269 244 5690.

Mixed lettuces for a beautiful winter salad.

Mixed lettuces for a beautiful winter salad.

Brandy, Wine and Hard Ciders: For those people who are difficult to buy gifts for, this might be a nice idea. Or, if you are interested in a tasting/tour to get the family out of the house, please call us to set up an appointment: 269-244-5690.

Bakery Pies: The bakery is closed for the year as well–but we still have frozen apple pies for sale (with instructions on how to bake it yourself). It is our Northern Spy apple pie and would be perfect at your holiday table.  The bakery staff has been busier than Santa’s elves lately, today is their last day and pie making will be  done for the year, they have finished about 500 pies.  Thank you bakery staff!

Our bakery staff has been at it all week--look at the love and care that goes into our pies!

Our bakery staff has been at it all week–look at the love and care that goes into our pies!

Happenings on the farm: We are continuing the pruning of the concord grapes and expect to finish by the end of December, right on time, thanks trimming crew!  Then we’re not sure what to do as our white grapes need it to be much colder than this before we start, so okay, where is winter?  Our trees and vineyards are ready for their long winter’s nap.

Beth and Denim checking on the grape trimming progress, look at the pile of vines on the ground!

Beth and Denim checking on the grape trimming progress, look at the pile of vines on the ground!

Freshly trimmed apple orchard waiting for the real winter to come....who missed this apple??

Freshly trimmed apple orchard waiting for the real winter to come….who missed this apple??

Winter maintenance has started on all of the equipment and David has a regular parade going of implements coming in and out of the shop.

This lift tractor has been a favorite over the years but needs some serious work

This lift tractor has been a favorite over the years but needs some serious work

Last week, many of us attended the Great Lakes Expo held annually in Grand Rapids.  This is a 4-day  fruit, vegetable and farm marketing/agritourism conference that is one of the largest in the nation.  Our heads are full of new and reinforced learnings about fruit and vegetable growing, greenhouse and hoophouse production, hard cider, sweet cider, farm market and bakery sessions.     We are eager to try out some new things for 2016 that we took away–so stay tuned!

Beth checking out (and tasting!) new apple varieties.

Beth checking out (and tasting!) new apple varieties.

Emma-Grace attended the baking session with her Mom and Grandmother, starting her out at an early age!

Emma-Grace attended the baking session with her Mom and Grandmother, starting her out at an early age!

Merry Christmas and we wish you a joyful and peaceful holiday season!   Thank you for buying local!  Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Lettuce, Kale, Spinach – Eat Fresh This Winter!

While we are officially closed for the year, we still have items that you may be interested in and will be happy to meet up with you by appointment (269-244-5690). Some of you may be still feeling the after-effects of Thanksgiving, perhaps finding yourselves in the mood for some fresh produce or needing to find wines, brandies, or a pie to take to an upcoming event. If so, we can help you! Here’s what we have:

Apples: Red Rome, Jonathan, Fuji, Golden Red Delicious:  All size bags are buy one–get one free until they are gone for the year with the exception of Fuji which are normal priced.  Pricing is$24 a bushel, $13 1/2 bushel, $7 peck or $4 for a 1/2 peck. 

Naturally Grown Produce:

It is absolutely delightful to be eating fresh spinach, kale and beautiful lettuce from Becca’s hoophouse this time of year. If you’d like to buy some, please call ahead and let us know what you want (269 244 5690). My favorite salad this time of year is simple: sliced apples, walnuts and blue cheese chunks added to greens with a simple vinaigrette made of mixing olive oil and balsamic vinegar (1/2 and 1/2 portions). I have also found a great recipe for spinach-kale pasta which I have made three times now in the last week and loved by everyone who tried it. It’s comfort food that is actually healthy!!  Note from Becca: I don’t normally like pasta dishes but I love this one…Note from Becca to Beth: feel free to bring me lunch tomorrow. 🙂

Mixed lettuces for a beautiful winter salad.

Mixed lettuces for a beautiful winter salad.

Spinach growing strong on December 3rd.

Spinach growing strong on December 3rd.

Becca also has a small table/fridge at World Fare in downtown Three Rivers and stocking it with kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes, onions, carrots, and more as she harvests this winter. We have some apples, potatoes, and black beans there as well. With the winter roads and snow around the market, this is another way for you to access fresh produce from the hoophouse. We’re also happy to reserve items for you and put your name on them in the fridge, just give us a call at 269 244 5690.

Brandy, Wine and Hard Ciders: For those people who are difficult to buy gifts for, this might be a nice idea. Or, if you are interested in a tasting/tour to get the family out of the house, please call us to set up an appointment: 269-244-5690.

Bakery Pies: The bakery is closed for the year as well–abut we still have frozen apple pies for sale (with instructions on how to bake it yourself). It is our Northern Spy apple pie and would be perfect at your holiday table.

Happenings on the farm: We finally have finished pruning the apples and are focusing on pruning the concord grapes. So if you drive by you may see us working or on some of these warm days (which are not normal in December) if you have your  window open you will hear “snip, snip, snip”  as we cut away the old and leave what we hope are the perfect vines for a great 2016 crop!

 

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards