This holiday weekend, along with all of you, we’d like to extend our appreciation to our veterans and active service members for all that they have given and sacrificed. We’d like to treat any veteran or active service member who comes to the market over the weekend and on Memorial Day to a free cake donut. (Yes we will be open our normal hours of 8 until 6 on Memorial Day.)
The most frequently asked question has turned to “when will strawberries be ready?” If this heat continues, we might have some already picked strawberries available on the market this next weekend (June 4/5). Our best guess is that U-PIck strawberries would be ready the week of June 13th. But….it could move up or back depending on the weather. e will keep you updated.
- Asparagus pricing is the same as last year: $2.25 a pound, 10# or more in bulk, goes to $2.00 a pound. Our purple asparagus is the same price, so make sure to try it.
- With the heat, we have plenty of asparagus….this is the time to stock up for canning or freezing. It is beautiful right now and because it has not rained, it is easier to clean. Please call ahead if you can and want more than 20 pounds and we can get it ready for you. 269-244-5690
Rhubarb is ready! Available now for $2.50 a pound. If you need large quantities, please order ahead.
Greenhouse cucumbers are coming in almost daily now. Sorry, but greenhouse tomatoes are coming on very slowly. We will be picking only two or three days a week. Need to give us a few more weeks until we have them regularly on the market. (We hope!)
Bedding Plants: All of our plants are now in, including the vine crops: watermelon, squash, cantaloupe and cucumbers!
- Vegetable Plants: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, chard, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi. We have a great selection of pepper plants (bell, mini, and hot peppers), eggplant, summer squash, winter squash, cucumbers.
- Tomato Plants: Our tomato plants are ready! We have many varieties to choose from, including normal size, mini tomatoes, and heirloom. Our tomato plants are some of the best you will find, grown with high quality seeds in a good greenhouse environment.
- Annual Flowers: asters, cosmos, gomphrena, impatiens, lobelia, marigolds, morning glories, nasturtium, ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, petunias, salvia, snapdragons, verbena, vinca, and zinnias. There are different colors and heights to choose from.
- Herbs (sold individually): basil, dill, lemon balm, many mints, oregano, thyme, sweet marjoram, parsley and many more.
- Potted plants including hanging flowers, herb arrangements, and large pepper and tomato pots for your patio, both regular and mini tomatoes.
Becca’s Produce: Lettuce, spinach, kale, and carrots. We also have a limited amount of leeks (please call ahead and order them). As always, Becca’s produce is naturally grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. We have really enjoyed having fresh spinach all winter, and it has been just beautiful. While we thought the spinach would go with this heat–we are still able to pick it, so enjoy it while it is here.
Bakery Update: We have been busy baking up many items for this holiday weekend, our usual items plus a number of new things we are trying. (See these in bold print below.) The bakery staff is eager for you to try them out and give us your feedback. If you would like us to save something for you feel free to call us at 269-244-5690 and we will gladly set it back for you!
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, and Oatmeal Raisin
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry Rhubarb and Rhubarb. We will also have Chocolate, Choco-butter, and Peanut Butter cream pies available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Bread: Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Vegetable and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns, Hot Dog Buns, and Focaccia Bread . We are partnering with La Brea bakery on the following new breads: Semolina Cheese, Rosemary Olive Oil, Roasted Garlic Loaf, and Toasted Sunflower Honey.
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
- Assorted Dessert Bars
- Mini Cupcakes
- Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Pistachio, Wild berry, Lemon Poppy Seed, Raisin Bran, and a new Banana Nut
- Donuts: We will have our Blueberry, Buttermilk, and Cherry cake donuts available Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday for Memorial Day. We will also have our chocolate iced yeast donut rings as well as two new yeast donuts: Bavarian Cream filled Long Johns and Raspberry filled Bismarks.
Brandy and hard cider: We have our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular apple brandy.
This weekend we will have Corey Lake Orchards Sweet Cider and Corey Lake Orchards Dry Cider for sale. We also have Double Cherry Wine, as well as our Tart Cherry Hard Cider. We have a new sweet Strawberry Hard Cider made with Corey Lake Orchards strawberries! We also have Hopped Hard Cider, which many of you tried and enjoyed when we debuted it last year. If you’d like to try before you buy, we’ll have free tasting and tours in the brandy house from 1 to 3 on Saturday.
This week the Corey Lake Orchards team gathered after hours in the brandy room for an educational session put on by our head brandy maker, Bruce. Bruce gave the history of the distillery, showed us how the equipment produced the products, and then poured samples of each product so everyone could better understand how they smelled, how they tasted and which ones tickled our tongue. Becca explained the wines and hard ciders she is making, and gave us a preview of additional ones that will be coming yet this year. Healthy snacks, using produce from the farm, rounded out a very pleasant evening for all of us. We all left better prepared to help our customers make a selection.
IF you are able, we highly recommend you try one of our Saturday tasting/tour sessions as the best way to determine which product you would enjoy. Customers have such a good time and bring others back to enjoy this experience. If you would like to bring a group and can’t make the Saturday timeslot, leave a message at the market for Bruce and he’ll work to try to fit you into a different time.
Local Products: We try to offer as many local and Michigan made products as we can. Our market is beginning to fill out with some of these:
- Meat from Mill Lake Farms, http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/other-products/mill-lake-farm-meats/.
- Yogurt from Mattawan Creamery
- Unique cards made by 3 area artists
- “flatware” flowers and lady bugs made by our neighbor
- Honey and maple syrup
- Ruth’s pecan and cashew brittle
- Ladd’s Jalapeno mustard (made with peppers grown here)
- Artisan Cheese from Remy Pecot, (Benton Harbor)
- Michigan shaped chairs with matching Upper Peninsula tables (Kalamazoo)
- Eggs (Kalamazoo)
- Detroit Coffee Company coffee (Detroit)
- Dried blueberries and cherries (Traverse City)
- 4 flavors of Great Lakes Chips (Traverse City)
- 5 varieties of Michaelene’s granola (Clarkston)
- Boxed (totally recyclable) water (Grand Rapids)
- and more coming!
So while we try to stay Michigan based, the other way that some items make it to our market is if they pass the “Beth likes it” test. So you will find some of her favorite cookbooks, a fruit/veggie coloring book, garden signs and tools, spoons and Mad Mats….these are the colorful mats that Beth has used in and around the market for several years.
- Why are folks so mad about Mad Mats? First, they are just fun coming in a variety of designs and colors that are perfect for indoor and outdoor living. Second, they are good for the planet and its people as they are made out of 100% recycled plastic and produced using fair labor standards. Mad Mats are pet friendly as well and just require a hose down for cleaning!
- The market now has over twenty–4 by 6 foot mats in stock and no two are the same. While the 4 X 6 size is the most popular, there are other sizes available by special order by contacting Peggy at the market. She has sold Mad Mats for over 7 years at the former Love Your Mother store in Three Rivers and now has brought them to our market.
Happenings on the Farm this week:
As we are getting used tom the weather swung to the opposite extreme from last week. It feels like we missed spring and went right to summer! We were in “high” planting gear as we needed to get everything in quickly having lost precious time due to earlier cold and rains. Around 1800 tomato plants went in the ground, along with more sweet corn, green bean and October bean plantings, cucumbers, squash, followed by melons. Everyone worked some incredibly long hours as the weather person tricked us into thinking that our day of planting would be rewarded by a nice rain….didn’t happen. So, between planting everything we had to continue to irrigate everything–more work!
The heat made the asparagus grow so fast (can grow up to an inch an hour in these high temperatures) that our daily pickings took longer to keep up with the tall asparagus.
Michaela apparently decided she had enough of the heat and decided this was a good time to work on re-arranging items in the bakery freezer!
Staff worked hard in the garden areas around the market. Teri worked on planting the U-PIck herb garden (some are ready for picking now). Nichol and Teresa helped with sunflower, gladiolus and annual flower plantings in the terrace garden. Cathy planted the stone bed garden and did her great work on the old potato planter. So much TLC goes into these areas around the market, we hope you enjoy them.
We have started getting the various yard games out for your enjoyment. This year the little house with the dump trucks and tractor toys is filled with soybeans instead of corn. (Thanks to David Hubbard for the soybeans.) We had just finished filling it when two small visitors clamored eagerly in to play and test it out for us.
A good share of the CLO crew worked some incredibly long days that turned into night this week, with the heat adding further fatigue. We are blessed to have the great employees who work here.
Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. Hope to see you at the farm this weekend.