You may be more ready than us this year, but we’re working hard to have a good opening day Friday, May 6th. This will be our official opening where we will have most of our spring product offerings in. Donuts will be coming off the fryer first thing in the morning while the crew is out picking asparagus. Local vendors will be stocking their products: Greek-style yogurt from Mattawan Creamery, Ruth’s brittle, locally-made cards, maple syrup, honey and more. Brandy, wine, and hard cider, with new choices for this year, will once again be out on the shelves. All we need now is a warm, sunny weekend and of course, our loyal customers!
Asparagus: Due to the cold weather, we are really struggling to have sufficient quantities of asparagus still. It will take some days of nice warm weather before we have any large harvests. Given how fast it sells out, it is best to call ahead and place an order (and if we’re out, we’ll call you when we have it). 269-244-5690. 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 $2.50 pound. Be aware that if you are getting the asparagus right after a rain, (which seems to be a frequent thing lately) it will require a little extra washing to remove the dirt that splashes up on it when it rains. We recommend rinsing several times in warm water.
We grow 3 kinds of asparagus, This is why it might look different in the bags or what you get from week to week.
- The thinner spears which we have grown for the past 15 – 20 years (which we don’t even know the name of the variety!)
- Our new plantings are producing Jersey Knight–which is traditional green asparagus but the spears are longer and fatter than the old variety we had. Do not worry—even with the larger size–it is tender! And the size makes it perfect for grilling.
- Sweet Purple–this is a dark purple that is sweeter than standard green varieties. The spears are large–but also very tender. When cooked, it does turn green.
Rhubarb is ready! Available now for $2.50 a pound.
Bedding plants: We have a nice selection of most bedding plants now and will be bringing them in through the month of May.
- Vegetable Plants: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, chard, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi. These are cold tolerant plants and can go into your gardens now.
- Annual Flowers: asters, cosmos, gomphrena, impatients, 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. If you pick these up now, we recommend waiting a bit longer to plant them to assure warmer weather.
- Herbs (sold individually): basil, dill, lemon balm, many mints, oregano, thyme, sweet marjoram, parsley and many more.
- Potted plants including hanging flowers, lettuce bowls, herb arrangements, and large pepper and tomato pots for your patio, both regular and mini tomatoes.
We will be bringing in heat-loving plants around mid-May. These include tomatoes, peppers, melons, cucumbers, and such. It’s still a bit cold at night to have these out of the greenhouse right now.
Becca’s Produce: Lettuce, spinach, kale, and carrots. As always, Becca’s produce is naturally grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
Greenhouse update: The weather has impacted the greenhouse this year, so greenhouse tomatoes are going to be late….but they are coming….along with greenhouse cucumbers. We hope in a few weeks.
Bakery Update: Our bakery will open for the season on Friday, May 6th! Feel free to call and order what you would like for Mother’s Day, 269-244-5690.
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Flower Cut-Out Sugar Cookies, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, and Ginger Molasses
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb and Rhubarb. We will also have chocolate cream pies available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Mother’s Day.
- Bread: Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Multi-Grain, Vegetable and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
- Assorted Dessert Bars
- Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry, Lemon poppy seed, Pistachio, Wild berry and Raisin Bran
- Donuts: We will have our Blueberry, Buttermilk, and Cherry cake donuts available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We will also have our chocolate iced yeast donut rings!
Brandy and hard cider: We have our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular apple brandy. We also have Double Cherry Wine, as well as our Tart Cherry Hard Cider. Starting Saturday, May 7th, we’ll have a new sweet Strawberry Hard Cider made with Corey Lake Orchards strawberries! We also just bottled 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 open tasting and tours in the brandy house from 1 to 3 on Saturday.
Mother’s Day Ideas (this year it is May 8th!!–yes this weekend):
- Pick out one of the specialty pots made by our own Cathy and Teri, lovely arrangements of flowers and herbs in unique pots and baskets.
- Why not buy Mom a “living” salad? We will have large tomato plants for the patio or to set outside—Pair these with one of our lettuce bowls. They’re planted with cold-tolerant greens that can be put outside now, and the lettuce can be picked and it grows back! Grab a basil plant in one of our colored pots, then add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have a healthy gift she can continue to enjoy.
Special display of items from the “Love your Mother” store. Peggy, who works for us and also owned the “Love your Mother” store in Three Rivers, will be setting up a display of favorite items: Mad Mats (one of Beth’s favorites!), Recycled Glassware, Love Your Mother Stickers and magnets and select cards and journals.
We have a new meat supplier for 2016! Their products will be here around May 13th and we are excited to try them. We will be partnering with Mill Lake Farms, a local farm in Cassopolis who will be bringing in a variety of beef and pork cuts–all done naturally. This means hormone and antibiotic free, no use of pesticides or chemicals on their farm, open pastures, grass-fed, non-GMO grains and hay. They believe these practices result in the meat being the very best quality available, without sacrificing flavor or tenderness. They are looking forward to having you try their meats and welcome your feedback. Please read more about them here: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/other-products/mill-lake-farm-meats/.
Happenings on the Farm this week: This was one of those weeks where we all looked at the thermometer and the rain gage more than we wanted to. This wet, cold spring is really hard for farmers. Bees won’t come out to pollinate, the ground is too wet to plant anything, the strong winds are whipping the plants we do have in the ground…..so we continue to move forward where we can. While the tractor tires sank deep into the ground, we managed to get one more planting of sweet corn in and just today planted a new apple orchard, with great varieties for cider making.
Another note-worthy happening is getting the entire market crew together for a 2016 kick-off meeting. We are so grateful for the employees who come back year after year—who are the face of Corey Lake Orchards. A dedicated and experienced team like we have is critical to giving our customers the very best farm experience. The faces of Corey Lake Orchards again this year are: Cathy, Teri, Terri, Peggy, Michaela, Patti, Jan, Nichol, Laura, Nancy, Sandy, Sarah, Gene and Bruce. And….every now and then, you might see the faces of Beth and Becca as we dash across the market!
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards is looking forward to seeing all of our customers back for the year! We thank you for buying local. For all of the mothers–we wish you a very special and well deserved day!