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

Shifting Gears: from Neutral to Planting

We feel like we’ve been in neutral gear for most of May, kind of stuck and unable to do normal spring planting activities. We are loving the sunshine and warmth and especially being able to shift back into planting gear. With this weather change, the most frequently asked question now is: When will you have greenhouse tomatoes? So for those folks clamoring to get some of our very first greenhouse tomatoes, we are happy to report, they are starting to turn red and we will start bringing a few in as they are ready.  It will take several weeks before we are going to have any sufficient quantities….so continued patience is required! For the past several weeks the question had been: Can we plant tomatoes yet?? We have not yet but are hopeful to get them in yet this week, and you probably can too!

Yes!!  tomatoes in our greenhouse turning red!!

Yes!! tomatoes in our greenhouse turning red!!

We are bringing in fresh cucumbers now from the greenhouse, yum!

Asparagus:

  • 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.
  • If the warm weather remains, we should have good quantities available all the time now, however, still best to call ahead for large orders.  269-244-5690.
  • 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. Our clerks can help show you the difference if you are trying to get thin or thick spears.
  • We have some great recipes available at the market, I tried one that I absolutely loved, “Asparagus Spears”, which came from Sandy Wiseman who works here, you can pick up a copy when here or….go to the bottom of this email.

Rhubarb is ready!  Available now for $2.50 a pound.  If you need large quantities, please order ahead.

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.   We have a great selection of pepper plants,  (bell, mini, and hot peppers), eggplant, and summer squash.
  • 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, lettuce bowls, herb arrangements, and large pepper and tomato pots for your patio, both regular and mini tomatoes.

The last group of plants to come out of the greenhouse will be the vine crops:  cucumbers, watermelon and cantaloupe.  These will be coming the week of May 23rd.

Specialty pots: 

  • Specialty pots made by our own Cathy and Teri, lovely arrangements of flowers and herbs in unique pots and baskets.
  • 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!
  • Patio plants: large tomato plants, large sweet bell pepper plants and basil plants

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.  Sadly, spinach which is a cold loving crop is finishing and we will not have it after this weekend.

The size of the spinach was amazing

The size of the spinach was amazing

Bakery Update: Our bakery has opened for the season. During some of the slow weeks in May, we don’t stock everything until Friday, so forgive us if we are out of something you wanted, or call ahead to see if we have it. 269-244-5690.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, and Ginger Molasses
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry Rhubarb and Rhubarb. We will also have peanut butter cream pies available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • 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, 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.

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. 

Our meat is here! We are 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: 

We worried through the weekend with the ridiculously low temperatures, cold rain and sometimes even sleet about all of our crops. We tucked every plant possible into our cold storage, which thankfully has room this time of year.  We hooked up special irrigation to irrigate the strawberries. We are grateful that very little was damaged.

Thrilled to see peaches on the trees!

Thrilled to see peaches on the trees!

A cold storage full of plants held hostage by the weather!

A cold storage full of plants held hostage by the weather!

Getting into planting gear today was very productive, we planted our second planting of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, followed by 1700 pepper plants!  Many of you have been wondering what the black plastic in the field on the west side of AL Jones Road was…it is the plastic mulch we use annually on most plants for weed control and irrigation.

Love seeing these rows of black plastic mulch finally filling in.

Love seeing these rows of black plastic mulch finally filling in.

Becca’s also been getting things in down at the schoolhouse and in the hoophouse. Now counting a LOT of little cherry tomatoes. Still green for now but we’re hoping they’ll be ripe enough to start harvesting within the next three weeks.

Baby sungold tomatoes!

Baby sungold tomato sighting!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Hope to see you at the farm soon!

And if you get a chance, please consider attending the Earth & Sky Celebration at Dr. T.K. Lawless Park this weekend! The weather is supposed to be beautiful and it’s a great time. Fun for the whole family, with local vendors, hands on childrens activities, a book exchange, live music, storytellers, and more! More information available here: http://www.earthdaypark.webs.com/

Asparagus Recipe from Sandy Wiseman 

Asparagus Spears

Wisk 2 egg whites, Add 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and wisk again

Combine ¼ cup panko bread crumbs, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper into bread crumb mixture

Dip trimmed asparagus spears into egg white mixture then into bread crumb mixture

Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes