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

Monthly Archive: June 2016

News Fresh from the Farm: U-Pick Strawberries Will Open Thursday, June 9th at 8 am

Finally! The answer to the most frequently asked question of late: When will we open U-Pick Strawberries? Answer: Thursday, June 9th at 8 am. Here’s what you need to know:sbcarriersres

  • U-pick strawberries will be 2.25 a quart this year.
  • We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until until 12:00 pm daily (unless it’s picked out early). Reminder for our Illinois customers, that is EST not CST. We are offering one afternoon picking option this year: Thursdays from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
  • In order to assure good picking for everyone who comes, we rotate field sections every day. When that section has had all of its rows finished, we will close the field early. The reason we have morning hours only except for Thursday is due to the heat in the afternoon—it is not good to pick berries when they are hot, they simply won’t keep as well.  (Plus—it’s hot for you too!)
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.
  • Please bring quart containers if you have them. If not, you may borrow ours for picking and use your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance. We would like to work with you to schedule you in on a day when we have lots of berry availability. Ask to be put on our “large quantity list.” 269-244-5690.
  • We welcome customers who want to take advantage of being on a farm and enjoy the u-pick experience. We know there are many families who would like to have their children understand where their food comes from and how it grows. Some of you have shared that the experience is almost more important than how many berries you pick! If you are newcomers to strawberry picking and want some advice, just let us know when you arrive and we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.
  • Strawberries are just starting and only the early varieties are ready.  With the heat coming this weekend, we would expect berries to be in peak production around June 15th or so. Depending on the weather, strawberry season is usually around 2 weeks.

Picked strawberries are now available daily! 

  • Picked berries: $3.75 quart
  • $28 for a flat of 8 quarts, either ordered ahead or available when we have them. Please call 269-244-5690 to place your order and we will call you when they are ready.

Other produce available at the market: 

  • Rhubarb, $2.50/lb. (this is probably the last week we will have it)
  • Broccoli, $2/lb.
  • Our broccoli is beautiful this year
  • Kohlrabi $2 each head

We have an abundance of Kohlrabi, so this is the weekend to try it!

Greenhouse Produce: 

  • Greenhouse cucumbers, $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers)
  • Greenhouse tomatoes.  $2 lb.

Asparagus is ending…..hurry out and get it while it lasts. 

  • Asparagus pricing is the same as last year: $2.25 a pound, 10# or more in bulk, goes to $2.00 a pound.
  • We finished picking asparagus for the year on June 1st. We have enough remaining to last about a week we think. Please call ahead if you 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.  Remember: strawberries and rhubarb are a wonderful combination, especially in a pie!

Bedding Plants: We are winding up our plant sales soon—beginning on Friday we will have a buy one-get one sale on the remaining vegetable and tomato plants. So, you can buy one 4-plant pack, get one free, or a full flat and get one free.

Becca’s Produce: Lettuce, kale, and maybe some green beans from the hoophouse. As always, Becca’s produce is naturally grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.

Bakery Update:  The bakery has shifted into “berry” mode. This means they are making strawberry shortcakes to go with the berries you buy or pick (we even have whipped cream in the fridge for purchase) and offering fresh strawberry glaze pies on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. (These are only available during strawberry season!) 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!

We've started freezing extra berries for use after strawberry season

We’ve started freezing extra berries for use after strawberry season

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 fresh strawberry glaze 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
  • 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, We also have our chocolate iced yeast donut rings as well as Bavarian Cream filled Long Johns and Raspberry filled Bismarks and cherry fritters.

Brandy and Hard Cider: We have our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular oak aged apple brandy.

Speaking of strawberry season, have you tried our sweet Strawberry Hard Cider yet? Made with real Corey Lake Orchards strawberries, it’s been a crowd favorite the past few weekends! Becca, our cider maker, feels so flattered to see so many four packs and six packs walking off the market. It will probably sell out by the end of strawberry season so get it while you can. We will also 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 and 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. 

Local Products:  We try to offer as many local and Michigan made products as we can.

  • 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 Bold 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….what’s next? Sweet and Sour Cherries are the next fruit coming, along with summer vegetables as they get ready. Check back on sweet cherries the week of June 20th and tart cherries, around June 24th. That’s just our best guess at this time.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. Hope to see you at the farm soon.

June Means Strawberries!

We truly believe that Michigan strawberries are the best-tasting berries—and by the number of calls coming in asking if strawberries are ready, you must think that too!

We have started picking strawberries–and yes, they are early due to this week’s heat.

Picked strawberries are now available daily! (But tend to sell out early at the beginning of the season, so call ahead to reserve if you want to be sure to get them.)

  • Picked berries: $3.75 quart
  • $28 for a flat of 8 quarts, either ordered ahead or available when we have them. Please call 269-244-5690 to place your order and we will call you when they are ready.

U-pick strawberry date is yet to be determined, but we are thinking the week of June 13th or possibly before, depending on the weather.  Please check back around June 9th to see if we have an update by calling us at 269-244-5690 or checking our website. Once we determine our opening date, we will provide you with additional information on our hours, what to bring, etc.

  • U-pick strawberries will be 2.25 a quart this year.

Asparagus is ending…..hurry out and get it while it lasts. 

  • Asparagus pricing is the same as last year: $2.25 a pound, 10# or more in bulk, goes to $2.00 a pound.
  • We finished picking asparagus for the year on June 1st. We have enough remaining to last about a week we think. Please call ahead if you 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.  Remember: strawberries and rhubarb are a wonderful combination, especially in a pie!

Greenhouse cucumbers are coming in almost daily now. along with greenhouse tomatoes.

Bedding Plants: It is most definitely time to plant if you haven’t yet, and we will be winding up our plant sales soon—so you need to act fast if yuo haven’t gotten your garden going  yet. We have a pretty good selection of most things, but some are selling out quickly. Feel free to call ahead before you come to see if we have what you need. 269-244-5690.

  • 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:  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, 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 possibly the first cherry tomatoes of the season! 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.

Bakery Update: We really made a lot of pies last weekend, we hope you enjoyed them. 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 Coconut 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,   We also have our chocolate iced yeast donut rings as well as 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 oak aged apple brandy.

Speaking of strawberry season, have you tried our sweet Strawberry Hard Cider yet? Made with real Corey Lake Orchards strawberries, it’s been a crowd favorite the past few weekends! Becca, our cider maker, feels so flattered to see so many four packs and six packs walking off the market. It will probably sell out by the end of strawberry season so get it while you can. We will also 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 and 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. 

Local Products:  We try to offer as many local and Michigan made products as we can.

  • 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 Bold 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!

Happenings on the farm this week:  We feel like all we did was water, move the irrigation line to the next place, water again, fix leaks, move irrigation….water, water, water. Please do a rain dance for us!

Note from our beekeepers:
News of the demise of the honey bee is practically everywhere, and we’re working hard to keep the Corey Lake Orchard’s bee colonies healthy. Part of that effort is to make new colonies from the hives that survived the winter, and graft from that hearty Michigan stock to spread those crucial genetics. Recently Chad Kitzinger (Beth’s son) helped transfer honeybee larva into a “nursery hive,” who turned them into queens (a fairly technical but interesting process, google Cloake board if you’d like to learn more.)

Nephew Chad helped his Aunt Charlotte

Nephew Chad helped Aunt Charlotte

We also pulled the first honey of the season, and hope to have honey from Corey Lake Orchards’ bees increasingly regularly. Local honey helps many folks with local allergies. Concurrently, we’ve been busy retrieving swarms. (Our happy dreams are most folks’ nightmares: bees moving into their homes.) If you see a swarm, or have honeybees in a structure that you’d like removed, please contact Charlotte Hubbard (tel: 269-910-0962) or husband Marshall (tel: 269-720-2102), thanks.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. Hope to see you at the farm soon.