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

Rolling from Strawberries to Cherries and Organic Certification Achievement!

We’re excited to announce that the hoop house and schoolhouse field parts of our farm have achieved organic certification. When grandchild of CLO founders Becca returned to the farm in 2014, she focused on the need and preference for organics that many customers had expressed. Using her education and previous experiences, she deployed organic techniques to grow lettuce, kale, carrots, sungold tomatoes, and much, much more. This year, she pursued official organic certification. This is a verification by a third party (which, on top of diligent practices, requires significant documentation). Having achieved this certification, customers can feel even more confident in the quality of these offerings.

This certificate, from OEFFA, will be hung proudly in the section where Becca’s organic produce is available. That produce is easily identified by green tape on the signs, and much of it is kept in the cooler—so look there as well! If you don’t see our organic produce, please ask!

All our fruit and the remaining vegetables, not marked “certified organic,” are grown conventionally as we have been doing for over 50 years. Please know that in everything we produce — from our organic offerings to the conventionally grown, to the baked goods we lovingly make, and the spirits we bottle — consumer safety is always our number one priority.

Please offer your congratulations to Becca as you see her on this huge accomplishment. We remain grateful for your support and interest in organic vegetables. Your enthusiastic reception has made this possible!

So great to have green beans early in the year out of the hoop house

So great to have green beans early in the year out of the hoop house

Becca’s organic certified produce: Lettuce, kale, carrots, green beans, turnips, garlic scapes, “single serving” cabbage, and cherry tomatoes. Some of this is in limited quantities so please call ahead and place an order if you want any of these items.

Other produce available at the market: 

  • Broccoli, $2.50/lb.
  • Fresh cut or “cut your own” herbs: Not everything is ready, but we have a nice selection and info on how to use them. $1/bag.
  • Cauliflower: $2 and $3 a head, White, yellow, purple and green Veronica (here’s an article about Veronica cauliflower from last year: www.sturgisjournal.com/article/20150721/NEWS/150729932/0/SEARCH).
  • Greenhouse cucumbers, $0.75 (small salad-size cucumbers) or $1.50 (extra-long cucumbers).
  • Greenhouse tomatoes.  $2 lb., due to our own greenhouse not keeping up, we are supplementing with Indiana-grown
  • Snow peas and sugar snap peas
Our cauliflower is just beautiful this year

Our cauliflower is just beautiful this year

  • Strawberries:  Whether we have them picked or for u-pick will be a day to day decision now, heavily dependent on the weather and how they hold up with the rains. We will not have any special flat pricing available on picked berries—they will be the normal $3.75 a quart.  So before you come to pick or get already picked berries, best to call us and find out what the strawberry situation is:  269-244-5690.
  • PIcked Cherries: We now have picked sweet cherries available on the market for sale, they are $5.75 a quart, $3 a pint. Picked sour cherries are $4.00 a quart.  Due to having a light cherry crop this year, we will only be able to sell them by the quart, no large orders by the pound. Cool spring weather and poor pollination has led to a small cherry crop in most of southwest Michigan.
  • U-Pick Sweet Cherries will open on June 24th, Friday. We have a lighter crop of sweet cherries this year. We grow about 8 different varieties including black, red, yellow and a few that are multi-colored. We have lots of yellow sweet cherries this year which are really good! Try them!
    • Pricing: 2.25 per pound to pick, over 50 pounds is $2 a pound (same price as last year.)
    • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet).
    • Length of the season. Since not all trees ripen at the same time, would expect there to be some for around a week to 10 days depending on weather and how many customers we have. We have to monitor the amount of rain carefully as if we get too much, it will cause the cherries to split and they will finish up earlier than expected.  So….you may want to call ahead to understand the cherry situation before you come.
    A branch of cherries ready for you to come pick.

    A branch of cherries ready for you to come pick.

    U-Pick Sour cherries  will also open on June 24th, Friday with optimum picking being next week. We have a decent crop of tart cherries, some trees better than others. The type of tart cherry we grow is Montmorency. They are typically used for pies, tarts, or making jelly, but some people like to eat them and enjoy their tartness.

    • Pricing: $1.75 per pound to pick, $1.50 cents per pound for 50 pounds or over. (Same price as last year)
    • The sour cherry trees are about 10 – 20 feet tall.
    • Length of the sour cherry season: It will depend on the weather and how many people come out each day but would expect them to last around 10 days to 2 weeks.

     

    Other information for U-Pick cherries:

    • U-Pick Hours:  8 – 6 daily, please be finished picking by 5:45 p.m. to be back to the market by 6pm.
    • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy or prickly plants in the orchard area, among other hazards.
    • Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.).
    • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
    • Please bring your own ladder as we do not supply ladders. Some of the best cherries are out of reach and even a small step ladder would be helpful.
    • Our current orchard is an older orchard with very tall trees, so be mindful this is not always the ideal “small children” picking experience, although perched on a parents’ shoulder seems to work!

    aturday and Sunday, cut flowers bouquets.

    Blueberry update:  We are picking a few blueberries now and expect them to be ready around July 1st.  The date U-Pick will open is still to be determined.

They are turning blue!

They are turning blue!

Bakery Update:   With strawberry season winding down, we are making a new pie this weekend, raspberry cream.  Let us know how you like it!  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: Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will have Raspberry 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 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 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, 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 definitely a crowd favorite. 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. You can also call and schedule a tour any time: 269 244 5690.

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

  • New: Mollie’s Clay Vessels, a Flint based artist who does one of a kind bowls, planters, vases and more
  • 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 “battened down the hatches” last night in our buildings and market area—given the violent storm predictions. Of course, there is no way to cover the orchards, vineyards and fields to protect against high winds, hail and heavy rains, so we slept anxiously all night listening. We were grateful to get up this morning and not find any damage and we extend our sorrow to other farms and folks who did receive damage.

We used our mechanical “squirrels” to get to the tops of the large sweet cherry trees that are beyond reach of even the highest ladder.  Our two experienced cherry pickers looked like acrobats getting around the tree.

We weeded, and weeded, and weeded,   WHY do weeds grow so fast, so tall and so prolifically.    Often customers ask us how we keep our fields weed free….there is no easy answer.  We deploy old fashioned cultivation with a tractor and hoeing by hand.

Our field tomatoes are growing nicely so we began the staking process this week of pruning and tying them.

After last night's rain, it was easy to drive the sticks into the field.

After last night’s rain, it was easy to drive the sticks into the field.

We planted a new small child’s maze in the same location we had the pumpkin maze last year….we’re not telling you what this year’s theme is–but as it grows, you might eventually figure it out.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.