It looks like we are going to be able to stretch strawberry season a bit longer than usual this year, but that’s still only another week or so. If you haven’t gotten your fill of fresh berries….don’t delay. We are hoping to have them at least until June 23rd….but stay tuned as the weather could change that in either direction. Try a Father’s Day outing this weekend to pick strawberries – and if you come on Sunday, free donuts for dads in the bakery.
- U-pick strawberries are 2.25 a quart this year. For more information, scroll down to the bottom of the page.**
- Picked strawberries are available daily for $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.
The most frequently asked question has now changed to wanting to know when cherries will be ready. As in most of the state, we have a light crop of cherries this year due to poor spring pollination as the cherries were blooming during the cold May weeks.
Sweet Cherries: We will have some picked sweet cherries available this weekend on the market. Until we get into the trees over the next few days and evaluate how many there are, we can’t give you any more information about our u-pick availability and opening date, but would estimate June 24th or after. Please check back with us next week (after June 20th) as we hope to know then.
Tart/Sour Cherries: We will have picked and U-Pick tart cherries available, probably the last week of June, but there won’t be as many as in previous years (again due to poor spring pollination). We will keep updating as we learn more.
Other produce available at the market:
- Rhubarb, $2.50/lb. (this is probably the last week we will have it).
- Broccoli, $2/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. (Note: we are having problems getting tomatoes to turn red….so we may have a short supply on some days.)
- This weekend we will have our first cut flowers bouquets.
Bedding Plants: We are winding up our plant sales so there is a buy one-get one sale on the remaining vegetable, tomato and flower 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, carrots, green beans, turnips, and beets. As always, Becca’s produce is naturally grown without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
Bakery Update: The bakery is taking advantage of the longer strawberry season to continue 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. For Father’s Day, they are making pecan pie and specially decorated baseball cut-out sugar cookies. 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 fresh strawberry glaze pies and pecan 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! 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.
Mad Mats: The popularity of mad mats has surprised us, so Peggy is about to do another order. The 4′ x 6′ colorful recycled Mad Mats that have been adorning the market are also available in larger sizes (5′ x 8′ and/or 6′ x 9′). Peggy would be happy to special order for you if bigger would be better for your deck, porch, patio, or dining area. Not all designs are available in all sizes, but call the market and leave a message and Peggy will get back with you. And think ahead regarding an autumn colored mat for fall days, but let’s not forget to enjoy every summer moment now.
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: It was one of those weeks where we couldn’t seem to keep everything irrigated and then in the past several days it has been a joy to check and empty the rain gage (almost 1 and 1/2 inches!!)
We picked an awful lot of strawberries….trying so hard to not run out each day. The bakery staff cut up and froze over 200 quarts of berries to keep you going in strawberry-rhubarb pie this year.
We starting thinning out the peaches—-this is one of the hardest things for me to watch–with how difficult it is to grow peaches in this climate and the number of years we don’t have any—to see us take them off on purpose! But if we didn’t, the peaches would not size nicely and the weight would break the branches. Good news is: As of right now…..we are going to have peaches this year!
We got the corn maze and U-PIck pumpkin patch planted–we are excited as we are growing over 20 different varieties of pumpkins, great colors and sizes and shapes.
We finally got most of the flowers planted in the terrace garden…cannot believe we are still trying to get flowers planted the week of June 13th….we have all been just a bit busy!
Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. We wish all of the Dad’s a very happy Father’s Day!
**U-Pick Strawberry information:
- 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–which we haven’t been so far this year.. 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.