Hooray, it is officially fall now! Our favorite season here at the farm. We can’t wait for you to come out and see, smell, touch, taste, listen, and immerse yourself in the farm. Here are some of the things our customers have told us about this season:
- “Love seeing the orange pumpkins lined up across the parking lot.”
- “It smells like grape jelly when we drive by–love that smell.”
- “My granddaughter loves touching the bumpy gourds.”
- “Thank you for letting us taste your apples before we buy them.”
- “Wow, the shrieks of joy from my son coming down your big slide!”
Happenings on the farm this weekend you should check out:
- U-pick apples with lots of varieties to choose from opens Saturday. *See info below
- U-pick pumpkin patch opens Saturday (our first time trying this). *See info below
- U-pick white Niagara grapes open on Sunday. *See info below
- Fall donut flavors, pumpkin cupcakes, apple dumplings & more in the bakery
- Tour and tasting of our brandies, wines and hard ciders from 1 – 3 on Saturday
- Our driveway overflowing with squash and more squash–special bushel pricing available!
- And of course, all of our usual market offerings including freshly squeezed apple cider.
- Our “small children’s” sunflower maze, and if we can finish it, possibly our large corn maze with a new theme for 2016!
- We’ve set up great places to take family photos–especially for Michigan State and U of M fans! A huge thanks to Peggy and Teri for all of the fall decorations around the farm—they look beautiful!
Here’s what we have at the market now:
- Apples–See list available below:**
- Eggplant–3 different sizes
- Fall Ornamentals: Gourds, pumpkins, corn of all colors
- Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs.
- Fresh Dug Potatoes: Yukon Gold and Red Norland
- If you want potatoes by the bushel they are $25, this is about 50 pounds or more
- Field Tomatoes, still have bushels
- Grapes: Fredonia…very similar to Concord but earlier, as well as White Niagara
- Pears–Bosc This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet pear, that keeps very well.
- Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!)
- Onions–We are now bagging them in the red mesh bags
- Specialty Onions: Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting
- Winter Squash–Butternut, Buttercup, Acorn, Delicata, Hearts of Gold, Turk’s Turbin
- Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Spaghetti Squash
- Watermelon: Seeded, we think they have more flavor than the seedless ones!
Becca’s certified organic produce: Kale, Lettuce, Eggplant, Slicer Tomatoes, Basil, Bunching Onions, Super Sweet Snacking Peppers, Anaheim Peppers, Poblano (Ancho) Peppers, and Personal Cabbage. Some of this is in limited quantities so please call ahead and place an order if you want any of these items.
The bakery staff was pretty happy about seeing Cortland apples and Northern Spy apples come in, their favorites for baking dumplings and pie respectively! Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Frosted Sugar Cut Outs, Caramel Apple, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Triple Berry, Peanut Butter, and Ginger Molasses.
- Pies: Apple, Dutch Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, Peach, Pumpkin, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
- Apple Dumplings
- Bread: Whole Wheat, Honey Oat, 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.
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
- Assorted Dessert Bars
- Mini Cupcakes and our special Pumpkin Cupcakes (Beth’s favorite!)
- Slushies: Concord/Niagara Grape Blend and our own Apple Cider
- Muffins: Double Dutch Chocolate, Cherry Almond, Pistachio, Wild Berry, Lemon Poppy Seed, Raisin Bran, and Banana Nut
- Donuts: We will have our Apple, Pumpkin, and Buttermilk Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We also have our Chocolate Iced Yeast Donuts as well as Bavarian Cream-Filled Long Johns, Raspberry-Filled Bismarks and Apple Fritters!
Local Products: We try to offer as many local and Michigan made products as we can, including meat, yogurt, cards, artwork, honey, maple syrup, pecan brittle, and cashew brittle.
Brandy and Hard Cider:
Made right here, we have Blueberry, Sweet, Strawberry, Dry, Peck of Peppers, Preach (Pear/Peach), Crop Rotation (Barrel-Aged), and Hopped Hard Ciders for sale. We are down to the last thirty bottles of Strawberry Cider. If anyone is a huge fan, get it this weekend! We also have Peach Polecat, Black Cherry Polecat, Cherry Wine, Kaiser Cyser, and Tart Cherry Hard Cider in 750mL bottles, and our usual line of brandies made exclusively from estate-grown produce, including our ever-popular oak-aged apple brandy. Come try any of these at our free tasting sessions, Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Happenings on the farm this week: We picked apples, then pumpkins, then squash, then pears, back to tomatoes and repeated that over and over….We bagged apples, we washed pumpkins and squash….and repeated. We washed, cored, peeled apples and cut them up for pies, and repeated, often! We bottled hard cider, we labeled, we stocked the shelves, and repeated into the wee hours of the morning. We answered the phone, hundreds of you calling about grapes. We counted the many bins of apples that poured in from the orchard which got stacked high in the cold storage and started to truly understand that we have a bumper crop of some varieties. So, we spent some time thinking about how to have our customers take advantage of some of these—stay tuned for some great specials coming on some varieties.
We made cider a day early as we ran out from our first pressing. So our shelves are full again. This week’s blend is: Honeycrisp, Gala, MacIntosh, Fuji, Cortland, and JonAMac– a nice blend of tart and sweet apples. We concluded our cider mill press just doesn’t like having a Mollie’s Delicious go through it (a very large apple) so we are making those apple “seconds” available for “animal apples” for customers at $5 a bushel, just ask for them.
**More varieties of apples came in this week:
- Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, A descendent of the McIntosh, this variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor. Juices really well (very few left).
- Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
- Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying: Spy’s for pies. We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
- Red Delicious: (Picking 9-23) America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
- Early Fuji: Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.
- Golden Delicious: Picking 9-23. A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
We still have:
- Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time.
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
- Jon-A-Mac: This is a good cooking or eating apple. It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan apple and a McIntosh. A favorite for apple sauce.
- Macintosh: gone for the season, sorry
- JonaGold: Superbly crisp and juicy with shades of tart and sweet in each apple, very large and aromatic. Cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious
- Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads. We will have some this weekend, sold by the pound only ($2/lb.).
- Nu-Red: Crisp, tart, hard, crunchy apple, an improved version of a Red Rome.
Apple Pricing for the year: with the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7.50 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $5 a half-peck, $3 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound. **When we have bushels available. The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples.
- We have a good crop of apples and have made a forecast on when we think the varieties will be ready. We have copies of this on the market or you can continue to check back on our website where we will keep it updated. Please click here to view this: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2016-apple-information/.
*U-Pick apples will open September 24th and be available during our normal hours of 8 to 6 (must be out of the orchard by 5:45). You will be driving to the orchards–so when you arrive, please have one person come into the market to get directions and information and you’ll be on your way. (We’ve seen very unhappy children who get out of the car excited to pick, only to have to return to the car and drive to the orchard!). The varieties you can pick this weekend are:
- Red Delicious
- Golden Delicious
- Ida Red
- Northern Spy
- These 3 apples have been open for a few weeks so you may find a few left if you really want this variety—or you can purchase them at the market (we’ve had them in cold storage)
- Mollie’s Delicious
- White Niagara grapes will open on Sunday September 25 for the season. (This variety is always ready earlier than the Concords)
- Purple Concord grapes will open one week later, on Sunday October 2.
- We have plenty of both colors of grapes. If you want to pick both kinds of grapes you should wait to come until after October 2.
- Grape Availability: We expect to have Concord grapes up until the first frost. We hope to have Niagara grapes until mid-October, but it will depend on how many people come out to pick and how fast they go.
If you are coming to pick grapes, please bring clippers, scissors, 5 gallon buckets and small wagons if you have them. Some of our rows are very long!
- Pricing will be the same as last year: U-Pick Pricing for both color grapes is the following, please note we sell them by the pound, and consider a five-gallon pail or a 1/2 bushel basket to be 20 pounds.
- 40 cents a pound for 20 pounds or less, 1 five-gallon bucket or a ½ bushel= $8
- 21 to 100 pounds: 35 cents pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel = $7
- Over 100 pounds; 25 cents pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel=$5
Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes both white Niagara and purple Concord, they are $26 a bushel, $14 half bushel, please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them.
*U-Pick Pumpkins: Okay, you’ve asked for this, so we’re trying it this weekend. Check in at the market first for directions….and do remember this is a real pumpkin patch where there will no doubt be some mud, a few weeds, some poky pumpkin vines—so dress accordingly for the experience!
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.