Autumn has a way or capturing all of your senses when you come to the farm. Brightly colored winter squash, pumpkins gourds and mums coming in. A wonderful feel to the air from the cooler nights. And each day, the grape aroma gets stronger, truly the best smell of fall ever.
More varieties of apples are coming in! Here’s what we have at the market right now. Apples are running about one week to 10 days ahead of their normal annual schedule due to the weather…so the season is moving fast.
- 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.
- Earli-blaze: This is a good cooking or eating apple, and it particularly makes a wonderful apple pie. We sell this apple to bakeries (including our own) for apple pie. (These apples are specially priced at $20 a bushel)
- Macintosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce. (Note we are almost sold out of these for the year….call us to save them for you.)
- 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 again soon when more varieties are ready. We anticipate this might happen next weekend, September 24th. Check back with us.
By the number of calls we are getting, we know that everyone is anxious to come and pick grapes and it is one of our favorite times of the year too. A sugar sample of the both Concord and Niagara grapes was taken on 9-13 and was extremely low, meaning the grapes do not have their sweetness yet. It is important to us and to our customers to have grapes at a sugar content/sweetness that will be optimal for making juice, jelly, wine, etc. With this information at hand and looking ahead at the weather, here are the decisions we have made for when the grapes will be ready for picking.
- White Niagara grapes will open on Sunday September 25th for the season. (This variety is always ready earlier than the Concords)
- Purple Concord grapes will open one week later, on Sunday October 2nd.
- 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 2nd.
- 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.
Bartlett pears: The Bartlett pear is a good eating and canning pear, very sweet and juicy. We still have some left but this will probably be the last weekend. Pricing is $29 a bushel, $15 a half bushel, and we also have them in eating size quantities.
- We still have tomatoes…
- “Firsts” Tomatoes are $19 a bushel or $10 a half bushel.
- “Seconds” Tomatoes (have blemishes or are misshapen) are $14 a bushel… This is great for making sauce, juice or salsa.
- U-Pick Tomatoes are now open and can be picked for $15 a bushel. Please check in at the market for directions and containers.
- How long will they last? We say up until the first frost, but don’t wait much longer.
Here’s what we have at the market now:
- Apples–Earli-blaze, Gala, Mollie’s Delicious, Jon A Mac, Jon A Gold, McIntosh, Nu-Red and Honeycrisp
- Brussels Sprouts
- Eggplant–3 different sizes
- Fall Ornamentals: Gourds and pumpkins of all colors
- Fresh Cut or “Cut Your Own” Herbs.
- Fresh Dug Potatoes: Yukon Gold, Red Norland and Adirondack Blue
- If you want potatoes by the bushel they are $25, this is about 50 pounds or more
- Field Tomatoes
- Grapes: Fredonia…very similar to Concord but earlier
- Peppers (so many sizes, colors and tastes!) Check out our chocolate habanero!
- 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
- 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, Cherry 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. This will probably be the last weekend for cherry tomatoes, including Becca’s delicious yellow sungolds!
Bakery Update: Look for our “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in or keep to share for the holidays). If you cannot find them, please ask and we will get them for you! As we work to stock up, please feel free to special order and we can get them ready. “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors are: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Cherry Berry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
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, Blueberry, Cherry, Pear, Peach and Strawberry Rhubarb.
- 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
- Slushies: Concord and 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.
- Meat from Mill Lake Farms, http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/other-products/mill-lake-farm-meats/.
- Yogurt from Mattawan Creamery
- Mollie’s Clay Vessels, a Flint based artist who does one of a kind bowls, planters, vases and more
- Unique cards made by 4 area artists
- “Flatware” flowers and lady bugs made by our neighbor Dave
- Honey and maple syrup, we have comb honey. Check it out!
- Ruth’s pecan and cashew brittle
- Ladd’s Jalapeno Mustard (made with peppers grown here on the farm!)
- Artisan Cheese from Remy Picot (Benton Harbor)
- Michigan-shaped chairs with matching 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)
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 few boxes 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 got a break from apple picking as we await the next varieties to be ready. This gave us a chance to jump back into our lengthy to do list and do orchard and vineyard mowing, onion cutting and bagging, and finally, taking the greenhouse tomatoes out for the year and emptying the greenhouse. We still picked lovely tomatoes out of the greenhouse before we stripped the plants out….this greenhouse has produced some great tomatoes this year….and we have all enjoyed them.
Our cider mill preparation for 2016 created a flurry of activities as we began the detail work that is needed (cleaning, checking, running and adjusting, and so on) that is needed for our first run. Our goal is to make cider on Thursday, September 15th and have it ready for sale on Friday, September 16th……if……all goes well. Each year we have to anticipate problems as we continue to use our antique rack and press operation….and we love to be surprised when there aren’t any! Keep your fingers crossed for us.
The sunflower maze—is open for your enjoyment. This is a small children’s maze, for toddlers up to around 8 years old, but last year we found our pumpkin maze was enjoyed by all ages. There are educational posters, a craft activity, a book reading station and many other things to enjoy. Please ask for directions to it when you come. Everyone who has been through it has been really happy with their pictures of the sunflowers.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.