“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
― Frank Herbert, Author
So while we have announced our final full day for the 2016 season (November 5th–see info below*), we like to think we’re just putting a bookmark in place for a while. It’s hard saying goodbye to our many customers and not seeing you all winter. But we love staying in touch with you via emails and Facebook posts.
And to be honest….we are ready for the farm to be at a slower pace for a bit and a chance to curl up the by fire every now and then. The apple harvest was completed this past weekend with the picking of the Pink Lady trees—and we finally exhaled! We have started pruning the apple trees already, winterizing equipment and putting the fields to bed for another year.
This is the last weekend we will be open from 8 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday and there are plenty of good reasons to make a trip out to the farm this Halloween weekend.
Here’s some special offerings for this weekend:
- Large corn maze free for everyone
- All half bushels of apples are Buy Two Get One Free , so it is 1 and 1/2 bushels for $24. Can mix and match all varieties. We have several varieties that keep very well for the winter, ask us about these. If this is still too many apples, then give a bag to a sports team, a school group or donate to a food bank. We send apples weekly to area food banks, if you don’t want your free bag you can live it in our food bank bin for next week’s delivery. See the list of apples still available below**
- Free glasses of cold or hot cider, or coffee to go with $5 or more in bakery purchases (always good with donuts!)
- All pumpkins your choice for $3 each, picked or u-pick. We want all of our pumpkins to have a family for Halloween. 🙂 Pie Pumpkins and gourds on sale as well.
- Crista’s painted pumpkins 1/2 price
- Onions–2 bags for $10 (normally $8 bag)
- Hard Cider: $12 six-packs and 22 oz. ciders two for $7
- A “spirited” tasting and tour in the Brandy building, 1 – 3 pm
- Some of the staff dressed in Halloween costumes
- Trick or treating stations set up in the market and the bakery–wearing a costume will get you a free cake donut all weekend!
- A chance for fall pictures by the old white pumpkin truck and other great spots (great for Halloween or Thanksgiving cards or FB posts)
- More trips down the famous big slide
- U-Pick Apples –we are now into “end of season gleaning” for $5 a bushel–what is left on the tree or on the ground–warning: there are not many left…need ladders and a lot of perseverance!
- U-Pick Grapes–still plenty of purple Concord and a few white Niagara left)
- U-Pick Pumpkins (beware of mud due to this week’s rain)
Other items available:
- Bakery goodies: donuts, apple dumplings, pies, and more
- Winter squash, $20 a bushel — mix up your own (this is about 20 squash)
- Many local products: cards, honey, maple syrup
- Becca’s organic produce (with some help from our friend Wendy)
- Brandy, wine and our vast selection of hard ciders. FYI: The Local, a delightful bar and restaurant in Centreville, now sells our hard cider. If you’re looking for a really pleasant local-oriented place to meet up with friends, we recommend them! A great selection of Michigan drinks and dinners.
- Regular sweet cider, this could be our best pressing this week–we had so many sweet apples in it! If you want cider to freeze or for Halloween gatherings, ask about our over 10 gallon special for $5.25 a gallon vs. the regular $6 gallon pricing. We will press sweet cider for the last time this season on Tuesday November1st and have available through November 5th
**Varieties of apples still available:
- Fuji: Our late Fuji are now in! Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.**Below see information on how to best store apples.
- Pink Lady: a fairly new apple to Michigan, hard tart apple with a beautiful pink cheek. Keeps well.
- Golden Supreme: Firm cream colored flesh that provides a sweet juicy flavor. Excellent for drying, baking and making cider. Keeps very well.
- Red Rome: Very red, round apple that looks just like it came out of a storybook. Has a mild, sweet flavor, popular for baking because it holds flavor and shape well. Good keeper.
- Braeburn: Sweet with a hint of tart and a firmness that stores well. Very versatile apple that bakes well and great for fresh eating.
- 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. (almost all gone)
- Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples. (almost all gone)
- 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: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste. (almost all gone)
- Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It’s the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. (just a few left)–almost gone
- 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.
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. Special Buy 2 half bushels….get one half bushel free, so….1 and 1/2 bushels for $24 on all varieties.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a safe Halloween and we hope to see you this weekend! Thanks for buying local!
Many of you have noticed a familiar but new face around this past month at the market, a face that looks a lot like Beth’s! Co-owner Brenda Hubbard, Beth’s sister is here from Florida to lend a much needed set of helping hands. Sometimes you have also seen her daughter Amber during college breaks from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she is a junior.
*Post-regular season hours and product availability:
Our official closing date for the year will be Saturday November 5, we will be open our normal hours of 8 to 6 that day.
This year, we are going to open for some partial days to allow customers to stock up on their holiday or winter needs. Here are the days and hours:
- Saturday November 12th 11 – 3
- Sunday November 13th 11 – 3
- Saturday November 19th 11 – 3
- Sunday November 20th 11 – 3
- December 3rd 11 – 3
- December 17th 11-3
Here’s what we plan to make available (until they run out!)
- Baked goods: frozen take and bake pies (if you want to pre-order for Thanksgiving or Christmas and have us store in our freezer and pickup on one of the weekends we are open closer to when you need them, we are happy to do that)
- Produce: apples, squash, onions and potatoes (until they run out!)
- Organics: kale, lettuce, spinach, radishes, sometimes carrots and onions or other things
- Alcohol products: hard cider, brandy, wine
- Other: honey, maple syrup, possibly some meat
Can check website or call for what we have available. Also, in case of severe snow or winter storms, call ahead to make sure we are open.
Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.
For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.
If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.
There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.
Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome,. Pink Lady or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring.