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

Corn Maze, Market, U-Pick Still Open for a Few More Weeks!

We  thank everyone who made it out to the farm last weekend and especially those that came to our special Fall Color Tour activities on Sunday. We loved seeing everyone picking and having fun out in the vineyards, the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, running through our corn maze and sitting out on the farm enjoying donuts and cider and visiting our distillery tasting and tours. And a huge thank you to the entire Corey Lake Orchards staff who worked so many hours to make it a great weekend. We’ll take that picture perfect weather every weekend!

An annual family outing to pick grapes--having fun too

An annual family outing to pick grapes–having fun too

This weekend we will have:

    • U-Pick Apples (see info below)

      Another load of pumpkins coming in from the patch, you can pick them also!

      Another load of pumpkins coming in from the patch, you can pick them also!

    • U-Pick Grapes (Purple Concord and White Niagara, see info below)
    • U-Pick Pumpkins
    • Mazes: our large corn maze as well as our small children’s sunflower maze
    • Bakery goodies: donuts, apple dumplings, pies, and more
    • Brandy, hard cider, and wine tasting, as well as distillery tours: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday
    • Wonderful autumn decorations to enjoy with great places for photos
    • The market overflowing with all things fall: apples, squash, onions, cider
    • Many local products: cards, art, yogurt, honey, maple syrup, beautiful painted pumpkins
    • Becca’s organic produce (with some help from our friend Wendy)
    • Brandy, wine and our vast selection of hard ciders
    • Corey Lake Orchards logo shirts! Finally, $10/short sleeve or $12/long sleeve. We haven’t done this in a few years and we’ve got plenty of sizes right now for anyone who wants one. We also have “Apples and Donuts and Cider, Oh MI!” shirts for $20. (Ignore those yellow squares – they’re just sticky notes with pricing!)
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    • A cash/check only check-out station. We apologize for some of the weekend lines that tend to happen…this is caused by the credit card chip readers taking longer to process than the days before the chip!!  So if you want to speed thru quicker, bring cash or a check!
Christa's painted pumpkins and gourds, too cute!

Christa’s painted pumpkins and gourds, too cute!

We picked lots of mini-pumpkin gourds for your parties or to paint yourself

We picked lots of mini-pumpkin gourds for your parties or to paint yourself

Closing Date Information: Many of you have been asking how long we will be open for the season, we have decided that our last official day will be Saturday, November 5th, with our normal hours of 8 until 6. Many of you have also requested we open every now and then for you to replenish your stock, so we are going to open some reduced hours on some weekends, for you to get produce, frozen pies, honey, maple syrup and our distillery/cidery products. See the schedule and additional information below*****

**Varieties of apples 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. ***Would encourage you to let these mellow a bit before using…they are just picked and quite firm.
  • Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • Nu-Red: Crisp, tart, hard, crunchy apple, an improved version of a Red Rome. These are almost gone for the year.

We have two apples yet to harvest:  Red Romes and Pink Lady.  We will be picking the Romes this next week.

As we complete the harvest, we are finding that with some varieties exceeding our estimates, we are running out of cold storage space. So we are offering specials on Gala, Red Delicious and Cortland. Buy 2 half bushels ($24) and get another 1/2 bushel free (can mix and match).

We also were surprised when we picked our last block of Honeycrisp that there were so many, so we have reduced the pricing on those to be: $2/lb , 1/2 peck (4 pounds) for $6, 1 peck (8 lbs for $12) or 1/2 bushels (16 lbs) for $20. This is an exceptional apple at great pricing so come take advantage of our bumper crop specials.

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. . Please click here to view this: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2016-apple-information/.

Rachel and Terri have done a great job of helping everyone with U-Pick apples and U-Pick grapes, thanks ladies!

Rachel and Terri have done a great job of helping everyone with U-Pick apples and U-Pick grapes, thanks ladies!

*U-Pick Apples are open and 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. This is our last weekend for U-Pick apples as we are winding down the harvest. Here’s what we have left in the orchard to pick:

  • Red Delicious
  • Golden Delicious
  • Jonathon
  • Cameo
  • Fuji
  • Northern Spy

On Monday October 17th, we will open several of the orchards for end of year “gleaning.”  You may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc. This year, there are plenty of apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them.

*Grape Update:

  • White Niagara grapes and Purple Concord grapes now ready for picking
  • We are open for late picking on Tuesdays and Thursdays (must be finished picking by 8 p.m.).
  • Grape Availability: We still have plenty of both colors of grapes and expect to have them up until the first hard frost, after which the quality goes downhill somewhat fast.

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: Still beautiful pumpkins to pick and great photo opportunities! 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 (lots this weekend), a few weeds, some poky pumpkin vines—so dress accordingly for the experience!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Post-regular season hours and product availability:

Our official closing date for the year will be Saturday November 5th, 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!)
  • Organic Produce: kale, lettuce, spinach, sometimes carrots and onions or other things
  • Alcohol products: hard cider, brandy, wine
  • Other: honey, maple syrup

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.

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Kale and spinach in the hoophouse for winter harvesting.

***Storing Apples:

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 or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring.