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

Monthly Archive: April 2017

Ready or not, that’s the question….

Our official opening date for the market is still Monday May 1st for the 2017 season with our normal daily hours of 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week, including holidays! But….we actually opened yesterday after we finished our first asparagus picking. So, if you want your first taste of it for the year, come on over this weekend.  We are selling it for now in 1, 2 and 3 pound bags until it begins to come in heavier. We hopefully will have enough to get through the weekend, but we recommend you call before you drive out to make sure we have it, as it is selling fast (269-244-5690).

With the cool weather forecast, we won’t be able to pick again until it warms up, so there’s good chance when we officially open on Monday, that we won’t have any asparagus.  And when will it be ready again?  Well, that really is the question and totally weather dependent!

Asparagus pricing is the same as last year: $2.25 a pound, 10# or more in bulk, goes to $2.00 a pound. If you want to call and place an order, we’ll call you back when we can fill larger quantities. 269-244-5690.

Asparagus popping out of the ground when it was warm this week.

Rhubarb is ready!  Available now for $2.50 a pound.

Bedding plants: We are starting to bring in “cold crop” plants, which you can plant in your garden now. These include: cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, various lettuce varieties, broccoli, chard, and spinach.  We also have a few seed potatoes and onion sets for sale.  When it gets warmer, we will start bringing in the other flower plants, vegetables and tomato plants. It really is too early to put any thing like cucumbers, peppers or tomatoes in yet–they are heat loving and can get stunted at temperatures like the ones we’ll see next week.

Flats of vegetable plants shivering in today's cold.

Flats of vegetable plants shivering in the cool wind.

Hanging Baskets:  We have brought a few of these in, but lots more to come, right now they are tucked inside the barn staying warm!

Organic Produce: Lettuce, spinach, arugula, radishes and carrots, grown in our organically certified hoophouse.

Bakery Update: Our bakery will open for the season on Friday, May 5th! By the number of phone calls we have received there seems to be a pent-up demand for our donuts!  Feel free to call and order what you would like for Mother’s Day, 269-244-5690.

Alcohol offerings: We have our full range of brandy for sale. We want to congratulate our distiller, Bruce Ruesink, for winning a “Best In Class” award for our Pear Brandy at the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. We’ve never entered a competition before and to get such a nice award the first time felt really special, although we also admit in our eyes, our customers are our most important judges. What you think of our products matters more to us than anything.

We also have cherry wine, as well as: Strawberry Cider (the 2017 edition of the cider many of you liked last year), Sweet Cider, Ginger Cider, Dry Cider, Hometown Hero, and our Brunch Cider, a new cider! Made with vanilla and Michigan maple syrup. If you are fixing breakfast for Mother’s Day, try this — instead of mimosas.  Currently on tap at The Local in Centreville and also being poured at The Riviera in Three Rivers and the Appoloni’s by Corey Lake. Brandy room tours and tastings won’t be available for a few weeks. Check back as we get everything together for the year.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14th this year.

  • If you a on a quest for a unique gift for Mom, Grandma, Aunt, or other person who has nurtured you as a mother would, allow us at Corey Lake Orchards Market to assist you in that search.
  • Looking for a gift from nature? Peruse the variety of pretty flower arrangements already planted in fun containers (made by our own creative Teri) or lettuce bowls for a salad that continues to grow through the season or purchase bedding plants from flowers to herbs to veggies and create your own potted design.
  • Another gift idea is using our fresh produce.  We can tie raffia to make an asparagus or rhubarb bouquet for your favorite cook. Organic greens, a favorite? How about a bag of lettuce, or spinach with a salad spinner to clean the greens in the easiest most efficient way?  (If she doesn’t own a salad spinner, these are a must have)
  • Seeking a gift inspired by nature,?  Check out the ceramic work by Mollie whose whimsical bowls were in the market last season. This year we also have single stem flowers for hanging that will serve as a lasting reminder of your thoughtfulness.
  • If the smell of fresh baked goods is a favorite, consider the options from the bakery. Think muffins, donuts, dessert bars, pecan rolls, cinnamon rolls, pies, cookies, bread, and more. What could be more comforting than a basket of baked goods?
  • For Mother’s Day (and for any day that you need a gift) Peggy is happy to help make a basket up for you, starting at $10 and adding in what you want.  So whether you choose plants, market produce, baked goods, adult beverages, local condiments of honey, maple syrup, or spicy mustard or one of our select gift items, a basket can be the perfect present. We at Corey Lake enjoy working with you to share the gifts that celebrate the seasons of life.  Call and talk to Peggy, or leave a message for her to call you back, and she will create just what you need in the price range you desire.  (269-244-5690).

Here’s some of the gift baskets Peggy created last summer.

Happenings on the farm:

Clean, scrub, sweep and repeat.   The crew has been in high gear getting the market and bakery ready for the year.  Brooms and bleach bottles were everywhere today!

Granddaughter Emma Grace wiping down the slide for the play area.

We planted, planted, planted:  30 rows of sweet corn which if Mother Nature cooperates will hit on the 4th of July, green beans, and all of our cold crop plants.

Planting cauliflower plants

We did some spring time pruning:  taking dead wood out of the blueberry bushes and our orchards, our version of “spring cleaning.”

Pruning blueberry bushes

We got very excited about seeing the strawberries blooming and being pollinated by the bees.  Check back with us at the end of May to see when strawberry season will begin.

Becca got especially excited when a truck of compost for her organic fields came! 30 cubic yards from Sturgis. Looking at her you’d think it was her birthday.

Spring is a hectic, fast-paced season for us.  That’s one of the reasons why we all enjoy the beauty of the blossoms, it does cause us to stop, breathe, and appreciate.

Sunrise out in the blooming apple orchard

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and will see you soon.

Asparagus Sighting, Blossoms Bursting, and We’re Planting Planting Planting

We anticipate opening on Monday May 1st for the 2017 season with our normal daily hours of 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week, including holidays! We are seeing some asparagus pushing through the ground and the rhubarb is actually ready (surprise!), so we hope to have both on opening day. Please check back as it could be early or late. We will also have organic lettuce and spinach, and possibly a few other things.

Straw for sale: We purchased some extra bales of straw for your mulching and garden needs. They are $6/bale or 4 bales for $20. Call us and we can set up a time for you to pick up if you need it before we open.  269-244-5690.

Bedding plants: We will be stocking vegetables, flower annuals, and tomato plants as they are ready for planting, along with seed potatoes and onion sets. So as you think about your garden needs, you can plan on getting your plants here.

The bakery will open for the year on Friday, May 5th, and yes, they will be making donuts that day. (Reminder: we make our cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.) More to come on the offerings they will have for that weekend. Also, not too early to think about placing bakery orders for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday May 14th.

We are currently harvesting lettuce, spinach, arugula, carrots, and kale in our certified organic hoophouse. You can pick any of that up at World Fare in downtown Three Rivers (the fridge is in the back) or you can call us to make an appointment to pick it up here. We harvest and restock the fridge every week! We’re doing our last organic winter kale harvest tomorrow, so pick some up in the next few days if you want some before our spring kale comes in (probably mid-May).

Becca gave me a late afternoon sample of her new hard cider (Afternoon Cider), a semi-sweet cider made with chamomile, rooibos tea, and a touch of strawberry. I really enjoyed ending my office afternoon with it.

Becca has been locked away in the cidery for many hours this winter and spring and will be introducing some interesting new ciders when we open as well as we will have some of your favorites from last year. First off the bottling line:

  • Brunch Cider, a new cider! Made with vanilla and Michigan maple syrup. Currently on tap at The Local in Centreville and also being poured at The Riviera in Three Rivers and the Appoloni’s by Corey Lake
  • Strawberry Cider, made with our strawberries. We had this one last year and if you loved it and just can’t wait for it, you can get a pour at the Appoloni’s by Corey Lake or make an appointment to grab some here.

And, we still have some hard ciders that we bottled near the end of the season last year, including our Ginger, Hometown Hero, Sweet, and Dry ciders.

If you are a hard cider enthusiast, this week is Grand Rapids Cider Week, including the Blue Bridge Festival. Becca will be there along with a few of our hard ciders. The weather is looking perfect (for which Becca is quite grateful), so feel free to come out and enjoy a nice day and the best of Michigan hard cider.

 

 

 

Happenings on the farm:

A drive down Corey Lake Road will allow you to take in the beauty of cherries and peaches blossoming.  One of the most spectacular showings this year is our pear orchard.  Blossom time is one of our favorite times of the year for sure.  It is breathtaking.

 

 

We finished laying close to 40 rows of black plastic mulch which will be used for all of our vegetable plantings, melons, and tomatoes.   We have all of our cold crop plants ready to go in: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kohlrabi, and brussel sprouts.   Due to the popularity of the purple cauliflower we planted more this year!

 

We have started planting the onions (got rained out) which will take up 23 rows! A mere 45,000 of them, red, yellow and white sweet onions plus shallots. It takes us about two full days to get them all planted using a transplanting machine, which digs the hole through the plastic and waters them after we put them in.

 

 

Today we started clipping up the tomatoes to support their weight so they don’t break the stem!  What a joy to see so many tomatoes and blossoms!

 

 

 

Our popular lettuce pots have been planted and should be ready for Mother’s Day.   Peggy, who coordinates all the gift items we carry and other Michigan made products is making sure everything gets here for your Mother’s Day shopping.  She will give you a list of all the possibilities next week.

 

Teri and Terri

Most of our staff has started to make their way back for the year and getting everything ready for our opening: wiping away the winter’s dust, preparing and planting our many market gardens and pots, getting market and bakery supplies in. Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and will see you soon.

 

 

 

Who’s ready?

Who’s ready for asparagus, the first donut off the fryer, just-picked hoop house greens, real tomatoes and our new small batch hard ciders? Spring is here and we are in high gear preparing for another year!

Who’s ready for the big swing and trip down the slide? Bakery manager Michaela and daughter Emma Grace are!

We anticipate opening the market on Monday May 1st for the 2017 season with our normal daily hours of 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week, including holidays!

We hope to have asparagus and rhubarb that week, but check back closer as it will depend on the weather. (Get used to hearing that phrase again!)

Bedding plants: We will be stocking vegetables, flower annuals, and tomato plants as they are ready for planting, along with seed potatoes and onion sets. So as you think about your garden needs, plan on getting your plants here.

The bakery will open for the year on Friday, May 5th, and yes, they will be making donuts that day. (Reminder: we make our cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.) More to come on the offerings they will have for that weekend. Also, not too early to think about placing bakery orders for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday May 14th.

Next week we will give you a line up of the other local and Michigan made products that we will be carrying again this year, along with some new ones.

We are currently harvesting lettuce, spinach, arugula, carrots, and kale in our certified organic hoophouse. You can pick any of that up at World Fare in downtown Three Rivers (the fridge is in the back) or you can call us to make an appointment to pick it up here. We harvest and restock the fridge every week!

Becca has been locked away in the cidery for many hours this winter and spring and will be introducing some interesting new ciders when we open as well as we will have some of your favorites from last year. First off the bottling line:

  • Brunch Cider, a new cider! Made with vanilla and Michigan maple syrup. Currently on tap at The Local in Centreville and also being poured at The Riviera in Three Rivers and the Appoloni’s by Corey Lake
  • Strawberry Cider, made with our strawberries. We had this one last year and if you loved it and just can’t wait for it, you can get a pour at the Appoloni’s by Corey Lake or make an appointment to grab some here.

And, we still have some hard ciders that we bottled near the end of the season last year, including our Ginger, Hometown Hero, Sweet, and Dry ciders.

If you are a hard cider enthusiast, next week is Grand Rapids cider week.  Becca will be there along with a few of our hard ciders.

Happenings on the farm:

Despite what seemed like an abnormal winter, the fluctuations from hot to cold have us just about where everything should be for this time of year. (Not to worry, the plants below are cold-hardy plants, thankfully!)

Only in Pure Michigan can it go from this to 70 degrees in less than 24 hours!

The fruit trees have budded out and should be blossoming after a bit more warmth. We are grateful that so far everything looks good with minimal winter damage.

So wonderful to see so many peach buds!

Tomorrow we will wrap up getting all of the straw on the strawberry plants, using close to 800 bales. We will have some left over if you would like to purchase it for spring mulching needs.

This week we finished pruning all of the grapes and by the end of this weekend hope to have them all tied to the trellises. Thanks to the crew who has been working on these for months…..they are tired of looking at grape vines! The greenhouse tomatoes are coming along great and we are about 25 days or so away from that first BLT!

Brenda pollinating the tomatoes, a daily chore at high noon!

Yes, real tomatoes that taste like a tomato are coming

The plans for the next few weeks are to prepare the fields and plant, plant, plant. Our 45,000 onion sets arrive from Texas tomorrow and we hope to get those, potatoes and all of our cold crop plants (broccoli, cabbage, peas, cauliflower, etc.) in the ground as fast as the weather will allow us.

This year we are going to be sharing more about the happenings here on the farm via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so find us there and enjoy the days along with us.

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards