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

Monthly Archive: June 2017

It’s Officially Summer!

Yesterday officially marked the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. And with power supply problems and phone issues it truly felt like the longest day of the year! Thanks to the customers who patiently waited when it took longer to check out. We apologize to those of you who have been trying to call us, everything is back up and running now.

Strawberries are coming to an end. While we will try to keep U-Pick and picked berries on the market through the weekend, it will be a day to day decision based on how they hold up with the heat and potential rain in the forecast. So best to call before you come to see what the situation is: 269-244-5690. We are no longer selling them by the flat as they are harder to pick now, so just by the quart for $3.75. U-Pick pricing remains at $2.25 a quart. So hard to accept that strawberries will be gone for another year. ūüôĀ They were so sweet this year. Thanks to everyone who came out to pick and to get them fresh at the market.

Sweet Cherry U-Pick will open on Friday, June 23rd for picking. After getting into the trees this week, we realize there are really not a lot of sweet cherries to pick this year due to poor spring pollination when it was so cold and wet. We want to be upfront with you about the picking conditions so you can make the best decision before you drive here, especially if you are coming from a distance. We grow about 8 different varieties including black, red, yellow and a few that are multi-colored. We have lots of yellow sweet cherries which are really good! Try them! This may be the year you want to enjoy your cherries already picked!

    • Pricing: 2.25 per pound to pick (same price as last year.)
    • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 ‚Äď 25 feet). We cannot lend you a ladder (sorry!), see note below on this.
    • Length of the season.¬†It is hard to determine how long they will last since we don’t know how many folks may come out to pick.¬†Feel free to call us before you come and we can tell you how the picking is.¬† 269-244-5690.

Tart Cherry U-Pick: We will open this orchard on Friday June 23rd when the sweet cherries open (you will need to spot pick carefully to get the ripe ones). Their prime picking will be around June 29th and after if you want to wait and get them nice and ripe.

    • Tart cherry U-Pick pricing:: 1.50 pound, over 50 pounds¬† @$1.25
    • Length of season.¬†We have a good crop of these and would expect them to last about a week to 10 days.

Information for U-Pick cherries:

  • U-Pick Hours: 8 ‚Äď 6 daily, please be finished picking by¬†5:45 p.m. to be back to the market by 6pm.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy or prickly plants¬†in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs,¬†buckets, etc.).
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
  • Please bring your own ladder as we¬†do not supply ladders.¬†Some of the best cherries are out of reach and even a small step ladder would be helpful.¬†We cannot let anyone climb the trees lest the branches get damaged or even worse, you injure yourself, so please come prepared.
  • Our current orchards are older with¬†very tall trees, so be mindful this is not always the ideal ‚Äúsmall children‚ÄĚ picking experience unless you come when there is still picking from the ground.

What else we have on the market now:

  • Picked Sweet Cherries
  • Picked Tart Cherries
  • U-Pick Herbs
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kohlrabi
  • Snow Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Limited supply of Greenhouse Tomatoes and Greenhouse Cucumbers. Greenhouse tomato plants produce their fruit in successive “waves” as you can see from this picture. We finished harvesting the first¬†“wave” and now are impatiently waiting for the second¬†wave to¬†turn red. As we have done in previous years, we will be supplementing with tomatoes from Indiana farm greenhouses.

  • Cut flowers will be back this weekend!

Organic Produce: Lettuce, kale, collards, garlic scapes, and carrots, grown in our organically certified hoophouse and at our organic schoolhouse garden. A few cucumbers too and pints of sungold cherry tomatoes too! (Just starting to come in.) Look for the bright organic sign located by the market cooler where we keep this produce fresh.

Bakery Update: This weekend will be the last weekend for our strawberry glaze pies with the strawberry season coming to an end. If you would like us to save something for you feel free to call us at 269-244-5690 and we will gladly set it back for you!

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M‚Äôs peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, and Cherry White Chocolate Chip
  • Pies:¬†Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry Rhubarb,¬†Strawberry Glaze
  • Bread:¬†Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Vegetables and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns. We are partnering again with¬†La Brea bakery this year and will have the following breads: Semolina Cheese,¬†Roasted Garlic Loaf, and Jalape√Īo Cheese
  • Cinnamon Rolls¬†and¬†Pecan Sticky Buns
  • Assorted Dessert Bars
  • Muffins: Banana Nut, Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, Pistachio, and Strawberry
  • Donuts: We will have our Blueberry, Buttermilk, and Cherry Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday,¬†and Sunday. We will also have Cherry Fritters, Vanilla Fluff Longjohns, Yeast Twists, Bavarian Cream (Custard) Longjohns, Raspberry Bismarks, and Yeast Rings (available all week)
  • Slushies

Alcohol offerings: We have our full range of brandy for sale. In bottles, we have Sweet Cider, Ginger Cider, Dry Cider, Prince Tribute Cider, Hopped Cider, Brunch Cider, and Bark Bite. We have cherry wine and Kaiser Cyser as well.

We’ll have a few additional ciders on tap during our hard cider happy hour, Friday from 4-6 or Saturday from 3-6 if you want a growler or a sample before you buy! In addition to what we have bottled, we’ll have strawberry cider, rhubarb cider, and carrot cider on tap. Of course, we are a small family¬†market so bear with us as we try and figure out the best way to do this and keep the atmosphere you know and love! It is really wonderful sitting in the breeze enjoying a cold cider on these weekend afternoons.

And of course, we have our usual brandy house tours with Bruce from 1-3 on Saturdays, and full range of brandy offerings.

Happenings on the farm:

We are now into thinning apples from trees and varieties that have an abundance of apples. We do this so that the apples remaining can have room to grow to a large size and to get the weight off the limbs so they don’t break. Every year it always surprises us how many apples need to come off, look at what is on the ground in this picture!

Blueberry watching! They are coming and we expect to have them picked and for U-Pick by the 4th of July.

Summer means all of the local farmers markets have started. You can find us at Texas Township Farmers Market every Tuesday, plus every other Saturday (there again on July 8th). Find out more:¬† http://www.texastownship.org/community/farmers-market/. We also partner with CINO and the Huss School project to have our produce and baked goods at the Three Rivers Farmer’s market every Thursday:¬† https://www.facebook.com/pg/trfarmersmarket/about/?ref=page_internal

Terri at the Texas Township Market

In the last few weeks, the most frequently asked question has been what kind of flower is in our stone bed in front of the market? It is yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata). We love it! If you want some, see us in the spring when we thin some out before it takes over the entire bed. Find out more about it here:  https://www.gardenia.net/plant/lysimachia-punctata-yellow-loosestrife

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates your buying local.  Hope to see you during cherry season!

Strawberry and Cherry Update

Strawberry Update: With the weather cooling down we hope strawberries might last another week, hopefully through this coming weekend of June 24/25!

  • U-Pick:¬†We will continue to open the U-Pick berries¬†as long as there is good picking. We started in a new field today and the picking is beautiful. So we¬†except to be open everyday for most of this week and MAYBE through the weekend.¬†Our hours are 8 until noon unless we get picked out early.¬†They are $2.25 a quart, please bring containers to take them home in.
  • Picked berries:¬†Available in the market at $3.75 a quart or a flat of 8 quarts for $28.¬†It really helps us if you could call ahead to reserve a flat if you want them, 269-244-5690!

Sweet cherry update: 

  • Picked Sweet Cherries:¬†We picked a few for the weekend, but now are waiting for more to ripen.¬†We hope to have more again on Wednesday.
  • Sweet Cherry U-Pick will open on Friday, June 23rd for picking. After getting into the trees this week, we realize there are really not a lot of sweet cherries to pick this year due to poor spring pollination when it was so cold and wet.¬†We want to be upfront with you about the picking conditions so you can make the best decision before you drive here, especially if you are coming from a distance.¬†We grow about 8 different varieties including black, red, yellow and a few that are multi-colored.¬†We have lots of yellow sweet cherries¬†which are really good! Try them! This may be the year you want to enjoy your cherries already picked!
    • Pricing: 2.25 per pound to pick (same price as last year.)
    • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 ‚Äď 25 feet). We cannot lend you a ladder (sorry!), see note below on this.
    • Length of the season.¬†It is hard to determine how long they will last since we don’t know how many folks may come out to pick.¬†Feel free to call us before you come and we can tell you how the picking is.¬† 269-244-5690.

Tart cherry update: 

  • Picked Tart cherries¬†will be on the market for sale¬†beginning¬†Friday June 23rd.
  • U-Pick Tart cherries:¬†We will open this orchard on Friday June 23rd when the sweet cherries open¬†(you will need to spot pick carefully to get the ripe ones). Their prime picking will be around June 29th and after if you want to wait and get them nice and ripe.
    • Tart cherry U-Pick pricing will be the same as last year: 1.50 pound, over 50 pounds @$1.25.
    • Length of season.¬†We have a good crop of these and would expect them to last about a week to 10 days.

Information for U-Pick cherries:

  • U-Pick Hours:¬† 8 ‚Äď 6 daily, please be finished picking by¬†5:45 p.m. to be back to the market by 6pm.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy or prickly plants¬†in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs,¬†buckets, etc.).
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
  • Please bring your own ladder as we¬†do not supply ladders.¬†Some of the best cherries are out of reach and even a small step ladder would be helpful.¬†We cannot let anyone climb the trees lest the branches get damaged, so please come prepared.
  • Our current orchards are older with¬†very tall trees, so be mindful this is not always the ideal ‚Äúsmall children‚ÄĚ picking experience, although perched on a parents‚Äô shoulder seems to work!

Wanted to get this update out to all of you as we know that strawberries and cherries are June favorites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry, we can’t predict how long we will have U-Pick cherries as we never know how many people will come out and pick. Usually we have sour cherries for around 2 weeks, but sweet cherries go quickly.

 

 

 

 

And the Heat Goes On….

….and so do we.¬†This week’s heat has caused everything to ripen quickly and all at once. ¬†Which means working longer in this heat to harvest!¬†It means keeping the irrigation running around the clock to keep everything watered and alive.¬†And it means worrying about what we can’t irrigate (our orchards and vineyards).¬†So if we seem tired, we are!!¬† So how can you help?¬†By purchasing those items that we have too many of due to the heat:¬†strawberries, lettuce, kale, broccoli and kohlrabi for starters. Haven’t tried kohlrabi before?¬†This is the time to try.¬†And there is nothing like fresh picked broccoli, we have it in heads or florets.¬† We thank you in advance if you can work these into your upcoming menu!

Strawberries: Due to the heat, it will be a short season.  At this point we forecast U-Pick strawberries going through Sunday June 18th, and then will re-assess after that.  We hope to have picked berries available one more full week, hoping we might have them through June 24th. Of course, it depends on the weather.

  • Already picked berries are $3.75 a quart,¬†or $28 for an 8 quart flat.¬†We try to have these on hand for the entire day, but usually run out by the end of the day.¬†We are picking the Jewel variety right now, which are large, sweet and beautiful.¬†¬†Feel free to call us to save some if you want.¬†We have called everyone back now who placed an order for flats of strawberries, if you did not get a call, please contact us.
  • U-Pick strawberries: available every day at 8 am until noon (unless we pick out earlier). We are planning on continuing¬†through Sunday June 18th.¬†After that,¬†check back with us.
  • Berry picking ready for tomorrow

What else we have on the market now:

  • Rhubarb:¬†This also is coming to an end.
  • Greenhouse Cucumbers
  • Greenhouse Tomatoes
  • Some of our U-Pick Herbs are ready.¬†Find bags and scissors for cutting herbs¬†around the neck of the bird overlooking the herb garden.¬†A list of what is ready is posted at the market.
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kohlrabi
  • Asparagus–we have just a few pounds left and it will be gone for the year

    Asparagus field has gone to ferns to make next year’s crop

Organic Produce: Lettuce, kale, collards, garlic scapes and carrots, grown in our organically certified hoophouse and at our organic schoolhouse garden. A few cucumbers too and pints of sungold cherry tomatoes too! (Just starting to come in.) Look for the bright organic sign located by the market cooler where we keep this produce fresh.

Never tried garlic scapes? These are the green tops of the garlic that we remove to help encourage the garlic to grow bigger bulbs. They taste like garlic and can be used similarly, or can be blended into a pesto, or can be stir fried with your vegetables, or…whatever you want, really! They’re so good

Bakery Update:¬†We’d like to acknowledge all of the fathers this weekend and wish you a Happy Father’s Day.¬†All fathers get a free cake donut from our bakery on Friday, Saturday or Sunday!¬†This weekend we will have our strawberry glaze pies again and we also make shortcakes daily to pair with your strawberries.¬†(Whipped cream in the cooler!) If you would like us to save something for you feel free to call us at 269-244-5690 and we will gladly set it back for you!

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M‚Äôs peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, Smores, and Cherry White Chocolate Chip
  • Pies:¬†Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry Rhubarb,¬†Strawberry Glaze and Pecan (made these pecan pies for a great Father’s day gift!)
  • Bread:¬†Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Vegetables and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns. We are partnering again with¬†La Brea bakery this year and will have the following breads: Semolina Cheese,¬†Roasted Garlic Loaf, and Jalape√Īo Cheese
  • Cinnamon Rolls¬†and¬†Pecan Sticky Buns
  • Assorted Dessert Bars
  • Muffins: Banana Nut, Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, Pistachio, and Strawberry
  • Donuts: We will have our Blueberry, Buttermilk, and Cherry Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday,¬†and Sunday.¬† We will also have Cherry Fritters, Vanilla Fluff Longjohns, Yeast Twists, Bavarian Cream (Custard) Longjohns, Raspberry Bismarks, and Yeast Rings (available all week)
  • Slushies

Alcohol offerings: We have our full range of brandy for sale. 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, Bark Bite, Brunch Cider, and Afternoon Cider.

We also have a Prince Tribute Cider we launched last week in honor of Prince’s birthday¬†made with plum, honey, and vanilla. Becca was a really big Prince fan and much of the hard cider you enjoy was brewed with his music playing in her headphones. Curious? Come to our hard cider happy hour on Friday from 4-6 or Saturday from 3-6 if you want a growler or a sample before you buy! Of course, we are a small family¬†market so bear with us as we try and figure out the best way to do this and keep the atmosphere you know and love! We look forward to seeing you. It is really wonderful sitting in the breeze enjoying a cold cider on these weekend afternoons.

And of course, we have our usual brandy house tours with Bruce from 1-3 on Saturdays.

Happenings on the farm:

We watched the cherries turn from green to gold, red and black.¬†While they look ready, they are not quite.¬† We will try to pick a few sweet cherries this weekend for the market.¬†Check back on June 22 and we’ll try to figure out when u-pick sweet cherries might start.¬†The tart cherries are another week away, check back around June 26th on those.

We drank water, picked strawberries, and repeated for many hours every day. As you drive by you will see we have staked our tomatoes, the plants are coming along nicely, blooming and setting fruit. We picked so much broccoli because it all got ready at the same time, over 300 heads on one day!

One of the questions our customers ask frequently is how we keep unwanted pests out of our fields….as they relay the tales of how rabbits, deer, raccoons, etc. are eating their gardens up.¬†The answer: We don’t!¬† We have the same problems you do.¬†We have the luxury of more space than most gardeners do so we¬†plant extra knowing we will lose some.¬†This year has been particularly difficult, each of the flags in this picture shows where an animal ate a tomato plant, so far we have replanted 400….not happily either!

We want to thank all of you for coming out this week, picking berries or buying produce in this heat. Also a huge thanks to everyone who works here for your perseverance in these conditions.

Doesn’t the inner child in all of us want to pick up a large juicy berry and savor it like this little customer did?!!!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards sends our best wishes to all of the fathers and we as always, appreciate your buying local.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local!

Strawberry update

U-Pick Strawberry Information–Updated 6-13-17¬†¬†4:30 pm

U-Pick strawberries will be open:  Wednesday June 14th and probably through this weekend.  Given the heat bringing the berries on quicker, we expect to be open every day now at 8 am.  It is still best to check our facebook page, our website, or call us to make sure we are open before you come.  We will keep everything updated as the situation changes.  269-244-5690.

On the days we open, we will open at 8 am, and close the field when the berries for the day are picked out or at noon, which ever comes first!  Please bring quart boxes if you have them, or something to take your berries home in.  We will loan you boxes to pick in.

U-Pick is $2.25  quart.

Picked strawberries are available for $3.75 a quart or $28 a flat of 8 quarts.   We should have plenty this week, but the heat will make the berry season go quickly.  Please call us to order if you need.

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries: in Shortcake, Pie, Hard Cider, Salad, or Just Served Fresh!

June is one of our favorite months here on the farm because of strawberry season! There is truly nothing like a freshly picked Michigan strawberry and with the amount of phone calls we are getting, it sounds like you are ready for them too!

Grandaughter Emma Grace helping us pick strawberries

So what is the strawberry story?¬†Here’s a few chapters…

  1. Our farm, like others in Michigan, have fewer strawberries this year due to losing most of our early variety¬†berry¬†crop in the¬†May frost/freeze, despite everyone’s heroic efforts to save the crop by irrigating through the cold nights.¬†Now that they are coming in, we are better understanding how many we lost.
  2. On some of the varieties, the berries will be small. Smaller berries are actually sweeter, but they do take longer to pick (but you get more in a quart box!).
  3. We have not quite figured out how we are going to do U-Pick this year, due to the above and wanting to provide a quality experience for you.  But we do know what a treasured experience this is for so many families, so we are looking at ways we can still have berry picking this year. We need a few more days of seeing how the berries come along to make the best decision. Stay tuned and check with us next week.

We are picking berries daily for the market, $3.75 a quart, which sell out fast. So call before you come to see if we have any or we are happy to take an order and hold them for you. 269-244-5690.

  • We are taking orders for flats of 8 quarts,¬†which will be $28.¬†You can order flats anytime now by calling us at 269-244-5690 and we’ll call you when ready.¬†We have not started filling any of our orders yet, but hope to this coming week.
  • U-Pick pricing will be $2.25 a quart when it is available.

What else we have on the market now:

Asparagus: This is the end, we have stopped picking for the year and when we sell out, it will be gone for another year.

Rhubarb:¬†Available now for $2.50 a pound.¬†If you need 10 pounds or more, please call us to order and we’ll get it picked and ready.¬†269-244-5690.

Greenhouse cucumbers are ready.

Greenhouse tomatoes are finally here. So plan a BLT into an upcoming meal! We bake the bread, have extremely tasty bacon from Mill Lake Farm in the freezer (I recommend the Callie bacon, it is cut thick and perfect size for a sandwich), and beautiful organically grown lettuce in the cooler. Yum!

Pretty pleased with our greenhouse tomatoes this year.

Some of our U-Pick Herbs are ready. Find bags and scissors for cutting herbs around the neck of the bird overlooking the herb garden. A list of what is ready is posted at the market.

Bedding plants:¬†All of the plants that we still have are on sale now, and we’d like them to be in your gardens!¬†Going fast—so come quick.

Organic Produce: Lettuce, spinach, kale, collards, and carrots, grown in our organically certified hoophouse and at our organic schoolhouse garden. A few cucumbers too! (Just starting to come in.) Look for the bright organic sign located by the market cooler where we keep this produce fresh.

Please help:¬†We have so much beautiful lettuce and kale coming in….with the hot temperatures coming this weekend….salads should be on your menu. And Becca harvested some gorgeous baby oakleaf and baby crispy lettuce today which make such beautiful, sweet, tasty salads. Spring lettuce is so nice and tender – get it while you can!

Bakery Update: One of the most frequent calls to the bakery is about when will we have Strawberry Glaze Pie. We are making them right now! We will have them on Friday, Saturday and Sunday until they sell out. We are also making shortcakes, from an old family favorite recipe, to go with your strawberries (whipped cream in the cooler!). If you would like us to save something for you feel free to call us at 269-244-5690 and we will gladly set it back for you!

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M‚Äôs peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, Smores, and Cherry White Chocolate Chip
  • Pies:¬†Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Strawberry Rhubarb¬†and Strawberry Glaze
  • Bread:¬†Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Vegetables and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns. We are partnering again with¬†La Brea bakery this year and will have the following breads: Semolina Cheese,¬†Roasted Garlic Loaf, and Jalape√Īo Cheese
  • Cinnamon Rolls¬†and¬†Pecan Sticky Buns
  • Assorted Dessert Bars
  • Muffins: Banana Nut, Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, Pistachio, and Strawberry
  • Donuts: We will have our Blueberry, Buttermilk, and Cherry Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday,¬†and Sunday.¬† We will also have Cherry Fritters, Vanilla Fluff Longjohns, Yeast Twists, Bavarian Cream (Custard) Longjohns, Raspberry Bismarks, and Yeast Rings (available all week)
  • Slushies

Alcohol offerings: We have our full range of brandy for sale. 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, Bark Bite, Brunch Cider, and Afternoon Cider.

We also have a Prince Tribute Cider starting Saturday in honor of Prince (his birthday was this week!) made with plum, honey, and vanilla. Becca was a really big Prince fan and much of the hard cider you enjoy was brewed with his music playing in her headphones. Curious? Come to our hard cider happy hour on Friday from 4-6 or Saturday from 3-6 if you want a growler or a sample before you buy! Of course, we are a small family market so bear with us as we try and figure out the best way to do this and keep the atmosphere you know and love! We look forward to seeing you.

And of course, we have our usual brandy house tours with Bruce from 1-3 on Saturdays.

Happenings on the farm:

We have watered, then watered some more.¬†¬†¬†The winds have been so drying….our fields are parched.

Watering strawberries

We started thinning our peach trees.¬†We will have peaches this year of some varieties. When you look at the orchard you will see trees with no peaches on them or too many peaches–which is why we take them off, so that they can grow to a nice size and not break the limb!).¬†We did lose some of the peaches in the spring frost, but the good news is, we will have peaches!

Look how many peaches on this little limb

We planted pumpkins today….and now after one more sweet corn planting (to hit on Labor Day weekend) and some more green beans….we will soon be able to put the planting equipment away for the year.

May not look like much now….but just wait until it’s full of big pumpkins!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local!