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

It takes a village…or maybe just some corn…

Save the date for our August 6th All Things Local:  “Downtown to Down Home” Celebration.  From 11 to 3 on that Sunday we’ll be featuring food, drink art, music, book signings by local authors and more. Pick up a flyer at the market, see the schedule at the bottom of this post, or find it on our Facebook page as an event**

Here’s what is on the market now:

  • FRUIT
    • Picked Blueberries: by pint, quart, 5 lb. and 10 lb. box  (Note we expect to have blueberries through most of August) 
    • Lodi Apples (by the pound and bushels)  This will be the last week for them, this is a green, very tart apple loved by many for applesauce or because they love tart flavors that shock their taste buds
    • Jersey Mac Apples (1/4 pecks and 1/2 pecks ) a summer apple which is like a Macintosh, soft skin and flesh, mildly tart
    • Canteloupe– Just starting to come on
  • VEGETABLES
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Zucchini
    • Yellow Squash
    • Spaghetti Squash
    • Greenhouse Tomatoes and Greenhouse Cucumbers
    • Green Tomatoes
    • Field Cucumbers
    • Onions: fresh-pulled with green tops
    • Peppers–all kinds and colors from sweet to hot
    • Eggplant
    • Potatoes:  Red Norland and Yukon Gold and Blue Adirondack – fresh dug!
    • Green Beans
    • Sweet Corn — incredibly sweet right now, by the dozen or bushel
    • U-Pick Herbs
    • Check out the new Michigan made dip mixes to make up for vegetable or bread dipping.  Our staff taste-tested these last week and we mixed them with the local yogurt we carry.  One of our clever staff members scooped out the insides of a round zucchini and peppers to hold the dip!  Munching on cold vegetables with this tasty dip was the perfect thing after such a long hot day of work.

Organic Produce: 

  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes – super sweet, like candy! We have so many right now,  Pick some up!
  • Lettuce.
  • Cabbage. Becca grows caraflex cabbage, which is a smaller, “personal” size (1-2 lb. on each head) and known for its delicate, tender, sweet leaves.
  • Kale. Curly kale coming in very well right now! If you’d like a large quantity at a discount to make kale chips or other things that require a lot of kale, please call ahead and place an order. Our certified organic kale is $4/lb. for 2 lbs. or more but we do need you to call ahead so we can pick it fresh for you.
  • Collards, green garlic, garlic scapes, cucumbers, Roma paste tomatoes, slicer tomatoes in right now, too. Eggplant and peppers coming in slowly, as are tomatillos. If you’d like us to pick you certified organic basil for pesto, please call ahead and place an order! It’s coming in very well now.

U-Pick opportunities:   We currently do not have any thing for you to pick right now.  Our blueberry field has just a few left but you are welcome to go out for the experience and pick a handful or so.  Blueberry picking is still going strong in Southwest Michigan and we would recommend Brookside Farms as a great place to go. They are located in Paw Paw, their phone number is 269-657-3500 or find them online at:  http://brooksidefarmsmi.com/

Our next U-Pick fruit opportunity will be when fall apples and grapes arrive.  Stay tuned for more info as we get closer to apple season.

Bakery Update: Yes, our popular blueberry-zucchini bread is here while we have fresh blueberries and zucchini. Due to this being such a  labor-intensive bread to make (come watch us grate bushels of zucchini!)  we do have a limited supply we can make per day. We know that many of you like to freeze this bread, so it would help us if you could place those orders with us and we will call you when we can fill those. This allows us to have as much on hand as we can to ensure everyone can get a loaf or two. Just call us at 269-244-5690 for bread orders or anything else you would like to order.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Zucchini Chocolate Chip, Cut Out Sugar, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Peanut Butter, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, and Cherry White Chocolate Chip
  • Pies: Blueberry, Blueberry Rhubarb, Cherry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb. We will also have Blueberry Glaze pie, Chocolate Cream and Peanut Butter cream available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Bread: Blueberry-Zucchini, Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Honey Oat, Vegetable 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, Sourdough, and Jalapeño Cheese
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
  • Assorted Dessert Bars
  • Muffins: Banana Nut, Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, Pistachio, Raisin Bran, Chocolate, and Cherry Almond. 
  • 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 – Apple Cider, Grape

Alcohol offerings: We’ve got a lot of varieties of bottled cider right now. Cherry/Sage, Blueberry, Rhubarbary Coast (rhubarb), Sweet Cider, Ginger, Prince Tribute, Hopped, Brunch (maple/vanilla), and Bark Bite (smoked hickory/oak). We have cherry wine and Kaiser Cyser as well. We’ll have a few additional ciders on tap during our hard cider happy hour. This weekend we’ll have hard cider tastings:

  • Friday from 4-6
  • Saturday from 3-6

Stop on by to sample some cider. On tap during tasting: Afternoon, Ginger, Bark Bite, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry/Sage, Rhubarb, Brunch, and Hopped ciders. If we run out of one thing, we may replace it with something else, so get it while you can! During tasting hours, feel free to bring your own clean 32 oz. or 64 oz. growler if you’d like one filled, or buy a new growler here at the market to take home fresh draft cider. And of course, we have our usual brandy house tours with Bruce from 1-3 on Saturdays, and full range of brandy offerings.

Fruit and vegetable update:  To order please call us on 269-244-5690

  • Green Beans: They are finally coming in now so we have them available by the pound, and within a few weeks we should have enough to sell by the bushel. Please add your name to our bushel list if you want some.
  • Sweet Corn: We  have plenty coming in now, if you are looking for large quantities to freeze or for a large gathering, we have it by the bushel.  It helps us if you can call and pre-order as we pick daily to make sure it is fresh.  We have planted enough sweet corn to have it through the month of August, if the weather cooperates.
  • Peaches:  As we are able to pick a few peaches here and there, we are offering them by the quart but they sell out fast.  Sorry for those of you who have been trying to get your first peach taste of the year.  Our trees either have too many peaches (and branches breaking despite how many times we thinned them) or no peaches.  Our early peaches froze out in the spring, so we only have a few coming in right now.  We expect to have more as the mid-season peaches come in around August 5th.  We hope to be able to offer bushels. Call and get your name on our list if you’d like to pre-order. If you are looking for Red Haven peaches, we will not have any of those this year due to losing them in the spring.  We will be picking a few Flamin’ Fury peaches over the next week until our mid-season peach called Coral Star is ready.    All our peach varieties are freestone.
  • Plums: We do not have a very large crop of plums and will not be able to have any by the bushel this year.
  • Bartlett Pears: We have a good pear crop (usually 3rd week of August). If you want bushels to can, please call and get added to our list.
  • Tomatoes: Despite numerous problems (animals eating 800 plants and other issues) we will have a good tomato crop. We have just started bringing in some tomatoes from the field; they are coming!  We are taking bushel orders for “firsts” and “seconds” tomatoes which are blemished but great for salsa, juice, etc.
  • Apples: We have a good crop of apples this year and will provide an update closer to fall.

Happenings on the farm:

This was a really “corny” week here.  We picked, we packed, we moved, we delivered, and the abundance of sweet corn swirled in our minds constantly.  As many of you saw, we did a Facebook posting earlier this week to let everyone know we had corn, so much, that we’d try to donate when we could.  Much to our surprise, over 26,000 people have seen it, shared it and helped spread the word.   We were able to honor a good number of requests from local food banks, pantries, senior citizen homes and shared with as many different communities as we could, around 9,000 ears of corn.  It was pretty humbling to hear how these organizations will use this fresh corn and how many families they are able to feed.  One of the chefs in the Kalamazoo area made time to drive over and pick up the corn himself and told us how they prepare 8,000 meals a week for the homeless, disabled and folks who don’t know where there next meal will come from.  He says he loves being able to serve fresh produce because it makes a statement to those that they are serving that someone cares……cares enough to provide something which is in season and fresh–not out of a can.

We do a lot of succession planting here which means during the spring we plant things seven days to two weeks apart, especially things like corn and green beans, with the goal being that they will be spaced such that when one planting finishes, the next is ready—-(yes all the things we do behind the scenes to keep produce coming for you!)  But….when a heat wave or cold wave comes, which seems to be the new normal, all bets are off.  So what happens is that two and sometimes three plantings come in at the same time which is what happened this week with corn.  With fields overflowing, this puts farmers like us in a dilemma.  If we can’t sell it, do we pick it or leave it in the field?

sweetcorn

We live in a world where people go hungry, so we will not leave food in the field if we can help it. Our farm philosophy has been to help others wherever we can, so our desire is to pick it before it spoils and get it to food banks and those in need.  In the past years when this situation occurred, we were overwhelmed and gratified with people who asked to help be part of this community caring.   Here’s how you can help us help others, if you feel so inclined. For customers who would like to help, for every one dozen of corn you buy at $5, if you want to put an additional $5 towards helping others, we will go pick, pack and donate two dozen on your behalf. We feel strange about asking for money for this, but we pay our employees fair wages for their work and it helps us cover that cost, plus packing and delivering so that we can afford to donate a substantial amount.

We will have a sign up sheet for this and provide a list of names to the food bank for all who helped with this – we want to be accountable to you and to them. Because of times like these, we maintain connections to all area food banks  Together, we can help make a difference and put fresh sweet corn on someone’s empty plate. We thank everyone who is able to help us with this effort, and understand if you can’t.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you buying local, we are grateful to have you as part of our community.

— Dr. Seuss–Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.  It’s not.

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Our family is committed to this area and are working to support the community in every way that we can to have it be the vibrant town of yesteryear…. Here is the weekly town update from Dave Vago, Executive Director of DDA, Three Rivers

Community can mean a lot of different things, but whatever it means to you, it is important to everyone. It is the means through which we interact with the world, receive support, and live our lives. Because a good community helps us to thrive, it is important that we participate in our communities–or to give back. If you are familiar at all with downtown Three Rivers, you know that we have been working hard to r-energize our Main Street, and that new businesses are popping up that will help to bring new life, vitality, and sense of community. I knew a strong sense of place here as a kid, spending my own summers on Corey Lake. My grandfather was a pharmacist at a drug store downtown, and he knew the value of good community. It meant not simply selling a product, but knowing customers and their needs, and being willing to do the work of maintaining personal connections – even if it meant a midnight house delivery. Three Rivers has a strong sense of community, and it has been its strongest when our downtown thrives, and has a sense of purpose. That community exists today, made up of merchants who don’t just offer food, drink, and merchandise, but who believe in this community and their place in it. The nice thing is, you don’t have to be from here to enjoy that sense of community. It’s as simple as coming downtown for a drink, a bite, or to shop. It’s strong enough that you’re sure to find a conversation, and perhaps even make some new friends. I am here because this place helped to shape the kind of person I am. I benefited from this place as a kid, and now I am working to maintain and grow it, and I get to be a part of it. That’s how I give back, and we’re proud to partner with Corey Lake Orchards, because they see how community benefits everyone too. Good product helps their reputation tremendously, but at the end of the day, they are successful because they believe in community, and work to make themselves an invested part of it. So, we all mean it when we invite you to join us, even if just for a visit. Come check out our downtown, and if you’d like to say hi in person, I’ll have a Downtown table at the All Things Local event at the orchard next Sunday, August 6th. See you there.
Best, Dave Vago
 **

Celebrate “All Things Local” hosted by Corey Lake Orchards. Tickle your taste buds with food and drink to sample and purchase. Enjoy a feast for the eyes presented by the Three Rivers Artists Guild and some food for thought by local authors. Let the “Pipers 4” serenade you as you learn about or refresh your memory of downtown Three Rivers and River Country with its many parks and spiritual centers.

11:00 to 3:00 PM        Activities throughout the Event

Displays representing

  • Downtown Three Rivers
  • River Country Tourism
  • St. Joseph County Parks
  • Three Rivers Artists Guild
  • Local spiritual centers

Food for purchase and samplings

  • Corey Lake Orchard products
  • Kalamazoo Pizza Company Food Truck
  • Mill Lake Farms (meat)
  • Speaking Stone Café (opening soon), coffee and expresso

12:00 to 1:00 PM        Charlotte Hubbard, local Queen Bee and author of both children’s and adult books – children’s book reading, honey tasting, and beekeeping discussion

12:00 to 3:00 PM        Brandy House Tastings by distiller, Bruce Ruesink

12:00 to 3:00 PM        Hard Cider Tastings by hard cider maker, Becca Sonday

1:30 to 3:00 PM          William Baltz, local author of “Spiritual Nexus” on the area’s spiritual centers

1:30 to 3:00 PM          Musical Serenade by local ensemble, the “Pipers 4”

3:00 PM                       Gift Basket and door prize drawings (need not be present to win)

Corey Lake Orchards Market and Bakery will have normal operation hours from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM for shopping, playground, and picnic fun.