One drive by our farm with open windows and you too will know that the grapes are ready by the amazing fragrance you can now smell. So we are opening the U-PIck grapes and some varieties of U-Pick apples beginning Saturday 9-16, see information below. And while we think that their peak ripeness will be 9-25 or later, we know that life is busy. So if this is the weekend or coming week that works for your schedule, come on over! It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend, make sure to ask about our cover crop maze when you are here for some additional fun and education and walk around the Spookley story in our front yard.
And, we pressed sweet cider today! Which means we’ll have fresh cider for you to buy in 1/4, 1/2, and 1 gallon jugs starting at 9am tomorrow (Friday, 9/15).
Picked Apples on the market:
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
- Jon-A-Mac: This is a good cooking or eating apple. It has all of the best qualities of a Jonathan apple and a McIntosh. A favorite for apple sauce.
- 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. We are thrilled they are ready in time for the weekend. Sold by the pound only.($2)
- Macintosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce.We now have all of these picked for the year and would encourage you to get your year’s supply within the next few weeks.
- NovaMac: this is a new apple (daughter of a MacIntosh) that I just love! It has the taste of a MacIntosh but is a crisp apple unlike the normal softer Macintosh. Try one when you are here!
- JonaGold: Superbly crisp and juicy with shades of tart and sweet in each apple, very large and aromatic. Cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious.We now have all of these picked for the year and only have a few bags left. Call us if you want us to save them for you.
- 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.
U-Pick Apples will open on Saturday September 16th, but only a few varieties are ready, see below. If you can wait, the apples will be riper 9-25 and after with more varieties to pick. U-Pick apples are available during our normal hours of 8 to 6 (must be out of the orchard by 5:45). Please check in at the main market on Corey Lake Road before you start. You will be driving to the orchards–so when you arrive, please have one person come into the market to get directions, information, baskets and bags and you’ll be on your way. (We’ve seen very unhappy children who get out of the car excited to pick, only to have to return to the car and drive to the orchard!) The varieties you can pick this weekend are:
- Red and Golden Delicious (Just starting, wait to come later if you can)
- Jonathan (Just starting, wait to come later if you can)
- Apple Pricing for the year: Our apple pricing is the same as last 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. **When we have bushels available. The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples.
- We have a good crop of apples and have made a forecast on when we think the varieties will be ready. Pick up a copy at the market or find one at the end of this update.
U-Pick Grape Update:
- White Niagara and Purple Concord grapes will open on Saturday, September 16th for the season.
- Picking hours: Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6, except for Tuesday and Thursdays, where we will stay open until 8 pm (must be checked into the market by 6pm).
- Please check in at the main market on Corey Lake Road before you start. You will be directed to the vineyard in which we are picking that day and be assigned rows to pick on by our vineyard and orchard supervisor.
- Grape sweetness: Both varieties of grapes are measuring at 15.5 brix, which is a good reading for this early in the season. If you can wait a week or so before you come, of course they will continue to get sweeter and riper.
- Grape Availability: We have a good crop of grapes and expect to have them until the first frost. Of course the weather and the number of people that come to pick could change that.
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! If you don’t have 5 gallon buckets to pick in, we will loan you ours, but please bring something to take your grapes back home in. (Boxes, plastic tubs, etc.)
- 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.
Here’s what else is on the market now:
- Pears–Bosc This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear)
- “Firsts” Tomatoes are $20 a bushel or $11 a half bushel.
- “Seconds” Tomatoes (have blemishes or are misshapen) are $14 a bushel… This is great for making sauce, juice or salsa.
- It is best to call us to pre-order bushels of tomatoes to make sure we have them picked,. especially with these cool nights. 269-244-5690.
- How long will they last? We say up until the first frost, but they are in peak production right now so you should try to get them in the next several weeks if you want large quantities.
- Spaghetti Squash
- Winter squash: Butternut, Acorn, Buttercup, Heart of Gold, Sweet Dumpling and Delicata.
- Onions, including the specialty onions: Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting
- Peppers–all kinds and colors from sweet to hot Check out our chocolate habanero!
- Potatoes (now available by the bushel for your winter use–$25 around 50 pounds)
- U-Pick Herbs
- Fall Ornamentals of gourds, colorful mums and mini pie pumpkins
They’re back! The hoodies and T-shirts that everyone loved last year. we have them in all sizes, including children.
Certified Organic Produce:
- Sungold Cherry Tomatoes – super sweet, like candy! Last weekend for these
- Winter squash (red kuri)
- Roma Paste Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes
- Eggplant – check out the Listada di Gandia, with its purple and white striped flesh. Very tender skin, excellent flavor, and just gorgeous color
Mushrooms! Becca took advantage of all the extra branches from the electrical line work at the farm this spring and has begun growing mushrooms on logs. We have oyster mushrooms for sale this weekend. They are not certified organic. We’re hoping to get them certified during our upcoming 2017 inspection though, and they are grown using organic techniques. These will be coming in slowly, in part because of the cool weather and in part because this year’s logs were a small trial batch. Try some if you can get them and let us know what you think!
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Cut Out, Caramel Apple, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Coconut Pecan, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, and Cherry White Chocolate Chip
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Pear,Pumpkin and Strawberry Rhubarb
- Bread: 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 Apple.
- Donuts: We will have our Apple Cider, Buttermilk, and Pumpkin Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We will also have Apple Fritters, Vanilla Fluff Longjohns, Yeast Twists, Bavarian Cream (Custard) Longjohns, Raspberry Bismarks, and Yeast Rings (available all week)
- Slushies – Grape
- Look for our “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in). As we work to stock up, please feel free to order and we can get them ready. “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors are: Rhubarb, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb and Blueberry Rhubarb. Note: no frozen apple pies are available until the Northern Spy apples get ready.
- While in the bakery take advantage of our local meat from Mill Lake Farm: Meat from Mill Lake Farms. http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/other-products/mill-lake-farm-meats/. This is a good time to stock up on roasts that can go in the crockpot which warms the kitchen as autumn arrives.
Alcohol offerings: Sweet, Semi-Sweet, Standard Dry and Black Currant/Cacao ciders are all fresh this month, and we still have Afternoon, Cherry/Sage, Blueberry, Hopped, and Preach (pear/peach cider). 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 right now: Black Currant/Cacao, Afternoon, 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.
Happenings on the farm this week: This week comes every year….where we have to get ready for the first pressing of cider, get everything ready for the U-Pick grapes and apples to begin, change over the hoophouse to fall plantings, add in more fall baked goods, get the farm decorated….that to be honest, that is the happening! Thank goodness for wonderful employees who make it all happen for your enjoyment!
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and hopes to see you this weekend.
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 update from Dave Vago, Executive Director of DDA, Three Rivers.
Some of you might have wondered where I went last week. HarmonyFest, our annual outdoor concert in Downtown Three Rivers, is my single biggest logistical undertaking, and I took a break to finish behind-the-scenes event wrap-up–and to recover. That said, the event itself was great: the weather was perfect, the musical acts were outstanding, the crowds were happy, and our volunteers came away feeling like it was a job well done. Our beer garden, increasingly featuring local products, was a success both as a fundraiser and a mini-event. We sold out of most things, including two excellent ciders from Corey Lake Orchard. Now, we’re on to the next big thing. In between working with prospective, new business developers on filling more storefronts, we continue our fabulous First Fridays event series. We’re particularly excited about October 6th: it’ll be 50s Fall Fest in downtown Three Rivers. For an evening, we’re closing off and throwing a block party on our historic Main Street, backdating the block with classic cars, period-appropriate music, old-time fair games such as cornhole, horseshoes, and hula-hoops, some food concessions for your sweet tooth, and a “what was this business in 1955” scavenger hunt. Though you’re not obligated, we encourage you to dig out your poodle skirts, gingham dresses, leather or lettermen’s jackets, and canvas shoes for the full, immersive experience. More to follow, but put it on your calendars – we hope to see you there!
2017 Apple Estimate Chart
|Variety||Crop Size Estimate||Will U-Pick be Available when they are ready? Apples in red are available to pick beginning Saturday September 16th||Approximate Week Ready–Please check back as weather will can change timing earlier or later||Should order in advance|
|Earli Blaze||lots||all picked||gone for the year||no|
|Honey Crisp||lots||no||Ready now||no|
|Macintosh||good||all picked||Ready now||no|
|Molly’s Del||good||all picked||Ready now||no|
**Children’s Maze Trail information:
- Learn about the importance of cover crops
- Find fun activity stops, make a craft
- Enter your name for weekly prize giveaways!
Entrance into the maze is free with any $10 purchase at the market. Upon your purchase, you will be given a ticket for entrance. Please fill this out with your name, email address and phone number and place it in the box at the entrance. We will do a drawing once a week for various prizes from our market!
Information for Adults:
- Please pick up a map of the trail if you would like to see how to get through it and where the activity spots are
- No children are to be unattended in the trail. An adult must be supervising at all times
- Please help us put each of the activity stations back in order so they’re ready for the next person when you leave
- Please be careful walking through the maze as there are many natural hazards (an occasional rock, an uneven surface, a honeybee, etc.)
- Due to uneven surface, strollers will not easily go through the walkway (wagons will)
- Please stay on the path and the mowed grass
- Please do not take food or drinks into the area (you will only invite a bee to want to come with you!)
- No pets, please
- Absolutely no smoking anywhere in or near the maze
- You may peek into our greenhouse and hoophouse structures from a distance, but please do not go in them. There is important farm work happening and they are closed to the public
- Please watch for vehicles when crossing the driveway to the entrance
- We close at 6 pm, so please be out of the trail by 5:45