Update posted at 6pm on Saturday, October 21. There are only a few Honeycrisp left to pick, we had sooo many people out today. There are still some Cameo’s and Red Romes.
To make up for the rain which kept most of you out of our orchards last weekend we have decided to give families a special treat this weekend by opening up a section of the orchard we usually do not. Most of you know we never have U-Pick Honeycrisp, but as we went through our orchards to see what was remaining, we found about 12 trees that still need to be picked and our crew has already moved into fall pruning mode. So we will open this row of trees, which also has some beautiful Cameo, Fuji and Red Rome for this weekend only (Saturday and Sunday or until all picked) with special hours of 10 to 4. These will be at our normal pricing of: $24 a bushel, $13 a half-bushel, and $7.50 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), and $5 a half-peck. It will be first come, first serve and when they are all picked we will close this section of the orchard. The weather at least for Saturday looks to be perfect for an apple picking outing!
Update at 6pm on Saturday, October 21st. The only apples left for gleaning are mostly Red Delicious, but there are still lots of those.
The remainder of our apple orchards which have been harvested are open for Apple Gleaning. In these designated orchards only 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.
U-Pick Pumpkins: This is a real pumpkin patch where there will no doubt be some mud, a few weeds, some poky pumpkin vines…so dress accordingly for the experience!
U-Pick Grapes: White Niagara and purple Concord grapes are still open for picking but we are at the end. It looks like we should have enough grapes to get through this weekend. Concord are still plentiful, but are now in the middles of the row, so bring a wagon if you have one to pull them out. There are not very many White Niagara left, so if you want a few buckets you can find them, but they are no longer available in large quantities. It is best to call before you drive here to ask how many grapes are left.
For all U-Pick, please check in at the market first to get directions. You will be driving to the orchards, vineyards and pumpkin field, so no need to get everyone out of the car only to have to put excited children right back in!!
Picking hours: Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6.
While you are here, take your family around the Spookley the Square Pumpkin story set up in our play area. We thank granddaughter Emma Grace who comes regularly to help us pick it back up after the wind blows it over and places pumpkins by each storyboard!
Picked Apples on the market:
We are still offering specials on two apple varieties: Gala and Cortland. Buy 2 half bushels ($24) and get another 1/2 bushel free (can mix and match). These two combined make a wonderful apple sauce needing no sugar! But hurry or call us to save them for you as we just have a few left and expect them to be gone over the weekend.
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 “Spies for pies.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
- 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.
- Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snaking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator
- Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content. An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.
- Red Rome: A big, round very red apple, mild sweet flavor. Holds it shape and flavor when baked.
- PInk Lady: Finally we will be able to pick our last apple of the season, such a late one. We will have these in the market on Saturday. If you don’t know a Pink lady, you need to meet her! It is a cross between a Lady William and Golden Delicious apple. It has bright white flesh that resists browning when cut. Pink Lady apples are very firm and dense, with a tart flavor and effervescent finish. Very unique apple! Brenda’s favorite!
Here’s what else is on the market now:
- Bosc Pears. This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear)
- Winter Squash: Butternut, Acorn, Heart of Gold, and Sweet Dumpling. Hurry, only a few left.
- U-Pick Herbs
- Fall Ornamentals of gourds, colorful mums, colorful fall corn and mini pie pumpkins
Certified Organic Produce:
Maybe a few other things, gosh the season really has wound down. We’ll see! -Becca
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- As we near the end of our baking season, we would like to remind everyone to order their holiday or winter stock of “take and bake” pies. Over the last two years, we have found that this is the best way for you to have pies on your holiday table or get you through the winter until our bakery reopens in May! And it moves the wonderful aroma of a pie baking to your own home. We will be taking orders through the end of the season (November 4th is our last day). We will make these pies and flash freeze them for you and call you when your order is ready for pickup. All our “take and bake” pies are large 9” pies, the available flavors are: apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb. Call us at 269-244-5690.
- Cookies: 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, Cherry, Peach, Cherry berry, Pumpkin, Pecan and Strawberry Rhubarb
- Apple Dumplings
- 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, 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 – Apple Cider and Grape
- Look for our “take and bake” pies in our freezer in the bakery. As we work to stock up, please feel free to order and we can get them ready, please give us 4 days notice to make sure your pies are ready to go.
Alcohol offerings: Hometown Hero is back! We won a silver award for this blackberry, elderberry, rose hip cider, and we hope you like it too. Also bottled: Blueberry, Dry, Ginger, Hopped, Preach (pear/peach cider), Semi-Sweet, and Sweet. 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. 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.
Closing Date Information: Our last official day will be Saturday, November 4th, 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 as we did last year for you to get produce, frozen pies, honey, maple syrup and our distillery/cidery products. At this point, we aren’t sure if we will have apples left after November 4th, so get your winter stock soon!
- Saturday November 11th 11 – 3
- Sunday November 12th 11 – 3
- Saturday November 18th 11 – 3
- Sunday November 19th 11 – 3
- December 2nd 11 – 3
- December 16th 11-3
Here’s what we plan to make available (until they run out!)
- Baked goods: frozen take and bake pies (if you have pre-ordered Holiday pies and have them stored in our freezer you can pick them up on one of these weekends closer to when you need them.)
- Apples, if any are left after our closing date of November 4th
- Organics: kale, lettuce, spinach, maybe carrots, onions, or other things
- Alcohol products: hard cider, brandy, wine, including tastings on Saturdays from 1 – 3.
- Other: honey, maple syrup, meat
It takes a village……once again our pumpkins surprised us by over producing and on top of that, growing so big! So we are on a mission to get pumpkins to those folks who might not otherwise get a pumpkin in our community, with help from charitable non-profit organizations. In addition, our Red Delicious apple trees were loaded so we are stripping those for food banks and shelters across Southwest Michigan. A special thanks to the Pathfinder First United Methodist Church of Portage who are volunteering their time to pick the apples. Also, a special thanks to Triple River Cross Fit who is holding their workout here on Saturday morning and volunteering their time to pick these ginormous pumpkins. As they carry these 50+ pound pumpkins across uneven terrain and mud, we think they will get an awesome work out and help us with an awesome cause. Cider and donuts will be waiting at the finish line!
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and hopes to see soon,
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.