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

Celebrate 4th of July at the Farm!

Yes, we are open our regular hours on the 4th of July (and all holidays) from 8 until 6.  We have not been able to train our fruits and vegetables to not grow on a holiday, thus we will be out in the fields, hoophouse and orchards early to have just picked produce when you get here.

  • Red:  Cherries, double red cherry wine, cherry pie, cherry fritters, red potatoes, red onions
  • White:  cauliflower, white onions, sour cream, yogurt, vanilla ice cream
  • Blue Blueberries, blueberry pie, blueberry scones, blueberry muffins

and of course there are lots of other colors across the market and bakery!

This is the year we want everyone to try a tart cherry, and learn to love them as much as we do!

Bowl of tart cherries picked by a customer this week

Tart/Sour Cherries:  We have a good crop of these this year. While for sure they make a great pie, jam and can be used in many recipes, they also are great to eat fresh and are so good for you. We have samples at the market to try. It might be a nice u-pick experience for the family to get some. Everyone out this week has loved how easy they were to pick and how red and plump they were! It would be helpful if you can bring a kitchen stool ladder or step ladder. Learn more about how the health benefits of tart cherries, fun facts,  along with recipes here:  http://www.choosecherries.com/

Tart Cherry U-Pick: Open for U-PIck now, until they are gone. (See U-Pick cherry information at end of this post.)**

  • Tart cherry u-pick pricing: $1.50/pound, over 50 pounds @ $1.25/pound.
  • Length of season. Depending on the weather and how many come out to pick, would  expect them to last a week or so
  • Tart cherries Picked: $5.00 a quart.
  • Check out the cherry pitters we have at the market, Kids absolutely love getting the pits out of their cherries with these!

Blueberries–are ready!

Blueberries are large and sweet for picking

  • Picked blueberries available now in pints, quarts, 5 lb boxes and 10 lb boxes
  • U-Pick Blueberries: We have a relatively small field compared to most major blueberry growers (only three acres), so our u-pick blueberries are for folks who just want to come over to pick a few pounds (limit of 10 pounds per group) for the experience. We are opening for U-Pick on Wednesday July 4th.  If you are looking to pick a lot of blueberries, we recommend you try Brookside Farms, located in Paw Paw. They supply our picked berries and have a delightful farm for you to visit and pick at.  269-657-3500 or check their website:  https://brooksidefarmsmi.com/
  • Please smell the milkweed blooms in the blueberry field (a most fragrant/lovely smell) and please don’t hurt them even though they are considered a weed. We have left them there on purpose to help with the national monarch butterfly problem. We have not seen a monarch butterfly here this year, which is incredibly sad.  We encourage you to read more about the monarch butterfly problem at the end of this written by Amber, Brenda’s daughter who is working here this summer. You can usually find her in the bakery most days!

Amber with a tray of milkweed plants

Nate removing some of the milkweed around the blueberry bushes (to give them light) and leaviing the rest.

Parents, Nutritionists, Doctors, Farmers, Chefs and so many others repeat the phrase: Eat your vegetables! And you should! The market is beginning to overflow with so many great vegetable choices, grown conventionally and organic. With this heat coming, just enjoy them as a cut up snack, with a dip. (We have dip mixes, sour cream and yogurt for sale). With the abundance of zucchini, try spiralizing them into noodles (yes, we have spiralizers for sale as well, and they’re widely available at supermarkets because of how great zoodles are). And of course, everyone’s favorite: grilling them (outside of course keeping the heat out of the kitchen!).  Stay tuned to Facebook this week as we post favorite recipes.

Here’s what is on the market now:

  • Fresh broccoli, zucchini, kohlrabi, cucumbers,  yellow summer squash, fresh dug onions, cauliflower, peppers, red potatoes and peas
  • Greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers
  • U-pick herbs are ready. Find bags, scissors for cutting around the neck of the bird overlooking the herb garden. A list of what is ready is posted at the market. If you haven’t tried using freshly picked herbs you will be amazed at how they punctuate your food. So bring your recipes and pick away.
  • Organics! Lettuce, garlic scapes, basil, lots of cucumber, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, carrots, and a few tomatoes including cherry tomatoes from the certified organic plot. We’ve also begun pulling some garlic bulbs for you. These are to use fresh! We will have cured garlic for winter storage later on in the year, and will also give you recipes for pickling (which is Becca’s preferred way to store garlic for use year round).

Here’s what is coming:

  • Green beans, probably this weekend
  • Sweet Corn 7 to 10 days away

Straw: We have extra bales of straw available for your mulching needs. They are $6/bale or 4 bales for $20.

Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: Strawberry Cider and Afternoon Cider are both back! We’ve also got our Prince Tribute Cider, Brunch, Rhubarb, Ginger, Dry, Semi-Sweet, Sweet, Hopped, and Bark Bite. If you’re interested in a mead, our new United Squash Federation features a really mellow blend of ingredients, most notably buttercup squash and caramel. It’s just a really soft, nice mead that comes in at about 8% alcohol by volume. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy, Double Cherry Wine, and Kaiser Cyser.If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Dussel’s in Cassopolis, Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan.

Brandy tasting and tours are this Saturday with Bruce from 1 – 3 in the brandy room. Hard cider tastings are at the market 4-6 on Fridays and 3-6 on Saturdays. We’ll have many of our ciders on tap for flights and growler fills as well. Come sit and enjoy the space at the side of the market with a drink and pleasant conversation, and a view of the lake and our gardens. We look forward to seeing you rain or shine!

Bakery: Be sure to come see us in the bakery! If there is a favorite pie or something you want for the holiday, please feel free to call and have us save it back for you! 269-244-5690.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate Chip, Coconut Pecan, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, and Lemon
  • Pies:  Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Cherry Berry, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Blueberry Glaze (available Fri, Sat, Sun)
  • Breads: Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Assorted muffins
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry (made on Friday, Saturday,  and Sunday)
  • Gluten free sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
  • Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
  • In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode! Pair with a cherry and blueberry pie and you’ve got your red, white and blue!

Everyone at the farm hopes you have a safe and great holiday. Thanks as always for buying local.

Monarch Butterfly Information:  Monarchs are one of the most well-known butterflies in North America as millions of them migrate across the United States to spend their winters in Mexico. This past May, Corey Lake Orchards registered and was selected to participate in the #MonarchChallenge (http://agro.basf.us/living-acres/) organized by BASF Living Acres based in Durham, North Carolina. The goal of this challenge is to help increase the monarch population by increasing suitable monarch habitat by planting milkweed, the only plant monarch larvae feed on.

Monarchs migrate to Michigan in the Spring and migrate south to spend their winters in Mexico.  However due to massive habitat loss, the eastern Monarch (those east of the Rocky Mountains) population has declined by 80%- 90%. They are currently being petitioned to be added to the federal endangered species act which will be decided in 2019. Monarchs are not the only pollinator affected as bees have also seen massive declines in recent decades.

Corey Lake Orchards received 36 Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) plants from BASF Living Acre.  You can find them planted in the herb garden, terrace garden and in front of the market. We have also allowed a large amount of native wild milkweed to grow in various parts of the farm such as the blueberry field and around the old school house. Becca recently found some caterpillars on the milkweed she allows to grow in her protected, certified organic hoophouse – you can see video of that on our Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/coreylakeorchards/)!

Our planted and natural milkweeds will provide a safe place for monarch larvae to thrive and grow before transforming into butterflies. There have only been a handful of reported sightings of monarchs in the area so far, but this will continue to be an ongoing project. If you spot a monarch, feel free to report it at the following website as it tracks where they have been seen across the country (http://www.learner.org/jnorth/maps/monarch.html).

We will continue to update you on sightings at Corey Lake Orchards and let you know if any Monarchs choose to reside on our milkweed for the Summer.

For more information on what the state of Michigan is doing for Monarchs and what you can do to help, please visit the following websites.

Amber Sample, graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in December 2017., majoring in Pre-Professional Zoology with minors in Environmental Science and Psychology. She has been involved in monarch butterfly projects since 5th grade starting with raising them in her house. Through middle and high school, she volunteered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission during the fall to count and tag monarchs migrating to Mexico. She will be attending Colorado State University in August to get her Master of Science in Conservation Leadership through Learning.

**Information for U-Pick cherries and blueberries

  • U-Pick Hours: 8 – 6 daily, please be finished picking by 5:45 p.m. to be back to the market by 6pm. Because of the heat,  we recommend coming early. Fruit will keep the best if picked cool. And everyone staying cool will make for a better experience!
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy or prickly plants especially in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Bring waters, suntan lotion, insect repellant and the like.
  • 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.
  • For cherry picking, 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.

Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Cut Out Sugar, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate Chip, Coconut Pecan, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, and Lemon
  • Pies:  Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Cherry Berry, Strawberry Rhubarb, and blueberry glaze (available Fri, Sat, Sun)
  • Breads: Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Assorted muffins
  • Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry (made on Friday, Saturday,  and Sunday)
  • Gluten free sensations items in bakery freezer including pies, cookies, brownies, and cinnamon rolls!!
  • Slushies (now in 2 sizes based on customer’s requests for larger size!)
  • In the bakery freezer, Plainwell Vanilla Ice Cream, for pie a la mode! Pair with a cherry and blueberry pie and you’ve got your red, white and blue!