2018 Corey Lake Orchards Sunflower Field Experience
I grew up totally understanding the common phrase “stop and smell the roses,” as we have a rose bush on our farm (in the middle of the herb garden) under the archway that is over 100 years old. It has a fragrance that compares to no other rose I have ever smelled. Growing up on this farm some fifty years ago (not giving away my age!) there were simpler times in my childhood where one would really stop and linger at the rose bush. For those of you who see me at the farm, a customer last week compared me to a gazelle as I never seem to stop moving. I loved the comparison as I think gazelles are quite graceful, so apparently this customer has not seen me tripping over a cornstalk or grapevine!
This is our first year of growing sunflowers and I have to say, it has given me pause. I find myself “stopping to look at the sunflowers” several times a day and appreciating their beauty and grace, and they bring me joy. With this past week’s heat and humidity, they are at their peak and we’d love to share this experience with you. Around 60,000 happy sunflowers await you for viewing, walking through, photographing, and just plain enjoying.
The sunflower field is open daily and will be open every day while the sunflowers are in their prime, which is typically 2 to 3 weeks. Depending on the weather, we hope to have this available through August 18th. We will be open from 9 until 5 daily.
We would encourage you to come during the weekdays when we have fewer customers, to have a better experience if you are able. Since they are peaking now, the best viewing time will be in the next 7 to 10 days.
Cost of admission to the sunflower field is:
- $5.00 for anyone 11 years old and up
- $2.00 for accompanied children 10 years or younger
- Please check in at the market for tickets and directions to get into the field
This admission fee for each ticket holder includes:
- The opportunity to cut 1 sunflower per person (cutting tool provided)
- Receive a bag and water to take it home in
- Walk through the meandering path that goes through the field (it is a little less than ¼ of a mile long)
- Educational information posted throughout the farm
- Photo opportunities are available at the field entrance as well as the along the walking pathway
- Picnic tables, hay bales and other areas to sit and relax in
- Parking adjacent to the field
- RTV Rides for people with mobility issues. On weekends we will have one staff member with an RTV at the field for folks who aren’t able to walk through the sunflowers. Depending on how many people need this service there may be a small wait as we try to accommodate and include everybody in the fun.
Additional flowers, when available, can be cut and purchased for $2 each. We also have decorative vases.
We have all of the information and everything you need when you come to the market.
Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: We’ve moved Hard Cider Happy Hour, it’s in the onion barn now! This is the building on top of the hill overlooking the playground and herb garden. Come find us 4-6pm Friday, 3-6pm Saturday and sample cider or get a growler filled. If you bring growlers from home and we’ll put our sticker over them, or buy one from us! We have Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Strawberry, Hopped, Afternoon (Strawberry/Chamomile), Prince Tribute, Sour Cherry/Sage, Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, United Squash Federation, and Standard Semi-Sweet in bottles.
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. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers!
Brandy tasting and tours are this Saturday from 1-3. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy as well as Double Cherry Wine available behind the shelf at the market.
Blueberries–are still in season. But don’t wait much longer. Picked blueberries available now in pints, quarts, 5 lb boxes and 10 lb boxes. Our U-Pick blueberries are now done for the year. If you want to pick 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
Summer apples: Just starting to come in we have Jersey Macs, which is a good variety for eating or cooking.
Canteloupe and Watermelon are ready, perfect timing for a cool, refreshing food choice in the summer heat.
Peaches are finally coming in. Red Havens will be in for about a week or so and we have them in eating quantities on the market of pecks, 1/2 pecks and quarts. If you are looking for bushels of peaches, please call us and get on our bushel list, and as we have bushels available we will be calling you. We have several varieties coming in after the Red Havens which I really love, so sweet!
Here’s what else is on the market now:
Due to the summer heat and drought, some summer vegetables will be ending earlier than normal. Cucumbers, green beans, summer squash are going to be around maybe another week. We are currently out of our own corn and getting if from a local farm as our succession plantings didn’t work out like we had planned due to weather. We still have a lot of our own corn coming in during the month of August, so if you are looking for bushels, get on our list and we will call you.
So on the market right now, we’ve got: fresh sweet corn, green beans, broccoli, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, cucumbers, yellow summer squash, fresh dug onions, shallots, new potatoes, field peppers. We are now harvesting tomatoes from the field. We also have green tomatoes as well as yellow, cherry and grape tomatoes, and roma paste tomatoes. Field tomatoes are coming on very slow this year….patience please, we will be selling them by the bushel eventually.
U-pick herbs: Find bags, scissors for cutting around the neck of the bird overlooking the herb garden. Almost everything is available right now except cilantro.
Organics! Lettuce, bell peppers, hot peppers, basil, lots of cucumbers, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, and lots of tomatoes including heirlooms, slicers, and cherry tomatoes from the certified organic hoophouse. We’ve started putting out cured garlic which will be good to use fresh or to store for the upcoming months. Becca made a stamp for the bags so that they won’t be a mystery in your pantry.
We mark organic things with green, which means organic tomato pints have green x’s on them, cukes and other things are in green container, or for basil and kale and lettuce we make green signs. So you’ll find these around the market, or just ask a clerk. We’ve got a lot of organic produce!
Bakery: Be sure to come see us in the bakery! If there is a favorite pie, 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, Strawberry Rhubarb, and Blueberry Glaze (available Fri, Sat, Sun)
- Breads: Vegetable, Blueberry-Zucchini, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns and Sunflower Seed Bread!
- Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
- Assorted Muffins and Blueberry Coffee Cake
- 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!
Everyone at the farm hopes to see you soon!