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

Beautiful Fall weather = Fall Farm Fun!

What picture perfect days we have had this week. Our apples and grapes are loving these cool nights which help them size and color…and get sweeter. The weather put us in a fall decorating mood, so enjoy the many colorful displays that Teri has started putting together (Thanks Teri!). And don’t let a scarecrow frighten you like one did to me when I came to work in the dark this morning and thought there was a real person sitting on the bench!

We plan to have our antique trucks and tractors out by this weekend for your annual photo opportunities. So check them out and please share your photos with us. We love to see folks enjoying our farm!

Grape update:  Here’s the latest story on the grapes, which is the most frequently asked question and call for sure right now! One drive by our farm with open windows and you too will know that the grapes are getting closer by the amazing fragrance you can now smell.

Sugar samples of both Niagara and Concord grapes were taken Tuesday and did not measure as high as we would like. Grapes are running about a week behind last year, with the white Niagara being riper than the purple Concord.

We are going to open u-pick grapes on Saturday 9-15 for the season. There are plenty of grapes, and the longer customers wait, the sweeter/riper they will get. We encourage everyone to wait if they can. We feel the peak grape ripeness will be the week of 9-24 and after. But, we know people all have busy lives so opening up early gives those who can only come out this weekend a chance to get some. Again, we have lots of grapes this year—of both colors–(50 acres) and will have them up until the first frost.

  • 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.
  • 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.

fredoniares

Fall ornamentals and winter squash:  We have pumpkins of all shapes and colors now, gourds, and mums for your fall decorating.  Check out the new varieties of squash we are growing this year (like baked and mashed potato squash).  Remember, you can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!

Sweet Cider: We are going to try to make it this weekend! Feel free to call before you come out to get it to make sure we were able to press it.

2018 Apple update:  We have a smaller crop of apples this year due to spring weather issues. At the bottom of this blog post,*** we have a chart which estimates when they will be ready and which ones we don’t have many of that you can pre-order. We also have copies of this information at our market for you to pick up.

Apples:  This week we picked a few more apple varieties.  Everything we have on the market now is listed below.

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time
  • 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 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.  Sold by the pound only.($2)
  • Macintosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce.  We have a very light crop of these, they are all picked for the year will only last a few days.  Come or call right away if you want some of these.  
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Early Fuji: Fantastic sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content, an incredibly good keeper. Stays for weeks without being refrigerated.  These are only available in half pecks and quarter pecks until the later Fuji is ready in a few weeks.
  •  U-Pick apples will be available on Saturday and Sunday , during the hours we are open which is 8 until 6. We need everyone checked out by 6, so you must be in the apple orchard by 5:30 to be able to pick. Please check in at the market by 5:15 to get directions and containers to pick
  • There will be 4 varieties ready for you to pick this weekend:  Gala, JonaMac, Mollie’s Delicious and Cortland. 
  • Apple pricing for the year: Our apple pricing is the same as last year. The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. 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.

Other Fruit offering

  • Fredonia Grapes (this is an early grape like a Concord grape, with seeds)
  • Watermelon:  The last week for these
  • Stanley prune plums--available in quarts only, we had a very poor crop this year 🙁
  • Tomatoes from the field are still coming in.
    •  “Firsts” Tomatoes are $20 a bushel or $12 a half bushel
    • “Seconds” Tomatoes (have blemishes or are misshapen) are $14 a bushel… These are great for making sauce, juice or salsa
    • We hope to have tomatoes on hand now for those that have ordered them and those who would like to get some. If you are trying to get lots of bushels, it does help to call us to let us know, 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

So on the market right now, we’ve got: fresh sweet corn, (this is the last week) eggplant, Brussels sprouts, winter squash, shallots, and field peppers in so many shapes and sizes–from hot to sweet! 

Onions, including Red Torpedo Tropea, Red Marble Cippolini, and Borrettana Cippolini are in. These are incredible for cooking or roasting. Our large sweet onions are now cleaned and bagged (10 pounds) for you to take. They have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.

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 and dill.

Organics! Lettuce (place an order if you want it for sure, it gets bought up fast!), bunching onions, leeks, sweet peppers, hot peppers, basil, cucumbers, 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. We are taking our organic tomatoes out soon so get them while you can!

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:  M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate  Chip, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
  • Pies:  Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, and Pear (this is the last weekend for pear pie)
  • Breads: Vegetable, 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, apple cider and pumpkin (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!

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! New this week: Cortabella Hard Cider! This is a pure Cortland cider, conditioned in-bottle, that got us our highest competition marks ever. If you like a dry cider (no residual sweetness) try it out! We also 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.

Update on Terri K:  Thanks to all of you who continue to stop, call and inquire about Terri’s medical status.  She is doing better each day and making good progress in healing. She is out of intensive care and in the rehabilitation center of the hospital, where she will stay for a while. We all miss her and will continue to provide updates.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 

***

Variety Crop Size Estimate Will U-Pick be Available when they are ready? Approximate Week Ready–Please check back as weather will can change timing earlier or later Should order in advance
Braeburn good no 2-Oct yes
Cameo good yes 9-Oct no
Cortland good yes Ready now no
Fuji good yes 9-Oct no
Gala good yes Ready now no
Golden Delicious good yes 24-Sep no
Golden Supreme few no 24-Sep yes
Honey Crisp good no Ready now no
Ida Red few yes 24-Sep yes
Jona Mac few yes Ready now no
JonaGold few all picked Ready now yes
Jonathon good yes 24-Sep no
Macintosh few all picked Ready now yes
Molly’s Del good yes Ready now no
Mutsu few yes 24-Sep yes
Northern Spy good yes 24-Sep no
Pink Lady few no 16-Oct yes
Red Delicious good yes 24-Sep no
Rome good yes 16-Oct no

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