It looks like another beautiful weekend and we will have both grape and apple picking available, plus just the opportunity to enjoy all of the fall sights of the farm. So many smells, textures, and colors of pumpkins, mums, gourds, squash, apples and colored corn. Check out our giant pumpkins, the Spookley story in the straw bale fort, and the antique trucks, tractors and the like. Please share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram, or email to us. (We are so busy in the fall we never get to see our own displays!!)
Please check out the first and second place winning giant pumpkins from this year’s St. Joseph County Fair, grown by Keith and Marc Whitford, weighing in at 522 pounds and 467 pounds, respectively. We thank both of them for allowing us to share them with you!
Our u-pick orchard and vineyard team of Rachel and Marci are the friendly faces and helpful folks who are there to make sure you have a great experience picking apples and grapes. If you need anything while you are picking, please ask them.
Both the white Niagara and purple Concord vineyards are open for you to come pick. These are both seeded grapes used for making juice, jelly and for those who know them—for fresh eating! We should have them up until the first frost, so plan a trip out to get some. See info below on key information you should know before you come. ***
We have so many white grapes that this is the year we are asking everyone to try the Niagara grapes. Here’s why:
- They are sweeter than the Concord
- They are easier to pick (larger clusters, less foliage and double wire trellis make them that way)
- They don’t stain like the purple Concords do
Those who have tried them have not gone back to Concord. Many are also mixing the two colors, especially into juice. It makes a nice pink juice and the white grapes sweeten it up.
To encourage all of you serious Concord juice makers into trying these, we are offering this incentive. If you pick 5 or more 20-pound buckets of Concords (100 pounds or over) you can pick one 20-pound bucket of white Niagara’s for free! Take them home and try them out.
Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes both white Niagara and purple Concord at $26 a bushel and $14 a half bushel. Please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them.
Fall ornamentals and winter squash: We have pumpkins of all shapes and colors now, gourds, and mums for your fall decorating. Remember, you can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later!
Sweet Cider: We are pressing sweet cider now.
2018 Apple update: We have a smaller crop of apples this year due to spring weather issues. Also, as you are in the U-PIck apple orchard you will notice some of the other affects of the spring frost which left some scars on the apples. At the bottom of this blog post, we have a chart*** which estimates when the varieties will be ready, and which ones we don’t have many of so that you can pre-order them. We also have copies of this information at our market.
Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.
- Apple Special: In order to make room for later varieties coming in, we have the following 3 varieties (Gala, Jon-A-Mac and Cortland) on special. Buy two half bushels (or one bushel) for $24, and get an additional half bushel for free. So this is a $12 savings. You can mix and match these 3 varieties.
- 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
- 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. Sold by the pound only, ($2).
- 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 (These are almost gone for the year, call us if you want some saved for you)
- 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.
- Ida Red: Eat fresh or for cooking, taste is both tangy and tart. Flesh is white, crisp and juicy. Texture holds up well when baked. Only have a few.
- U-pick apples are open now for many of the varieties. Apple are slow in ripening this year and getting their color and full flavor, partially due to the unusual weather we have had this year. Picking is available during our business hours of 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 first for directions. You will be driving to the orchard, so send someone to the market to get directions before getting everyone (especially excited children) out of the car!
- Starting Saturday, 9-29, the following can be picked: Cortland, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathan, Ida Reds, Cameo and Northern Spies, but we encourage you to wait if you can before you pick them or pick only small quantities as they really need to ripen more. If you pick, select them very carefully for those that are riper than others.
- 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 are: $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
- Concord and Niagara grapes
- Bosc Pears: this is a sweet, hard, eating pear which keeps well (not a good canning pear)
- Tomatoes are now gone for the year….but what a good run, having them almost thru the month of September. We will all miss having a fresh tomato for sure….
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 and 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, swiss chard, and tomatoes from the certified organic hoophouse. This week Becca picked baby ginger that she grew, find it in the organic section of the market.
My first stop this morning was the bakery to find out why there was no hot water (yes a huge problem for a bakery) and upon arrival, it was clear that the night elves had fall on fast-forward (our bakers bake at night so everything is fresh when you come in). There was pumpkin and pecan pie, caramel apples, and pumpkin muffins. After resolving the hot water problem, I was rewarded with a hot pumpkin muffin—which was amazing with my first cup of coffee. Tonight they are making pumpkin cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting which the staff got to taste test last weekend. They were unanimously approved by all….these are a must try. Thanks Patti, Michaela and Amy for all the wonderful things you bake while we sleep.
Our Apple dumplings will be available for one weekend only October 5-7th. They are available in a 2 count package and we are currently taking pre-orders for them, please call us at 269-244-5690 to put your name on the list!
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Apple caramel, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate Chip, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
- Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns and Sunflower Seed Bread!
- Cinnamon Rolls, New Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
- Assorted Muffins and Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, apple cider and pumpkin. Good news, these will be available every day now for the next several weeks while so many of you are out picking.
- Caramel Apples — made with JonaGold apples
- 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! 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, Cortabella (pure cortland apple cider) 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.
Good news on Terri K who was injured in an ATV/SUV accident at the farm, she is home now continuing her recovery. She came to the farm this past weekend with a smile and hugs for everyone. We continue to thank the many people who continue to ask about her and are keeping her in your thoughts.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.
And here’s how one of our days went this week, there was no point in crying over spilled grapes, but we wanted to!
|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|
|Gala||good||All picked||Ready now||no|
|Honey Crisp||good||no||Ready now||no|
|Ida Red||few||yes||Ready now||yes|
|Jona Mac||few||All picked||Ready now||no|
|JonaGold||few||all picked||Ready now||yes|
|Macintosh||Gone for the year|
|Molly’s Del||Gone for the year|
|Mutsu||few||all picked||Ready now||yes|
|Northern Spy||good||yes||Ready now||no|
|Red Delicious||good||yes||Ready now||no|