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

U-pick grapes, U-Pick apples and U-Pick donuts!

National Farm Safety and Health Week, is recognized Sept. 16 – 22.  We’d like to remind everyone that many farms like ours, are into a heavy fall harvest.  This means many different tractors, farm vehicles and implements are out for many hours of the day, so please slow down and watch for them as you travel the rural roads.  We also ask for your help in watching for customer vehicles turning into our orchards and vineyards over the next month as people come to pick grapes and apples.  And a thank you in advance for this.

Good news on Terri K who was injured in an ATV/SUV accident at the farm, she went home today from the hospital.  There is still a long recovery ahead, but we are grateful that she is making such good progress.  She has taken up painting pumpkin gourds while she recovers….we hope to have some on our market soon for sale!

It looks like a beautiful weekend coming up, so 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!!)

Grapes:

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.  Our first run was delicious!

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.  We hope to pick some Golden Delicious, Northern Spies and Jonathan for the weekend.  We will be spot picking so would encourage you to get bushels later (a week or so) when they are riper.

  • 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 are open now for a few varieties.  Apple are slow in ripening this year and getting their color and full flavor.  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!
  • There will be some remaining Gala and Cortland ready for you to pick this weekend.  We are opening some trees of Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Jonathan 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 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 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 soon.

So on the market right now, we’ve got: 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 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, cucumbers, swiss chard, and lots of tomatoes including heirlooms, slicers, and cherry tomatoes from the certified organic hoophouse.  This week Becca picked baby ginger that she grew, find it in the organic section of the market.

Freshly picked ginger

Bakery:  We are not going to be able to make apple dumplings this year on a regular basis (due to apple shortage), but we are going to make them one weekend for everyone who wants them.  There will be a sign up sheet at the market for the apple dumpling lovers or you can email us or call us.  Let us know how many of the 2-apple pack dumplings you want.  Remember, these freeze well.  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:  Apple caramel, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Cherry White Chocolate  Chip, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
  • Pies:  Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach
  • 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!  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.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 

***U Pick Grape information

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 6 pm).

  • 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 level 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

Apple information update:

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 Picking now Ready now no
Fuji good yes 9-Oct no
Gala gppd Picking now Ready now no
Golden Delicious good Just starting** 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 All picked Ready now no
JonaGold few all picked Ready now yes
Jonathon good Just starting** 24-Sep no
Macintosh few all picked Ready now yes
Molly’s Del good all picked Ready now no
Mutsu few yes 24-Sep yes
Northern Spy good Just starting** 24-Sep no
Pink Lady few no 16-Oct yes
Red Delicious good Just starting** 24-Sep no
Rome good yes 16-Oct no
**These are just starting, wait a while for better flavor and large quantities