“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
― Frank Herbert, Author
So while our final day for the 2018 season is this Sunday, we like to think we’re just putting a bookmark in place. It’s hard saying goodbye to our many customers and not seeing you all winter. But we love staying in touch with you via emails, Facebook and Instagram posts.
And honestly, we are ready for the farm to be at a slower pace for a bit. It always feels good to have the major harvest completed. Now our work tasks turn to pruning the apple trees and grapes, winterizing equipment, and putting the fields to bed for another year. Oh, and tackling a mountain of paperwork that was only a hill in the spring!
Closing Date Information: Our last day is Sunday, November 4th. We will be open that final day until our normal closing time of 6pm. In the past few years we have opened on some additional weekends in November, but this year we won’t be able to do that. So….you have a few more days to stock up on your winter needs of apples, winter squash, onions, take and bake pies, hard ciders, wine and brandies! After that we may be available by appointment for hard ciders, brandies, and wines, but won’t have much produce to sell. We have several varieties of apples which keep extremely well: Fuji, Cameo, Red Rome and Pink Lady. At the bottom find specific information on the best way to store apples.
In our final days, we are continuing specials that will make it easier for you to stock up, buy gifts of produce or help us with our community hunger needs. We’d like to give fresh produce to as many folks as possible by supplying our local food banks in South West Michigan. If you’d like to be part of this community effort, here’s how you can help. We are putting a “Buy Two, Get or Give One Free” special on onions, squash, and apples. Here’s how it works:
- Apples: Buy 2 bags of the same size apples (any variety, can mix and match) and take a 3rd free or donate it for the food bank collection.
- Onions: Buy 2 bags, get 1 free or donate
- Squash: Buy 2 squash of the same price (can mix varieties) and get a 3rd at the same price free or donate it to the food bank collection.
Only need 1 bag of apples and want to donate 2? That’s even better. Our goal is to fill as many bins of produce as possible. Corey Lake Orchards will match everyone’s donation and at the end we’ll let you know how many pounds of produce we were able to collectively donate!
Our first family to donate apples to our foodbank donation box…thanks!
Straw bales available: With the cold weather upon, many are looking for straw to use for mulching, animal bedding, etc. We have straw for sale for $6/bale or four bales for $20.
Fall Ornamentals and Winter Squash: We have butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash left. You can use your squash as a decoration first, then eat later! We also have pie pumpkins and decorative pumpkins left.
Sweet Cider: We have pressed our last batch of sweet cider for the year. I think it is the best! You can freezer cider by taking out enough for expansion when it freezes (typically one cup in a gallon) and enjoy it all year. If you are trying to get lots of cider (10 plus gallons) please call ahead and order it. We made extra this week for those trying to fill their freezers.
Apples: Everything we have on the market now is listed below.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
- Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor and tart flavor, with a low acid content. An incredibly good keeper, it says crisp for weeks without even being in the refrigerator.
- PInk Lady: If you don’t know a Pink lady, you need to meet her! It is a cross between a Lady William and Golden Delicious apple. It has bright white flesh that resists browning when cut. Pink Lady apples are very firm and dense, with a tart flavor and effervescent finish. Very unique apple! Brenda’s favorite!
Apple Gleaning: You may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc. There are apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them. Please check in at the market first so we can show you which orchards are open. If you don’t have containers, we have drawstring half bushel bags you can purchase for 35 cents each. The apples will be here until a hard freeze hurts them or they are all picked. While the supply is dwindling, you can still find apples.
What else is on the market:
- Onions, including 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 $9) for you to take and have been “cured” to keep. This is a great year for onions.
- Bosc Pears: This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear.)
Reminder: If you ordered “take and bake” pies, please pick them up by the end of closing on Sunday.
Bakery offerings for our last weekend will be:
- Cookies: M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, Coconut Pecan, and Lemon
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
- Breads: Vegetable, Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Vegetable, LaBrea Breads, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns, and Sunflower Seed Bread!
- Yeast Donuts
- Pumpkin Cake Rolls
- Assorted Muffins
- Cake Donuts: Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin. Available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only until we close for the year.
- 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: Kalamazoo customers, you can now get us at Salut Market on Westnedge Hill. Many of you had asked where oh where you could get our hard cider closer to home. If you’ve never been into this amazing bottle shop, we seriously recommend it. Lots of specialty wines, cheeses, and other foods, and now our hard cider too.
Find Hard Cider Happy Hour in the brandy building. Because of the rain and chilly weather we moved it into the distillery which is cozy and heated! Ask at the market for directions if you haven’t been in our brandy house before. 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 Hometown Hero (Blackberry/Elderberry/Rose Hip), Blueberry, Preach (Pear/Peach), Brunch (Maple/Vanilla), Hopped, Ginger, 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, Salut in Kalamazoo, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan. We also have cider at Hoffman Street Grocery in Three Rivers! We are so grateful to our local partners who sell our ciders.
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.
Join us at the beautiful downtown Riviera Theatre for the annual Holiday wine tasting event on Friday, November 16th. We’ll be there with wines and hard ciders. Always a fun event! http://www.trriviera.com/event/winetasting/
Finally, our congratulations to our farm’s beekeeper, Becca’s mama, and Beth and Brenda’s sister Charlotte, for her recent award as Michigan’s Beekeeper of the Year. Kalamazoo area residents may know her as one of the KVCC beekeeping instructors, and we are forever grateful that she keeps her hives here on the farm to pollinate our fruits and vegetables, plus generate the sweet honey she sells here. To learn more about her passion for bees, go to her website: http://hubbardhive.com/
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you before we close for the year!
Lovely fall view from the market earlier this week.
Apples are best kept in your refrigerator, preferably the crisper drawer or in an unsealed plastic bag. Refrigerate apples separately from vegetables because apples naturally release small amounts of ethylene gas that can be damaging to lettuce and other produce. If you have a root cellar, you can keep larger amounts there if it is cool, dry and dark.
For every 10 degrees above 30°F, the apples’ lifespan decreases dramatically. You do not want the apples’ temperature to fall below 30°F, however, because that will make them freeze and turn to mush when they’re thawed. Their cell walls will all collapse. Therefore, apples are best stored somewhere around 30-35°F, in a humid environment.
If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar.
There is trust to that old adage: “One bad apple rots the whole bunch.” Apples give off a lot of ethylene gas, and so just one bruised and rotting apple will give off enough to swiftly ripen (and rot) the others. If you have any bruises or soft spots on an apple, set it aside for eating. Don’t store with the other apples.
Ultimately, if you’re planning on storing a lot of apples for the winter, look for firm, long-lasting apples. These are usually thick-skinned, tart apples. We recommend storing Rome or Fuji, properly stored they will last until spring