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

Monthly Archive: June 2019

Berry happy that strawberry season is here!

After a long cold winter and a spring that often felt like winter, the first day of summer is upon us and its strawberry season!  We have many ways to enhance your strawberry experience,

  • In the Bakery find:  Strawberry muffins, strawberry cookies, strawberry bars, strawberry juice, strawberry milk, strawberry cheesecake
  • All things strawberry in our market breezeway, with tables and chairs for you to sit and enjoy your treats.  What is All things strawberry?  It’s Beth’s large personal strawberry collection she is sharing during strawberry season.  Sorry, it is not for sale.
  • Strawberry items:  Toddler strawberry hats, strawberry journals, “Life is Good” strawberry shirts, berry bowls, strawberry honey straws, strawberry dog toys, and numerous other fun strawberry souvenirs to purchase for yourself or as a gift.
  • Free fun kid stuff:  Check out the small shopping cart where you can find cootie catchers, stickers and temporary tattoos.
  • Adults may want to check out our strawberry hard cider.
  • And the strawberry purist can simply buy a quart of strawberries, wash and indulge!

Picked Strawberries:   They are $4 a quart and $29 for an 8-quart flat.  We will try to have flats on hand this weekend until we run out.  We have been in contact with everyone on our order list so you no longer need to order these in advance.  If you know you are coming out to get some, we are happy to hold them for you if you call us at 269-244-5690.

U-Pick Strawberries:  We will be open for U-Pick strawberries for the season on Friday, June 21st.  Yes, it will be muddy!   

  • We pick by the quart, so please bring containers (bowls/tubs) to take your berries home.  We will loan you quart boxes to pick in.
  • We will be open every day except Tuesdays from 8 until 12 noon, unless we get picked out before then. We will open Wednesday evenings from 5 until 7, but you need to be started by 6pm. We do not have afternoon picking due to the afternoon heat.
  • Our goal is to always have good picking for our customers so we close the field when all the picking for that day is complete.  If it was to rain for days on end or get cold, we may have to close for a day.
  • If you are trying to pick more than 40 quarts, please call us and we will put you on our “large picker” list and arrange a picking time with you, 269-244-5690. 
  • Our website, our facebook page and our answering machine will always have the latest picking information so you can call the night before or the morning you are trying to come to make sure we are open.
  • U-Pick pricing is:  $3.00 per quart up to 7 quarts; $21.00 for an 8 quart flat; and 16 quarts or more are $2.50 a quart.

Cherry update:  We have a very small crop of sweet cherries this year due to the harsh winter.  We will not have any  U-Pick available.  We have a good crop of sour/tart cherries and we will have these available for U-Pick.  Check back with us toward the end of June for an update on when cherries will be ready.

Tart cherries ripening

Available on the market now:

  • Greenhouse tomatoes:  Yes, it’s time for a BLT.  We have the bread in the bakery, the lettuce in the market cooler, the bacon in the bakery freezer – just supply your own condiments!
  • Fresh Rhubarb is also available,  $2.50 a pound.  The season is almost over.
  • Greenhouse cucumbers:  4 different varieties
  • Fresh cut broccoli
  • U-pick herbs:  See list at the market for what you can pick now
  • Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard, and Spinach from our fields
  • Kohlrabi
  • Bakery:  
  • Happy Strawberry season!!  This weekend in the bakery we have shifted into everything strawberry!  We have our homemade shortcakes which are fantastic with fresh strawberries on top, strawberry and blossom cut out cookies, strawberry muffins, strawberry dessert bars, and last but definitely not least a new pie — Strawberry Cheesecake!  This is a soft pie that will be available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  It is our delicious scratch made pie crust filled with a sweet cream cheese filling topped with fresh strawberries and glaze.  This is a must try!  If you would like anything reserved, give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we would be happy to save it for you!  This weekend’s offerings will be:
  • Cookies: Strawberry and Blossom Cut Outs, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Blueberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb. Strawberry Cheesecake pie is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Breads: New; Mill Grain, Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.   Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Dessert bars: Strawberry, peanut butter mousse, chocolate caramel, lemon burst, chocolate truffle. 
  • Summer flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • Slushies

Also in the bakery you can find:

  • Local Gluten free items
  • Local Plainwell Ice cream to scoop out with pie.
  • Jake’s Country Meats,  pork products
  • Welch’s juice products, from Lawton
  • Country Home Creations herb and spice packets to make your own dressing or dip
  • Local chocolates 

Alcohol offerings:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Rye Whiskey
  • Wines: Double Cherry and Kaiser Cyser
  • Hard Cider flavors: Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Preach, Bark Bite, Blueberry, Hometown Hero, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa, Elves, United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch. 
  • Brandy tours and tasting is available every Saturday from 1 until 3, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery.   Bruce, our brandy maker will be there to welcome you, talk with you about our process, offer sample of brandy and some hard ciders as well!  It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
  • Welcome back to Happy Hour!  Find this in the market breezeway on Saturday from 3 until 6.  We’ll have bottle of hard ciders in the cooler for you to purchase.  On our menu you’ll find both savory and sweet treats to enjoy with your ciders.  Pack your market/bakery shopping basket and settle in for a relaxing repast.

Happenings on the farm:  It rained….so pretty much everything we did was rain related.  We watched it rain, we emptied rain gages, we got stuck in fields, we watched fields fill up with water…..and repeated that!

We have been busy for the past month training our farm team in the new Food Safety Regulations for produce.   Brenda, Beth and Michaela are all certified trainers who are teaching and setting in place systems for how we grow, harvest, pack and process.  As we implement these, we will make you aware of the changes where we need your help.  One of these is your support and understanding of our “dog on the farm policy.”*  For those of you with a furry friend in your family, please read this at the end.  Thank-you.

On Tuesdays when we are closed, we go through training.

  • Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Have a good weekend and we look forward to seeing you soon!
  • Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards will now be closed every Tuesday.  We will continue to share this notice since it is a major change.  As a small family business, we have begun to realize that to best serve our customers with an exceptional product and experience, we need a down day once per week to regroup, reorganize, and re-energize.

*Corey Lake Orchards Dog Policy

We love dogs too!  Especially well-behaved, socialized dogs, but please keep them on a leash and pick up after them.  Due to Federal Food Safety regulations, no dogs are allowed in food retail areas including the farm market, bakery and brandy distillery, as well as pick-your-own areas.  During some of our peak season activities which draw many folks out to the farm, we would encourage you to leave your dog at home where they will be more comfortable than around large groups of people.  We have many open areas surrounding the main farm complex where you can be with your dog and designated areas near the you-pick locations.  Any of our staff will be happy to help you with this.  Poorly behaved dogs causing issues will be asked to leave.

Pat, Mary Anne, and their cute dog Sandy are frequent visitors to the farm.  Sandy waits patiently while each of them take turns shopping, often greeting customers!

We thank you for your understanding, Corey Lake Orchards

Strawberry U-Pick update

Who’s ready for strawberries?  Based on the number of calls we think everyone  is ready for strawberries, along with normal spring weather, days of sunshine and the occasional rain (at night of course!)  However, we all know we don’t always get what we want, when we want it.  Strawberry ripening continues to be delayed due to this cool weather, so we ask for your patience, please!

Picked Strawberries:  We are picking our early variety (Early Glow) in order to have picked berries for sale at the market.  They are $4 a quart.  Since quantities are limited, we’re happy to hold them for you if you call us at 269-244-5690.  If you are trying to order flats (8 quarts), which are $29, we are taking orders and will call you when available.

U-Pick Strawberries:

We will be open for U-Pick strawberries for the season on Friday, June 21st . Due to the cool weather and rains, berries continue to ripen slowly. If you are trying to pick a lot of berries (16 quarts or more) we would recommend you wait until next week if you can.
 
If you are trying to pick more than 40 quarts, please call us and we will put you on our “large picker” list and arrange a picking time with you, 269-244-5690. We pick by the quart, so please bring containers (bowls/tubs) to take berries home in. We will loan you the quart boxes to pick in.
 
We will be open every day except Tuesdays from 8 until 12 noon, unless we get picked out before then. We will open Wednesday evenings from 5 until 7, but need to be started by 6pm. We do not have afternoon picking due to the afternoon heat.
 
Our goal is to always have good picking for our customers. So we close the field when all the picking for that day is complete. If it was to rain for days on end or get cold, we may have to close for a day.
 
Our website, our facebook page and our answering machine will always have the latest picking information so you can call the night before or the morning you are trying to come to make sure we are open.
U-Pick pricing is:  $3.00 per quart up to 7 quarts, $21.00 for an 8 quart flat, If you pick 16 quarts or more, they are $2.50 a quart.   (Price corrected at 4:45 on Wednesday, June 19th)
 
Looking forward to seeing you😀

On the market now:

  • Greenhouse tomatoes:  Yes, it’s time for a BLT.  We have the bread in the bakery, the lettuce in the market cooler, the bacon in the bakery freezer – just supply your own condiments!
  • We have asparagus in limited supply.   Pricing: $2.50 a pound; 10 pounds or more for $2.25 a pound.
  • Fresh Rhubarb is also available,  $2.50 a pound.
  • Our large sweet onions, grown in 2018 and stored over the winter.
  • Greenhouse cucumbers:  4 different varieties
  • Fresh cut broccoli
  • U-pick herbs:  See list at the market for what you can pick now
  • Lettuce, Kale, Swiss Chard, and spinach from our fields

Bedding plants:  Vegetables, flower annuals, herbs and tomatoes.  These plants need to have a home so all of our bedding plants are buy one, get one free.

Bakery:  

Happy Fathers Day! We will have free cake donuts for any dads (or folks fulfilling that role) in the bakery all weekend.  We also have our Pecan pies and baseball-frog cookies! Show dad you care by gifting him a tasty scratch made pie, cookies, or perhaps treat him to a cinnamon roll or sticky bun for breakfast YUM!

Or celebrate by making strawberry shortcake.  Pick up fresh picked strawberries, shortcake made in our bakery, vanilla ice cream from the bakery freezer and cool whip from our refrigerated case. If you would like anything reserved, give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we would be happy to save it for you!

This weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies: Baseball themed Frog Frosted Cut Outs, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb. Pecan is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Shortcakes for strawberry shortcake, our special recipe!
  • Breads: New; Mill Grain, Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.   Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Summer flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • Slushies

Also in the bakery you can find:

  • Local Gluten free items
  • Local Plainwell Ice cream to scoop out with pie.
  • Jake’s Country Meats,  pork products
  • Welch’s juice products, from Lawton
  • Country Home Creations herb and spice packets to make your own dressing or dip
  • Our new line of local chocolates 

Alcohol offerings:  Our brandies, wines and hard ciders available are:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Wines: Double Cherry and Kaiser Cyser
  • Hard Cider flavors: Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Preach, Blueberry, Hometown Hero, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa, Elves, United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch. 

Brandy tours and tasting is available this Saturday, June 15th from 1 until 4, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery.  We’re extending the hours until 4 this weekend given the forecast of cool, rainy weather (the brandy room is enclosed!)  Bruce, our brandy maker will be there to welcome you, talk with you about our process, offer sample of brandy and some hard ciders as well!  It’s always an interesting and fun experience.

Our Happy Hours will return on Saturday, June 22nd with a new format.  Stay tuned for next week’s announcement!.

Happenings on the farm:

This week we raced once again to get our final pumpkins and special sunflowers in, finished last night!  The vegetables in our field are coming along nicely, our tomato plants already need to be staked.  And of course, we picked strawberries!

Staking and tying up the tomato plants.

Beautiful strawberries just picked!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Have a good weekend and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards will now be closed every Tuesday.  We will continue to share this notice since it is a major change.  As a small family business, we have begun to realize that to best serve our customers with an exceptional product and experience, we need a down day once per week to regroup, reorganize, and re-energize.

Corey Lake Orchards 2019 : “Growing Children Growing Sunflowers Contest”

Attention:  Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Godparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, and all

Contest information:

  • Contest open to children 10 years and younger
  • Purchase a sunflower book for $12.99 and receive a packet of 5 sunflower seeds free with book purchase.
  • Plant seeds into the earth, water as needed, and keep weeds away so they can grow tall!
  • Photograph the growth at least 4 times (see suggested schedule below) and send pictures to coreylakerochards@gmail.com. Corey Lake Orchards will share pictures, progress and the winners on their website and social media.  Only child’s first name and last name initial will be used, like Sally G.
    • Photo 1: When I Spy (when plant is first popping out of the ground)
    • Photo 2: When Knee High (when plant reaches the child’s knees, measure with the sunflower growth chart in the book)
    • Photo 3: When it Goes to the Sky (when it is as tall as the child, measure with the sunflower growth chart in the book)
    • Photo 4: And Why?  Your own unique photo and caption with the child (extra points if it rhymes!)
  • Corey Lake Orchards will be the final judge, reviewing all pictures and captions.
  • Prizes: Top 3 chosen to win will receive four tickets to Corey Lake Orchard’s Sunflower Experience in August
  • All other qualifying entrants (must submit the four photos) will win a free donut and small slushy

Loving these sunny days

After this cool spring we truly are enjoying these several sunny days in a row!  And so are the fruits and vegetables.  Since the most frequently asked question is “when will strawberries be ready” these few days of heat are really helping them along.  The crop looks good this year!

Strawberries sizing and turning red!

So, when will strawberries be ready?  We will start picking a few this weekend and this coming week of the early variety.   U-Pick will open when our main variety (Jewels) are ready which are at least a week to ten days away.  If you are interested in U-Pick, check back with us about June 13th for an update.  This coming week is supposed to be cool again, so once again, we are going to have to wait and see what the weather does.  We are all anxious for fresh strawberries, but Mother Nature is in charge!

Strawberry pricing:  Picked strawberries will be $4.00 a quart, or $29 for a flat of 8 (ordered in advance.)  We are taking orders now and will call you when we have them.  269-244-5690.    More information about U-Pick will be out next week, U-Pick pricing is still being determined.

Finally bringing in lots of greenhouse tomatoes!

On the market now:

  • Greenhouse tomatoes:  Yes, it’s time for a BLT.  We have the bread in the bakery, the lettuce in the market cooler, the bacon in the bakery freezer – just supply your own condiments!
  • We have fresh picked asparagus for around one more week.  So this is it, the season is coming to a close.    Pricing: $2.50 a pound; 10 pounds or more for $2.25 a pound.
  • Fresh Rhubarb is also available,  $2.50 a pound.
  • Our large sweet onions, grown in 2018 and stored over the winter.
  • Greenhouse cucumbers:  4 different varieties
  • Organic produce: Spinach, Lettuce, Kale and radishes
  • Swiss Chard
  • U-pick herbs:  See list at the market for what you can pick now

U-PIck Herb garden coming along, despite a hungry rabbit issue 🙁

Bedding plants:  Vegetables, flower annuals, herbs and tomatoes.  These plants need to have a home so all of our bedding plants are buy one, get one free.

Bakery:  

Reminder, next Sunday (June 16) is Father’s Day! If there is anything special you would like to order for dad, call us in advance to place your order!  We will be doing our Pecan pies and baseball cookies that weekend (as those seem to be a favorite among dads!) If you would like anything reserved, give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we would be happy to save it for you!

These frog cookies are absolutely adorable

This weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies: Frog Frosted Cut Outs, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.  Chocolate Cream is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Breads: New; Mill Grain, Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.   Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan, Focaccia, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Summer flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • Slushies

Also in the bakery you can find:

  • Local Gluten free items
  • Local Plainwell Ice cream to scoop out with pie.
  • Jake’s Country Meats,  pork products
  • Welch’s juice products, from Lawton
  • Country Home Creations herb and spice packets to make your own dressing or dip
  • Our new line of local chocolates 

Alcohol offerings:  Our brandies, wines and hard ciders available are:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Wines: Double Cherry and Kaiser Cyser
  • Hard Cider flavors: Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Preach, Blueberry, Hometown Hero, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa, Elves, United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch. 

Brandy tours and tasting will be starting up this Saturday (June 8th)  from 1 until 3, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery.  Bruce, our brandy maker will be there to welcome you, talk with you about our process, offer sample of brandy and some hard ciders as well!  It’s always an interesting and fun experience.

As soon as we get the plants out of the side of the market, we will be opening up that area with tables and chairs and be offering happy hours.  We will be changing it up a bit this year and we think you’ll like it, stay tuned.

Happenings on the farm:

This week we finished planting everything and you could probably hear us exhaling!  The second planting of tomatoes got in along with pumpkins.  And thankfully, we got our sunflowers in before it rained again.  So, you’ll be hearing more about this year’s sunflower experience which will be in August.  See below for entering our sunflower growing contest for children called: Corey Lake Orchards 2019  “Growing Children Growing Sunflowers Contest”.  All of the information you need for this is at the end of the email or pick up a flyer at the market.

A race against the rain to get the sunflowers in, but we did it!

We are growing lots of weeds and grass, probably the same as most of you with the spring rains.  Sometimes I feel like changing our sign to Corey Lake Dandelion farm!    It seems like there is a mower going non-stop.  So while we are having a hard time keeping up with weeding (because most of it we do manually) be aware that some we leave some on purpose because they are beneficial weeds that attract pollinators and butterflies, like milk weed that you will find in our herb garden, blueberry field and strawberry field.

Two of these are milkweed, one is a basil plant!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Have a good weekend and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards will now be closed every Tuesday.  We will continue to share this notice since it is a major change.  As a small family business, we have begun to realize that to best serve our customers with an exceptional product and experience, we need a down day once per week to regroup, reorganize, and re-energize.

Corey Lake Orchards 2019 : “Growing Children Growing Sunflowers Contest”

Attention:  Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Godparents, Aunts, Uncles, Teachers, and all

Contest information:

  • Contest open to children 10 years and younger
  • Purchase a sunflower book for $12.99 and receive a packet of 5 sunflower seeds free with book purchase.
  • Plant seeds into the earth, water as needed, and keep weeds away so they can grow tall!
  • Photograph the growth at least 4 times (see suggested schedule below) and send pictures to coreylakerochards@gmail.com. Corey Lake Orchards will share pictures, progress and the winners on their website and social media.  Only child’s first name and last name initial will be used, like Sally G.
    • Photo 1: When I Spy (when plant is first popping out of the ground)
    • Photo 2: When Knee High (when plant reaches the child’s knees, measure with the sunflower growth chart in the book)
    • Photo 3: When it Goes to the Sky (when it is as tall as the child, measure with the sunflower growth chart in the book)
    • Photo 4: And Why?  Your own unique photo and caption with the child (extra points if it rhymes!)
  • Corey Lake Orchards will be the final judge, reviewing all pictures and captions.
  • Prizes: Top 3 chosen to win will receive four tickets to Corey Lake Orchard’s Sunflower Experience in August
  • All other qualifying entrants (must submit the four photos) will win a free donut and small slushy