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

Monthly Archive: August 2019

Sunflowers, Sunflowers, Sunflowers…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunflowers are ready and in their peak bloom right now!  The sunflower field experience is now open and will be open every day (except Tuesdays when we are closed) while the sunflowers are in their prime, which is typically 2 weeks.  Depending on the weather, we hope to have this available through August 24, but would encourage you to come within a week for optimum bloom and viewing.   The field is open from 9 until 5 daily. Please call before traveling far to make sure the sunflowers are still in good bloom and available.  To have a better experience, we encourage you to come during the weekdays when we have fewer guests.

  • Cost of admission to the sunflower field is:
    • $5.00 for anyone 11 years old and up
    • $3.00 for accompanied children 3 to 10 years
    • Free to children 2 years or younger
    • Please check in at the market for tickets and directions to the field.  You will be driving to the field from our market, so if you want to drive up close to our market and have someone get the tickets and directions, you can be on your way without getting all of the excited kids out of the car, only to go back in!
  • This admission fee for each ticket holder includes:
    • The opportunity to cut 1 sunflower per person (cutting tool provided)
    • Receive a bag and water for taking it home
    • Walk through the meandering paths that go through the field. Long path: approximately ¼ of a mile long or take the short path from the entrance straight back to the parking lot.  (Please wear good walking shoes–this is a field path)–also it is not stroller friendly but we have wagons
    • Educational information posted throughout the farm
    • Photo opportunities available at the field entrance as well as the along the walking pathway
    • Picnic tables, hay bales to sit and relax in
    • Parking adjacent to the field
    • RTV Rides for people with mobility issues or folks who can’t walk through the sunflowers or prefer a ride.   Depending on how many people need this service there may be a small wait as we try to accommodate and include everybody in the fun.
  • Check out our sunflower gift shop at the market

  • Safety:   Your safety is of the utmost importance to us and we have worked hard to make this a great experience.  But we are a working farm and you will be in a field where natural farm hazards exist such as
    • Uneven ground on the pathways (wear walking shoes)
    • Tripping hazards like a rock or a sunflower stalk
    • Bees and other insects sharing the field with you
    • Pollen from the flowers and other weeds for those with allergy issues
    • An occasional tractor/ truck passing through with our crew harvesting produce
  • Additional flowers, when available, can be cut and purchased for $2 each.  We also have decorative vases for purchase.

Attention Photographers!  We have photo opportunities and packages available for professional photographers. Now is the time for senior photos, engagement photos, family photos, and more.  The fee to use our sunflower, soybean, and buckwheat fields is $25 for a single session and $60 for a three-hour time slot.  We have a portion of the Sunflower field set aside for photographer-use only.  The field is also available in the evenings.  There is no admission fee for the photographer, but clients will need to pay admission.  Please contact Brenda at Brenda@CoreyLakeOrchards.com for more information or to book an appointment.

What is on the market now:

  • Fresh zucchini, cabbage, cucumbers, yellow summer squash, fresh dug onions, cauliflower, kale,  swiss chard,  cucumbers, peas, new potatoes (Red Norland and Yukon Gold), green beans, brussel sprouts, cherry/grape tomatoes, regular field tomatoes–red and green, spaghetti squash, garlic.  
  • Fruit:  Blueberries, Summer apples:  Jersey Mac, Cantaloupe, seeded watermelon,
  • U-pick herbs 
  • U-Pick flowers
  • Field Tomatoes are finally here—thanks for your patience in waiting!  We are in the process of calling folks who have ordered them by the bushel.

Are you looking for larger quantities to can, pickle or freeze?  Just call or stop in the market to get on the lists we keep for bushels of green beans, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn and other produce.   Many of our staff members can, freeze and pickle produce, so seek them out with your questions.

New on the market and in the bakery are jams, jellies, butters and salsa’s.  All made locally!

This weekend in the bakery  we will have our peach pies and berry peachy pie (blueberries and peaches). This is the last weekend for these two pies, so if you are craving peaches, get them soon.   We will have fall flavored donuts-Apple cider, Pumpkin and Buttermilk (available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).   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: Sunflower Cut Out cookies, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Berry Peachy (peaches and blueberries), Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb. Fresh Blueberry Glaze pie is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Breads: Mill Grain, Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.  Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan,  Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Note:  We are sorry we will not have focaccia bread until September due to a supplier issue:(
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts, muffins, sconesDessert bars: Strawberry, peanut butter mousse, chocolate caramel, lemon burst, chocolate truffle,  Key lime pie bomb, chocolate and white mousse
  • Fall flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • Slushies- 3 flavors; Unpasteurized Apple Cider, White Grape Peach, and Grape blend. 

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
  • Local chocolates

Alcohol offerings:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Rye Whiskey
  • Wines: Double Cherry
  • Hard Cider flavors: Standard Dry, Standard Sweet,  Bark Bite, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa,  United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch.
  • Brandy tours and tasting is available every Saturday from 1 until 3 pm, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery.   Bruce, our brandy maker will be there to welcome you, talk with you about our process, offer sample brandy and some hard ciders as well!  It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
  • Welcome back to Happy Hour! Happy Hour, with free cider samples for the tasting, happens on Saturday from 3 to 6.  This weekend find us in the “onion barn” at the top of the hill.  If you want to taste more than the three free samples, ciders can be purchased for continued enjoyment here or to take home.

Happenings on the farm:

We watched lots of pictures being taken in the sunflower field and saw lots of sunflowers leaving with happy people!  We started harvesting our onions for the year….you can’t miss seeing them if you just look up when you are in the market.  They are bundled and hanging to dry/cure.  Once they are cured, we will take them back down and bag them and they will keep 4 – 5 months for you!

They are pulled from the ground out of the plastic mulch and tied into bundles

They come in truckload after truckload

They are hung in the market and various barns to start drying

We give them a “haircut” so they don’t hang down in our customers’ way!

We hope you enjoy seeing and smelling them and even more, using our sweet onions for all your onion needs!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you buying local!

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards is 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.

 

Peaches, kind of……Sunflowers, for real!

The Peach Story:  Yes, we will all miss the joy of fresh sweet juice running down our chins after biting into that most luscious of summer fruits: the peach.  Fresh peaches will not be making an appearance this season,* but we are going to celebrate their flavor in various forms.  We invite you to come and experience the plethora of peach products we have in store for your eating and drinking pleasure. We think you’ll find everything “just peachy”.

 

Last year’s peach crop, just wanted you to remember what they look like

  • Peach Honey Sticks
  • Peach Salsa
  • Peach Jam
  • Peach Butter
  • Peach Pie
  • Peach Brandy
  • Peach Wine (coming soon)
  • Peach Slushies

*We lost our peach crop, as did most of Southwest Michigan in this winter’s freezing temperatures due to the polar vortex.

 

Sunflowers are ready! 

  • We are opening our 3-acre field of sunflowers to create a unique and memorable experience for you.  Around 50,000 happy sunflowers await you for viewing, walking through, photographing, and just plain enjoying.  Check out the fields of blooming buckwheat and thriving soybeans too!
  • The sunflower field will open on Friday, August 9th and be open every day (except Tuesdays when we are closed) while the sunflowers are in their prime, which is typically 2 to 3 weeks.  Depending on the weather, we hope to have this available through August 24th.  The field is open from 9 until 5 daily.  Please call before traveling far to make sure the sunflowers are still in bloom and available.  To have a better experience, we encourage you to come during the weekdays when we have fewer guests.
  • Cost of admission to the sunflower field is:
    • $5.00 for anyone 11 years old and up
    • $3.00 for accompanied children 3 to 10 years
    • Free to children 2 years or younger
    • Please check in at the market for tickets and directions to the field
  • This admission fee for each ticket holder includes:
    • The opportunity to cut 1 sunflower per person (cutting tool provided)
    • Receive a bag and water for taking it home
    • Walk through the meandering paths that go through the field. Long path: approximately ¼ of a mile long or take the short path from the entrance straight back to the parking lot.  (Please wear good walking shoes–this is a field path)
    • Educational information posted throughout the farm
    • Photo opportunities available at the field entrance as well as the along the walking pathway
    • Picnic tables, hay bales to sit and relax in
    • Parking adjacent to the field
    • RTV Rides for people with mobility issues or folks who can’t walk through the sunflowers or prefer a ride.   Depending on how many people need this service there may be a small wait as we try to accommodate and include everybody in the fun.
  • Safety:   Your safety is of the utmost importance to us and we have worked hard to make this a great experience.  But we are a working farm and you will be in a field where natural farm hazards exist such as
    • Uneven ground on the pathways (wear walking shoes)
    • Tripping hazards like a rock or a sunflower stalk
    • Bees and other insects sharing the field with you
    • Pollen from the flowers and other weeds for those with allergy issues
    • An occasional tractor/ truck passing through with our crew harvesting produce
  • Additional flowers, when available, can be cut and purchased for $2 each.  We also have decorative vases for purchase.

Attention Photographers!  We have photo opportunities and packages available for professional photographers. Now is the time for senior photos, engagement photos, family photos, and more.  The fee to use our sunflower, soybean, and buckwheat fields is $25 for a single session and $60 for a three-hour time slot.  We have a portion of the Sunflower field set aside for photographer-use only.  The field is also available in the evenings.  There is no admission fee for the photographer, but clients will need to pay admission.  Please contact Brenda at Brenda@CoreyLakeOrchards.com for more information or to book an appointment.

What is on the market now:

  • Fresh zucchini, cabbage, cucumbers, yellow summer squash, fresh dug onions, cauliflower, kale,  swiss chard,  cucumbers, peas, new potatoes (Red Norland and Yukon Gold), green beans, brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes, spaghetti squash.  
  • Organic cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes and garlic
  • Greenhouse tomatoes and field tomatoes
  • Fruit:  Blueberries and Cantaloupe Melons.  Blueberry U-Pick is still available, Call for information.
  • U-pick herbs 
  • U-Pick flowers

Are you looking for larger quantities to can, pickle or freeze?  Just call or stop in the market to get on the lists we keep for bushels of green beans, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn and other produce.   Many of our staff members can, freeze and pickle produce, so seek them out with your questions.

New on the market and in the bakery are jams, jellies, butters and salsa’s.  All made locally!

This weekend in the bakery we are peachy keen:  This weekend we will have our peach pies and berry peachy pie (blueberries and peaches). This is a great way to get your peach craving fix!  We will have fall flavored donuts-Apple cider, Pumpkin and Buttermilk (available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).   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: Sunflower Cut Out cookies, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Berry Peachy (peaches and blueberries), Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb. Fresh Blueberry Glaze pie is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Breads: Mill Grain, Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.  Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan,  Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Note:  We are sorry we will not have focaccia bread until September due to a supplier issue:(
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts, muffins, sconesDessert bars: Strawberry, peanut butter mousse, chocolate caramel, lemon burst, chocolate truffle,  Key lime pie bomb, chocolate and white mousse
  • Fall flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • Slushies- Check out our new slushie machine, now featuring 3 flavors; Unpasteurized Apple Cider, White Grape Peach, and Grape blend. 

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
  • Local chocolates —we are restocked now on dark chocolate!

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,  Bark Bite, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa,  United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch. 
  • Brandy tours and tasting is available every Saturday from 1 until 3 pm, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery.   Bruce, our brandy maker will be there to welcome you, talk with you about our process, offer sample brandy and some hard ciders as well!  It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
  • Welcome back to Happy Hour! Happy Hour, with free cider samples for the tasting, happens on Saturday from 3 to 6.  This weekend find us in the “onion barn” at the top of the hill.  If you want to taste more than the three free samples, ciders can be purchased for continued enjoyment here or to take home.

Happenings on the farm:

It was a “get ready for sunflowers” week for sure.  We all lived, breathed and dreamed sunflowers as many helping hands got our field ready.  We hope you enjoy their hard work!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you buying local!

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards is 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.

 

 

 

Our Local Festival: This Sunday 11 to 3

Our 3rd Annual All Things Local “Downtown to Down Home” festival is Sunday, August 4th from 11 am to 3 pm.  Come join us for art, food, music, and displays from a variety of local vendors and organizations.  This is one of our favorite weekends where we can bring the local community together in one place! You can find more details at the end of this post.**  We hope to see you on Sunday.

The most frequently asked question as the calendar turns to August is when our peaches will be ready.  For those who didn’t know, we lost all of our peaches this year and many of our trees when the polar vortex came at the end of January and it got so bitterly cold for several days.  There will not be any peaches in southwest Michigan this year, so you’ll have to go south (Georgia?) or north of Grand Rapids to find them.   So the month of August will be light on fruit (we lost all of our pears too) but we do have cantaloupe melons starting and watermelon coming soon!

The second most frequently asked question is when the sunflowers will be ready.  Yes, we will be offering our 2nd annual “Sunflower Experience” and are thinking right now they will be ready around August 9th.  We have about 60,000 sunflowers planted that provide an amazing time.  Stay tuned for lots more details on all of this!

Sunflowers are coming, one is blooming now but give them another week!

Yes, sweet corn is really here now.  We have moved into our later plantings of our favorite bi-color super-sweet corn.  We have so much ready right now that we are offering the following specials:  $6 per dozen, Buy 3 dozen or more for $5 a dozen.  If you need it by the bushel, that’s 5 dozen in a bushel and we’re offering those for $20 right now (which makes it $4 dozen).  We’d encourage you to cook up some extra as everyone will want more than a few ears!

Blueberry season continues:

Blueberry picking!  We are open from 8 until 1 for U-pick blueberries.  We have lots of blueberries yet to pick. Pick 10 pounds or more, the price is $1.50 a pound.  If you pick under 10 pounds, the U-Pick blueberry price is $2 a pound.

Picked Blueberry update: We are bringing picked blueberries in to sell at the market from Brookside Farms as we have for many years.  These are available by the pint, quart, 5 lb box or 10 pound box.

Here’s what is on the market now:

  • Fresh  zucchini, cabbage, cucumbers, yellow summer squash, fresh dug onions, cauliflower, kale,  swiss chard,  cucumbers, peas, new potatoes (Red Norland and Yukon Gold), green beans, brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes
  • Organic cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes and garlic
  • Greenhouse tomatoes–both red and green  (field tomatoes coming soon!)
  • U-pick herbs 
  • U-Pick flowers

Many flowers to pick at the terrace garden beside the market

Are you looking for larger quantities to can, pickle or freeze?  Just call or stop in the market to get on the lists we keep for bushels of green beans, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn and other produce.   Many of our staff members can, freeze and pickle produce, so seek them out with your questions.

New on the market and in the bakery are jams, jellies, butters and salsa’s.  All made locally!

This weekend in the bakery we still have the blues:   Fresh Blueberry Glaze pies, Regular Blueberry Pies, Blueberry muffins, and Blueberry scones!  We will have fall flavored donuts-Apple cider, Pumpkin and Buttermilk (available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).   If you would like anything reserved, give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we would be happy to save it for you!  We promise to be out of the blues by the following weekend….then we expect to be just peachy!  (Hint, hint!)

This weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies: Chicken Cut Outs cookies, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Zucchini Chocolate Chip, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Blueberry, Cherry, and Strawberry Rhubarb. Fresh Blueberry Glaze pie is available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • Breads: Mill Grain, Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette.  Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan,  Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Note:  We are sorry we will not have focaccia bread until September due to a supplier issue:(
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts, muffins, scones
  • Dessert bars: Strawberry, peanut butter mousse, chocolate caramel, lemon burst, chocolate truffle. 
  • New dessert bars:  Key lime pie bomb, chocolate and white mousse
  • Fall flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin (Available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)
  • Slushies- Check out our new slushie machine, now featuring 3 flavors; Unpasteurized Apple Cider, White Grape Peach, and Grape blend. 

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
  • Local chocolates —we are restocked now on dark chocolate!

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,  Bark Bite, Cortabella, Currant/Cacoa,  United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch. 
  • Brandy tours and tasting is available every Saturday from 1 until 3 pm, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery.   Bruce, our brandy maker will be there to welcome you, talk with you about our process, offer sample brandy and some hard ciders as well!  It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
  • Welcome back to Happy Hour! Happy Hour, with free cider samples for the tasting, happens on Saturday from 3 to 6.  This weekend find us in the “onion barn” at the top of the hill.  If you want to taste more than the three free samples, ciders can be purchased for continued enjoyment here or to take home.

Happenings on the farm:

This was a really “corny” week here.  We picked, we packed, we moved, we delivered, and the abundance of sweet corn swirled in our minds constantly.   So this week we supplied  around 1000 dozen to area food banks.  Around 400 dozen went to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission where they serve 8,000 meals a week for the homeless, disabled and folks who don’t know where there next meal will come from.  They go through the extra effort of processing all of this corn to cook because they love being able to serve fresh produce because it makes a statement to those that they are serving that someone cares……cares enough to provide something which is in season and fresh–not out of a can.

Beth helped load 100 dozen for the Twelve Baskets Food Pantry in Portage today.

We live in a world where people go hungry, so we will not leave food in the field if we can help it. Our farm philosophy has been to help others wherever we can, so our desire is to pick it before it spoils and get it to food banks and those in need.  In the past years when this situation occurred, we were overwhelmed and gratified with people who asked to help be part of this community caring.   Here’s how you can help us help others, if you feel so inclined. For customers who would like to help, for every one dozen of corn you buy at $6, if you want to put an additional $6 towards helping others, we will go pick, pack and donate two dozen on your behalf (or simply give any dollar donation you are able to.)  This helps us to defray the costs of picking,  plus packing and delivering so that we can afford to donate a substantial amount.

We will have a sign up sheet for this and provide a list of names to the food bank for all who helped with this – we want to be accountable to you and to them. Because of times like these, we maintain connections to all area food banks  Together, we can help make a difference and put fresh sweet corn on someone’s empty plate. We thank everyone who is able to help us with this effort, and understand if you can’t.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you buying local, we are grateful to have you as part of our community.

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards is 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.

**ALL THINGS LOCAL “DOWNTOWN TO DOWN HOME” FESTIVAL
August 4th, Sunday 11 to 3 at Corey Lake Orchards
Corey Lake Orchards:  distillery tastings and hard cider happy hour (noon to 3)
Corey Lake Orchards:  market, bakery, play yard, u-pick blueberries
Faith in Flora:  floral arrangements and plants
Jenifer Adams, LMT:  complimentary seated chair massage
Happy Landings Restaurant
Local Youth Summer Camps:  information on Camp Eberhart, Camp Friesenwald, Bair Lake Bible Camp and Camp Tavor
Maple Row Sugarhouse:  food truck
Nature’s’ Edibles from Ginger Hills Farms:  food treats
St. Joseph County Historical Society of Michigan-historical information
St. Joseph/Cass County Conversation districts :sustainability and composting
The Chilbillys:  bluegrass, folks and country music
Three Rivers Artist’s guild:  featuring artwork from ten local artists
Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority: local information and door prizes
Triple Creek CrossFit:  fitness and workout demonstrations