By the time you are reading this we will have finished the apple harvest and begun our annual task of pruning the trees. So for sure it is time for everyone to think about stocking up for the winter on apples, squash, onions, frozen take and bake pies, and our alcohol products. Our last official day for the bakery and the market to be open for the year will be Sunday, November 3rd. After that, we may be open limited days/hours to sell the remaining apples and produce. We will publish this schedule the last week of October when we see how many apples are remaining.
Apple Season is winding down, here’s what we have left: (Updated 10-28-19)
- Honeycrisp: Gone for the year
- 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.” Come soon, only a few left.
- 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. Makes a nice apple sauce and many people use for canning pie filling.
- Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple, known for the “five little bumps” on the bottom. Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste, yellowish flesh, and crisp texture.
- Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator. Come soon, only a few left.
- Ida Red: Suits your every use! Eat fresh or for cooking. Taste is both tangy and tart. Flesh is white, crisp and juicy. Favored for sauces, pies and desserts. Texture holds up well when baked.
- Mutsu: Gone for the year
- 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. (We do not have many of these this year so you will want to come soon.)
- Rome: A big, round apple right out of storybooks! Rome’s have a mild, sweet flavor. Most popular for baking because it holds flavor and shape well.
- Pink Lady: We will not have any Pink Lady apples for sale after all, sorry. Updated 10-25-19
Apple pricing for the year: With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples are: $26 a bushel**, $14 a half-bushel, $8.00 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $6 a half-peck, $3.50 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.
Apple Cider update: If you are looking to freeze cider to have all year, please call to order ahead if you can. Cider is easily frozen by taking out a cup or so from the gallon jug to give the ice room to expand. I love to bring it out on Thanksgiving morning as a special treat!
Squash: We have many varieties of winter squash, and want to help you get stocked by offering a larger quantity sale. You may purchase a bushel of squash (can mix and match any that we have) for $30. If that is too many, fill up one of our handle bags with squash of your choice (about 1/2 bushel and around 10 squash depending on the size) for $15!
Make sure you take one of our baked potato squash to try. Several of our staff have cooked these and brought them in for us to sample and we’re still licking out lips! See pictures below of what Barb and Teri cooked up. Their recipes will be available at the market.
And, if you want to have someone else do the cooking, then you can try our baked potato squash at Bell’s Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo. Check out their Facebook posting here and the description of this and other wonderful things on their menu!
Pumpkins! We have a limited supply of pumpkins left for the year. Come pick yours out soon! Priced from $8 to $2, based on size.
Check out the large storybook of Spookley the Square pumpkin in the back yard, you may have to pick up the boards as the fall winds are having their way!
U-Pick pumpkins: This is the last weekend for our u-pick pumpkin patch. The cost is $10 per family which includes picking a pumpkin. Additional pumpkins are available for picking at $8 (large), $5 (medium), $2 (small pie) each. It’s never too early to show children that pumpkins grow on vines in a field, not a parking lot! The field will be open daily from 8 until 6. If we have a significant amount of rain, we may have to close it until it dries out.
We also have carved out several great spots in the field for pumpkin or Thanksgiving photos with your children. Please note that photographers with appointments have priority to using these areas.
Purple Concord You Pick grape update: We are still picking Concord grapes. Just remember we are closed on Tuesday! Concord grapes usually last up until the first hard frost. Please realize that we are now picking in the middles of the rows (where there are plenty of grapes) but you should bring a small wagon to help get them out of the rows.
This weekend in the bakery we are taking orders for Holiday take and bake pies. Pies need to be ordered at least 3 days in advance, we will be taking orders until our last regular day, Sunday, Nov. 3rd. We will have one November order pickup day which is Saturday, November 23 from 9-12, or you can pickup any day before the market and bakery close. If you would like anything reserved give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we will be happy to save it for you!
This weekend’s offerings will be:
- Cookies: Cut-out cookies, Frosted Lemon, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
- Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Pecan, and Pumpkin.
- Apple Crisp
- Breads: Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette. Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian.
- Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts, muffins, scones
- Dessert bars: peanut butter mousse, chocolate caramel, lemon burst, chocolate truffle, 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.
Look for our “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in). “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors in the freezer now.
- Brandies: Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
- Rye Whiskey
- Hard Cider flavors: Another summer favorite is back, Strawberry! We also have Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Bark Bite, Cortabella, Preach, Blueberry, United Squash Federation, Ginger and Brunch.
- Brandy tours and tasting is available every Saturday from 1 until 3 pm, in the Brandy Barn/Distillery We offer brandy, wine and some hard cider samples. It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local, we hope to see you at the farm soon!
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.
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.