“The frost is on the pumpkin,” is a famous line that rang true this week. We have had one mild frost (not a killing frost), so everything is still okay. However, it is nature’s way of marking a definite change to the season. And as we are close to finishing the apple harvest, 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 will 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 there are remaining.
It’s Apple Season! Here’s what we have in the market for sale now:
- 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).
- 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. We have a bumper crop of these this year! However, many of them have some russet marks on the skin caused by some of the extremes in the spring weather. It does not go skin deep, but just doesn’t look very pretty:( We are bagging these up as “seconds,” and doing a special price on them for $8 a half bushel (normal pricing is $14 a half bushel. This is a great deal for someone who is going to process a lot of apples or wants to feed animals.
- Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snacking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator.
- 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: Has a moderately sweet flavor with firm, juicy and creamy white flesh. Its skin color is a yellowish green with an orange blush. It is excellent for fresh eating, sauces, juice, and baking. This apple stores and keeps well.
- 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.)
- Braeburns: Sweet with a hint of tart, and a firmness that stores well. These traits plus the fact that they bake well have made them a very versatile apple. Come soon, only a few left.
There are only two remaining apples to harvest for the year: Red Rome and PInk Lady. We expect to harvest these the week of 10-28-19.
Apple pricing for the 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: $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. **When we have bushels available.
We currently have some apple specials on Red Delicious and JonaMac. Buy 2 half bushel bags and get one free. Can mix and match, so you are getting 1 and 1/2 bushels (3 bags) for $26. Can’t use that many apples? Drop off at a local food bank, take to a sporting event to share, make lots of applesauce and freeze!
- Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
- 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.
Regular U-Pick apples are now done for the year. We had soooo many picked last weekend in the beautiful weather, thank you all for coming!
Apple Gleaning: Gleaning is where you can pick what is left off the ground or the tree at a reduced price. Apple Gleaning will open on Monday, October 21st in some of the orchards. Please check in at the market first to see which orchards are open for gleaning. The price is $7 a bushel, which is the only quantity you can pick. Please realize that due to a smaller apple crop this year there are very few apples to glean and we will close the orchard after they are gone which will probably be very quick. What is left is mostly on the ground or in the tops of the trees. Please bring your own containers to put them in. We can loan you bushel baskets to measure them in. If you don’t have containers we have 1/2 bushel liner bags which can be purchased for 50 cents each. (Reminder we are closed on Tuesday.)
Apple Cider update: This week’s cider is even better than last week’s since it was made with more apple varieties. Try a free sample at the market. Our cider is not pasteurized, so it must be refrigerated.
Squash: We have many varieties of winter squash, try our baked or mashed potato squash! Time to stock up on your winter squash. You may purchase a bushel of squash (can mix and match any that we have) for $30.
Pumpkins! Orange pumpkins, white pumpkins, pumpkins with bumps, striped pumpkins, large pumpkins, small pumpkins…..we have pumpkins! Come pick yours out! Priced from $10 to $2, based on size.
U-Pick pumpkins: Looking for a fun activity for the kids? We just opened 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, (except for Tuesdays when we are closed.) 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.
White Niagara You Pick Grape Update: The white Niagara grapes for the most part are now gone.
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 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 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
- Pumpkin cupcakes
- Breads: Wheat and Rye Herb, Potato Scallion, and Herb Baguette. Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
- 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.
Photographers – If you are interested in Fall photo opportunities on our farm, please contact Brenda@coreylakeorchards.com. She will work with you to schedule appointments, provide information on our photo policies and discuss backdrop possibilities in the pumpkin field and other picturesque spots we have on the farm.
- Brandies: Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
- Rye Whiskey
- Wines: Double Cherry and New: Peach and Honey (already a favorite by those who have tried it)
- Hard Cider flavors: A late summer hard cider is back, Blueberry, and it is delicious! We also have Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Bark Bite, Cortabella, Preach, 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.
**Additional grape information:
- Picking hours: Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm every day except Tuesday (when we are closed) , we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6, Sorry, for everyone’s safety, we have suspended evening picking hours this year due to the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) mosquito-borne disease threat in Southwest Michigan.
- 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 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 : U-pick pricing for both color grapes is the following (please note we sell them by the pound and consider a five-gallon pail or a 1/2 bushel basket to be 20 pounds):
- 45 cents a pound for under 100 pounds, 1 five-gallon bucket or a ½ bushel = $9
- Over 100 pounds; 27.5 cents a pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel = $5.50
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.