Rain, rain go away, come again another day. We have had close to 7 inches of rain in the past 5 days which is enough for us for a while!! Wearing boots for U-Pick apples is not just fashionable, its very practical when there is wet grass!
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).
- McIntosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce. Come soon, not many left.
- Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
- Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
- Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, a descendent of the McIntosh. This variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor and juices really well. Come soon, not many left.
- 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 have very few of these this year, if you want some please call and order. if you have already placed and order, we will call you next week for pick up.
- 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.
In order to have room for more apples coming in, we are putting the Gala and JonaMac on special, Buy 2 (1/2) bushel bags and get one free. Can mix and match, so you are getting 1 and 1/2 bushels 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!
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple with a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness
- 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.
Apple picking will be available on Saturday and Sunday only this year, during our business hours of 8 until 6. Please check in at the market first to get directions as you will be driving to the orchard. We need everyone checked out by 6, so you must be in the apple orchard by 5:30, and checked in at the market by 5:15. Check our website or call us to see which apple varieties will be available which weekends.
This Saturday and Sunday the U-Pick Apples varieties available are Jonathon, Yellow and Red Delicious. We are also going to allow folks to start “spot picking” some Cameo, Ida Reds and Mutsu. This means all the apples on the tree are not ready and you should select them carefully. The trees are full and they are fun to pick!
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 will be: $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.
Wondering when your favorite apple will be ready? Each week we will publish an apple estimate at the end of this post.*** Most of the dates have moved back, as rainy weather does not ripen apples!
U-PIck visitors to our farm, please be aware that we are located in St. Joseph County, MI where cases of Triple E have occurred. While we have not seen many mosquitos around lately, we want everyone to be diligent and protected. Eastern Equine Encephalitis or commonly known as Triple E or sleeping sickness caused the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to urge locals to protect themselves from the bite of infected mosquitoes. Initially infecting horses with a reported 90 percent fatality rate, people are still warned for they can also be bitten by infected mosquitoes. Though it is a rare cause of potentially fatal brain infections in people, “it has a 33 [percent] fatality rate for humans who become ill,” Lynn Sutfin of the MDHHS said. Here’s what you can do to take precaution:
- Apply insect repellents that are EPA-registered or contain DEET to exposed skin. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. It is also important to wear light colored clothes so as not to attract mosquitoes.
Apple Cider update: We made our third batch of cider for the year, as we add more varieties, the better it gets! Free samples to try.
White Niagara Grape Update: the white Niagara grapes opened for U-pick on Saturday 9-21 for the season. We have less than half of a crop of these this year due to the winter freeze, so they may not last long. For those trying to get huge amounts of white grapes (like 500 pounds or more), we would suggest this is not the year to try to pick them here. Sorry.
Purple Concord grape update: The Concord grapes are ready to pick, just remember we are closed on Tuesday! There is a good crop Concord grapes, and the longer customers wait, the sweeter/riper they will get. Concord grapes usually last up until the first frost. It just depends how many customers come and how many get picked. Additional information about grape picking can be found below.**
Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes both white Niagara and purple Concord. They are $28 a bushel.
What is on the market now:
- Vegetables: onions, regular field tomatoes–red and green, spaghetti squash, winter/hard squash, garlic, shallots, peppers
- Fruit: apples, grapes
- U-pick herbs
- U-Pick flowers
This weekend in the bakery we will have Pumpkin and Pecan pies, yes, it’s fall! This is also the weekend to pick up apple dumplings if you ordered them. If you would like anything reserved give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we will be happy to save it for you!
- 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, 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 apple orchard, 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, 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 We offer brandy, wine and some hard cider samples. It’s always an interesting and fun experience.
Mark your calendars, hold the date! Three Rivers Area Fall Color Tour, Sunday, Oct. 13 from 11 am to 5 pm
Join us for the Fall Color Tour next Sunday! We will have food, fun, fruit, arts and crafts, music, and other special events during that time. Corey Lake Orchards is one of 12 stops on the scenic, fun-filled tour to celebrate the beauty of Fall in the Three Rivers area. Find more about the event here: https://events.trchamber.com/events/details/fall-color-tour-826
Our market, bakery, up-pick apples, and u-pick grapes are available during our normal business hours of 8 am to 6 pm. In addition we will have:
- CLO Brandy House (noon to 3 pm)
- CLO Hard Cider Tastings (noon to 3 pm)
- Birds of Prey (1 to 3 pm, weather permitting)
- The Chillbilly’s Band (foot-stomping music from noon to 4 pm)
- Camzie’s Pizza Food Truck
- Hope Foundation Fire Truck
- Face Painting by Constantine High School art students
Visit our many talented and creative vendors. Now is the time to start your holiday shopping!
- Art by Anna
- Barb’s Bowls
- Bushman Music
- Cindy’s Whimsies
- Clear Lake Studio Works
- Delightful Designs
- Donna Young
- Faith in Flora
- High View Studio
- Jake’s Country Meats
- Laughing Horse Artisan
- Mary Hanlin
- Nature’s Edibles from Ginger Hills Farms
- Pugling Hoard
- Teresa Featherstone
- The Sustainable Hive
- Vicki Latua
- Webster Knife Works
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you buying local! We hope to see you 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
***Apple Estimate Chart for 2019: Updated 10-3- 2019
|Variety||Crop Size Estimate||U-Pick Available? Red means they are ready now for Saturday/Sunday picking||Approximate Week Ready–Please check back as weather will can change date earlier or later||Should order in advance|
|Cortland||fair||All picked||In market now||no|
|Gala||good||all picked||In market now||no|
|Golden Delicious||good||yes||in market now||no|
|Honey Crisp||fair||no||In market now||no|
|Jona Mac||good||All picked||In market now||no|
|McIntosh||good||All picked||In market now||no|
|Northern Spy||few||no||in market now||yes|