Thanks to everyone who came out for the Fall Color Tour events last Sunday! What a perfect day and we enjoyed having you experience our farm’s fall fun. It’s hard to believe it is the middle of October and we are grateful that we have most of the fall harvest complete. It’s time to think about getting your apples for the winter as they are in their peak ripeness and flavor. We’ve put some apple storage tips at the end for you! An earlier version of this post referenced a hard cider happy hour tasting from 1-3 on Sunday. This was an error. There will be no tasting on Sunday! We apologize for this confusion.
The Fall fun continues with:
- U-pick pumpkins
- U-pick white Niagara grapes and purple Concord grapes are ready–see info below
- U-pick apples–see chart below
- “U-pick” from our fall donut varieties: apple cider, pumpkin and buttermilk
- And of course, all of our usual market offerings including freshly squeezed apple cider
- Our “small children’s” cover crop maze–free with a $10 purchase
- Spookley the Square Pumpkin story boards set up in our play area to enjoy with your family–a wonderful story about diversity, bullying and embracing everyone
- We’ve set up great places to take family photos and would love to have you share them with us on our Facebook page, Instagram or Yelp. It makes us happy to see you having fun 🙂
Picked Apples on the market:
We are offering specials on three apple varieties: Gala, Macintosh and Cortland. Buy 2 half bushels ($24) and get another 1/2 bushel free (can mix and match). These 3 combined make a wonderful apple sauce needing no sugar! Apples are ripening faster than we have cold storage space.
- Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness.
- 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. Juices really well.
- 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. We are thrilled they are ready in time for the weekend. Sold by the pound only.($2)
- Macintosh: This is a soft, white fleshed apple, very popular for baking and applesauce.
- 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.” We are currently using it in our pies in the bakery.
- Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple “back in the day.” Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste.
- 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.
- Cameo: Firm, crisp and sweet, tart. Great for snaking or baking. Keeps well in your refrigerator
- Braeburn: Sweet with a hint of tart and a firmness that stores well. Very versatile apple that bakes well and great for fresh eating.
- 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.
- Red Rome: A big, round very red apple, mild sweet flavor. Holds it shape and flavor when baked.
U-Pick Apples open now for the season, with the following varieties left to pick. We have completed about 85% of the apple harvest now so while there are many bare trees, there are still apples to pick for one more weekend. The varieties still available to pick are:
- Red and Golden Delicious
- Red Rome
U-pick apples are available during our normal hours of 8 to 6 (must be out of the orchard by 5:45). Please check in at the main market on Corey Lake Road before you start. You will be driving to the orchards–so when you arrive, please have one person come into the market to get directions, information, baskets and bags and you’ll be on your way. (We’ve seen very unhappy children who get out of the car excited to pick, only to have to return to the car and drive to the orchard!)
Apple pricing is the same as last year. With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) all the apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7.50 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $5 a half-peck, $3 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound. **When we have bushels available. The price is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples.
Apple Gleaning: On Monday October 16th, we will open several of the orchards for end of year “gleaning.” You may pick apples off the ground or off the trees for $5 a bushel for what is remaining. This is a great and economical way to get animal apples, apple sauce apples, cider making, etc. This year, there are plenty of apples left for gleaning, but…you need to be a bit diligent and able to get some of them from the tops of the trees. Please bring your own ladders as well as containers to put them in. We will loan you baskets to measure them.
U-Pick Pumpkins: Check in at the market first for directions…and do remember this is a real pumpkin patch where there will no doubt be some mud, a few weeds, some poky pumpkin vines…so dress accordingly for the experience!
U-Pick Grapes: The picking has been great this year–very plentiful
- White Niagara and purple Concord grapes are open for picking.
- Picking hours: Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6, except for Tuesday and Thursdays, where we will stay open until 8 pm (must be checked into the market by 6pm).
- 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 and orchard supervisor.
- Grape sweetness: Both varieties of grapes measured at 15.5 brix at the beginning of the season which means they are even sweeter now.
- Grape availability: We have a good crop of grapes and hope to have them until the first frost. Of course the weather and the number of people that come to pick could change that. We have had lots of pickers coming through, so we would encourage you to come sooner rather than later to make sure you get them.
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 will be the same as last year: 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.
- 40 cents a pound for 20 pounds or less, 1 five-gallon bucket or a ½ bushel= $8
- 21 to 100 pounds: 35 cents pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel = $7
- Over 100 pounds; 25 cents pound, 1 five-gallon bucket or ½ bushel=$5
Picked grapes: We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes both white Niagara and purple Concord, they are $26 a bushel, $14 half bushel, please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them.
Here’s what else is on the market now:
- Bosc Pears. This is a beautiful, large, firm, sweet eating pear, that keeps very well. (Not a canning pear)
- Winter Squash: Butternut, Acorn, Buttercup, Heart of Gold, and Sweet Dumpling.
- Red Potatoes
- U-Pick Herbs
- Fall Ornamentals of gourds, colorful mums, colorful fall corn and mini pie pumpkins
Certified Organic Produce:
- Winter squash (red kuri, a Hubbard squash type)
Maybe a few other things, gosh the season really has wound down. We’ll see! -Becca
Bakery offerings for the weekend will be:
- Cookies: Cut Out, Caramel Apple, Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal), Iced Lemon, Coconut Pecan, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, and Cherry White Chocolate Chip
- Pies: Apple, Cherry, Peach, Cherry berry, Pumpkin, Pecan and Strawberry Rhubarb
- Apple Dumplings
- Bread: Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Italian, Whole Grain, Honey Oat, Vegetable and Tuscan, as well as Hamburger Buns and Hot Dog Buns. We are partnering again with La Brea bakery this year and will have the following breads: Semolina Cheese, Roasted Garlic Loaf, Sourdough, and Jalapeño Cheese
- Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns
- Assorted Dessert Bars
- Muffins: Banana Nut, Blueberry, Lemon Poppyseed, Pistachio, Raisin Bran, Chocolate, and Apple.
- Donuts: We will have our Apple Cider, Buttermilk, and Pumpkin Cake Donuts available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We will also have Apple Fritters, Vanilla Fluff Longjohns, Yeast Twists, Bavarian Cream (Custard) Longjohns, Raspberry Bismarks, and Yeast Rings (available all week)
- Slushies – Grape
- Look for our “take and bake” pies for you to stock up on in your freezer (for you to indulge in). As we work to stock up, please feel free to order and we can get them ready, please give us 4 days notice to make sure your pies are ready to go. “Take and bake” pie choices are all large-9″ pies and available flavors are: Apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, peach, pecan, pumpkin, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb.
Alcohol offerings: Hometown Hero is back! We won a silver award for this blackberry, elderberry, rose hip cider, and we hope you like it too. Also bottled: Blueberry, Dry, Ginger, Hopped, Preach (pear/peach cider), Semi-Sweet, and Sweet. We have cherry wine and Kaiser Cyser as well. We’ll have a few additional ciders on tap during our hard cider happy hour. This weekend we’ll have hard cider tastings:
- Friday from 4-6
- Saturday from 3-6
- An earlier version of this post referenced a hard cider happy hour tasting from 1-3 on Sunday. This was an error. There will be no tasting on Sunday! We apologize for this confusion.
Stop on by to sample some cider. During tasting hours, feel free to bring your own clean 32 oz. or 64 oz. growler if you’d like one filled, or buy a new growler here at the market to take home fresh draft cider. And of course, we have our usual brandy house tours with Bruce from 1-3 on Saturdays, and full range of brandy offerings.
Closing Date Information: Many of you have been asking how long we will be open for the season, we have decided that our last official day will be Saturday, November 4th, with our normal hours of 8 until 6. Many of you have also requested we open every now and then for you to replenish your stock, so we are going to open some reduced hours on some weekends, for you to get produce, frozen pies, honey, maple syrup and our distillery/cidery products. We will have a schedule out soon with these dates.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and hopes to see soon,
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.