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

Corey Lake Orchards

Opening Friday May 3rd!

We’re open!  We will be open for the season starting Friday, May 3rd.  Our hours are 8 to 6 daily, including holidays, except we are now closed on Tuesdays.

It’s been a flurry of activity with our wonderful staff getting the market ready for the 2019 season.  Brooms, brushes, dustpans and bleach bottles were at full speed.  The rain has held us back from getting everything ready in the yard and play areas, but with the forecast of sun coming, we’ll get there soon!

Yes, we have fresh picked asparagus and hope to have it all weekend.  Asparagus is not growing as fast as demand.  Give us a few days of warm weather and we should have plenty.  Meanwhile, feel free to call us and have us hold some for you to pick up.  Larger quantities will be available later when asparagus gets into full production.  We are taking orders and will call you when it’s ready.  269-244-5690.  Pricing: $2.50 a pound; 10 pounds or more for $2.25 a pound.

Fresh Rhubarb is also available now!  $2.50 a pound.

Our large sweet onions, grown in 2018 and stored over the winter.

Bedding plants:  All of our bedding plants – vegetables, flower annuals, and tomatoes are here!  These plants are specially grown for us at Schram’s greenhouse in Kalamazoo and are the same varieties we plant in our fields.  It is so important to start with a high-quality plant, so as you think about your garden needs, plan on getting your plants here.  Any of our staff can help you pick out what you need, just ask!

plants and flowers everywhere!

Bedding plants:

  • Cole crops: Cabbage, kale, Brussel sprouts, various lettuce varieties, broccoli, chard, and spinach
  • Flower annuals: We have a huge selection of flower annuals….too many to list
  • Tomato plants: We have a large selection of tomatoes (all the ones that we grow here in our own fields) plus mini tomatoes like grape and cherry
  • Herbs
  • Other “heat loving” vegetable plants like peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash, and eggplant
  • Hanging flower baskets: We have lots of hanging baskets, including some of the favorites we carry every year like the lipstick plant
  • Lettuce bowls, for your “pick your own salad”
  • Specialty pots made up with flower and herb arrangements by our own Teri.  If you’d like Teri to make a special pot for you, bring in your containers and pick out the flowers and she will put it together.
  • Large tomato plants for your patio, porch or yard

Lettuce bowls to pair with a tomato plant for salad all the time!

Gifts:  Here’s an update from Peggy our gift manager:  Mother’s Day is Sunday May 12th.  Looking for the perfect gift for mom or mother figures in your life?  Let us assist you in choosing local fare.  Our bakery will have lots of goodies from which to choose and while the produce available is just beginning for the year, how about an asparagus bouquet made with purple and green spears?  Or a gift certificate for use later in the season tucked into a locally crafted card?  We can do a gift certificate over the phone and mail it to your special someone or keep it here for them to pick up.  How about a specially-designed gift basket with produce, bakery goodies, and/or gift items?  Leave a message for me at the market (269) 244-5690 and I will call you regarding options, prices, and selection of items to create the gift basket you want.  Whatever your choice, we look forward to seeing and assisting you as we connect with new and old friends of Corey Lake Orchards this spring.

Here’s some of the gift baskets Peggy has created.

Bakery:  Yes, we will have donuts on opening day!  (Reminder: we make our cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.)  Next weekend for Mother’s Day we will have our Chocolate Cream Pies and will be offering a free cake donut to all moms who come visit us!  If you would like anything reserved, give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we would be happy to save it for you!

Opening weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies: Flower Cut Outs, M&M “Monster”, Chaos, Mudslide, and Salted Caramel
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Breads: Whole Wheat, Honey Oatmeal, Cinnamon, Italian, Tuscan, Focaccia Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Summer flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry
  • Slushies

We are excited to be back in the bakery and look forward to seeing all our wonderful customers!  We love being able to craft, create, and offer exceptional baked goods that you love.

April showers have most certainly brought delicious May flowers!  We bake at night so everything is fresh when you come, so you aren’t always able to see our process.  Here’s an inside look at making cut-out cookies.  Be sure to check out new cookie flavors and a new larger size, located in our bakery case with the donuts.  Now we can mix and match to get your 1/2 dozen or dozen cookies so everyone has their  favorites!  Please let us know how you like them.

Alcohol offerings:  Our brandies, wines and hard ciders available when we open are:

  • Brandies:  Pear, Grape, Apple, Cherry, Peach, and Grappa
  • Wines:  Double Cherry and Kaiser Cyser
  • Hard Cider flavors:  Standard Dry, Standard Sweet, Preach, Blueberry, Hometown Hero, Cortabella, Currant/Cocoa, Elves, United Squash Federation, Ginger, Strawberry and Brunch. 

Happenings on the farm:

Rain.  We emptied the rain gauge a lot this week, stared at puddles in the field, and kept trying to find more room for plants in buildings since we still haven’t been able to get anything into the ground – very discouraging.  On Sunday, we tiptoed through the snow to “give haircuts” to the onion plants that are waiting to be planted, this helps keep them strong for the transplanting process which we hope happens this week!

Asparagus Tamales.  With extra downtime due to the rain, Teresa made us asparagus tamales.  We all thought they were so good that we talked her into making them to sell this weekend for Cinco De Mayo!  She will be here at the market on Saturday and Sunday, selling them outside of the bakery.  Teresa, Rocho and Adolfo just returned to our farm a week ago from Mexico, where they have their own avocado farm.  They have been part of our farm family for 20 some years!

Teresa bagging asparagus she just picked

Heating up the last 3 asparagus tamales for lunch

Blooms are almost all out on the cherry trees, which you can see across the street from the market.  Apples are in the “pink” stage and will bloom next.

Cherry blooms!

a Gala apple in pink stage

Peaches.  You might notice the lack of “life” going on in our peach orchard on the south side of Corey Lake Road.  Sadly, the extreme winter temperatures from the polar vortex at the end of January caused this year’s crop to freeze out.  We are also starting to see significant winter injury to the trees themselves, which is why you don’t see much leafing.  Sadly, there will be no peaches here or anywhere in southwest Michigan this year.  If you still have some canned or in the freezer, consider rationing them.

The peach orchard…..suffering from winter injury:(

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Have a good weekend and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards will now be 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.

 

 

Hello Spring, Welcome back Winter?!

Yes, we picked some asparagus!  We won’t open officially until Friday, May 3rd, but we have our first picking for sale Friday (April 26) and Saturday (April 27) or until sold out.  Asparagus packages are in 1, 2, and 3 pound quantities so everyone can get that first taste of fresh asparagus.  A staff member will be at the market between 9 am and 3 pm Friday and Saturday to help you.  Call us at 269-244-5690 if you want us to hold a few pounds for you to pick up.  If no one answers, please leave your name, how many pounds you’d like and a phone number.

Due to the cold weather headed our way, (snow, really?) we won’t be picking asparagus again until “normal” warm spring weather returns.  Larger quantities will be available later when asparagus gets into full production.  Feel free to call us and leave your order and can call you when ready.

Pricing is: $2.50 a pound; 10 pounds or more for $2.25 a pound.

Fresh picked asparagus–April 26th

Bedding plants:  All of our bedding plants – vegetables, flower annuals, and tomatoes – will be stocked this coming week and be available when we open on Friday May 3rd.  These plants are specially grown for us at Schram’s greenhouse in Kalamazoo and are the same varieties that we use to plant in our own fields.  It is so important to start with a high-quality plant, so as you think about your garden needs, plan on getting your plants here.

Gifts:  Here’s an update from Peggy our gift manager:  In addition to great produce, the market prides itself in offering unique gift items for the various seasons on the farm and in your lives.  Look for some of your favorites in the weeks to come including Mad Mats with some old favorites and some new designs.  Look for Carruth sculptures (the funny veggies on the wall) with some new options this spring as we expand the line.  There will be locally handmade greeting caBeth visited Carruth Studios this winter, met their team, and got to see how they make these amazing sculpturesrds to use with a gift or to add to a Corey Lake Orchards’ gift certificate.  And do not forget that we would love to make a custom basket for Mom’s Day, showers, weddings, graduations, teacher appreciation, welcome to the neighborhood greetings, and more.  Call the market and leave a message for me and I would be happy to help create that perfect gift basket.

Beth visited Carruth Studios in Ohio this winter, met their team and got to see how they make these amazing sculptures.  Her collection includes all of the vegetables and fruit they make, thanks to her friend Sandy for gifting them to her over the years.

The bakery will also open for the year on Friday, May 3rd, and yes, they will be making donuts that day!  (Reminder: we make our cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only.)  For Mother’s Day Weekend we will have our Chocolate Cream Pies and will be offering a free cake donut to all moms who come visit us!

Opening weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies: Flower Cut Outs, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, and Lemon
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Breads: Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Summer flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry
  • Slushies 

Alcohol offerings:  Our brandies, wines and hard ciders will be on the shelf when we officially open.

Happenings on the farm:

Yes, the rain held off and we got our plastic mulch laid into the ground.  You will see it on the way to the market off AL Jones road.  All of our vegetables will be planted in this mulch except sweet corn, green beans, potatoes and pumpkins!  It manages weed control and hiding underneath the plastic is a drip line that we use to irrigate which gets moisture right to the roots and holds it there without loss through evaporation.  While we are ready to plant our cold hardy plants like broccoli, cabbage and the like, we’re holding off until this little winter squall passes this weekend.

Our cold hardy plants just waiting to be planted

Rows of plastic mulch

If you pass by the farm on Corey Lake Road you will see the cherries across from the market are starting to bloom.  We are busy with spring pruning (peaches, blueberries, cherries) to get our trees in the best possible health for the season.

The first cherry blossoms!

Another sign of good progress was getting the clips on the greenhouse tomatoes to support the weight, they are coming along!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Have a good weekend and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards will now be closed every Tuesday.  We are sharing this with you in advance and will continue to share it 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.

Rain, Rain, Go away, Come again another Day!

Spring Greetings to all!  We are busy preparing to officially open for the 2019 season on Friday, May 3rd. 

And already our fretting about the weather begins!  While we love a good rain, could we just have a few drying days so we can get things planted?  Plants are piling up, ready to be in the ground, but it’s just too wet.  We have 28,000 onion sets holding on wagons and trucks.  This year we once again had onion seeds planted for us at a local greenhouse, as we were so much happier with the quality of the plant and had such beautiful onions last year.  Good news…. onions from our 2018 crop held over the winter and you will be able to buy them when we open!

Asparagus sighting!  Yes, asparagus is starting to push through the soil.  If the warm temperatures forecasted for next week do happen, there’s a chance we might have asparagus next weekend (April 27th).  If you’d like to get on our list we will contact you when we have the first picking.  Call us at 269-244-5690 and leave your name, how many pounds you’d like and a phone number.  We’ll accommodate as many of you as we can with fresh-picked asparagus!  Pricing is: $2.50 a pound; 10 pounds or more for $2.25 a pound.

The bakery will also open for the year on Friday, May 3rd, and yes, they will be making donuts that day!  (Reminder: we make our cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.)  For Mother’s Day Weekend we will have our Chocolate Cream Pies and will be offering a free cake donut to all moms who come visit us!

Opening weekend’s offerings will be:

  • Cookies: Flower Cut Outs, M&M “Monster” Cookies, Ginger Molasses, S’mores, and Lemon
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Rhubarb and Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Breads: Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, Cinnamon, Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Cinnamon Rolls, Sticky Buns, Yeast Donuts
  • Summer flavors cake donuts: Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry
  • Slushies 

Bedding plants:  We will be stocking vegetables, flower annuals, and tomato plants.  As you think about your garden needs, plan on getting your plants here.  We hope to have most of our plants available by opening weekend.

Straw: We have extra bales of straw available for your mulching needs.  Straw is $6/bale or 4 bales for $20.  If you need straw before we officially open, just call us and we’ll set up a time to meet you.  269-244-5690.

Brandies, Wine and Hard Ciders:  Will be on the shelf when we open and we will post what kinds we will have.

Earth Day is a worldwide, annual event celebrated on Monday, April 22.  This year, go outside no matter the weather and enjoy the smell of fresh air, contact with the soil, and companionship with nature!

Every day is Earth Day to a farmer.  We care about the environment and realize the land we work is precious.  We strive to be good stewards and use sustainability practices to do our part in making the world a better place.  We appreciate our customers, too, as you support us by buying local food to reduce the distance from farm to fork.

Reminder:  Corey Lake Orchards will now be closed every Tuesday.  We are sharing this with you in advance and will continue to share it 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.

Happenings on the farm:

A never-ending field job, picking up the rocks that make it to the surface.  It seems like when we think we have finished, another one has magically appeared.  We will be laying plastic mulch in the field we are working on here so any rock we miss can tear the plastic.  This rock pile is from one small field, 4 people working for 3 hours, whew!  A great work out…..

 

The greenhouse has loved the weather of the past weeks, not too hot, not too cold, perfect for gradual growing.

tiny cucumbers forming!

Lettuce bowls growing alongside tomatoes in the greenhouse

We wish everyone a good holiday weekend and look forward to seeing you soon.

Spring Greetings and 2019 Season Opening Information

Spring greetings to all!  We are busy preparing to officially open for the 2019 season on Friday, May 3rd. 

Depending on Mother Nature over the next several weeks, we could open earlier if asparagus is ready.    You will be the first to know if we have an asparagus sighting!

The winter season always gives us time to reflect on our business.  While the winter tasks of maintaining equipment and pruning keep us busy (and we’re still not finished!), we take time to attend conferences and educational sessions to keep up on this ever changing world of agriculture and regulatory compliance.  Brenda and Beth visited some amazing farms in Florida, Michigan and Indiana, grateful for our peers who opened their farms and shared with us what works and what doesn’t work.  We look forward to sharing our new ideas and operational changes as the season unfolds!

Our first major change is that Corey Lake Orchards will now be closed every Tuesday.  We are sharing this with you in advance, and will share it every chance we get so that all of you know.  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.

The bakery will re-open for the year on Friday, May 3th, and yes, they will be making donuts that day. (Reminder: we only make cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.)  More to come next week on the offerings for opening weekend and specials for Mother’s Day Weekend (Sunday, May 12) so that you can place your Mother’s Day orders.

Bedding plants: We will be stocking vegetables, flower annuals, and tomato plants as we normally do.  So as you think about your garden needs, plan on getting your plants here.  We hope to have most of our plants available on opening weekend.

Straw: We have extra bales of straw available for your mulching needs. Straw is $6/bale or 4 bales for $20. If you need these before we officially open, just call us and we’ll set up a time to meet you.  269-244-5690.

Happenings on the farm:

We got our potatoes planted last week on one of those nice days before it rained.  We planted our favorites:  Red Norland and Yukon Gold’s!  So ready for the taste of a new potato fresh out of the ground.

Potato planter loaded and ready to go.

Seven long rows of potatoes finished!

If you drive by, you’ll see the straw has been spread on the strawberry fields, which serves as a weed mulch, keeps the berries cleaner by not having them touch the soil, and makes it much more comfortable for those who get right down on their hands and knees when they pick!  Our thanks to David, Tomas, Amy and Liv for getting this done in record time this year!

The greenhouse tomatoes are coming along great as you can see from the pictures below.   The greenhouse cucumbers are doing exceptional this year, and at the rate they are growing, they may be ready before the tomatoes, which will be a first!  We hope all of us can enjoy that first BLT mid-May!

Look at all the blossoms on the tomato plants!

Green tomatoes peeking out

Looking forward to seeing everyone soon!  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

A Winter Hello!

A winter hello from Corey Lake Orchards. As we trek carefully around the ice on the farm, we’re looking forward to the next few days of sun to melt this away and allow us to walk without trepidation!

Reminds us why we aren’t open in the winter!

The greenhouse is ready to go for the year and the tomato plants are ready to make their journey from Schram’s Greenhouses in Portage to the farm as soon as we get the right window of above freezing to safely move them. We hope by this weekend that they will be all transplanted and growing to be ready for that first BLT in May. And, can we say yet again what a pleasure it is to work in the sunny tropical-like greenhouse in the winter?

We were pleased to win the Three Rivers Commercial News 2018 Readers Choice Award for Best Farm Market. We thank those of you who cast your vote for us and hope this year we can keep true to the title. It’s always nice to be acknowledged and it inspires us to continue our work to ensure that you have great experiences at our farm.

This winter has found all of us in our usual catch up, regroup, and re-energize mode.  Some of the worst days allowed us to stay by the fire while we contemplated the 2018 season and planned for 2019.

Bone chilling weather on January 31st,  a minus 20 degrees F

Our peach trees “just chillin” on February 13th

I attended the annual “Farmers Inspired” Conference in Indiana at the beginning of February. This is a national association of 300+ farmers and agritourism operators. There were two days of educational sessions and three days of touring some amazing farms in Indiana. It’s always fun to be a guest at someone else’s farm and get the inside scoop while having great conversations and learning among all our peers.

I led a sunflower panel at the conference and have great new ideas for 2019

Congratulations to Venue 45 for their recent opening in downtown Three Rivers!  Be sure to check out their beautiful new space where you will find a hard cider of ours available along with excellent cocktails and mocktails. http://www.threeriversnews.com/local-news/venue-45-set-open-week?fbclid=IwAR0gB3O24AGlN1bhj9T4uoP2kk2lA540qHz1-4TPfDtmICdsCooU8TePl7s

You can also get our hard cider at The Local in Centreville, the Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Hoffman Street Market, Mega-Bev in Oshtemo, and Salut Market in Kalamazoo.

Yes, we were envious of our own Barb and Brenda enjoying fresh strawberry shortcake in Florida this past week. So we will leave you with reminder of good things to come.

Looks like we already have our strawberry queens for the year when they return from Florida

 

From all of us at Corey Lake Orchards, stay warm…we’ll be sharing more in the near future about what this year’s season will bring.