Here’s wishing everyone a great and safe holiday weekend/weekday or whenever you have a chance to celebrate the 4th of July or just kick back. Hope you’ve planned a trip to the farm somewhere in there to enjoy our relaxed atmosphere. We’ve got fresh produce, baked goods, local meat, cheese and eggs, and our own wine and hard cider selections. We recommend you pair these with good weather, family and friends.
Strawberries: We are as sad as everyone to have the season be so short, and yes, they are really gone for the year. But there are still hints of berries around the market! Find them in our strawberry hard cider, a strawberry muffin or a strawberry rhubarb pie. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures from one of the families who came to pick on one of our last days. It was so much fun to hold a little strawberry girl, but wasn’t sure what she thought! Thanks to the Mom who brought them out decked in their strawberry outfits!
Sweet Cherries: Sadly the rains caused the sweet cherries to spit this year, so there is no u-pick. We have picked as many as we can and have them for sale at the market by the quart. Don’t be surprised by the range of colors: we grow yellow, red, black and blush cherries, all sweet! They will not last much longer, this might be the shortest sweet cherry season for us in our history (to explain, we went from one of the coldest years ever to now one of the hottest on record, and one of the wettest on record now too!). But….we invite you to try a tart cherry and we hope you will be pleasantly surprised….this is the year we want everyone to try a tart cherry, and learn to love them as much as we do!
Tart/Sour Cherries: We have a good crop of these this year. While for sure they make a great pie, jam and can be used in many recipes, they also are great to eat fresh and are so good for you. We have samples at the market to try. It might be a nice u-pick experience for the family to get some. These little girls picked (and ate) tart cherries and then ended the morning with zucchini-chocolate chip cookies! Learn more about how the health benefits of tart cherries, fun facts, along with recipes here: http://www.choosecherries.com/
(Note from Becca: this time of year, my favorite way to eat tart cherries is FROZEN. My mom would always put them in the freezer for us. They freeze just like a tiny fruit popsicle and are SO good, and refreshing! I’ve loved them since I was old enough to eat them. I really really recommend.)
- Tart Cherry U-Pick: Open for picking now Friday June 29th. (See U-Pick cherry information at end of this post.)**
- Tart cherry u-pick pricing: $1.50/pound, over 50 pounds @ $1.25/pound.
- Length of season. Depending on the weather and how many come out to pick, would expect them to last a week or so
- Tart cherries Picked: $5.00 a quart.
- Check out the cherry pitters we have at the market, Kids absolutely love getting the pits out of their cherries with these!
Blueberries–are coming along nicely and we should have some this coming week on the market already picked.
- U-Pick Blueberries: We have a relatively small field compared to most major blueberry growers (only three acres), so our u-pick blueberries are for folks who just want to come over to pick a few pounds for the experience. Check back with us as we will be opening our small field sometime this coming week. If you are looking to pick a lot of blueberries or can’t wait for ours, we recommend you try Brookside Farms, located in Paw Paw. They supply our picked berries and have a delightful farm for you to visit and pick at. 269-657-3500 or check their website: https://brooksidefarmsmi.com/
Parents, Nutritionists, Doctors, Farmers, Chefs and so many others have coined the phrase: Eat your vegetables! And you should! The market is beginning to overflow with so many great vegetable choices, grown conventionally and organic. With this heat coming, just enjoy them as a cut up snack, with a dip. (We have dip mixes, sour cream and yogurt for sale). With the abundance of zucchini, try spiralizing them into noodles (yes, we have spiralizers for sale as well, and they’re widely available at supermarkets because of how great zoodles are). And of course, everyone’s favorite: grilling them (outside of course keeping the heat out of the kitchen!). Stay tuned to Facebook this week as we post favorite recipes.
Here’s what is on the market now:
- Fresh broccoli, zucchini, kohlrabi, cabbage, cucumbers, yellow summer squash, fresh dug onions, cauliflower, peppers and peas
- Greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers
- U-pick herbs are ready. Find bags, scissors for cutting around the neck of the bird overlooking the herb garden. A list of what is ready is posted at the market. If you haven’t tried using freshly picked herbs you will be amazed at how they punctuate your food. So bring your recipes and pick away.
- Organics! Lettuce, garlic scapes, basil, lots of cucumber, kale, carrots, and a few tomatoes including cherry tomatoes from the certified organic plot.
Straw: We have extra bales of straw available for your mulching needs. They are $6/bale or 4 bales for $20.
Hard Ciders, Wine and Brandies: Strawberry Cider and Afternoon Cider are both back! We’ve also got our Prince Tribute Cider, Brunch, Rhubarb, Ginger, Dry, Semi-Sweet, Sweet, Hopped, and Bark Bite. If you’re interested in a mead, our new United Squash Federation features a really mellow blend of ingredients, most notably buttercup squash and caramel. It’s just a really soft, nice mead that comes in at about 8% alcohol by volume. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy, Double Cherry Wine, and Kaiser Cyser.If you’re looking for our cider outside of our farm, you can visit Rooster’s Wing Shack in Three Rivers, The Riviera Theatre in Three Rivers, Dussel’s in Cassopolis, Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids, and as always, The Local in Centreville, Michigan.
Brandy tasting and tours are this Saturday with Bruce from 1 – 3 in the brandy room. Hard cider tastings are at the market 4-6 on Fridays and 3-6 on Saturdays. We’ll have many of our ciders on tap for flights and growler fills as well. Come sit and enjoy the space at the side of the market with a drink and pleasant conversation, and a view of the lake and our gardens. We look forward to seeing you rain or shine!
Bakery Update: Be sure to come see us in the bakery, Beth’s favorite cookies are back now that zucchini is in season: zucchini chocolate chip! If there is a favorite pie or something you want for the holiday, please feel free to call and have us save it back for you! 269-244-5690.
Welcome Faith in Flora: Faye brought her beautiful bouquets and other special plants to our farm last weekend and she will be here on Saturdays (10 to 1) and Sundays (11 to 1). We love what she does with flowers and think you will too.
Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards is looking forward to seeing all of you over this coming holiday and days to come!
**Information for U-Pick cherries:
- U-Pick Hours: 8 – 6 daily, please be finished picking by 5:45 p.m. to be back to the market by 6pm. Because of the heat wave this weekend, we recommend coming early. Your cherries will keep the best if picked cool.
- Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy or prickly plants in the orchard area, among other hazards.
- Bring waters, suntan lotion, and the like
- Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.).
- Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
- Please bring your own ladder as we do not supply ladders. Some of the best cherries are out of reach and even a small step ladder would be helpful. We cannot let anyone climb the trees lest the branches get damaged or even worse, you injure yourself, so please come prepared.