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

Corey Lake Orchards

Open for Mother’s Day Weekend!!

Due to this cool spring, we are opening this weekend, Saturday May 7th, just in time for Mother’s Day.   This is the latest we have EVER opened!!  Here’s what we hope to have:

Asparagus:  This is coming on very slowly due to the cool weather.  So it is best if you call ahead to make sure we have it, or place an order and we can call you when ready.  (269-244-5690).   It is $1.65 a pound.

Rhubarb: $1.50 per pound.

Baked Goods:  Our bakers will be bringing special baked goods for Mother’s Day weekend.  They will offer their great cinnamon rolls, colorful flower-shaped sugar cookies, Rhubarb and Rhubarb-Strawberry pies!

Tomato plants and other plants:  We have a variety of plants available, all of the types that we plant.  These are 30 cents each, or a 4-pack for $1.00.  A flat of them is $12.00 (48 plants).  We have some ready now for those of you brave enough to risk the weather and have your garden plot ready, or we have more arriving mid-May for those of you that want to plant them later.    By mid-May, we should also have other plants available such as:  cucumbers, melons, eggplant, peppers, lettuce, etc.

Local Honey:  Both of our local honey suppliers will have their honey here.  Both suppliers have local, raw, unprocessed honey. Many people find great health benefits in using local, unprocessed honey … in addition to the excellent flavor!   Babcock’s Honey, the Apiary that has supplied us for years and years, will have containers with 12 ounces ($4), 1 pound ($4.50) and 2 pounds ($8.).  TomsBeelovedHoney will have the popular jauntily dressed bears, perfect for Mother’s Day, graduation, weddings or “just-because.”  You can also place a special order for bears in graduation caps, bridal veils or other themes via www.tomsbeelovedhoney.org.  Charlotte Hubbard, beekeeper, has two hives on our farm and others at her home in Schoolcraft.  The giant 24-ounce bear goes for $10, the 12-ounce bear for $5 , the 4 and 8-ounce bears for $4, and the cute mini-bear for $1.50.  All profits from the honey go to her late husband’s charities.

Bears all dressed up to make Mom smile!

Local Eggs:  These are $1.50/dozen.

Locally made Cards & Paintings:  Local artists Larry-Michael Hackenberg and Becky Hackenberg have both cards and paintings available.

Michigan made “Corey Lake Orchards” Tote bags:  These beautiful bags are handmade and stitched by Kathy, she is delivering them to us the afternoon of May 7th.  We love these bags because they have our name on them, but even more important, all of the proceeds go to feed the hungry.

Beautiful blossoms to enjoy: Even after seeing these for decades, it still takes my breath away every year when the orchards bloom; it is such an amazing sight of white flowers against spring blue sky.  The cherries are in bloom now, soon to be followed by peaches, pears and apples blooming.  So you can enjoy the blossoms for several more weeks.  Feel free to take pictures.

Cherries in bloom on May 2nd, 2011

Cherries blooming, May 2nd, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are looking forward to seeing you as we start our 2011 season.  We appreciate the opportunity to have you as customers of locally grown produce and other goods.  Here’s to wishing all of you mothers a great Mother’s Day.  Here on the farm I am reminded daily of my own mother, a most amazing woman whose spirit and legacy we all work to uphold.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

No asparagus yet, Sorry!

Well, the question of the week has been wondering if our asparagus is ready yet as most of you feel if is the perfect addition to your Easter dinner.  Unfortunately, due to the cold weather (including snow!) this week, it is not.  If we can get about one week’s worth of “normal” warm spring weather, we should have some.  We’ll let you know as soon as it is available.  Let’s keep hoping for some real spring weather.  Have a good weekend.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Finally it is starting to feel like spring!

With today’s warm weather and tomorrow’s prediction to be 80 degrees, it is starting to feel like spring, but the cool weather has not slowed us down much.  Since our last update, we have been busy:

New Blueberry field:  We put in 1000 blueberry plants, which tripled the size of our current field.  As most of you know, we have never had enough blueberries to offer U-pick, so we’re excited to get these in, even if we have to wait a few years for them to produce.

Beth and her father separating the blueberry plants

New Peach Orchard:  We planted 250 new peach trees, which you will see as you approach our market on the south side of Corey Lake Road.

Mr. Hubbard inspecting the peach trees prior to planting

Onions:  We got all of our onions planted, no small task as we put in 28,000!

Onions: Just planted

Sweet Corn:  We got our first planting of sweet corn in, just before it rained on Thursday night!

Planting the first sweet corn of the 2011 season on April 7th

Tomato Update:  Our greenhouse tomatoes are thriving, full of blooms and tomatoes! There is even one row of tomato plants out in the field already, in the annual quest for my father to have the first field tomato in Michigan!!  Because we had to replant the greenhouse tomatoes due to losing them in February’s ice storm, we have extra plants right now if you would like to get a few.    These are specially potted in large and medium size pots and can be put on your patio, needing to bring them inside of course if frosts and freeze are predicted.    Consider giving a nice tomato plant this year (already blooming!) instead of an Easter Lilly! The large pots are $5 and the medium size are $3.  You can stop anytime to get these or call us for more information:  269-244-5690.

Example of potted tomato plants for sale

Tomatoes growing in our greenhouse

Regular tomato plants coming later for your garden:

We will have plenty of field tomato plants coming in a few weeks for you to purchase for your gardening needs.  We usually have extras of peppers, melons, eggplant, cucumbers, and other vegetable plants that we will offer as available.  Check website later for availability.

Spring is always a hectic time for us, but we are excited to finally get another growing season underway so we can bring you fresh, local produce.

Beth

Happy Spring!

These few days of nice weather have us busy in the fields, getting ready for the 2011 growing season!  Our grape trimming is finished, the straw is on the strawberry field, the blueberries are trimmed and the red potatoes are planted!  We are preparing the ground to put in a new peach orchard and blueberry field.  The tomato plants are now thriving in the greenhouse, along with cucumbers and green beans!  While we wait for warmer weather, we are busy getting all of the equipment ready for planting.

Jay trimming blueberry bushes on March 14th

Planting red potatoes on March 18th

Straw down on new field of strawberries March 11

Another spring task, new for us this year, was checking on the beehives to see how they weathered through the winter.   One made it and one did not survive, which is not unexpected.   So our beekeeper, Charlotte, took the honey off the hive that didn’t make it:  the good news is we have honey.  If anyone needs some local honey prior to us opening, I have it here and can sell you some if you give me a call on 244-5690. 

Charlotte Hubbard taking honey off the hive on March 16th

Upon going through the hive, she concluded it was the cold weather that did them in.  Honeybees cluster around the queen, keeping her at 92 – 94 degrees.  When the weather allows, the cluster breaks up and moves across the face of the honeycomb to where more golden goodness is located.  The honeybees died within inches of honey; it looks like it was too cold for their small number to move.  But, their bad news is great news for honey lovers!

Rivers of Justice Film Festival and Greenhouse update

Corey Lake Orchards, along with other local businesses, is helping to sponsor the Rivers of Justice Film Festival, which is this Saturday, March 12th, from 7 – 10:30 p.m. at the Riviera Theatre in downtown Three Rivers.  The festival will feature two films.  The first is “Food, Inc.,” an eye opening documentary about how food systems in the US have changed and what eaters can do to contribute to the good of others, ourselves and the earth.  The second film will be “Asparagus!” which is the tale of small scale asparagus farmers’ struggle to survive in Oceana Country. There is a reception to follow across the street at World Fare.  Here you can enjoy local food; Corey Lake Orchards will have their white grape juice, pickled asparagus and freshly made applesauce there for you to enjoy.  We hope to see you.  Visit www.riversofjustice.org for more information.

A few weeks ago we were excited to share our greenhouse opening with you and that the tomato plants were in and growing.  Unfortunately, that following week during the snow and ice storm, we had a power line that broke, causing erratic voltage to our greenhouse, taking out both of our furnaces.  It was only 10 degrees that night and we were only able to save about 25% of our tomato plants.  Needless to say, this is a loss that we can’t recover from easily due to the time it takes to start the plants over, but we are doing everything we can.   We would like to thank Shramm’s Greenhouse in Portage for starting more seeds for us the very next day and accelerating their growth.  We would also like to thank Jon First, a fellow farmer in South West Michigan who gave us 300 plants that they had left over to fill part of our gap.  It has been a difficult several weeks for us to get all of this in place, but we will persevere in our desire to bring you those tomatoes we all look forward to in the late spring from our greenhouse.

Also, you can now find us on Facebook and follow us there if you would like.  Hope your  winter is going well.

Beth