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

Tag Archive: Baked Goods

U-Pick Grapes, U-Pick Apples, Cider, Dumplings, and Spookley…

We are loving this weather and delighted that the weather people have told us it will be here through the weekend. It will be a great few days to be out on the farm. Here’s what we will have this weekend.

Summer vegetables are winding down as fall produce fills the market. We still are picking some of these daily, but not huge quantities: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), kale (red Russian, Tuscan, and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, brussels sprouts, black beans and herbs.

We have lots of fall squash now: acorn, butternut, buttercup, spaghetti squash, and heart of gold. Sage bundles are ready for those who want them. $1 for small bundles and $2 for large bundles. Fall cauliflower is here–huge and beautiful.

Apple cider is here! Our cider is not pasteurized or treated in any way–just pure squeezed apples! It has been flying off the shelf so we have already adjusted our pressing cycle to make it on demand….but…there is a chance we might run out in any given day, so always feel free to call us to make sure we have it before you drive out.  269-244-5690.

Picked Tomatoes: Tomatoes are slowing down with the cool weather and we are no longer taking orders for bushels of tomatoes. We will continue to have them for sale by the pound until the first frost.

U-Pick Tomatoes: The U-Pick tomato field is open 8 to 6 daily, you can pick your own for $14 a bushel. It will be open until the first frost. You do not need to call ahead to come as we have gotten through everyone on the list who signed up for U-Pick – please just come to the market to check in. We appreciate everyone’s patience this year with tomato picking as we had to work through the weather issues. The tomatoes are really beautiful this year.

Fall Ornamentals: Pumpkins, gourds, specialty pumpkins, rainbow corn and popcorn, and small hay bales are ready for your fall decorating. Diane’s famous painted pumpkins are on the market too.

Diane's famous painted pumpkins are here

Diane’s famous painted pumpkins are here

Potatoes: We have white, red, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. We’ve harvested all our potatoes for the year, so they are now available by the bushel for your fall/winter use. They are $20 a bushel, which  makes them less than 50 cents a pound. Bring containers to put bushels in, preferably crates or something similar so air can circulate through.

Bagged onions: Our sweet candy onions (red and yellow) and our white superstar onions have now been cleaned and bagged. They have been dried and cured and will keep for you. Shallots and special cipollini cooking onions are also available.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, pear, pecan, fresh pumpkin
  • Apple Dumplings
  • Cookies: apple and lady-bug cut outs, monster (oatmeal, m&m’s and peanut butter), oatmeal raisin, lemon
    Bread: whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
    Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
    Donuts: apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
    Slushies: apple cider and white grape peach.

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A note from the bakersApple Dumplings are here! Starting this weekend we will have apple dumplings available in the bakery. We take a whole Cortland apple, peel it, core it, and wrap it in our pie dough. We then bake the apples in pans with our special cinnamon caramel sauce. Fall is the only time we can make them and they are wonderful! We will have apple dumplings available every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday now thru Fall Color Tour (October 12).  Reminder that we have our Northern Spy frozen apple pies on special since it is apple season….you can buy three large pies for $25. Stock up for the winter. See you this weekend! -The Bakers

It was very hard to not go get a spoon when the apple dumplings came out of the oven today

It was very hard to not go get a spoon when the apple dumplings came out of the oven today!

We put plenty of apples in our pie--after the crust that is the next best part.

Apples pies ready to go in the oven…We put plenty of apples in our pie–after the crust that is the next best part!

Picked grapes:  We are taking orders for bushels of picked grapes, they are $20 a bushel, please call the market at 269-244-5690 to order them.

Concord grapes--looking good for picking over the next several weeks.

Concord grapes–looking good for picking over the next several weeks.

U-Pick grapes:  we will open for U-Pick on Sunday, September 28th, for  both the white Niagara and the purple Concord.

  • 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 (please check 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 given rows to pick on.
  • Pricing:  They are 25 cents/pound to pick or if you pick over 100 pounds, they are 20 cents/pound. A 5-gallon bucket filled to the top weighs approximately 20 pounds which is also equivalent to a half bushel.
  •  If you pick over 100 pounds of grapes, that is $4 a bucket (20 cents/lb)
  • If you pick less than 100 pounds, it is $5 a bucket (25 cents/lb).
  • Sugar Content:  When the grapes were tested on 9-23, the Concords’ sugar solid was at 13.2 and the Niagaras’ was at 14.8. Both of these will have gone up by the time we open on Sunday–but the bottom line is: yes, they have plenty of sugar and are sweet.

When you come to pick grapes, please bring the following if you have them:

  • Five gallon buckets to pick in, this is how we measure how much you pick instead of having to weigh them all. If you don’t have these, you can borrow ours, but bring containers to take them home in.  You can also purchase pails from us for $4.00.
  • Scissors or clippers to cut them with.
  • Small wagons to help you get them out of the vineyard (our rows are very long!)

How is the crop and how long will the grapes last? We have around 50 acres of grapes for U-Pick this year and think they will last up until the first hard frost, that depends of course on the weather and how many customers we have. If you want white Niagara grapes, we would encourage you to come earlier than later, as we have only 1 block of those for picking.

Why can’t I smell the grapes this year? For those of you who have been coming here annually, you know that one of the most wonderful things about coming to the market during the fall….is that extraordinary sweet aroma from our vineyards. The reason it isn’t wafting through the breeze is that most of the white grapes around our market we lost due to the winter injury–no grapes, no smell. However, if you are picking apples, you will smell the grapes once you get there, and of course when you are picking grapes–you can immerse yourself in that wonderful aroma.

Apple pricing for the year: Our apple pricing will be the same as last year, and is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties (like Honeycrisp) apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $4 a half-peck, $2 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.  **When we have bushels available. Please see apple update at the bottom or visit our official page here.

U-Pick apples:  We are open 8 to 6 daily for U-Pick apples. The varieties you can  pick now are: Red and Golden Delicious,  Cameo, Fuji and Northern Spies. Please realize that when you go out to the U-Pick orchards and see so many tree with no apples, some trees that have died, plus some with few apples, that this is due to the severe winter followed by a May 15th frost. It impacted some varieties severely.  We will continue to mark trees which still have good picking to ensure you have a good picking experience and on weekends our orchard guide, George, is there to help you find what you are looking for.

Picked Apples on the market.

  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple.  It has 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 apple and a McIntosh.  Hurry, we only have a few of these left
  • Cortland:  This is an old fashioned apple which is excellent for baking.  It is a descendent of the McIntosh, but a bit sweeter,  it also juices well.   Hurry, we only have a few of these left
  • 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 will have these off and on as we pick them during the season, so feel free to call ahead before you come out.
  • Jonathan:  A very popular apple for fresh eating and cooking.  It has a spicy tangy flavor, a favorite for making apple butter or taffy apples.
  • Cameo:  A firm-textured, crisp and sweet tart apple.  Great for snacking or baking and is an outstanding dessert apple.  Keeps well in coldest part of refrigerator.  We are only picking a few of these as they ripen, so they are not available by the bushel yet.
  • Fuji: This is an apple with sweet and tart flavor, with a low acid content.  It is a very good keeper.  We are only picking a few as these begin to ripen, so they are not available by the bushel yet. 
  • Northern Spy:  This is an antique apple that cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes…..very popular for apple pie.
  • Golden Delicious:  A gingery-smooth, sweet taste lies under a thin skin.  Great for applesauce, cider, pies or other desserts. We are only picking a few of these as they ripen, so they are not available by the bushel yet.
  • Gone for the year:  Ginger Gold, Macintosh, Mollies Delicious, Earliblaze and Jonagold.

Pumpkins: We have lots of pumpkins for sale, ranging from huge to small, but this year we have moved them to the parking lot area to make it easier for you to take to your car.  You can’t miss them, right beside the vineyard and in front of the old white truck.

The Spookley Storybook:  Please check out our large storybook about Spookley the square pumpkin in the yard by the farmhouse.  There are 12 storyboards to walk children through.  It is a wonderful story about a pumpkin that grows square instead of round, gets teased and bullied because he is different, than something happens on the farm where Spookley ends up saving all of the pumpkins—and we won’t give the rest of the story away. This story has some great teachable moments about how all of us need to value the unique and different qualities that individuals have.

Photo opportunities:  There is no lack of places to take your fall photos, but here are a couple of places set up just to get the group photo….

Ultra large pumpkins, squash and watermelon grown by Keith Whitford--no wonder he took first place at this year's fair.

Ultra large pumpkins, squash and watermelon grown by Keith Whitford–no wonder he took first place at this year’s fair.

Will your kids pose as still as Denim did for a picture??

Will your kids pose as still as Denim did for a picture??

Happenings on the farm this week: Unfortunately, our farm was the victim of a theft this week. Many of you have called, stopped by or emailed to tell us how sorry you are about that–we appreciate your thoughts and concern. It is unfortunate that all of us live in a world where these things continue to occur. Two of our ATV utility vehicles were taken which we use for the U-Pick grape picking to get customers and their grapes up and down the long rows—so this was very untimely with us opening this Sunday. For those of you following all of the “downs” we have had this year due to crop losses due to the weather, this one sure added another blow to us.

Remember those words I shared with you in last week’s update:  “Farming is about the most unpredictable thing you can venture into—so you have to be able to embrace change, be very flexible and let nothing surprise you! ” This surprise went from shock and disbelief, to some anger and real discouragement. Yes, your words of encouragement and ongoing support are a wonderful help right now for all of us here as we begin the final home stretch of our fall season! We’re grateful for all the kindness our customers have shown us this week.

Thanks as always for buying local, Beth & everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Our Fall Transition has begun…

This week begins our transition into fall. We noticed it immediately after catching our breath after the busy Labor Day weekend… Our lake customers have returned back home for the season, kids have started school, everyone’s garden is giving out its final burst of vegetables. Some of our own vegetable fields are beginning to slow down, the grapes are beginning to smell wonderful, pumpkins and fall mums move us into a fall color scheme, and apple harvest has begun. So this update is to give everyone information on what we have now and when things are coming:

Pretty content customers enjoying items from our bakery while Mom shopped on Labor Day weekend.

Content customers enjoying items from our bakery while Mom shopped on Labor Day weekend.

Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, black beans, brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds), shallots and herbs. Note: this is the end of the sweet corn, if you want us to save some for you, call ahead. Sadly, the great-tasting green beans that we have had are now gone for the year. Fall squash will be starting next week.

Picked Tomatoes: Big, beautiful field tomatoes are coming in plentifully along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes from the field and sun sugar cherry tomatoes from Becca’s garden. We have bushels of first-quality tomatoes available but please call ahead and order if you would like some. For those of you who have been on our waiting list for either firsts or seconds tomato bushels, we are rapidly getting those orders out and if you haven’t heard from us should be getting a call soon.

U-Pick Tomatoes: U-Pick tomatoes are now getting more plentiful and we are more than halfway through the list of customers who want to pick tomatoes. So again, you should be hearing from us soon to get you out to pick. As soon as we get through the list of everyone who has asked to pick, we will open up the field daily and you will not need to schedule ahead.

Fruit: We will harvest our great tasting cantaloupe for just a few more days and we have lots of watermelon coming in. Small containers of seeded Fredonia grapes are available. Fall raspberries are here.

Blueberries are now gone for the year—it was so great to have such a long season on them. It will be hard to start using them from the freezer now.

Potatoes: We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes on the market. We’ve harvested all our potatoes for the year, so they are now available by the bushel for your fall/winter use. They are $20 a bushel, which makes them less than 50 cents a pound. Bring containers to put bushels in, preferably crates or something similar so air can circulate through.

Bagged onions: Our sweet candy onions (red and yellow) and our white superstar onions have now been cleaned and bagged. They have been dried and cured and will keep for you, so stock up if this is your last weekend in the area.

Apples are here!

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple. We only have a few more bags of Mollie’s.
  • Gala is a great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. We started our second picking of these today so we have plenty available. This is one of the best all around apples for fresh eating and the perfect size for packing for lunches and snacks.
  • Earli-blaze: This is a good cooking or eating apple, and it particularly makes a wonderful apple pie. We sell this apple to bakeries (including our own) for apple pie. We have them available by the bushel. We have just a few of these left, call us if you want us to save you some.

Apple Pricing for the year:  Our apple pricing will be the same as last year, and is the same for picked apples or u-pick apples. With the exception of a few special varieties apples will be: $24 a bushel**, $13 a half-bushel, $7 a peck (1/4 of a bushel), $4 a half-peck, $2 a 1/4 peck and $1.00 a pound.  **When we have bushels available. Please see apple update at the bottom or visit our official page here.

U-Pick apples: We will open U-Pick apples again when we have several varieties available, our best guess right now would be around September 19th, but please check back with us as it is weather dependent.

Golden Delicious on 9-5-14, need to get more size, color and flavor before they are ready to be picked.

Golden Delicious on 9-5-14, need to get more size, color and flavor before they are ready to be picked.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:


Pies:
apple, blueberry, cherry, cherry berry, choco-butter, coconut cream, dutch apple, pear, and strawberry rhubarb.
Cookies: frosted apple cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon.
Bread: Whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable.
Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
Slushies: Apple cider and white grape peach.

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A note from the bakers: This weekend we will be starting our fresh pear pies!  They will be in limited quantities but we should have enough pears to be able to make them for several weeks, and possibly enough for frozen take and bake. If you would like one, please call ahead and have us save one for you! See you this weekend! -the bakers

Concord and Niagara grapes:   We appreciate everyone’s interest and the many calls we are getting on U-Pick grapes. We plan to take a sugar sample next week so by September 12th we can hopefully set an opening date. We will have plenty to pick. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds. Note: Some of you are asking about trying to come after work to pick grapes.  To accommodate this, we will stay open later on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for grape picking only.

Concord grape are coming along, but you can still see some red and green and they need to be fully ripe before we open for picking.  9-5-14

Concord grape are coming along, but you can still see some red and green and they need to be fully ripe before we open for picking. 9-5-14

A nice cluster of Niagara grapes ripening on 9-5-14

A nice cluster of Niagara grapes ripening on 9-5-14

Happenings on the farm this week: 

First, we all survived Labor Day weekend….and while we loved having all of you customers here, we do have to admit, we were exhausted by the end of Monday evening, no football watching for us!  An extra thank-you to all of the market clerks who scurried around those 4 days keeping things on the shelves and taking care of our customers in the very friendly and helpful way in which they do. Labor Day weekend is always bitter sweet as we say good-bye for the year to many of the lake customers.

We had a nice visit from our friends Keith and Lisa who own Full City Café in Portage, Michigan. They make an effort to buy from local farms all over our area and their food is better and tastier for it! This week CLO helped to supply them with peppers, cabbage, and over 60 lbs. of tomatoes. We’ve worked with them periodically but this was the first time they made it to the farm.

Because I love coffee, I am frequently in the bakery refilling my cup in the mornings and always pretty amazed and in awe of what I see that goes on to make the final products such as:

This is the start of what it takes to make cinnamon bread and rolls

This is the start of what it takes to make cinnamon bread and rolls

Then it gets lovingly rolled  up and patted into shape

Then it gets lovingly rolled up and patted into shape

When I see their breads rising so beautifully in the mornings it does cause me to pause to look at it.

When I see their breads rising so beautifully in the mornings it does cause me to pause to look at it.

When I ask them if they ever get tired of making that long roll of cinnamon dough each morning, they say no, they love to do it!   And for that, we are all thankful.

Apple Harvest started seriously this week with the Gala harvest.  We have two amazing workers who have picked all of the Gala apples in just 3 days—and are skilled to not bruise any, which is one of the most difficult things about picking apples.

Starting the morning off with empty boxes.

Starting the morning off with empty boxes.

A finished box of Gala ready to be taken to the cold storage

A finished box of Gala ready to be taken to the cold storage

We are blessed to have such a great team of employees–please thank them when you can for all of their labors.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Looking forward to seeing you soon.     Beth

Fall apple update:

  • Our goal this apple season is to satisfy as many customers as we can with fresh quality apples. We will offer both pre-picked and u-pick apples this year, but due to Michigan’s extreme winter weather and the late spring frost, we won’t have a full crop. The extent of the damage varies by variety and depends on whether or not they were in full bloom at the time of the spring frost. Michigan overall has a good crop of apples, our southwest location was just the wrong place at the wrong time on May 15th.
  • Below you will find a list of which apples we will have and when we think they will be ready. This is our best guess – even now, we can’t be 100% sure. We will be happy to help you when you call or stop by the market to recommend other apples you can try in place of ones that aren’t plentiful this year. Who knows, you might learn to like a different apple better than one you have loved for years!
  • We know how important the u-pick experience is for many of you,  For those families who really enjoy bringing your kids out for the experience of picking apples during the beauty of autumn, you will still be able to do that. Check our website or call us for when later u-pick varieties will be available.
  • We will take orders on the varieties that are in short supply and honor as many as we can.
  • When each apple variety is available on the market, we will send that information out in an email and post it on our website. You can also call us at 269-244-5690.
  • On a personal note, when I walk through the apple orchards this year, it is hard to believe that just last year we had such a bumper crop and so many apples. The sad part is also seeing how the severe winter killed 10% of our trees. If you are out in the orchard this year and wonder why there are trees cut down and missing—this is why.
  • We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our customers and hope you will be loyal in both years of bumper crops like 2013, years like 2012 when we didn’t have hardly any, and now this year where we have plenty of some varieties but not others.
  • Fall Apple Availability and Forecasts for when they will be ready:
  1. Braeburn–mid October-few
  2. Cameo–late September–few
  3. Cortland–mid September-few
  4. Fuji–mid October–fair amount
  5. Golden Delicious–late September–fair amount
  6. Golden Supreme– early October –few
  7. Honeycrisp–mid September –few
  8. Ida Red-early October–few
  9. Jon-a-Mac–few
  10. Jonathan-late September–few
  11. Jonagold–late September–none
  12. McIntosh–early September–few
  13. Mutsu–early October–few
  14. Northern Spy–end of September–good supply
  15. Pink Lady–mid October–few
  16. Red Delicious–early October–good supply
  17. Red Rome-mid October–good supply
  • Apple Cider:  We anticipate beginning to press cider about the middle of September when we have a nice blend of apples.

 

 

Summer arrives – brandy returns! – and autumn donut flavors start this weekend.

In the market we have:

  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), cucumbers, kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, green beans, Brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds) and shallots.
  • Blueberries:  We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints up to 1o pound boxes.) We hope to have picked blueberries around for about one more week to 10 days. Our own field of U-Pick blueberries is done for the year….thanks to everyone who came out to pick!
  • Cantaloupe: Our own melons are ready and coming in every day. Given the expected heat, they will probably only last about a week. So come get some soon.
  • Watermelon: Our own are slowly coming in.
  • Apples: We have 3 kinds of summer apples on the market now: Paula Red and Earli-blaze for eating or cooking, and Mollie’s Delicious, which is a sweet eating apple. We have small quantities on the market. If you want bushels, it is best to call ahead to make sure we have them.  If you are trying to make applesauce. we have some Paula Red “seconds” available at 1/2 price.
  • Picked Tomatoes:  Field tomatoes are coming in, along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes. We have the mini’s available to sample.  See which one you like best, or you can get a box with all the kinds mixed.
  • U-Pick Tomatoes:  When will U-Pick tomatoes be ready has been the question of the month and we haven’t had a good answer due to this year’s unusual weather.  It looks like we will open next week. But….we need your help (and a little more patience) as we open the field up. Given the pent-up demand for tomatoes this year, particularly with the blight that has hurt many gardens and farms in the area, we need to control the flow of customers for a while until there are plenty to pick (which there will be in September hopefully.)  So, if you are wanting to come out in the next few weeks, please call the market and ask to be put on our U-Pick list. We will schedule customers in as there are enough ready, to avoid having so many folks out at the same time that not everyone gets want they want.
  • Potatoes: we have four kinds of potatoes on the market and we dig them fresh.  We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes.   We will have potatoes by the bushel if you would like them for fall/winter use.  Let us know how many you would like and when we do our final harvest we can call you.  (269-244-5690).
  • Fresh cut flowers and fresh herbs   

    Flowers are at full peak now

    Flowers are at full peak now

What’s coming next:

  • In next week’s update, we promise to get you the fall apple forecast on what kinds we will have, when they will be ready and pricing.
  • Concord and Niagara grapes: This is the 2nd most frequently asked question behind tomatoes is when will the grapes be ready. Please check back about September 9th and we will hopefully have an opening date by then. Before we open, we will want them to be at their full ripeness and sugar content, so it may be closer to the middle or end of September before we open (weather dependent of course). We will have plenty to pick. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds.
  • Around Labor Day weekend we expect to pick the few Bartlett pears and Stanley prune plums that we have this year (most were lost in the severe winter and the May frost).
  • spplumsres

    Plums are about a week away from being ready.

You can see the toll that the winter/frost took on these trees by how few there are.

You can see the toll that the winter/frost took on these trees by how few there are.

Brandy: You read correctly! The wait is over and we’ve begun selling Hubbard’s Brandy again. The brandy we are selling now was produced at the height of last year’s bounty, capturing the essence and spirit of the harvest. For brandy, we have apple, cherry, Concord grape, Niagara grape, double distilled Niagara grape, and pear. We also have our sweet ‘Polecat’ wines: blends of apple brandy infused with apple, black cherry, sweet cherry, and peach juices. Please note: we are not doing Saturday tastings for the time being, and we aren’t licensed to sell on Sunday’s before noon. Thank you for understanding. 

Hubbard's brandy!

Hubbard’s brandy!

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, berry peachy, cherry, cherry berry, chocolate, peanut
    butter, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
  • Cookies: apple and flower cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon, and caramel apple.
  • Bread: Whole Wheat, cinnamon, vegetable, blueberry zucchini.
  • Double chocolate zucchini muffins and blueberry zucchini muffins.
  • Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and white grape peach

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A note from the bakers: With the aroma of fresh apples coming into the market
this week, we could not help but think of fall. This weekend we will be switching
to our fall flavors of donuts, which include apple, and pumpkin along with our
standard buttermilk. We also have a new slushie flavor for you to try: white
grape peach. It is a slightly sweet peach flavor that is heightened by the white
grapes, definitely a must try! See you this weekend! -the Bakers

From Becca’s Garden: Red Russian kale, curly kale, chard, sunsugar cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, celery (please ask in person if you’re interested and I’ll cut it fresh for you), herbs. I’ve got lettuce and spinach growing for fall, leeks looking good, carrots coming for a few weeks from now, and hey! A picture for you to enjoy.

naturalinsecticide

Natural insecticide in Becca’s garden.

Local meat: One-pound packages of bacon are back! New this week: bulk ground sausage thanks to requests from customers. Let us know what you think. We also have spare ribs, bone-in pork chops, bacon sausage breakfast patties, regular breakfast patties, mild links, and hot links. Look for all these items in the freezer in the bakery.

Happenings on the farm this week:  Two good things happened here this week, we got some summer-like weather and rain!  Both which will help give our summer crops that have been struggling a little boost.

We also have started on a very difficult and time consuming task of re-training new grape vines to replace the ones that were injured by the severe winter in some of our  white Niagara blocks.  We have all been learning how to do this and trying to figure out if there is any easy way (we haven’t found it!) since this is the first time we have ever had to do this in the lifetime of these vineyards. (Note: this will not affect the U-Pick grapes this year….we will have enough grapes for everyone to pick.)

grpvinenotmowres

We have not mowed the vineyards this year as we needed to protect all of the grape vines until we could do this task.

The goal is to select several grape vines to train to replace this trunk next year.  This is the hardest part!

The goal is to select several grape vines to train to replace this trunk next year. This is the hardest part!

 

The finished result--several nice grapevines wrapped around the trunk and the wire.

The finished result–several nice grapevines wrapped around the trunk and the wire.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Hope to see you soon.

 

July Update

So the calendar says it is July, but the weather feels like spring again. No question that there have been some beautiful days in this past week—but in July—we do expect (and need) some hot days in order to bring on the summer bounty of vegetables. Our summer crops – corn, peppers, and tomatoes – are craving more heat and days with sun. So as anxious as we all are for the market shelves to be overflowing with vegetables, patience is required as things are just not ripening.

Vegetables in season:  Peas: sugar snap, snow peas, and shell outs. Cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, tomatoes, fresh-dug new potatoes, onions, cauliflower, green beans, kale, lettuce and cabbage. And the question of the week: will we have sweet corn this weekend? And our answer is: we are going to try to pick some, but each day that we have checked it this week—it has not changed much (again due to the cool nights and no heat).  Please give us a call before you drive over to see if we were able to pick any.

This year we will have u-pick green beans at various times during the summer.  If you would like to pick some, please call us for an appointment.  269-244-5690.

Fruit:  We finished the sour cherry crop over the weekend, and with not having any sweet cherries or peaches this year due to the harsh winter—July is going to be all about blueberries. Thankfully they are now in season,  delicious this year and really good for you too!  Blueberries rank among the highest in overall antioxidant power.

We only have about 50% of our crop of blueberries this year (yes—that harsh winter again) so we are supplementing our own with blueberries from Brookside farms located in Paw Paw, Michigan.

Picked berries on the market are available now:  10-pound boxes:  $26, 5-pound boxes:  $13, Quarts:  $5 or pints for $3.00

U-Pick Blueberries:  We opened our small blueberry field for a few days this week but it has already been picked out and we now need to wait for more to ripen. We may be able to open it again next week for a few days to finish off our first variety, then we will need to wait until our next variety comes in about July 20th or so.  When we do have our field open, it is for small-quantity picking (less than 10 pounds) and more about being able to bring the family out to pick a few blueberries for fun.

For anyone trying to pick blueberries now or who wants large quantities, we would recommend Brookside farms as a great place to go.  They are located in Paw Paw, their phone number is 269-657-3500 or find them online at:  http://brooksidefarmsmi.com/

This weekend in the bakery we will have:  

  •  Pies: apple, banana cream, blueberry, cherry,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), coconut cream, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb, and  fresh blueberry glaze.
  • Cookies: flower and frog cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), zucchini chocolate chip, and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon, vegetable harvest.
  • Chocolate coca cola cupcakes.
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: apple cider and white grape cherry.

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690. A final note from the bakers: blueberry season is one of our favorites.  We will be bringing back fresh blueberry glaze pies, which we can only make when blueberries are in season.  This pie is not baked allowing you to enjoy the taste of fresh blueberries.  Also new this weekend we will have vegetable bread. You may remember our vegetable bread from last year, but we have changed our recipe, adding garlic and some chives instead of the ranch dressing,  Please try it and give us your feedback! See you this weekend!– The Bakers

From Becca: Well, I thought the lettuce in the yarden was coming to an end, but since the cold hasn’t come to an end, I still have lettuce! Aside from that, more carrots, beets, herbs, kale, chard, and a few peppers this week at unpredictable times. (I am also waiting on sunshine and heat before things really pick up.)

Local Meat: Now you can buy all of your BLT ingredients at the market! We just got a delivery of 15 pounds of frozen bacon from our friends at Rolling Meadows Farms in Jones, Michigan. In case you missed it, they’re a 5th-generation family farm who supplies us with USDA-certified pork products. Aside from bacon, we have boneless pork chops, bacon sausage patties, breakfast patties, breakfast links, and hot links available while they last. You can find these items in the bakery freezer.

Happenings on the farm this week:  We completed the renovation of the strawberry fields to prepare them for next year.  This requires mowing them, cutting the rows back to about 8 to 10 inches,  cultivating, weed removal and then watering as they go through this stressful process and the balance of the summer. So, for those wondering why we are irrigating when there has been so much rain lately, that’s why.  We try to keep our strawberry fields about 3 years.

Watering the newly renovated strawberry fields

We spent a lot of time hovering over our onions which blew over in the bad storm on 6-30, while we had hoped their stalks would stand back up so they could continue to grow, we have finally concluded the high winds have done what they are going to do, and we must gracefully accept the outcome.

Onion tops flattened by the storm

We also started picking green beans daily.   I have been pretty surprised by the level of excitement about our having fresh green beans.  Thanks to all of you who came as soon as the word got out and reminded us how good a just-picked green bean tastes after not having them all winter.  One of our family’s favorite way to fix green beans is to make a huge pot full and top them as they finish boiling with new potatoes.  A meal in itself.  While my mother and father would have slabs of bacon and grease on the bottom, I prefer simply cutting up a few fresh onions instead!!

Green beans finally ready!

 

Rows and rows of green beans ready

 

 

 

 

 

We were delighted to see everyone back over the 4th of July weekend and those who were vacationing in the area. It was a joy to see so many children running from the parking lot right to the slide and swing that they had missed all year (and sharing it and taking turns when they were several families trying to use it)!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local!

Happy 4th of July!

In the farming business we seem to never be quite content with the weather, but these last few days have been picture perfect. We know there are still folks digging out from this week’s storms. We feel very fortunate that we only lost a few trees and branches, plus some cherries which blew right off the tree.

Fourth of July weekend hours:   Since we still have not found a way to notify our crops about US holidays, we will be open every day this weekend with our normal hours of 8 until 6.

Fruit offerings this weekend: 

  • Tart cherries.  You may pick your own tart cherries: bring your own containers, bring a ladder for best picking, and wear clothing appropriate for an orchard setting. They are $1 per pound. Check out a recipe we have at our market for an easy-to-make hand cherry pie.  This is the end of the cherry season, so what is left is mostly at the tops of the trees and very ripe.  So you would need to come soon if you still want to try to get some.  (Updated on 7-5-14)
  • Blueberries:  Our early variety got hit the hardest by the frost, we are picking just a few of those and supplementing from a local farm in Paw Paw, Michigan.  This weekend (unless we run out) we will have them by the pint, quart and 10 pound box.
  • Sweet cherries: Just a reminder for those of you who keep looking for them and wondering if you missed them, we did not have any this year due to the harsh winter and spring frost. Strawberries are gone for the year.

Vegetable offerings this weekend: Sugar snap and snow peas, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, tomatoes, fresh-dug new potatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, lettuce and cabbage. Some of these items are from our fields, some are coming from Indiana to supplement ours until we have more volume (don’t worry, our greenhouse tomatoes are marked!), and some are coming from Becca’s garden. Lots to choose from but flying off the shelf almost as fast as they come in.

Coming soon:

  • Green beans (for sure will have some by Saturday)
  • Sweet corn (maybe July 10th or so??)
  • U-pick blueberries, (please check back with us about the middle of July, we are waiting for our late variety to ripen)

This weekend in the bakery we will have:   

  • Pies: apple, banana cream, blueberry, cherry,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), chocolate, coconut cream, rhubarb,  strawberry rhubarb. With blueberry season here, we have added back another favorite from last year: cherry-berry, made with tart cherries, blueberries and cranberries.
  • Cookies: patriotic frosted stars, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), zucchini chocolate chip (Beth’s favorite!!) and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • Chocolate Coca Cola cupcakes.
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and white grape cherry.
  • If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.  Based on how many pies we have already made and sold (and it is only July 3rd), and order will help guarantee the pie that you want for your holiday gatherings.

A final note from the bakers: This weekend we have brought back a customer favorite: chocolate coca cola cupcakes!!  The coca cola makes the chocolate flavor much more intense than your average chocolate cupcake. If you have never tried one, it’s definitely a must try (especially if you like chocolate)!!

See you this weekend!– The Bakers

Update from Becca: Before I give an update on produce, I want to take a minute to clarify something that I think has been ambiguous all year: when I refer to produce that comes out of “the garden,” I’m referring exclusively to produce that comes from the big vegetable garden in my yard (affectionately referred to as “the yarden”) and NOT the vegetable gardens in the terraces. You’ll see me planting and managing the terraces but that produce does not get the bright green “from the garden” label that the vegetables harvested from the house garden get. Sorry for the confusion.  And for those of you who might not have gotten some of our earlier updates on this, the “from the garden” label means these are being grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or any other ‘cides. Just compost (and organic insect repellents when the bugs get bad).

Bright green label? Why yes! In the market, we have added bright green duct tape to the signs for produce that comes from the garden, so hopefully this makes it easier for you to differentiate field produce from garden produce. What will you see this week? More of the same (thank you, cool weather!): peas, lettuce, chard, kale, mixed greens, and sweet basil. You can find most of this stuff in the pop cooler where it stays fresh longer. A few lucky customers might find beets and carrots on the market this week too, but no promises (I have a very unsociable habit of sneaking the carrots into my house and eating them myself).

I got my first cherry tomato from the yarden this week. So delicious. More are turning, but they need hot weather to come in quantity. (Hot…a word that hasn’t been used much since last year. It does not roll off the tongue easily…)

Local Meat: Interested in adding local farm meat to your 4th of July barbecue? We are now stocking pork products from Rolling Meadow Farm in Jones, Michigan. This is a family-owned farm, now in their fifth generation. They raise their animals ethically, giving them clean living spaces, roam time, plenty of space, and feed raised on the farm. All of their animals are slaughtered in a USDA-approved facility (which is stamped on the packaging).

For the time being, we’re starting with breakfast patties, mild links, hot links, and bacon. We would love to hear customer feedback on other products we should stock. You can find these products on the bottom shelves of the bakery freezer.

Happenings on the farm this week:  I got to do another one of my favorite things:  empty the rain gage while enjoying the fact I did not have to turn on the irrigation. On the other hand, the amount of rain has made it tricky to get into the fields to harvest. We dug new potatoes today which were so clumped with mud you would have thought we harvested mud balls.  Weeds are thriving so we have been on full attack this week cultivating, hoeing and yes….even pulling by hand.

We hope to see you this weekend and wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday. As always, everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.