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

Tag Archive: Blueberries

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.)

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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.

Peach, tomato, corn, blueberry and apple update–August 20th

Just a quick note about a few things going on this week:

Peaches:  This week we will pick most of our peaches in our new orchard and they are beautiful.    The varieties are Flamin’ Fury and Coral Star.  This may be the only week we can offer larger quantities of pecks–which is a 1/4 bushel. ($10/peck.)   So for those of you who have been trying to get peaches–don’t delay.

Tomatoes:  Just to prove that we really are waiting for the tomatoes to ripen I took this picture this morning….when and if they finally turn red, we will have lots of tomatoes for you to pick or buy in bushel quantity.   This year we have staked them all so picking will be easier than ever.  We are hoping this week’s hot weather will help.

This year’s u-Pick field–still waiting for tomatoes to turn red

Earliblaze apple special:  We have picked our Earliblaze apples for the year and are offering them at a special price due to not having enough cold storage space to keep them.  These are one of the best summer apples for eating, cooking (pies or sauce.)  They will be $16 a bushel, tree run, until we sell out.  Call us if you would like to reserve some. 269-244-5690.

This year’s crop of Earli-blaze apples

Blueberries:  This is the last week we will have blueberries.

Sweet Corn:  This morning we picked the last sweet corn for the year.  Thanks to all of our customers who enjoyed it.  If you are still needing corn, we would recommend Stears Corn, located in Constantine, call 435-8232.

All for now….hope to see you soon,  Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

Our bakery is now open!

We opened our bakery today!  So now you can get baked goods here every day..  We’re anxious for everyone to come out and see it and enjoy some treats.  Our bakers are busy ramping up production and will continue to add more offerings as time goes on, including donuts and cider slushies during apple season.  We will have a grand opening in the near future, we have a lot of people we  want to formally thank who designed, constructed and supported us along this journey.

Owner Dayton Hubbard, the first customer of the day to get some chocolate pie–his favorite

Michaela posting the pie varieties of the day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what about this unseasonably cold weather?  There’s good news and bad news from our view:  the good news is it is keeping crops like blueberries around longer–we still have plenty for sale and plenty for you to Pick–you can pick blueberries between 8 am and 6 pm every day now until they are gone.    The bad news is it is continuing to delay other summer fruit like peaches, melons and field tomatoes that everyone has been waiting for.    Hate to tell you this but it looks like it could be another week for these.

The weather patterns this year (so hot and now cold) caused all of our green bean and sweet corn plantings to be ready all at the same time.  The good news is we have LOTS of green beans and corn right now (please come help us out by getting some), the bad news is, they will be done and over early this year.  So don’t delay–if you intend to freeze or can beans or corn….please call us to get bushels now.  269-244-5690.

Please come help us find homes for all of this sweet corn

Summer Apples:  Finally, we have a good summer apple that has started, Jersey Mac’s.  It is similar to the taste of a MacIntosh– it is nice to have a fresh Michigan apple again.

Other vegetables we have are:  green beans, swiss chard, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cabbage, peppers, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts,  new potatoes, eggplant and radishes.   These are picked daily, for best selection and availability–shop early.  We have fresh herbs available to pick, just bring your recipe and snip what you need from the U-Pick herb garden located by the pine tree.

Cut flowers, sunflowers and gladiolus are ready now,  we cut them for sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Bring your vase or arrange a bouquet and take home in a plastic bag or cup.

The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4, you must try our new strawberry brandy and talk with Bruce on some good drink ideas he has.

We were pleased to host the annual group of Camp Tavor bikers this past Sunday, who biked from Chicago to the camp across the lake from our market.  We hope the vegetables, fruit and baked goods they enjoyed while here helped ease some of the aching muscles.

So from everyone at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon.   Beth