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

Tag Archive: gourds

U-Pick grape opening dates, cider is here, more apples are in, fresh pumpkin pies are in the bakery!

U-Pick grapes:  We will officially open for picking the White Niagara grapes on Sunday, September 15th and the Blue Concords on Sunday, September 22nd

Picking hours:  Our picking hours are 8 am to 6 pm, we ask that you be finished and checked out by 6.

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).

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 about a month or so.  That depends of course on the weather and how many customers we have.   We have many blocks of Concord available but fewer white Niagara.  There is a good grape crop this year, the vines and foliage are very heavy this year, which is one of the reasons why they are late….it has taken more days to get the sun and warmth through the foliage to ripen them.

Can I wait and pick both colors of grapes at the same time?  Yes, but you should plan on trying to come in the first several weeks we are open for the Concord grapes, as there are fewer white grapes to pick.

Picked apples in the market:  We have the following varieties available in the market now, in small quantities as well as bushels.

  • Mollie’s Delicious is a large, sweet eating apple.  It is a late summer apple which we will only have a short time.
  • 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.
  • McIntosh:  This is a classic tart, round/flat apple which is ultra-juicy with a very white flesh.  It is wonderful for applesauce, pies and cider and of course just to eat.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Fall apples:  The remainder of the fall apples are not ready yet.  We have lots of apples this year, so there will be plenty for whether you want them already picked or to pick your own.   You do not need to call ahead to reserve any apples this year…when we start picking each variety by the bushel–we should have them on hand.   (except for the Mutsu–see note below.)   We expect to open U-Pick apples on Sunday, September 22nd.  Not all varieties will be ready at that time, we will publish a list next week of what will be ready for picking.

The apples that are yet to come are:

  • Braeburn–mid October–(no -U-Pick)
  • Cameo–late September
  • Fuji–mid October
  • Golden Delicious–late September
  • Golden Supreme– early October (no U-Pick)
  • Ida Red-early October
  • Jonathan-late September
  • Jonagold–late September
  • Mutsu–early October**(very few trees of these–call ahead to place order)
  • Northern Spy–end of September
  • Pink Lady–mid October–(No U-pick)
  • Red Delicious–early October
  • Red Rome-mid October

2013 Apple pricing:  All of our picked and U-Pick apples will be the same price this year (except for Honeycrisp).  You can mix and match any variety of half-bushels for the bushel price.

  • Bushels:  $24
  • Half bushels:  $13
  • Pecks (1/4 bu): $7
  • 1/2 pecks: $4
  • By the pound:  $1

For our customers who use a lot of apples,  we are offering a “buy or pick 5 bushel special” this year when you buy apples by the bushel.    Please ask us for a punch card if you plan to get that many during the entire season.  You do not need to get them all at the same time if you continue to bring in your punch card.  The price will be adjusted when you get your 5th bushel.  If you get more than 5,  any bushels purchased after that will be $20.

Honeycrisp pricing:  Honeycrisp apples are priced at $2 pound, $8 a half peck (around 5 pounds) and $16 a peck (around 10 pounds.)  Once we start picking more Honeycrisp, we may be able to offer them at bushel pricing.  Check back with us.

Why are U-Pick apples the same price as picked apples this year?  We have had to move to this pricing model which has been in place at most Michigan apple farms for years.    We are pleased that so many customers and particularly families come out annually and truly enjoy the apple picking experience.   And we want to be able to continue to offer that experience, however, the costs of maintaining an apple orchard along with increased costs due to regulations and liability have necessitated this change.

Cider:  We pressed our first cider on Thursday afternoon.  It is a mix of Earli-blaze, McIntosh, Gala, Jon-a-Mac’s, Mollie’s Delicious and some Nu-reds.     For the first cider of the year we think it came out well.   Ask us for a sample if you would like to try it before you buy some.  Cider pricing this year is $6 a gallon, buy 3 or more gallons at the same time at $5 a gallon.

Fall ornamentals, mums and squash:  We have a good selection now of mums, gourds, pumpkins, indian corn and winter squash to choose from.

Pears:  We only have a few bushel of Bartlett left and then they will be gone for the year.  We do have our famous Sugar pears on the market for sale now.

Stanley Prune Plums:  We still have plenty of plums for sale at $20 a bushel.  This is a great plum to eat, make jam or to can because they are freestone.  This year they are very sweet.  We have samples available to try.

Tomatoes:  Our tomatoes have really been picked out and with the cool weather need to ripen again.  Please do NOT come out for U-Pick until they ripen up (please call us for an update on 269-244-5690).  We are no longer offering our picked tomato special. If you are looking for bushels of picked tomatoes, please call us to order them.

Onions:  Our hanging and bagged onions are now available in the market.  We had a very difficult growing season with our onions getting off to a bad start in the cool, damp spring.  Therefore, they never reached their full size and are considerably smaller than we have ever had.   We only were able to harvest about 50% of the crop so we will not have as many as we usually have.  Sorry….we’ll hope for a better season next year.

Watermelon Special:  Now that are watermelon are finally ready, we are offering a special of $3 your choice until they are gone.  We have some huge ones, we grow these right here.

Bakery update:  All it took was the cooler fall air coming in this week, along with our harvesting of pie pumpkins to get our bakery staff in a fall mood.    This weekend we will have:

  • Pies:  pecan, pumpkin, blueberry, cherry, pear and peach
  • Apple Dumplings are back!!
  • Pumpkin cupcakes
  • Cinnamon rolls and pecan sticky buns
  • Bread:  whole wheat and 12 grain

We now have a frozen slushy machine in the bakery where we are offering cider slushies, made with our own cider.  You will want to try these.  In a few weeks we will also have grape juice slushies.

While I have made pumpkin pies before, (by going to the grocery store and buying canned pumpkin and using the recipe on the can) I for one was pretty surprised when I saw the bakers actually using real pie pumpkins that we grew.  And….when I tasted the pumpkin muffins this morning, the real pumpkin flavor was delightful.

Above:  Michaela picking out pie pumpkins to use in the bakery, then with help from Patti and Jan, preparing them to go into pies and cupcakes. 

Brandy: The brandy house will be open on Saturday as usual from 1 – 4.  Bruce has been very busy this week fermenting our largest run of pear brandy in history!  (Pear brandy is my favorite….can’t wait for it to be distilled!!)

Lots happening as fall arrives at Corey Lake Orchards–we thank you for buying local and hope to see you soon.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

Yeah!! Apple Harvest is complete!!

It always feels like such a relief every year to finish the apple harvest.  Our dedicated and hard-working picking crew finished on Tuesday, took a few afternoons off and today we started laying out our plan for pruning the trees in preparation for next year.    So…..what this means is our dedicated and hard-working market crew has the apples ready to sell and are happy to help you select apples for fresh eating, cooking and ones that will store well for winter use.  We highly recommend the Fuji and Red Rome apple for winter storing and can give you tips on how to best store your apples.

Since we had a small apple crop this year due to the spring frost, we plan to close early this year, so you have 10 more days to get your supply of apples, winter squash, onions, honey, maple syrup, brandy, peppers, tomatoes, pies to freeze for Thanksgiving and all of the other items you want.    Our last official day for the year will be Sunday, October 14th.

Apple update:  Apples are continuing to go fast given how few we have this year.    We encourage you to call ahead to make sure the apple you want is available.   If we have the apples in the market when you call, we are happy to hold them for you.   269-244-5690.  We will continue to keep our 2012 chart on the website updated with the latest information.    You can find the link to the chart on the home page of our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/apple-update-for-2012/

The following apples are available in the market:

  • Cameo (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Fuji (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Golden Delicious (pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Golden Supreme (half pecks only and by the pound)
  • Honeycrisp (half pecks and by the pound only)
  • Pink Lady (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Red Delicious (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Red Rome  (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)

The following apples are gone for the year:

  • Braeburn
  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • EarliBlaze
  • Ida Red
  • Macintosh
  • Molly’s Delicious
  • Mutsu
  • JonaGold
  • JonaMac
  • Jonathan
  • Nu-Red

Cider:  This week’s cider blend is gala, golden delicious, red delicious, rome, fuji and cameo.     Please ask for a sample if you want to try it.  We pressed some cider today (Thursday October 4th) and will have it available tomorrow morning.  Unfortunately, we had press issues and did not finish a full run , but we think we have enough for about 2 – 3 days.   We are working to get the mill fixed and hope to make it one more time before we close for the year.   Please call ahead to make sure we have it before you drive over (269-244-5690).

U-Pick Grapes: There are still purple Concord grapes to pick, but they are very ripe and splitting.    If you plan to make juice or wine, they would be okay to still get them.

Fall Ornamentals and Jack O’Lantern pumpkins are here: We have some beautiful and hardy mums in all colors, white pumpkins, cinderella pumpkins, miniature gourd pumpkins and all kinds of other gourds, in addition to the Jack o’ lantern pumpkins.  The painted pumpkins and gourds by Diane are here and are as cute as they are each year.  We have many small pie pumpkins this year that are perfect for classroom parties, Halloween parties, preschool rooms, etc.  If you need 25 or more, ask us about special pricing.

Peppers, Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Eggplant:  In anticipation of the frost coming (supposedly this weekend??) we have harvested all of these so it is your last chance to get a fresh tomato for one last BLT.

Winter Squash:  We have butternut, buttercup, acorn,  hubbard, heart of gold  and sweet dumpling squash.

Onions:  This is the time to be buying your onions to store for the winter.  We have them in mesh bags and still have red, yellow and white available, all sweet onions.

Baked Goods: This weekend we will have Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and Cran-Apple pies, all of our apple pies are made with the fresh apples grown here at our farm.  We also will have apple dumplings which are made using our whole cored Cortland apples. They will also have pumpkin cupcakes (the same ones everyone loved last year), along with cookies.

Fall Color Tour:  The Three Rivers Fall Color Tour is Sunday, October 14th this year.  We will be participating in it and doing our usual thing of having art vendors, the Birds of Prey Exhibit from 1 – 3, samples of produce, etc.    Put this on your calendar and plan to join us.  You can view the entire fall color tour brochure here:  http://rivercountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Color-Tour-Brochure-FINAL-2012.pdf

We hope to see you soon and thanks as always for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

It’s Pumpkin Time at Corey Lake Orchards

We have started bringing in our large “Jack o’ Lantern” pumpkins. And…..some of them have a special touch this year…..horizontal lines grown into them.   Why?  Blame it on the summer’s drought,  the frequency of our spinning irrigation left its mark so to say.  We are calling them “drought pumpkins.”

We know some artistic and creative carver will be able to do something special with these lines and create a masterpiece.  For the young carver, the horizontal lines can guide them into carving the eyes, nose and mouth in the right place!  So we have decided to have a drought pumpkin carving contest.  Here are the rules:  Purchase a pumpkin with lines on it and carve your masterpiece.  Take a picture and send to us by October 31st at coreylakeorchards@gmail.com (or you can snail mail it or drop it off to us.)  Include your name, phone number and address.   The Corey Lake Orchard’s staff will select a winner who will receive a $25 Corey Lake Orchards gift certificate.  Of course, we hope you don’t mind if we post pictures of some of the entries as they come in.

Our special 2012 “drought pumpkins”

More examples of our drought pumpkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Ornamentals: We have some beautiful and hardy mums in all colors, including large pots with 3 different colors in them.    White pumpkins, cinderella pumpkins, miniature gourd pumpkins and all kinds of other gourds are now available.   The painted pumpkins and gourds by Diane are here and are as cute as they are each year.  We have many small pie pumpkins this year that are perfect for classroom parties, Halloween parties, preschool rooms, etc.  If you need 25 or more, ask us about special pricing.

Denim takes his job of guarding the pumpkins very seriously!

Apple update:  Apples are continuing to go fast given how few we have this year.    We encourage you to call ahead to make sure the apple you want is available.   If we have the apples in the market when you call, we are happy to hold them for you.   269-244-5690.  We will continue to keep our 2012 chart on the website updated with the latest information.    You can find the link to the chart on the home page of our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/apple-update-for-2012/

The following apples are available in the market:

  • Cameo (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Fuji (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Golden Delicious (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Honeycrisp (half pecks and by the pound only, but going fast)
  • Ida Red (half pecks left only)
  • Mutsu (half pecks left only)
  • Red Delicious (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)

The following apples are currently gone for the year:

  • Braeburn
  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • EarliBlaze
  • Macintosh
  • Molly’s Delicious
  • JonaGold
  • JonaMac
  • Jonathan
  • Nu-Red

Cider:  This week’s cider blend is  honeycrisp golden delicious, red delicious and mutsu.       Please ask for a sample if you want to try it.  We are sorry but we are only able to make cider once per week due to the apple shortage.  We try to press every Thursday afternoon,  which makes it available starting Friday am.  Lately we have been selling out in 2 – 3 days.

U-Pick Grapes: The white Niagara grapes have all been picked, but we still have lots of Concord (purple) grapes yet to pick.  So you are not too late, come on out!      If you are picking a lot, please bring a small wagon if you have one, we are in the middle of some long rows now!    Please go here for more information on grape picking: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/update-on-grapes-apples-and-labor-day-weekend/

Picked Grapes:  If you want Concord grapes by the bushel, please call ahead to order them.  They will be $10 a half/bushel or $18 a bushel.  269-244-5690.

Winter Squash:  We have butternut, buttercup, acorn, spaghetti squash, hubbard and sweet dumpling squash.

Onions:  This is the time to be buying your onions to store for the winter.  We have them in mesh bags and still have red, yellow and white available, all sweet onions.

Baked Goods: This weekend we will have Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, and Cran-Apple pies, all of our apple pies will be made with the fresh apples grown here at our farm.  We also will have apple dumplings which are made using our whole cored Cortland apples. They will also have pumpkin cupcakes (the same ones everyone loved last year), along with cookies.

Fall Color Tour:  The Three Rivers Fall Color Tour is Sunday, October 14th this year.  We will be participating in it and doing our usual thing of having art vendors, the Birds of Prey Exhibit from 1 – 3, samples of produce, etc.    Put this on your calendar and plan to join us.  You can view the entire fall color tour brochure here:  http://rivercountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Color-Tour-Brochure-FINAL-2012.pdf

Closing for the Season:  Given how few apples we have this year, we anticipate closing early this year and expect October 14th could be our last day.  So, you only have a few weeks left to stock up for the items you will need for the winter.

We hope to see you soon and thanks as always for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Grapes, Grapes, Grapes…..

U-Pick Grapes:  Whew!  What a busy week we have had with grape pickers.  We have had a lot of grapes picked this week.  Right now we estimate we have picked about 25% of the Concord (Purple) grapes and 50% of the Niagara (White) that are available to be picked this year.    The most frequently asked question is how long will they last?  We hope to have them several more weeks but it depends on the weather and how many people come out each day.  So don’t wait too long if you want grapes this year!   Please go here for more information on grape picking: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/update-on-grapes-apples-and-labor-day-weekend/

Picked Grapes:  If you want grapes by the bushel, please call ahead to order them.  They will be $10 a half/bushel or $18 a bushel.  269-244-5690.

Apple update:  Apples are continuing to go fast given how few we have this year.    We encourage you to call ahead to make sure the apple you want is available.   If we have the apples in the market when you call, we are happy to hold them for you.   269-244-5690.  We will continue to keep our 2012 chart on the website updated with the latest information.  Please note that some of the dates for when our apples will be ready have moved back due to the cooler weather.  You can find the link to the chart on the home page of our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/apple-update-for-2012/

The following apples are available in the market:

  • Braeburn (pecks, half pecks and by the pound only)
  • Cortland (pecks, by the pound, bushels are gone for the year)
  • Gala (pecks, half pecks and by the pound only, bushels are gone for the year)
  • Golden Delicious (bushels, half bushels, pecks, half pecks and by the pound)
  • Honeycrisp (half pecks and by the pound only, but going fast)
  • Jonathan (half-pecks and by the pound only)

The following apples are currently gone for the year:

  • EarliBlaze
  • Macintosh
  • Molly’s Delicious
  • JonaGold
  • JonaMac
  • Nu-Red

Cider:  This week’s cider blend is gala, jonathan, jonagold, cortland and golden delicious.  Our cider makers think it is the best so far this year!  Please ask for a sample if you want to try it.

Fall Ornamentals:  We have some beautiful and hardy mums in all colors, including large pots with 3 different colors in them.    White pumpkins, small “pie” pumpkins, cinderella pumpkins, miniature gourd pumpkins and all kinds of other gourds are now available.   The painted pumpkins and gourds by Diane are here and are as cute as they are each year.

Winter Squash:  We have butternut, buttercup, acorn, spaghetti squash and sweet dumpling squash.  The Hubbard squash are still ripening.

Baked Goods: This weekend we will have all the usual pies except apple, instead our bakers are making fresh apple dumplings which are similar to apple pie.  Apple dumplings are whole cored apples (our Cortland apples) wrapped in pie dough with a caramel sauce.  It’s a “must try.”  The new cookie they brought last week, Caramel Apple,  was a big hit and sold out fast so there are more of these again this weekend along with the other varieties of cookies.    This weekend will be the last weekend for peach and strawberry rhubarb pie for the year.  Starting next week they will offer a new “cran-apple” pie which is made with our fresh apples and dried cranberries.

Other Fruit:    Available in the market now: watermelon, bosc winter pears, and fall raspberries.  We are getting the raspberries in almost daily, but call us in advance to make sure they are available. 269-244-5690.  All of the watermelon are picked for the year and we are having an end of year special:  Any watermelon for $2! 

It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend, we hope you will come out and enjoy being at the farm and picking a few grapes while you are here!

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Come enjoy the beautiful weekend weather with us at the orchard & vineyard!

What a beautiful week we have had and a forecast for a great weekend as well.   It will be the perfect weekend to come out and enjoy the fall colors, pick some apples, taste our cider, pick out pumpkins and smell the aroma from the grape vineyards.

U-Pick apples:   We still have a lot of apples to pick, but on some varieties you may need to bring a ladder as they are up in the tops of the trees.  Apples which are still plentiful are:  Red Delicious, Cortland, Fuji, Jonathan, Northern Spies and Cameo.

Red Delicious are so thick on the trees this year they hang in "ropes" so fun to pick!!

U-Pick grapes (Concord and Niagara):  The customer demand for grapes this year has surprised us, so they will not last much longer.   Please call before you come out to make sure there are some left.

Customer who filled their entire trunk with Concord grapes they picked....

Then fit the rest in the car with them!

Concord grapes: great for juice, jelly and wine!

Cider:  We are pressing fresh cider 2 to 3 times per week now, the flavor gets better with each pressing as the apples get riper and riper as the season goes on.    Ask for a sample when you are here and try it for yourself.

Picked Apples:  Here is what we have in the market for picked apples:

  • Braeburn*
  • Cameo
  • Cortland
  • Fuji
  • Golden Supreme
  • Honey Crisp
  • Ida Red*
  • Jonathan
  • Nu-Red*
  • Red Delicious
  • Spy’s
  • Yellow (Golden) Delicious*

*This indicates we do not have many of these left, if you want some, you may want to call us and have us reserve them for you.  269-244-5690.

Sadly, the following are now gone for the season, many of our favorities…..

  • Gala
  • JonaMac
  • JonaGold
  • McIntosh
  • Molly’s Delicious
  • Mutsu

Our 50th anniversary apple special!  This marks the 50th year our farm has been in business, originally starting as an apple orchard.  To celebrate this milestone and to reward our many loyal long-time customers, we have “rolled back” the price of Red Delicious apples.  Fifty years ago, Red Delicious were one of the most popular apples.  They sold then for $5 a bushel.  So we are offering each customer an opportunity to purchase them once again at that price:  $5 a bushel (Limit of 3 per customer.)    You will find these in large bins outside our market, just grab a bushel bag and fill it up.  This is a great way to get apples and share with neighbors, friends, schools, donate to food shelters, etc.   In the days and weeks to come, we will be giving you some additional information about the 50 years of our farm’s history.

Yes for real, $5 a bushel

Customers filling their Red Delicious bushels

It is possible to get a bushel of Red Delicious in a motorcyle!

Fall Ornamentals:  We have a great variety of mums, gourds, warty pumpkins, Indian corn and Jack O’ Lantern pumpkins for sale.  We also have painted pumpkins and gourds, done once again for us by Diane Jones, they are adorable.

Fall Squash:  We have butternut, acorn, hearts of gold, spaghetti and Hubbard squash.

Baked Goods:  A new addition for fall (besides the apple dumplings) are pumpkin muffins.  I personally ate one entire dozen by myself last week they were so good.

Brandy House:  When planning your trip to the orchard this weekend, remember the brandy house is open for tasting and tours on Saturday from 1 – 4.

Fall Color Tour:  The annual Fall Color Tour is Sunday, October 16th, from 11 – 5.  We will be part of the tour once again and will have arts and crafts, brandy tasting and tours, free cider and apple samples, Live Birds of Prey Exhibit (1pm to 3pm)  and many other fun and interesting things.   More to come on that next week, but mark your calendar.

We hope to see you this weekend. Beth and everyone else at Corey Lake Orchards.