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

Tag Archive: green beans

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.

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

 

 

A Hot Mid July Update….

The Heat and a thank you.  Here’s hoping that by the time many of you are reading this the hot weather spell has broken.   Needless to say, weeks like this cause all kinds of havoc with our crops….accelerating growth and ripening and a whole list of other issues.  A big thank you goes to all of our employees; those who have continued their work in the fields and orchards to pick produce and those who have worked on the market during these hot days.   And thanks to the customers who endured the heat to come out and get fresh produce this week.

So….because of the heat, we need your help with green beans.  All of our plantings (spaced over a week apart) have come on at the same time.    The green beans are beautiful–please come buy some.  If you are planning to can or freeze beans this year, this is the time as we have them available by the half bushel or bushel–which is the most economical way to buy them.    Please call us at 269-244-5690 and let us know how many you would like us to reserve for you.

Today’s green bean picking!

The heat wave has helped more vegetables to come on so we currently have:  green beans, kale, swiss chard, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cabbage, peppers, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, 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.

A note to bring closure to last week’s plea to buy swiss chard–thank you–we sold out each day last weekend and had to pick more!  For those who tried it  for the first time, let us know how you liked it.

Yellow summer squash blooming and forming squash

Cut Flowers are in full bloom, 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 heat has the sunflowers popping open and today I saw some gladiolus ready in the field.  Also, our flower beds and potted arrangements by the market are in peak bloom–a huge thanks to Cathy who designs and maintains these lovely beds and planters every year.

We are digging our tasty red potatoes now.  This year we also have white potatoes and Yukon gold.

Picked Blueberries:  Available now in the market for $3.00 pint and $5.00 quart.  Larger quantities (5 and 10 pound boxes) are available most of the time.  But, call ahead to make sure we have them or call and order them in advance just to be sure.  (269-244-5690).

U-Pick Blueberries:  The hours for U-Pick will be 8 am until 11 am on weekdays and 8 until noon on weekends. Pricing will be $2.00 a pound to pick.  We expect them to last through most of the month of July.  We hope to be open daily, but if the field gets picked out, we may have to close for ripening, so please call ahead to make sure we are open for picking before you come or check our website for the latest updated information.  269-244-5690.

What’s coming?  We hope to have sweet corn, possibly some on Saturday.  If not then, it will only be a few more days.   Everyone is ready for peaches….but they need several more weeks.  Field tomatoes:  we are picking some cherry and grape tomatoes, but field tomatoes are still several weeks away.

The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4, you must try our new strawberry brandy.

Baked Goods will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.    In addition to the normal pies, breads, cookies and cinnamon rolls, the bakers are making the most of fresh blueberries and will have blueberry muffins and of course–fresh blueberry pie.   Also, my favorite will start this weekend:  zucchini-chocolate chip cookies.

Bakery Update:  Lots of progress was made in the bakery this week, we are in the final stages of completion now.  We are anxious to be done and getting excited about opening.  While we wish we could give you an opening date, we still can’t.  We have 6 inspections at township, county and state levels to pass in order to receive our licensing required to open.    We will begin the inspections next week and will keep you updated on our progress.

Happenings on the farm this week.  This week was one of picking, weeding and watering, and due to the heat–not much else unless it was essential.   There was a lot of triage work going on to prioritize work that helped get water and air flow to vegetation to minimize mold, rot and plant diseases which come easily with this high humidity.

A small event happened on the farm on Tuesday,  it was my birthday and I had asked my family, friends and employees to keep it very low key as who celebrates these any more at my age.  Much to my surprise, I saw a truck parked in the market from the Flame Tamer Fire Protection Company out of Paw Paw.  So while some thought they were here to help put out the candles on my cake, they were really here to install the fire suppression system which is required in our bakery.  It did make for a good laugh and a great picture of me posing with the lovely cupcakes that Michaela baked for me (and Jay helped her decorate).   Thank you to my employees, friends and family for your wishes, hugs, great gifts and food.   Thanks for covering everything while I took two days off, went to Lake Michigan to rest, relax and recharge for the busy months ahead.

Celebrating my birthday with help from employees, friends, family and the Flame Tamer Fire Protection company!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s definitely blueberry season!

It is most definitely blueberry season….and not only are blueberries fun to pick, delicious to eat, but they are really good for you too!.  Blueberries rank among the highest in overall antioxidant power.

Picked Blueberries:  Available now in the market for $3.00 pint and $5.00 quart.  Larger quantities (5 and 10 pound boxes) are available most of the time.  But, call ahead to make sure we have them or call and order them in advance just to be sure.  (269-244-5690).

U-Pick Blueberries: Given the number of requests for people who want to pick their own blueberries, particularly for those wanting a family farm experience, we have opened a section of our field for U-Pick this year.

  • The hours for U-Pick will be 8 am until 11 am on weekdays and 8 until noon on weekends.
  • Pricing will be $2.00 a pound to pick
  • We expect them to last through most of the month of July
  • We will provide you buckets to pick in, but please bring your own containers to take them home in.
  • In order to have enough for everyone, we are going to set a 10- pound limit per group picking, unless we end up with extras on some days.
  • We hope to be open daily, but if the field gets picked out, we may have to close for ripening, so please call ahead to make sure we are open for picking before you come.  269-244-5690.

Most of the folks who came out this week had their very first experience picking blueberries and were expert pickers by the time they finished!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer vegetables are really coming in now with this week’s rain and hot temperatures.  We currently have:  peas, onions, zucchini, yellow summer squash, green beans, kale, swiss chard, cucumbers, cauliflower, and peppers.  We hope to have sweet corn by next weekend.

Please try some swiss chard.  This may be a new leafy green to many of you, I only tried it after we started growing it last year and now it is one of my favorites.  We ask you to give it a try because we pick it daily and find ourselves throwing most of it away the next day because people don’t seem to know what it is.

  • Swiss chard, sometimes called just chard, has a earthy and slightly taste, crisp leaves and crunchy stalks.
  • The leaves and the stalks are both edible, toss some into a salad.
  • It has a list of health benefits a mile long.
  • My favorite way to prepare it is to saute’ it in olive oil, along with some minced garlic and onion, seasoned with salt and pepper.   While I am sautéing it I toss in what ever other veggies I have:  zucchini, yellow squash, cherry tomatoes.  When it is done I toss a handful of parmesan cheese on top to melt.  While this can be a nice side dish, I use it as a main course for a healthy meal!

swiss chard for sale at the market

Beth’s swiss chard dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lodi apples:    Lodi apples is the first summer apple that we grow.   This is the modern replacement for what used to be known as a transparent apple.  It is a medium-sized green and extremely tart apple that can be used for your first applesauce of the year or to eat out-of-hand if you really like something sour!  We hope to have bushels of these sometime next week.  If you want some, please call us and we can add you to our list to call when they are available.  269-244-5690.

We have a new brandy!  Bruce’s strawberry brandy is complete and ready for you to sample and buy.  He will be in the brandy house on Saturday from 1 – 4 for tasting.  We got a taste today and those who tried it really liked it.  He is currently fermenting sour cherries in order to make a few runs of cherry brandy.

Baked Goods.  This weekend we have all of the usual baked goods, pies, cookies, breads, cinnamon rolls.    The blueberry pies are from fresh blueberries since they are in season, so this is the time to get blueberry pie.    This week’s cut-out cookies are pirates–sure to delight any young pirates in your family.

Pirate cookies this weekend

Bakery Update:  Things really got moving this week in the bakery so peek in if you haven’t lately.  All of the equipment is here now and being installed—so while we don’t have an opening date yet, we can see it is getting closer.

Michaela and Patti checking out the new mixer

Bakery equipment coming in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happenings on the farm this week:  With cherry picking complete we caught a bit of a break this week and had time to catch up on many maintenance items around the farm, repairing grape posts, putting spring equipment away for the year, taking out trees we lost in the storm a few weeks ago, getting equipment ready that we’ll need soon.  We worked on thinning some apples and pears on some of the trees whose branches are bent to the ground with fruit weight–a good and bad problem to have!  We got all of our strawberry fields renovated for next year.  And as the several days of heat brought on 2 plantings of green beans at the same time—the crew spent 1 full day picking green beans.

Strawberry field now ready for next year

Pear branch heavy with fruit

 

 

 

All for now from Beth and the entire crew at Corey Lake Orchards, thanks as always for buying local.