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

Tag Archive: Honeycrisp apples

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

 

 

 

MacIntosh and Honeycrisp apples are here!!

As each apple comes to the market we will put out a new post/email to let you know.  Today we have brought in two more apples:

MacIntosh–available by the bushel and in smaller quantities.

Honeycrisp–available by the pound only.  We are just starting to get a few Honeycrisp in to the market, so we may not always have them.  Feel free to call ahead to see if they are on the market.  We should have them all weekend.

Lately there have been 3 questions so frequently asked that wanted to get them answered for you:

When are we going to have cider?   We are hoping to press our first apple cider of the year this coming week and have it available next weekend (9-13).   Keep your fingers crossed that the 50+ year old press starts up with no issues…..

When are we going to have  U-Pick apples:  We have not set an opening date yet for U-Pick apples…..we will try to open when most of the varieties are ready, so it could possibly be later in the week of 9-15 or even the following week.   We will post the opening date as soon as we know.

What is the name of the purple flower growing on the east side of the market?  While the number of people asking this question sort of surprises us, here’s the info.  It is called amaranthus.   As you can see—it is quite easy to grow and nice looking, It even self-seeded itself to grow more when we dug the ground up for the parking lot this summer.  If you need more info, talk to Cathy when you are here…..she brought it from her garden and it just took off here.

Parking:  We realize our parking lot’s distance from the market makes it a little more “challenging” when you are carrying out bushels of tomatoes or apples.  You are welcome to park close to the market if there is room when you arrive or you can park in the lot, do your shopping, then when finished, drive up by the market and we will help you get all of your things to your vehicle.

Here’s hoping we see you soon, thanks for buying local.  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

 

Fall 2012: The year we all learn to love Golden/Yellow Delicious apples!!

Earlier in the year we told you that based on this year’s apple shortage you might have to try a new apple instead of your usual favorite.  With it being apple season, we are all used to having the market chock full of different kinds of apples, but right now, our shelves are mostly full of Golden/Yellow Delicious.  If this is your favorite apple, then you are all set as these are  what we have the most of this year!   If you haven’t tried one before, please come enjoy one of our free samples.  Golden Delicious have a gingery-smooth sweet taste under a thin skin.  They are great to eat fresh or cut up in salads; an excellent cooking apple for making applesauce, juice, pie or other desserts.  It was my mother’s favorite pie apple.

Golden Delicious glistening in the morning dew 9-20-12

No U-Pick apples:  Another  reminder that we will not have U-Pick apples this year due to how many apples we lost in the spring frost/freeze.   We had many families who came last weekend not realizing this and thus, many disappointed children.  Some parents asked (most begged and pleaded!) if they couldn’t just take their kids out to the orchard to pick a few.    We ask for your understanding of this unusual and difficult year.  When you come to pick apples, we want it to be a good experience, which it would not be this year.  75% of our apple trees have less than 20 apples on the tree, and then,  some of those are damaged (scarred) by the frost, fortunately we can make cider out of these.   Here are a few pictures to show you the picking conditions.

 

Apples scarred by the frost
An apple here, an apple there does not make for very easy picking….

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)
  • 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:

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

Cider:  This week’s cider blend is gala, jonathan, honeycrisp and golden delicious and will be available on Friday, September 21st.     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:  Whew!  What a second busy week we have had with grape pickers.   Right now we estimate we have picked about 60% of the Concord (Purple) grapes and  98% of the Niagara (White) that are available to be picked this year.   We anticipate the white Niagara grapes will be gone by the weekend.  Please call in advance if you are coming to pick Niagara grapes to see if there are any left (269-244-5690).   If you want Concord grapes, you need to come out soon.  The grapes are ripe and a few are starting to split.   The forecast for rain and possible frost will only make things worse.  Right now we still have plenty of Concord grapes left and the picking is good.    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.

A Vineyard surprise:  Each morning I walk the grape rows to assess how many grapes are left.  This morning I was startled by a mother bird flying out at me, but then delighted at peeking inside the vines to see her young family!  (Isn’t this supposed to be a spring-time thing??)

A pleasant morning surprise in the vineyard, 9-20-12

 

Fall Ornamentals:  We have started bringing in our large “Jack o’ Lantern” pumpkins.  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, hubbard and sweet dumpling squash.

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. They will also have their 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 all the usual cookies.

Other Fruit:    Available in the market now: 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. 

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

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

Apple Update for 2012

We hope this information below will be helpful.  Please continue to check our website for the latest apple information, the chart you find at the end of this message will be kept updated.

Our goal this apple season is to satisfy as many customers as we can with fresh quality apples at a reasonable price.  That’s our goal, but it is a challenge.  Due to Michigan’s extreme spring weather, we don’t have a robust crop.

All apple varieties suffered from the frost.  Based on when each variety bloomed determined how extensive the damage was.   Thus, there are some varieties where we don’t have any apples on the tree (Northern Spies) to some varieties with 25 to 75% percent of our normal crop.  Some of the apples have scars, marks or are misshapen from where the frost touched the apple.    You will find some of these in your bags, they only are on the skin and do not affect the apple.  The worst of these apples will be sorted out and used in cider, brandy and pies!

An example of frost damage to one of our apple trees, the frost hit every part of the tree except for one branch.

Sadly we will not be able to offer U-Pick due to the smaller apple crop.  We know this is a favorite for many customers and we are sorry it isn’t possible this year.

We apologize, but we cannot take advance orders.    Until the apples are picked, sorted, and safely out of storms, we simply don’t know how many we will have.    However, if we have what you want in the market when you call, we are happy to save it for you to pick up.  We appreciate your understanding of this.

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.

Below is a list of what apples we will have, when we think they will be ready and whether we will have enough to sell by the bushel.    Note, this is our best guess, we know all too well from this year how much the weather could change this.  We will be happy to help you when you call or stop at the market to recommend other apples you can try in place of ones we don’t have this year.    Who knows, you might learn to like a different apple better than one you have loved for years!!

On a personal note, when I walk through the apple orchards this year, it is hard to believe that just last year we had so many Red Delicious apples we sold them at roll-back pricing of $5 a bushel—bag your own!  That was a lot of fun and we hope to do things like that again in future years.

We greatly appreciate the loyalty of our customers and hope you will be loyal in both years of bumper crops and years like 2012, a year of challenge.  Let’s all hope for a better 2013.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

Variety Ripening estimate Bushel Availability* Good Substitute
Braeburn Gone for the year No No good substitute
Cameo Ready now Yes
Cortland Gone for the year
Earli Blaze Gone for the year
Fuji Ready Now Yes
Gala Gone for the year
Golden Delicious Ready now Out of bushels
Golden Supreme Ready now No Golden Delicious
Honey Crisp Ready now No No good substitute
Ida Red Gone for the year No good substitute
Jona Mac Gone for the year
JonaGold Gone for the Year
Jonathon Gone for the Year
Macintosh Gone for the Year
Molly’s Del Gone for the Year No good substitute
Mutsu Gone for the year
Northern Spy None available None Cortland
Nu-Red Gone for the year No good substitute
Pink Lady Ready now Yes No good substitute
Red Delicious Ready Now Yes
Rome Ready Now Yes
*No bushels, available by the peck and possibly some half bushels