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

Tag Archive: Lettuce

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.

End of June Update

Another month gone and when June leaves, it takes strawberries with it.  We are grateful for the wonderful strawberry season we had that was around for most of June.  The 3 inches of rain we got this week took its toll on them, but thankfully came as they were just ending.  Our last day for U-Pick strawberries will be Friday, June 27th from 8 until 11.  We will try to pick Friday and Saturday to have some for the weekend.  It will be hard for all of us to wait another year for strawberries!

Everyone is asking “what’s next?”  Normally we would be just starting to pick sweet cherries, but due to the severe winter and the May frost we lost 95% of our sweet cherry crop. The 5% we had left have been enjoyed by the birds and unfortunately, the rain this week made what was left crack and split.

U-Pick Sour Cherries:   We do have a fairly good crop of tart cherries this year, we lost some to the frost but not all. We will open the Sour cherries for U-Pick on Sunday, June 29th. The type of tart cherry we grow is Montmorency.  They are typically used for pies, tarts, or making jelly, but some people like to eat them and enjoy their tartness. Becca especially likes to eat them frozen.

  • Pricing: $1.00 per pound to pick, 75 cents per pound for 50 pounds or over
  • U-Pick Hours:  8 – 6 daily, please be finished picking by 5:45 pm to be back to the market by 6pm.
  • We will be open each day until they are gone. (Maybe a week? Depends on how many people come out to pick.)
  • The sour cherry trees are about 10 – 20 feet tall. For good picking, you should bring your own ladder.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you many run into poison ivy or prickly plants in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers. We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs, buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.

Summer vegetables:  We are supplementing the market right now with produce purchased from local growers in Indiana, whose growing season is a touch ahead of ours.  Right now in the market we have cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash, red potatoes, onions, cabbage, lettuce and peas. We are mixing this with produce that’s starting to come in out of our own fields.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:   

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, cherry,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), rhubarb,  strawberry rhubarb, banana cream, and coconut cream. 
  • Cookies: frog and flower shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter) zucchini chocolate chip (Beth’s favorite!!) and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • 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: This weekend in the bakery we will have two new pies: Banana Cream, and Coconut Cream. We have had a lot of people ask for these in the past, to which we would answer “but we don’t grow bananas or coconut!” So what’s the exception this year? With fruit in short supply this year we are trying to make all of our own fruit we froze last year stretch to as many pies all year as possible! So come on out this weekend and try a banana cream or coconut cream pie. You never know, you may just find a new favorite!

See you this weekend!– The Bakers

Update from Becca: Back from my week away! Reflecting upon my weedy garden, I thought, well, the only natural ecosystems with swaths of bare ground are deserts and rocky cliff sides and mountains, so I won’t worry about too many of these weeds. Snow peas and sugar peas coming in, kohlrabi on its way out. Still going strong are kale, chard, lettuce, cilantro, basil, radishes, and some other greens, as well as the u-pick herb garden.

I’m starting to see my first jalapeno, bell, and cayenne peppers. The predatory beetles and bees abound in my buckwheat. I’m hoping my tomatoes ripen up soon! (And I also hope that the kids going down the slide continue to stop before they catapult straight into my several rows of tomatoes. Kids have been awesome so far, but one of these days I’m afraid it’ll happen…) I’m crossing my fingers for some carrots and callaloo soon. As always, call ahead if you want anything special from the yarden set aside for you.

So everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local and we hope to see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late June Update

Asparagus is now gone for the seasonSo sad, we will have to wait another year to have it fresh again.  Greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers are in short supply for a few weeks as our greenhouse production has dropped down.  So just be aware we tend to sell out of these early most days.  We will have fresh greens available, lettuce and kale.

Strawberry season is winding down, we anticipate having U-Pick go through Wednesday June 25th.  We will open the U-Pick field from 8 am until 11 am on Thursday, 6-26 and Friday, 6-27, however, we will no longer be assigning rows.  It will essentially be “pick where you can find them.”  We hope to have some picked berries in the market through June 28th, all of this depending on the weather.    We are no longer taking orders for flats of strawberries.   As the week goes on, best to call to see what the berry situation is before coming.

We have loved how many people have come out to pick berries this week, so many new families, we hope you had a great time.  (We’d love to have you share your pictures on our facebook page—-and we saw all of you taking them so we know you have them!!)

 Picked strawberries are available on the market for $3.25 a quart.

U-Pick strawberries:

  • Location is on AL Jones Road close to M60 by the old barn
  • U-pick strawberry pricing will be $1.75  quart.
  •  There is about 1.5 pounds in a quart of strawberries
  • Please bring  quart containers if you have them. If not, you may borrow ours for picking and bring your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 12:00 pm daily
  • We are offering two afternoon picking options this year: Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 pm
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.

Strawberry picking is a great learning experience for kids!

Cherries:  There will not be any U-Pick sweet cherries this year as we lost 95% of our crop with the winter freeze.  We are investigating trying to get some from another farm and will let you know if we are able to.    We have about 60% of our tart cherry crop and we will have those available when they are ready for U-Pick.  Please check back about June 27th for an update and pricing.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:   

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, blueberry rhubarb, cherry, chocolate,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), peanut butter, rhubarb,  strawberry rhubarb, and fresh strawberry glaze.
  • Cookies: frog shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter) chocolate chip, and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and Concord grape.
  • Homemade shortcakes to use with your  fresh strawberries
  • If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A final note from the bakers: For the past two weeks, we have been very busy washing, hulling, and freezing strawberries to use all summer and next spring for our pies. They have been absolutely incredible this year, juicy, sweet, and of course tasty! Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and this may be the last weekend for fresh strawberries, which also means it may be the last weekend for fresh strawberry glaze pies. So come on out this weekend and get one while they are still here! See you this weekend!– The Bakers

Happenings on the farm this week.  We absolutely loved the rain (maybe not the wind….) we got almost an inch this week.  It rejuvenated our crops and prevented us from having to irrigate.  It also allowed us to more easily pull weeds–a daily activity here it seems.  No update from Becca this week as she had the week off, however, as most of you have noticed, she will have many weeds to deal with upon her return.  We are at one of those “awkward” stage at the farm….waiting for all of the summer vegetables to be ready to fill up the market.    The rain and heat of this past week is helping to push things along, potatoes are blooming which means we will soon have fresh dug new potatoes, our field tomato plants are big enough to be staked.

So, we hope to see you out for strawberry picking this weekend.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.    Beth

The U-Pick tomato field is getting staked and tied, who has already used up their tomato and salsa supply and is just waiting for 2014’s crop??

 
The potatoes are in bloom, 6-19-14

 

A potato blossom is truly lovely

Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries……and a good Father’s Day to all!

Daughter Charlotte offers fresh honey to customers as dad Dayton Hubbard looks on, 2013.

For Father’s Day, consider an outing to the farm.  We will have U-Pick strawberries happening on Sunday morning, fresh donuts coming out of the bakery and a special beekeeping presentation at 1pm! Charlotte Hubbard is a nationally known beekeeper and speaker AND one of Dayton’s daughters! She keeps almost 40 hives on our farm and will be giving a talk that will be fun and enjoyable for kids and adults starting at 1pm on Sunday. You will have the opportunity to explore an empty hive, try on bee suits, sample honey, and more.

Asparagus will be done this weekend.  The last picking will be Friday, so we will have it until we run out.  It is always so sad to have asparagus season end and have to wait another whole year.

Greenhouse tomatoes have really slowed down.  They are now $2 a pound and we sell out quickly each day.   We also have greenhouse cucumbers, though they usually sell out pretty fast.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:   

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, blueberry rhubarb, cherry, chocolate,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), peanut butter, rhubarb,  strawberry rhubarb, and fresh strawberry glaze.
  • Cookies: frog shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter) and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and black cherry concord grape blend.
  • If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at (269) 244-5690.

A final note from the bakers: This weekend we will be offering a new pie, Strawberry Glaze.  This pie is made using our own fresh picked strawberries with a glaze mixture, topped with whipped cream.  It is a cold pie, the strawberries are not cooked, so they retain their great “just picked” flavor.  If you tried our fresh blueberry or peach glaze pies last year, it is very similar to those.  It is definitely a must try if you love strawberries!! And….we think it would make a great Father’s Day gift. We can only make this pie when strawberries are in season, so we will offer them for about 2 weeks. See you this weekend! – The Bakers

A strawberry glazed pie ready to be topped with whipped cream!

Strawberry season has finally arrived. The weather continues to be perfect for strawberry growing: cool nights and rain give them a nice size and help them ripen very evenly.

We picked a lot of beautiful strawberries today!

We are still picking our early strawberries and bringing in a lot more each day. We have filled our flat orders that we had taken, so most days we will have picked strawberry flats (8 quarts) available for you to pick up on the market.  These run $24. It is always best to call ahead to place an order, (269) 244-5690.

U-Pick strawberries:

  • Will open on Sunday, June 15th (See hours below)
  • Location is on AL Jones Road close to M60 by the old barn
  • U-pick strawberry pricing will be $1.75  quart.
  •  There is about 1.5 pounds in a quart of strawberries
  • Please bring  quart containers if you have them. If not, you may borrow ours for picking and bring your own containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • Depending  on the weather, expect strawberry picking to last 10 days to two weeks
  • Best picking is now as this week’s heat is really bringing them on.
  • However, we rotate picking in 3 fields to ensure good picking each day
  • If  you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance and so we can try to schedule you in on a day when we have lots of berry availability. Ask to be put on our “large quantity list.” (269) 244-5690
  • We welcome customers who want to take advantage of being on a farm and enjoying the U-Pick “experience.” We know there are many families who would like to have their children understand where their food comes from and how it grows. For this group, the experience is almost more important than how many berries are picked. If you are newcomers to strawberry picking, let us know when you arrive and we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.

U-Pick Strawberry times:

  • We will open the field at 8:00 am and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 12:00 pm daily
  • We are offering two afternoon picking options this year: Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 pm to 6 pm
  • We plan to open each day weather permitting, closing only for berries to ripen if the weather turns cold. If we close the field for ripening, we will make that decision the day before, so please call us the day/night before you plan to come to make sure we are picking that day. For safety, we will close the field during lightning or a thunderstorm.

Update from Becca:  Out of the “yarden” this weekend: chard, kale (curly, red Russian), lettuce (romaine and salad mix), cilantro, kohlrabi, and peas. We’ll also be opening the u-pick herbs. Check this out in the large metal tub at the edge of the parking lot, smells are free!!  Bring your recipes and cut or pinch off what you need.

I’d like to take a minute to answer a question I’ve been getting a lot, usually in reference to the tall, scraggly-looking flowers. “Why the weeds?” Short answer: I like bees and complex ecosystems. Long answer:

This is a gardening practice that works like this: upon hearing the buzz of bees, cabbage loopers and slugs stop eating the leaves of my produce and drop to the ground to hide, because these pest insects associate these vibrations with the sound of predatory wasps looking for a meal.

We see weeds, and the bee sees food.

Now that early spring mustard, turnips, radishes, and arugula have gone to flower, I’m happy to report the bees have taken notice and have begun visiting my garden. As an added benefit, these flowers also attract omnivorous wasps, a lovely group of insects that feed on both insect pests and pollen (and haven’t stung me…yet).

These insects aren’t so numerous that they would scare kids playing on the slide and the swing: only when the market is quiet and I take a moment to listen do I hear the thrum of insects at work.

There are many things besides bees and wasps. I went weeding at dusk the other night and was pleasantly surprised to find ladybugs all over my bolting spinach, filling up on pollen until they can find more aphids and whiteflies to eat. While thinning seedlings, I often see ants dragging root maggots and scale insects that have become their prey back home. I find tiny, elegant spiders filling up on thrips. I’m sure there are others yet.

Of course I observe plenty of harmful insects living unencumbered in my garden, or at least I observe their effects. This year I had a terrible flea beetle problem on my arugula, so much so that I couldn’t sell it. I considered applying a pesticide, but the organic program-approved chemical I could have applied would have killed the flea beetles…and the lady beetles (ladybugs) and bees and a host of beneficial insects right along with it. With a sigh, I chose ants over arugula, and while I’m sure I now saved beneficial insects, well, I also have a whole row of weedy, hole-ridden leaves. I can only hope that nature will tilt the balance again, and that so many flea beetles will attract a large predator population.
Update from Beth:  Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, grandfathers, stepdads and all. This Father’s Day for sure, I will be remembering Dad, like I do every day. The reminders are easy: in the beautiful greenhouse tomatoes that he potted that we pick each day or in the strawberry fields that he planted which are so laden with berries. It is a daily pleasure for all of us at Corey Lake Orchards to continue his legacy.

Have a great weekend! Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.