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

Tag Archive: Locally grown

Sweet Cherries are ready!

Sweet Cherries:  We have a good crop of Sweet cherries this year, but not the bumper crop like we had last year.  We lost about 20% of them during the May frost.

Picked Sweet cherries are now available in the market for $4.00 a quart.

U-Pick Sweet cherries will open on Saturday, June 22nd.

  • We have four different kinds  in our small orchard across the street  from our market.    Please  realize that we have an older orchard with about 15 – 20 very large  trees.   Some of the trees are ready now and some will ripen over the next week.  We have several colors:  Dark red (black),  Red, Yellow, and Red/Yellow blush.  In addition, be aware that the recent rains have caused some trees to have spoilage issues.

Picking information:

  • Pricing: $1.50 per pound to pick
  • Picking hours are 8 – 6 daily, we ask that you finish picking by 6:00 pm.
  • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet).   Please bring your own ladder.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy/sumac 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.
  • Length of the season:  It will depend on the weather and how many people come out each day.  Typically within the first several days the bottoms of the trees get picked out and then without a good tall ladder, the picking gets difficult.

Sweet cherries we picked today for sale at the market

 

Cherries just waiting to be picked, June 20th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Sour Cherries:  We have a very small crop of sour cherries this year (25%) as they were in their critical bloom stage when we got the frost on Mother’s Day weekend.  So, we lost about 75% of them.  We expect them to be ready around June 28th, again, depending on the weather.    We will have them available for U-Pick and we are working on trying to bring picked tart cherries in from another local farm.    Please check back with us around June 26th for more information on this as well as pricing, if we can get them at a reasonable price locally, we will start taking orders for them.

Strawberry Update:  We hope to have strawberries through this coming weekend, June 23rd and part of next week.

  • Picked Strawberries are available in the market daily now at $3.25 a quart.
  • U-Pick Strawberries:  We will have the U-Pick fields open this weekend, opening at 8:00 each day, closing at 11 or earlier if we get picked out.  We still have good picking available, but as the early berry rows phase out, we will have fewer to pick each day, so you need to come early.  More information on Strawberry picking can be found below:**

 Summer veggies:  We are beginning to bring in lettuce, kale, swiss chard, green onions and peas.  We still have greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers.    It’s salad time!  Please check out our new U-cut herb garden to put some additional zest into your salad.

The U-Cut Herb garden by the tall pine tree

The Brandy House will be open this Saturday from 1 – 4 for tours and tasting, please stop in.

Baked Goods.  Sorry we sold out of everything so quickly last weekend, looks like everyone wanted Father’s Day goodies.  Based on demand from last weekend our bakers are already baking extra so we have more supply.   If there is something you really want, to make sure you can get it, please feel free to order in advance by calling the market, 269-244-5690.  This Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will have:

  • Pies:  cherry, cherry-berry, blueberry, strawberry-rhubarb
  • Cookies:  cut-outs, monster and lemon
  • Bread:  Whole wheat, cinnamon, and a new one:  vegetable ranch (a must try–I got to sample it early!)
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Shortcake

Bakery and Market restoration update:  Work is progressing on the bakery, so please take a peek next time you are out.  The majority of the electrical is done, the drywall is going up, and we expect kitchen equipment to be arriving soon.   Check out the doors that we had made locally, by Dustin White.  Dustin is also the one who restored and repainted the barn earlier this spring. Last night, he worked to hang the many antiques that the Hubbard family has collected (and even used) here on the farm.  (He does great restoration work and builds furniture out of old wood—we have his business card at the market.)

Dustin painting the bakery doors that he constructed out of old wood

 

Check out the many vintage agriculture tools we have put on the market-barn wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corey Lake Orchards Honey is here!  Did you know that a honeybee has to visit approximately two million flowers to create a pound of honey!

  • There are easily that many flowers here on the farm.  Honeybees pollinate our strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, watermelon—practically everything you love getting from Corey Lake Orchards.   Honeybees will fly about three miles for blossoms, but we’re pretty sure they felt no need to leave the farm to find nectar.
  • We’re already sharing the results of their hard work—tasty strawberries.  We now have another product of their hard work, Corey Lake Orchards Honey.
  • This year’s extra-sweet, light in color, predominantly fruit blossom honey is available in various sizes, in easy-to-reuse canning jars.  We even have it in the comb, just like the bees eat it! It is 100% pure Corey Lake Orchards honey.
  • Corey Lake Orchards Honey is all all-natural.  Our beekeepers use NO chemicals in their hives; they don’t filter honey (but do strain it); they don’t heat it.  Filtration and heat give honey a longer shelf life, but strip away many of the pollens and antioxidants that provide honey’s healthful benefits.  This honey is as close to “just-from-the-hive” as you can get, without the risk of stinging!  Because it isn’t heated or filtered, and because of its high natural sugar content, it may crystallize faster as all pure honey does.  If so, simply set the jar in the sun to re-liquefy it.
  • My sister Charlotte has about a dozen hives here on the farm.  Later this summer we’ll be hosting a ‘Meet the Beekeeper’ session where she’ll talk about this essential, critical insect, and let you see bees (contained behind glass.)
  • All profits from the sale of Corey Lake Orchards Honey go to her late husband’s favorite charities of Meals on Wheels, and Loaves & Fishes.  Please purchase a jar, knowing you’ll be enjoying pure, extra sweet honey on your biscuit, yogurt or in coffee while helping feed the hungry of SW Michigan at the same time.

Happenings on the farm this week:  We spent a lot of hours picking strawberries this week, (our crew of 3 picked close to 2000 quarts!).  Once again, we took up our fight against the weeds, pruned around our orchards and continued maintenance on the blueberry field.  One of the constant chores is trying to get to all of our various crops and orchards to assess their health and well being–we have to divide and conquer just to make sure one of us has been to all of our “back forties.”  On one of my checks today I caught this young deer feasting in the vineyard (yesterday they ate all of the red-leaf lettuce).    Yes, another of the joys of farming!

Asparagus is now gone for the season—wasn’t it wonderful to have it for a full 6 weeks?  Just in case you wonder what happens after you stop picking asparagus, the stalks go to seed and look like ferns.  The ferns store the food in the roots, which is required to have a good crop the following year.

The asparagus field after we finished harvesting for the year

Happy First Day of Summer,  Beth and Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 

**Strawberry U-Pick Information:  

  • 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 11:00 am.  
  • Our goal is to always have good picking for our customers.  So we will close the field when all the picking for that day is complete.  Depending on how many people come out in a given day, there could be some days that we will close before 11 am.    Picking will be on a first come, first serve basis. Given the cooler weather this June, we may have to close on certain days for ripening. 
  • To get the latest picking information, check our website, our facebook  page or our answering machine.  You can call the night before or the morning you are trying to come to make sure we are open.  With the price of gas, we wouldn’t want anyone to make a trip only to find out we are closed!
  • Location:  The strawberry fields are located on AL Jones Road, between Corey Lake Road and M-60.   You may go directly there, just look for the signs as to where we are picking each day.
  • U-Pick Strawberry pricing will be  $1.50 quart.  Please bring quart containers if you have them, if not, you may purchase or borrow ours but bring containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to put them in to take home.

Asparagus, Plants and Mother’s Day update

We will be open starting Wednesday, May 1st, our daily hours are 8 to 6.

Asparagus Update:  We will try to pick asparagus for the first time on Weds, May 1st.  It will take a few days to a week (depending on the weather) to pick in large quantities.  So, you are best to call ahead (269-244-5690) and we will save it for you as we tend to sell out early at the beginning of the season.  If you want larger quantities (like 20 pounds or more) please call and get on our order list and we will call you when it is available.

Plants for sale:   We currently have a selection of cold crop plants: cabbage, kale, brussell sprouts, lettuce, broccoli, swiss chard, etc.  These plants like cold weather and you can get these in your own gardens any time now. We also have tomato plants for sale–many varieties.    By the middle of May we hope to have all of our plant selections available: squash, peppers, eggplant, peppers, melons, cukes.  So plan on getting your garden items here, call ahead to make sure we have the plants you want before you drive out as we are bringing them in daily.

Blueberry bushes:  We have some blueberry bushes available but only a few days.  Call us (269-244-5690) if you want us to save you some.  These are 3 year established bushes.  We have two kinds, Duke and Northland.

Flowers for a cutting garden.  Many of you have admired the cutting garden that we put out each year by the market.  If you would like to start some of your own, we will be offering those plants as well.    The annuals we use in the cutting garden are:  cosmos, snapdragons, asters, zinnias, and gomphrena.

In addition we are currently stocking a variety of flower pots and hanging baskets.

Mother’s Day ideas:     This year, consider some of our special Mother’s day items we are putting together for the Mom’s in your life:

  Salad for Mom:

  • We are offering large tomato plants for the patio or to set outside—they are already blooming, staked and some have little tomatoes on them.
  • We have put together lettuce bowls that can be put outside, the lettuce can be picked and it grows back!
  • Buy a lettuce bowl, a large tomato plant and add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have the healthy gift of a fresh salad!

Salad Bowls and tomato plants available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An arranged flower container for the patio or door step for Mom

  • This year we are combining the best of two things, Cathy’s skills in creating beautiful  flower containers and Beth’s love of collecting vintage items, especially with fruit on them.  Come see the many unique containers available for sale at all price ranges.  If you have a container you would like Cathy to plant, bring it over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked Goods for Mom:    Michaela and her mother, our famous bakers, will be starting up for the year in time for Mother’s Day weekend.  Their offerings will be available starting Friday, May 10th through Sunday, May 12th.   To be sure to get the baked goods you want,  please call ahead or email us to order in advance (269-244-5690).

  • Cookies:  Large, pastel flower cut outs, Monster and Zucchini Chocolate Chip
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry. Cherry. Cherry Berry and Peach.  Note: Peach pies will be only offered a few times this year until peach season as our frozen peach supplies are limited.  We are making peach available for Mother’s Day weekend
  • Sugar Free Pies need to be ordered in advance
  • Also 12 Grain Bread, Whole Wheat Bread and Cinnamon Rolls

    Brandy or Polecat Wines for Mom:  Bruce will be open for brandy and wine tasting along with tours of our distillery, on Saturday, May 11th from 1 – 4, and then all Saturdays for the rest of our 2013 season.  Ask him about some special ways to blend our brandies into some wonderful drinks for Mom.

What’s happening on the farm? Finally some true spring weather and we are busy getting plants in the ground.  Last week we planted 28,000 onion bulbs, 6000 strawberry plants, and all of our cold crop plants–working around the several days that it decided to snow off and on!  Today we planted tomatoes—all for continuing my Dad’s quest of having the first tomatoes ready in Michigan each year.

We even transplanted a few tomato plants we have been growing in greenhouse since February with tomatoes on them!! 4-30-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blossoms and Bees:   With another 80 degree day coming this week, we expect the orchards to start blooming soon.  Our beekeepers have been busy the last few days setting up more hives of bees which we think will enjoy the many pollination choices available here in our orchards, vineyards and fields.

 

 

 

 

 

Peach blossoms just about to “pop” 4-30-13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards is excited about opening for another season to offer you the best we can in local produce and other local items.  Thanks for buying local and we hope to see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asparagus and Snow sightings!!

Asparagus sighting!  Denim and I walked back to check on the asparagus today after last night’s snow fall melted off.   We found a few spears trying to come through the earth.    And while Denim was excited to have snow again, the rest of us were certainly not!  With the below freezing temperatures expected the next several nights,  the asparagus just coming up will freeze (ruined) and we’ll have to wait for the next ones.   So….looking at the weather forecast, if we get some nice days next week, we could have asparagus in about another week.  We’ll send another email when we know more.

Rain….rain…..rain.   We are certainly getting caught up from last year’s drought, having gotten over 4 inches in just this last week.   Everything is ready to be planted except we can’t get into the fields.   My Dad and I have 6000 strawberry plants stuffed in our refrigerators to keep them dormant until we can plant.

Jay plowing the fields in preparation for planting

 

 

 

 

 

The crew laying plastic mulch in the field

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spreading straw on our new strawberry patch

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a reminder that we have some plants available..…once we can start planting, hopefully this coming week, we will plant everything unless you have called or emailed us to save you something.

Call us at 269-244-5690 or email us if you would like to have us save some for you.  Please leave us your name, phone number, what you would like and how many.   We are not open yet for the year so we will get back to  you on when you can pick them up.

Available NOW: 

  1. Strawberry Plant varieties are:   Earliglow, AC Wendy,  Allstar, Mesabi, Darselect and Donna.  They are  50 cents per plant.   These are all June-bearing varieties that we have planted over the years at our farm.
  2. Onion Plant varieties (All sweet) are:  Candy (large yellow), Red Candy Apple (red medium sized onion),  Super Star (large white).    They are 5 cents per plant or bulb.
  3. Seed Potatoes--Red Norland:  These are 10 cents/potato.  This is the same kind that we have grown and sold here for years.

Coming soon:  In May we will have lots of other plants for sale for your gardens.  We are also putting some special plant baskets together for Mother’s Day—we’ll have that information out soon.

Happy Spring,

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

Mid-April Update

Just a quick update as many of you have been asking about asparagus.  During our daily checks,  we have no signs of any asparagus coming up yet.    But this week’s rains and warmer weather should do something!   We will  give you an update in about a week.

Plants/Seed Potatoes for sale:  We have  plants available for sale as our stock came in this week and we have some extra.  Call us at 269-244-5690 or email us if you would like to have us save some for you.  Please leave us your name, phone number, what you would like and how many.   We are not open yet for the year so we will get back to  you on when you can pick them up.

Available NOW: 

Strawberry varieties are:   Earliglow, AC Wendy,  Allstar, Mesabi, Darselect and Donna.  They are  50 cents per plant.   These are all June-bearing varieties that we have planted over the years at our farm.

Onion Plant varieties (All sweet) are:  Candy (large yellow), Red Candy Apple (red medium sized onion),  Super Star (large white).    They are 5 cents per plant or bulb.

Seed Potatoes--Red Norland:  These are 10 cents/potato.  This is the same kind that we have grown and sold here for years.

Tomato Plants:  We have a few large tomato plants for sale now, these would be for your patio or if you have a greenhouse.  But the bulk of our tomato plants will be available in the month of May.  We will provide a list of varieties and pricing in a few weeks.

Coming in May we will have a large variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, tomato and melon plants.  We will have a list of these out soon, so start getting those garden and flower beds ready!!  All of these plants are grown in a local greenhouse for us.

We think spring is finally here and we look forward to seeing all of our customers soon!

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