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

Tag Archive: Michigan Blueberries

Last Weekend of July

We find ourselves at the last weekend of July and it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend so hope you all enjoy it.   The temperature should be perfect for grilling out this weekend, so we have an array of recipes you can pick up with your produce this weekend on grilling vegetables.  These come from a new book we bought entitled “The Gardener and the Grill–the Bounty of the Garden meets the sizzle of the Grill.”  You will find these recipes mixed in with the produce plus all of the herbs you will need are fresh picked and available as well.

Goodbye Greenhouse tomatoes:  We have been picking tomatoes since May 5th from our greenhouse and yesterday we did our annual job of “taking out the greenhouse for the year.”  We harvested about 4 ton of tomatoes out of the greenhouse this year.  Many thanks to my Dad and Tom who both managed the greenhouse this year, a job well done!!

Dayton Hubbard carrying out some of the last pots 7-26-12

Crew working to remove each tomato plant 7-26-12

 

 

 

 

 

Before we took out the 8-foot plants, we picked off all of the green tomatoes.  So…..we have a green tomato special going on:  50 cents a pound or a 1/2 bushel for $5.00!!!   So this is the weekend for fried green tomatoes or if you want to grill some, we have a recipe for grilled green tomato “sandwiches” with herbed cream cheese.

Grilled green tomato sandwiches…..mmmmm….

We now have enough field tomatoes coming in from the field for you.  The one thing you will notice is that field tomatoes are not as pretty as our greenhouse tomatoes.  Please be assured the flavor is as good and better.  Remember our greenhouse tomatoes got protected from all of the elements of nature:  wind, hard rains, animals, etc, where as our field tomatoes have seen just about everything this year…..

The market is so full of produce this weekend we can barely find enough shelf space!!  The abnormal summer heat has accelerated many of the vegetable crops so get them now as they won’t last through August like they usually do.  Every vegetable we grow is now available. 

Sweet Corn:  We are offering the Stear’s sweet corn, it is bi-color and very sweet.

Peaches:  We picked about a quarter of a bushel of peaches today and will be bringing in a few each day.    The majority of our Red Haven peaches are still 4 – 7 days away.  We will not have any by the bushel, just small boxes for fresh eating.

Summer apples:  We have Jersey Mac and Earli-blaze on the market for fresh eating.  We hope to have bushels of Earli-blaze apples by the end of next week.

Egg Supply:  We are doing out best to keep eggs on the market but please be aware that the chickens are not cooperating, so call ahead to make sure we have eggs as we are selling out quickly when they come in.

Blueberries:  Just when we had given up on our field, the rains have refreshed them so we are picking once again.  They are small but sweet.  We only have them by the pint and quart, no larger quantities.

Baked Goods and Brandy:  All the baked goods you have come to enjoy are here for the weekend.  Bruce will be in the brandy house from 1 – 4 on Saturday and would love to give you a tour and a taste.

All you ever wanted to know about our Honey on the market:

Local Honey for Sale on our market

We’ve always offered local honey, but now we’re offering extremely local honey, from our eight hives tucked away on our farm, where a vineyard meets pear and peach orchards.  It is a very sweet and light honey.  We anticipate larger jars after the season-end robbing of honey (after Labor Day), but now have a 2.25 “taster” jar and a 5.5 ounce, proudly bottled under the Corey Lake Orchards label.   Honeybees fly up to three miles foraging, but we’re fairly sure these bees never had reason to leave the farm!

Our beekeeper is my sister Charlotte.  Her late husband was a beekeeper; all profits from this honey go to support his favorite charities of Meals on Wheels and Loaves & Fishes.

We also have honey from the local Babcock Apiary, and have quite a variety of sizes and containers.  Larger quantities (half gallon, quart, etc.) are priced economically for baking or topping lots of biscuits.

If you’ve never tried comb honey, we also now have it.  Many adults say they had it as a child, and appreciate the chance to bite into pure bliss again.  Honeybees keep their hives fastidiously clean; chew the honeycomb until you’ve enjoyed all the honey, and dispose of the remaining wax.  How and where is your secret….

Packaged comb honey

Local honey tends to help people combat local allergies, and offers many other health benefits such as boosting immunity and energy.  Honey lasts forever, although it will crystallize.  Most commercial honey (not what we sell here) has been heated and filtered to delay crystallization—removing most of its helpful properties.  If your honey crystallizes, simply set in a pan of hot water (or in the sun) to liquefy it again.

As always, thank you for buying local.  We hope to see you soon.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July Week!

Vegetable Update:  What a difference a few more days have made, especially these hot ones, with bringing on the vegetables!   The zucchini and yellow summer squash are coming on so fast we can barely keep up picking or selling it.  We are now digging our red new potatoes daily!  We are also bringing in field cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, peas, sweet banana peppers, hot hungarian peppers, red/yellow/white sweet onions, and starting to pick green beans.  Of course we know your real question is: will we have sweet corn for the 4th of July?  Sorry, we will not, it is really been hit hard by lack of rain.  We’ll give you an update in about a week.  We are as anxious for it as you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blueberries:    Blueberries are ready!  We have them in pints, quarts or 5 and 10-pound boxes.  If you want 10-pound boxes, please call and order  in advance so we can make sure to have them for you.    269-244-5690.

Fresh Cut Flowers:  On weekends we have fresh cut flowers:  zinnias, snapdragons, daisies, bee balm, cosmos, and others.  Feel free to bring your own vase and make an arrangement.  Or you can buy a vase or take them home in a paper cup.

Baked Goods:  This Friday, our bakers are bringing a new cookie:  peanut butter and honey.  Also, now that it is zucchini season, their famous zucchini-chocolate chip cookies are back.  (This is truly my favorite cookie, not only are they delicious, but don’t we all feel better about eating a cookie with a vegetable in it??!!)   Since it is blueberry season, they will have fresh blueberry pies!

Tomato Update:   Our greenhouse has lots of green tomatoes yet, but we are weeks away on those ripening, our field tomatoes look great so far, but they are weeks away from ripening as well.    We are temporarily bringing in tomatoes from another greenhouse in Indiana.    We have done the taste test for you and yes, they taste like a true tomato.

Lodi apples are coming:  This is our first apple of the year and while we lost a good share of them due to frost damage, we will still have some.  They might be ready this weekend or certainly by next week.  They are a green, very tart apple, used primarily for pies or cooking, but also enjoyed by people who like really sour things!   We have started a list of people who would like to get some, if you want to be added to the list, please call us at 269-244-5690.

Herbs:  We are experimenting with growing herbs this year.  This weekend we will have basil, parsley and dill, with other types coming later.

What are tomatillos?  We have some for you to try.   Tomatillos look like small green tomatoes encased in a papery husk.  They’re pleasantly tart, and principally used to make salsas, particularly salsa verde.  They’re good raw, but many cooks cook them briefly in order to enhance their flavor.  Frozen tomatillos are good substitutes for fresh.  Store fresh ones in the refrigerator for up to a month, or cook them and freeze them.

Recipe section at the market:   Please check out our information and recipe section at the market.   There are some great recipes on how to use kale,  summer squash and tomatillos.   If you have a favorite recipe using some of our produce that you would share, bring us a copy.

Brandy:  Our brandy house will be open from 1 – 4 this Saturday, for tasting, tours or just talking to Bruce!

Still looking for rain……the lack of rain is truly stressing the crops and our faithful crew who are trying to keep the irrigation running 24/7.  Our thanks to Jay who gets the sleepless nights as he monitors it and for our day crew who help to move it to various fields several times a day.

The traveling irrigation system making its way down the rows, 6-26-12

Please have a good 4th of July, stay safe and we hope to see you our way to get some local produce.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

Irrigation

 

 

 

 

 

Happy First Day of Summer!

And…..it really feels like summer doesn’t it?  We are doing our best to keep our crops growing, but…..the lack of rain is really taking its toll.  We are irrigating 24/7 and cannot keep up with how dry and hot it is.  Please do a rain dance!

Our market offerings are sparse right now without much produce available because we are between crops.    Strawberries, black sweet cherries and tart cherries are gone for the year.    We are still picking yellow sweet cherries for a few more days and today we started picking blueberries!    You can see from the picture below that they are just turning blue.  Our vegetables are coming in slowly, we are picking lettuce, kale, onions, peas and hope to have some summer squash by this weekend.    Green beans are about a week away and sweet corn is several more weeks away.  Our greenhouse is beginning to phase out for the year, so  we are picking fewer tomatoes and cucumbers each day.  As you know, we grow what we sell, so we’ll all have to be patient as the summer crops begin to fill in.   Always feel free to call us in advance before you drive out to see what we have, as we tend to sell out of things early on some days.  269-244-5690.

Dragonfly resting on the blueberries! 6-19-12

Weekend offerings:  Reminder that our bakers will fill up the market with fresh home made pies, cookies, bread and cinnamon rolls starting on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.    Bruce will be in the Brandy house from 1 – 4 on Saturday for tours and tasting.  He is currently processing a batch of sweet cherry brandy…..it smells so amazing, if you are out you can probably coax him into letting you see how it is processed and smell the aroma.

As always, thanks for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

Strawberry season is ending but out Sweet Cherries are beautiful!!

U-Pick Strawberries:  While we had hoped to have U-Pick strawberries a while longer, after we finished with the U-Pick this morning we have decided to close the U-Pick for the rest of the season as the berries are getting small and sparse on the plants.    Sorry that it ended so early.  We are hoping for a better strawberry year next year.  We have planted an additional 2 acres so if all goes well, we will have a lot more berries next year.   Thanks to everyone who came out and picked this year!

Picked Strawberries:  We will try to pick berries for a few more days to have for sale at $3.00 a quart on the market.  We will only be picking a few each day so they will sell out quickly.  Call first to see if we have them and we can hold them for you.  269-244-5690.

Sweet Cherries:  Our sweet cherries are ready and we have plenty for you to pick or to buy already picked.  We opened on Wednesday and everyone who came out to pick commented on how much fun they had picking!  However, you need to bring a small ladder with you as the bottoms of the trees have been picked.   Given the 90-degree days coming over the weekend they will probably not last much longer than 4 – 5 more days.

A beautiful cluster of sweet cherries ready to be picked! 6-7-12

See our website for more information on cherry picking:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/06/cherry-and-strawberry-update/

Sour Cherries:  We have only about 10% of a crop, we will have some picked and we will open for U-Pick for the few cherries that are there.  Check back with us around June 11th to see if they are ready.

Blueberries:  Our blueberry crop is looking good.  They might be ready in a few weeks!    We do not have enough blueberries for U-Pick, but we will have them already picked for sale on the market. We planted 1000 new plants last year that you might have seen as you come down M-60 where all the flags are marking the new bushes.  This is their 2nd year and some of them will have a few blueberries this year, but it will be several more years before we have any substantial crop off of them.  With this addition we hope to have U-Pick blueberries in the future.

Vegetables:  We are starting to pick peas, shell-outs as well as sugar peas with edible pods, lettuce, kale, broccoli, radishes and cucumbers from the greenhouse.  This weekend we will start pulling our onions for sale with green tops.

Tomatoes:  We still have lots of tomatoes coming out of the greenhouse.  And guess what, those tomato plants that we dared to put out in the field in March that we babied through all of the weather?  We picked a 1/4 of a bushel of tomatoes from them this week!!  We are pretty sure this breaks my Dad’s all time record for having the earliest field tomatoes.  He was very happy.

Baked Goods:  As always, our bakers will be bringing in their baked goods for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Brandy Tasting:  We invite you out to have a tour of our brandy-making facility and try some.  We are open every Saturday from 1 – 4.

As always, we would love to have you visit our farm market and we appreciate your buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Weekend

For those of you who read our earlier emails, you might remember that we planted some sweet corn in March when it was unseasonably warm on the chance that if the weather held, we could have sweet corn on Memorial Day weekend.   Well, while the sweet corn made it through the April frosts, the cool temperatures slowed the growth so there will be no early sweet corn after all.  However…..this is the earliest we have ever had  strawberries ready.  We started picking the early variety this week and hope to have quarts available through the Memorial Day weekend for you to enjoy.

Strawberries ready on May 21st!!

We do not expect to have berries in any quantity (cases or flats) or U-Pick  until the very end of the month (check back around May 30th).  If you want to order picked berries, please call the market at 269-244-5690 and let us know how many you need.  Please check our website fore more information on pricing and how we will be handling U-Pick this year.  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/05/strawberries-and-other-updates/

Baked Goods: Starting this weekend our bakers will be busy baking strawberry shortcakes to go with your fresh  strawberries!  They will be bringing in fresh shortcake daily now until the end of strawberry season.  This weekend they will have all the normal baked goods (pies, cookies, bread) on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and also Monday for the holiday weekend!  For those of you coming up to the lake for the weekend you can get baked goods to enjoy while you are here and pick up some Monday to take home for the week.

Greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers:  We have plenty of greenhouse tomatoes ready right now and are beginning to pick a few cucumbers daily.

Rhubarb:  We are temporarily out of rhubarb but hope to have more after it rains.    Please call if you want some and we can call you when we have  it again.  269-244-5690.

Brandy House:  The Brandy House will be open on Saturday from 1-4.  Bruce would love to have you come over for sampling and to show you how we make brandy.

Asparagus:  We have finished picking asparagus for the year.  We have a little left to sell, if you want some call ahead to see if we still have it and have us hold it for you.  (269-244-5690).

 Plants:  We only have a few pepper and some grape tomato plants remaining.    If you are still trying to plant your garden, we recommend trying Schram’s Greenhouse in Portage (7313 S. Westnedge.  269-327-5347.)  This is where we get all of our plants.  They have a wonderful selection of everything……and they are local!

Fruit Outlook:

  • Most of our fruit crop was impacted by frost damage this year.  The summer-like March temperatures caused fruit to blossom early, followed by many days of frost in April.    As you may know, the state of Michigan has been severely impacted and we are luckier than most in what we have left.   All fruit will be early this year—from 2 – 4 weeks.
  • Sweet Cherries:  We lost about 50% of our sweet cherry crop, but we will have enough to have them already picked to sell on the market and some to U-Pick.  They will be early this year, check back with us the first week of June for an update.
  • Sour Cherries:  We lost about 80% of the sour cherry crop.  Until they get closer to ripening, we do not know if we will have them for U-Pick.  Check back around June 8th for an update.
  • Blueberries:  We expect a good crop and they will be ready probably in June this year.
  • Peaches:  We will have some peaches, but no bushels.
  • Plums and Pears:  We lost most of these and will probably not have any bushels.
  • Apples:   We have lost a lot of apples, but we will have some of certain varieties.  We will update you further as they mature.
  • Grapes:  We have a good crop of both Niagara and Concord grapes and feel very fortunate as most of the rest of Michigan does not have any.

In the fifty years of the farm, this is the most frost damage we have ever had to our fruit crops.  It is very heartbreaking to us as we must still maintain the less than fruitful orchards, but we will persevere.  While it certainly will make for a difficult year, we remain steadfast in our desire to bring fresh produce, picked daily to our customers.  This may be the year you have to learn to love your vegetables!

In a year like this, we are even more grateful to our customers for your on-going support and buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards