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

Tag Archive: Michigan Strawberries

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June means strawberries! We pick, u-pick, and more.

Asparagus will be in season for about another week to ten days. Our asparagus field is finished for the year, but we are bringing it in from another farm in town for the rest of the season. Greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers are really coming in now. We have a tomato special running right now on tomatoes: 3 pounds for $5.

This is what happens when we let our asparagus go to seed to replenish the field.

Lots of tomatoes!

Bedding plants and hanging baskets: We are winding down the plant season, so if you have not gotten yours for the garden yet, come soon. We have plenty of pepper, tomato, melon, and cucumber plants for sale.

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, blueberry rhubarb, cherry, chocolate, choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), peanut butter, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb.
  • 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.
  • Brownies: frosted chocolate and turtle.
  • 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 bringing back the ever-so-popular brownies we made last year. Also, with many customers asking us to put the peanut butter and chocolate pies into one, we created a new one: choco-butter pie. If you are in need of a serious chocolate fix this weekend, come to the bakery, we’ll be able to help!! See you this weekend. -The Bakers

June gets everyone thinking about fresh Michigan strawberries.

The first strawberries of 2014! Sold quickly on Wednesday.

Our strawberry crop looks great so far this year. The rains are helping to them to be nicely sized and the forecast for the next several weeks is the kind of weather which strawberries like (cooler nights with hot, but not too hot days). We will be picking a few quarts daily now of the early variety, quantities are very low still, so if you are trying to get some, it is best to call ahead and have us hold them for you if we have them. (269-244-5690.)

We are taking orders now for picked strawberries. Please call (269-244-5690) or email us your order and we will call you when we have them picked. Already picked strawberries will be $3.25 a quart this year or a flat of picked berries (8 quarts) is $24.00 ($3.00 a quart).

U-Pick strawberries will be starting soon! Please check back around June 11th for a better idea on when the u-pick might open.

  • U-pick strawberry pricing will be $1.75 quart. Please bring quart containers if you have them, if not, you may borrow ours for picking and bring your containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to get the strawberries home.
  • We have doubled the size of our u-pick berry field from previous years in order to have more berries available for those who want to pick their own.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance and we would like to work with you 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.

From Becca’s Garden:

I picked cilantro today! This will be available on the market from now on (good to pair with those greenhouse tomatoes). This weekend, I will have chard, romaine lettuce, salad mix lettuce, curly kale, red Russian Kale (like curly, but a bit sweeter), Tuscan kale (also called lacinato or dinosaur kale), and a few other things. I anticipate the herb garden should be ready for harvest within a week: basil, lemon balm, mint, thyme, lovage, and oregano are available now with the cilantro for anyone interested. The peas are blooming, the carrots are forming, and I’m a happy gardener. As the heat picks up, so do the challenges of organic garden management, but mostly things are doing well. If you would like any naturally grown produce set aside for you, please call and let us know: (269) 244-5690.

Heat tolerant Simpson lettuce is thriving right now!

The garden and the market.

Happenings on the farm this week: Wasn’t the weather truly delightful this past weekend? Maybe because of the post-winter syndrome it just seemed even better than normal. Everyone has a different way of gaging the temperature: Is it a light jacket day, can we go in the lake yet, do we run AC or not…..but on the farm, we look at growing degree days. Growing degree days (abbreviated GDD) is a way of assigning a heat value to each day. The values are added together to give an estimate of the amount of seasonal growth our crops have achieved. With the exceptional summer-like days we had last week, the growing degree days for this year have now caught us up from the cold winter and late spring…..so what that means is while we thought things would be late, the crop seasons will be about at their normal timing this year (which is probably all you really wanted to know anyways)!

45,000 onions growing strong.

This past week we spent time working on maintaining the orchards and vineyards. We do an annual vine removal from the fruit trees and a sucker removal from the bottom of the grape trunks. The last several days we have done a “crawl through” of the strawberry fields removing weeds that might have sprouted up that can get in the way of the berries ripening and harvest. All of these jobs are done manually, difficult tasks but necessary. Our sensitive cucumbers and cantaloupe plants did not like the strong winds and sun from last weekend, so this week we had to replace them all with new plants. We’re looking forward to a good melon crop this year.

New cucumber plants.

Grape suckers must be taken off this time of year to help the grapevines thrive next year.

We have loved seeing all of our customers back out at the market. Thank you so much for coming to Corey Lake Orchards for your produce and for buying local.

Update on Strawberries and Cherries

Strawberry Update:  We hope to have strawberries through this coming weekend, June 23rd, and if it cools down, we may have a few into the week of June 23rd.   If you have placed an order for a flat or case already picked, you should have received a call by now.  We hope to fill all of the orders this week.

Picked Strawberries are available in the market daily now at $3.25 a quart.   We are still taking orders for larger quantities of picked berries, however we are at a point in the season where we can’t promise them but will try our best.  Pricing will be:

  • a flat of picked berries (8 quarts) is $24.00 ($3.00 a quart)
  • or a case of picked berries (16 quarts) for $44.00 ($2.75 quart)

U-Pick Strawberries:  We have had a good run of berries so far.  There is still good picking,  but the berries are getting smaller.  We rotate our fields every 3 days to get you the best picking we have.  However, these cool nights are just not helping to get them ripe.  We will stop picking some of our early berries in the next few days (about 1/3 of the fields) which will cut down on our U-Pick availability.  We will continue to open at 8:00 am each day (weather permitting) but we might get picked out early.  For example, today we closed at 9:30.  If you need more information about U-Pick, please go to the bottom.**

Cherries:

  • 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.  We hope to start picking some sweet cherries for the market this coming weekend, June 22nd.  We will set a U-Pick opening date on Friday June 21st along with pricing information.
  • 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.  Please check back closer to the end of the month for more information.

**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.
  • We are trying something new this year which is dedicating a section of the field for those who want to come out for the farm and 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 fall into this category, we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.  When picking in this section, each person picking will be allowed to pick up to one quart so we can hopefully accommodate all who come.
  • Please dress for strawberry picking!  Due to the rains this week there is plenty of mud.  The foliage is wet in the mornings so long pants and long sleeves along with rain boots is suggested.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance and we would like to try to work with you 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.

U-Pick Strawberry Update

Strawberry U-Pick Information: 

Will open on Wednesday, June 12th at 8:00.  We will be open daily from 8 until 11 am.

Length of season:  Our early berries are ready now and our later berries are just beginning to ripen.  We expect the U-Pick season to last about 10 days to 2 weeks.

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.

Please plan to visit our main market when you come, located on Corey Lake Road.  We have greenhouse tomatoes, cucumbers, and asparagus for sale!

**Additional U-Pick Strawberry information:

  • 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.
  • We are trying something new this year which is dedicating a section of the field for those who want to come out for the farm and 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 fall into this category, we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.  When picking in this section, each person picking will be allowed to pick up to one quart so we can hopefully accommodate all who come.
  • Please dress for strawberry picking!  Due to the rains this week there is plenty of mud.  The foliage is wet in the mornings so long pants and long sleeves along with rain boots is suggested.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance and we would like to try to work with you 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.
  • 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.   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 a lightening and thunder storm.

Here’s to a good strawberry season, Beth and everyone else at Corey Lake Orchards

Strawberry Update: U-Pick Strawberries are delayed by cool weather

Due to the cool weather, U-Pick strawberries will NOT be ready until sometime next week.  Check back with us around June 12th.  We will announce the opening date as soon as we know it.   More information about U-Pick strawberries is detailed at the bottom of this email/post.**

The U-Pick strawberry field on June 6th–coming, but still not quite ready for us to open.

Picked Strawberries are available in the market daily now at $3.25 a quart.   We are picking more each day, but the cool weather is holding them back.  Since June is forecasted to be cooler than normal, we would expect the season to last longer, at least 2 weeks and possibly even 3 this year.  We do sell out on some days so feel free to call if you want us to hold them for you.  269-244-5690.

We are still taking orders for larger quantities of picked berries, pricing will be:

  • a flat of picked berries (8 quarts) is $24.00 ($3.00 a quart)
  • or a case of picked berries (16 quarts) for $44.00 ($2.75 quart)

Please call in advance and we will call you when they are available.  We started filling orders today.  (269-244-5690).

Greenhouse tomatoes:  We are getting a good supply of greenhouse tomatoes in now.  Our greenhouse cucumbers are coming very slowly this year, sorry we are only picking a few each day right now.  Local asparagus is still available for about another week.  Rhubarb is now gone for the year.

Baked goods will be available Friday, Saturday and Sunday as usual.  In addition to pies, bread and cookies, our bakers will be bringing their home-made shortcake for you to use with your strawberries.  All you need is to pick up some whipped cream!

Happenings on the farm this week:  This week we replanted our summer squash, watermelons, cantaloupe, zucchini and sweet potatoes that we lost in the cold weather about a week ago.   If you have noticed the crew working along M-60, they are re-mulching the blueberries.  And we have continued the battle against the weeds this week–just amazed at how nice they are growing with last week’s rains!    The grapes are blooming and the apples are forming and setting nicely on the trees.     The bakery project continues, more cement poured this week for setting up equipment, which has started to arrive.  All very exciting and sometimes even a bit overwhelming!

Michaela’s Bakery Update:  This week I wanted to tell you about our pie making.  The number one comment we hear from our customer’s is, “I love your wonderful pies, they melt in my mouth!”  We never get tired of hearing this!!  What makes our pies different from everyone else’s?  Each and every batch of pie dough is measured, mixed, and rolled by hand.  We do small batches of dough at a time to be sure the resulting dough is not tough.  I believe that anyone can make a good pie filling, but it is definitely the crust that makes or breaks the pie!  Our pie fillings are special, we make all of the fillings fresh from the fruit grown at the orchard!  You never have to worry about preservatives in our baked goods, we don’t use anything other than a freezer!

We bake our pies in two sizes–a traditional 9-inch pie and then the “mini-pies” which are 6 inches.    We have found the mini-size pies to be very popular, especially when the whole family can’t agree on what flavor pie to get.  Also, many of our health conscious customers buy the small pie so they can avoid the temptation that comes when there is a large pie sitting on their counter!

Here’s a sneak peak of what happens behind the scenes with our pie making process.    Warning: this may make your mouth water!

Hand patting the dough into the pans keeps it flaky, not tough.

A fresh batch of dough ready to become a tasty pie! (Yes this really is the same bowl we make 100+ pies at a time with!)

 

A rhubarb pie awaiting a top.

Hand rolling each pie top keeps it flaky so it will melt in your mouth (Also a great arm exercise!!)

 

 

 .

 

Hand fluting each pie gives it the special “home-made” touch, a fork just doesn’t compare!

 

 

Ready to be baked, are you hungry yet?

 

 

 

 

A cherry pie, just out of the oven, waiting for a lucky customer to enjoy and maybe even share!

When the bakery opens (still hopeful for July) you will be able to see for yourself how we make our pies.  Looking forward to serving you soon in the bakery, Michaela.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local…hope to see you soon,  Beth

 

**U-Pick Strawberry information:

  • 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.
  • We have doubled the size of our U-Pick berry field from previous years in order to have more berries available for those who want to pick their own.
  • We are trying something new this year which is dedicating a section of the field for those who want to come out for the farm and 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 fall into this category, we will give your family information on how berries grow and show you how to pick them.  When picking in this section, each person picking will be allowed to pick up to one quart so we can hopefully accommodate all who come.
  • If you are trying to pick larger quantities of berries (over 5 cases or 80 quarts), please call us in advance and we would like to try to work with you 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.
  • 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.   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 a lightening and thunder storm.