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

Tag Archive: Michigan U-Pick

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

Happy September!!

It was great to have so many customers out to the farm this Labor Day weekend, thanks for coming!

Quick apple update:  Apples are coming and going about as fast as they ripen and are picked this year, so we encourage you to call ahead to make sure the apple you want is available.  269-244-5690.  We will continue to keep our 2012 chart on the website updated with the latest information.  You can find the link to the chart on the home page of our website:  http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/apple-update-for-2012/

The following apples are currently gone for the year:

  • EarliBlaze
  • Macintosh
  • Molly’s Delicious

The following apples we no longer have bushels available, but do have some pecks and half pecks available.

  • Gala
  • JonaMac
  • JonaGold

Cortland apples are in short supply, no bushels available.  We hope to pick some more around 9-8.

We are currently out of Honeycrisp apples and hope to pick some more around 9-8.

Apple Cider:  We have a few gallons left from our first pressing but then be out until 9-7.  With the short supply of apples this year, we will not have cider every day, but will try to make it for weekends.  Call ahead to make sure we have it before you come over: 269-244-5690.

Other Fruit:  Its sad to say, but cantaloupe are gone for the year.  Available in the market now: watermelon, bosc 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.

Vegetable Update:  We are out of cucumbers and green beans.  We still have yellow summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, spaghetti squash, winter squash, and onions.  Sweet corn is gone for the year.

Tomatoes:  We still have U-Pick tomatoes available ($14 a bushel) and if you call and order in advance, we will still have more first tomatoes ($22 a bushel already picked) and some second tomatoes ($12 a bushel already picked).

Fall mums: We have mums available now, they are located next to the large bird in the cutting garden.  This is a great time to start your fall decorating!

Grape Update:  We will open the U-Pick grapes on 9-9, both Concord (Purple) and Niagara (White.)  Please go here for more information: http://www.coreylakeorchards.com/2012/08/update-on-grapes-apples-and-labor-day-weekend/

Picked Grapes:  If you want grapes by the bushel, please call ahead to order them.  They will be $10 a half/bushel or $18 a bushel.  269-244-5690.

We look forward to seeing you soon,

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

 

 

Strawberries and other updates

Strawberry Update:  With these nice warm days, the early strawberries are beginning to ripen.  We should be able to have some picked quarts available for sale on the market sometime the week of May 21st.    They will be $3.00/quart.  Depending on the weather, we expect most of our strawberries to be ready later in the week of May 28th.  Please continue to check our website www.coreylakeorchards.com or call us at 269-244-5690 for the latest information.

Picked Berries will be $3.00 a quart; a flat of 8 quarts is $22.00 ($2.75 quart) ; a case of 16 quarts is  $40.00 ($2.50 quart) , when available or ordered in advance.  We are now taking orders for flats and cases, and will call you when they are available.  Please call us on 269-244-5690 to order.

U-Pick Strawberries will be  $1.50 quart.  Please bring quart containers if you have them.  If not, you may borrow ours to pick in, but bring containers such as boxes, buckets, tubs, to take your berries home in.

Last year when we had fewer strawberries we tried a scheduling/reservation system.     Feedback from our customers on this was mixed and so after listening to you, we are going back to the previous method of first come–first serve.

Unfortunately this year we again are going to have fewer strawberries due to frost damage.  Essentially we lost the “first picking.”  The picking that remains will still be good, the season will just not be as long.  In the past several years, we have had more customers than strawberries, causing us to be picked out some days within 30 minutes and having to turn customers away.  This is frustrating for us and certainly for those of you who took time off work or got the kids up early to pick berries.

In order to accommodate all of our many local, loyal customers who want to pick here each year, we may to have to limit the quantity you can pick on some days to 16 quarts per group in order to allow more customers to have a chance to pick.

We know we have some customers who do a lot of preserving and want to pick 5 – 10 cases, for these customers I would recommend the following.  Call us and tell us how many you want to pick and we will try to accommodate you on a day when we have a lot of berries.

If we don’t have enough berries this year for everyone, there are  several other local farms with U-Pick  which we can give you the information on.

U-Pick times:  We will open the field each day at 8:00 am  and it will remain open until we are picked out or until noon.  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.

Asparagus:  We are winding down the asparagus season and will have it for about one more week.    Please call in advance to make sure we have it before you drive out.  269-244-5690.  Thanks for another great asparagus season, we all hate to see it end.

Greenhouse tomatoes:  We have a good supply of greenhouse tomatoes now.

Garden plants:  We have added squash, melons and cucumbers to the plants we carry this week.  We still have a good selection but they are going fast, so please come out soon to get your plants.  Besides, this wonderful weather is the perfect time to be planting.

Thanks as always for buying local.  We hope to see you this weekend.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards