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

Tag Archive: Rhubarb

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.

End of May update

Produce available on the market this weekend includes asparagus, rhubarb, romaine lettuce, salad mix, spinach, kale, and cucumbers/tomatoes from our greenhouse.

We are starting to bring in the long English cucumbers from the greenhouse now

Asparagus Update: We expect to have asparagus on the market until mid-June, so keep enjoying it while it is in season.

Strawberries: We will have a great crop of strawberries and it looks like they will ready by the middle of June for U-Pick and pre-picked. We are now taking orders for picked strawberries. The price is the same as last years:  $3.25 quart or $24.00 for a flat of 8 quarts.  Call us if you would like to get on our list:  269-244-5690.

Bedding Plants and Flowers: We have flats of vegetables, tomatoes, flowers and herbs that you can mix and match for your gardening needs. We have a good selection of hanging baskets and pre-made flower arrangements in unique pots.  Hurry out, we will not be getting any more in this year.

Bakery: This weekend in the bakery we will have available: 

  • Cookies: frog shaped cut outs, monster (oatmeal, M&M’s, choc, chips and peanut butter)  and lemon.
  •  Pies: Apple, blueberry, blueberry-rhubarb, cherry, peanut butter, rhubarb, and strawberry-rhubarb.
  •  Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Frozen slushies: apple cider and black cherry Concord grape

If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at 269-244-5690.

  • A final note from the bakers: We were really pleased that the blueberry-rhubarb pies were such a hit!! It was our top selling pie all weekend long (even surpassing our always popular strawberry rhubarb)! A big thank you to everyone who made it out on such a beautiful weekend. You kept us very busy and the donut machine in constant motion.
  • We have some good news, today we installed a freezer in the front area of the bakery. We will be offering “take and bake” frozen pies! These will be our famous home-made pies, complete with baking instructions. All you need to do is put it in your oven.  You can now have warm pie for dessert, and the same aroma you smell in our bakery should be in your own kitchen.

Update from Becca: The front garden is almost fully planted for the summer , and those of you here the past week have probably noticed that we planted the terrace garden east of the market. I seeded most of my bedding plants in March and April, so it has really been satisfying to get the majority of them in the ground. If you drop by the market, you will see me weeding furiously most days.

A note: if your family kitchen generates a lot of food scraps (coffee grounds, egg shells, asparagus ends, vegetable peels, etc.), please talk to me about adding that waste to my compost pile! I’d love to put it to good use rather than thrown out in the trash. Leave me a message at the market or call me for more information. (269) 244-5690.

Bee Update: We have two beekeepers managing nearly 40 hives at various locations on our farm. With honeybees pollinating a third of the food we eat, and nearly 100% of what we grow here at Corey Lake Orchards, this insect is very critical to our survival, and yet as you’ve probably seen in the news, honeybees are struggling to survive.

On our farm, they gather nectar and pollen from the plants and make cherries, apples etc. for us in the process. They also make honey which we sell at the market (packaged in the honey bears with hats). You can learn more about bees, and how we can all help them, in about a month at our upcoming ‘Meet the Beekeepers’ sessions at the market. You will meet my sister Charlotte (the one brave enough to take off her hood for the picture), who speaks locally and nationally about honeybees (for more info, see www.hubbardhive.com) Weather permitting she’ll bring live bees in a cage and talk about them and answer questions.

Charlotte and crew keeping bees in April.

Happenings on the farm this week: 

It was actually a slow week on the farm, having gotten everything planted last week. One of our absolute favorite things was watching it rain on Tuesday–we got a half an inch, which our orchards, vineyards and plants were most thankful for. On the cooler mornings, our crew worked in the greenhouse, continuing to train our already very tall tomato plants to grow taller….we now have to use a step ladder to continue to tie them to the trellises!

Very tall tomato plants, 5-29-14

Some of the clusters of tomatoes are so large we have to use clips to hold up their weight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our daily farm checks, we have been scrutinizing the “fruit set” on our crops. We are now able to estimate the damage that was caused to our fruit by a “trifecta” of events—the trees went into winter stressed from how much they produced in 2013, the severe winter (many days at -20 degrees) caused “winter injury” to trees and bushes, and the frost event on May 15th/16th froze out what was in bloom at that time. Many of you have commented you have seen your own bushes and flowers not “coming back” or producing any flowers this year….much of this is due to winter injury.  So far, this is what we think we will have:

  • Strawberries:  Great crop!
  • Sweet Cherries:  About 5% of normal crop
  • Tart Cherries:  About 40% of normal crop
  • Blueberries:  About 60% of normal crop (and we were very lucky)
  • Peaches:  No peaches
  • Plums: About 25% of normal crop
  • Pears: About 25% of normal crop
  • Apples: Variety dependent, about 50% overall
  • White Niagara Grapes:  25% of normal crop
  • Purple Concord Grapes:  60% of normal crop

We’re providing these estimates to you now and will update them as we learn more.  For those of you who can and freeze a lot of fruit, you may want to ration some fruits we will be short of.

Blueberries blooming on 5-29-14, their blossom is such a delicate bell-shaped blossom–beautiful

Earli-blaze apples are just loaded this year, it is an early summer apple, tart, and great for pies and sauce

We have all endured these kind of years before (remember 2012?) so this will be another year where we will all learn to like vegetables even more than we do now!!  Despite the shortage of fruit, we remain committed to continuing to give you a great farm experience, delicious fresh-picked fruits and vegetables and the very best from our bakery.  We value you as a customer and we truly appreciate your business and buying local.

Thanks—from everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend and yes….we have donuts!

Produce available on the market this weekend includes asparagus, rhubarb, tomatoes and cucumbers from our greenhouse. Nothing like asparagus on the grill for a holiday weekend cookout! See the end of this post for a great recipe one of our customers gave us for a sauce to put over your asparagus.**

We picked 4 bushels of tomatoes from the greenhouse today!

Bedding Plants and Flowers: We have flats of vegetables, tomatoes, flowers and herbs that you can mix and match for your gardening needs. We have a good selection of hanging baskets and pre-made flower arrangements in unique pots. Bakery: This weekend in the bakery we will have available:

  • Pies: Apple, blueberry, cherry, chocolate, rhubarb, strawberry rhubarb and a new one: blueberry rhubarb!!
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • Cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: blueberry, buttermilk, and cherry.
  • Cookies: frog shaped cut outs, monster (peanut butter/m&m/choc.chips & oatmeal), and lemon. If you would like to reserve any baked goods please call us at 269-244-5690.

A note from the bakers: the number one question we have been asked so far this year hasbeen “Where are the donuts??” Well, we are so happy to be making them for you this weekend!! We will have them from now on every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Our new summer flavors are blueberry and cherry, and we will still have the same buttermilk donuts that we made last fall. The new flavors have been taste tested by many of our coworkers (very willing guinea pigs), and they have all given a thumbs up! We look forward to seeing you this weekend.

The blueberry-rhubarb pie mix looks good enough to eat without being put in a crust and baked!

Update from Becca: Those of you who have stopped by the market have probably seen the garden coming to life! I started hundreds of plants over the past several months and it’s nice to finally get them out of trays, into the ground. This weekend, the market will have limited quantities of spinach, curly kale, and Swiss chard. All of these were raised without synthetic chemicals. There will be more and more within the next couple of weeks, and I will be harvesting lettuce and other greens soon.

Becca’s garden sprouting to life

 

Kale and spinach on 5/23.

Happenings on the farm this week:

  • Finally we are able to plant hot season crops! This week we got in our eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, squash and melons. Today we planted 3000 new Jewel strawberry plants (those large, tasty strawberries we all love) for the 2015 season.

Planting the U-Pick tomato field, May 22, 2014, putting in our favorite varieties

Despite the hard ground, the potatoes have pushed through and are on their way. We have planted 2 new kinds this year in addition to our standard red potatoes.

As we were planting, two of our beekeepers were working on their hives. Bees are such an important asset on our farm. Thank you beekeepers for all of your work!

  • If you were driving by you saw us painting our peach trees trunks. This is their 4th year and they have “outgrown” the tree guards we put on them when we first planted them. Many of you have asked why we do this. Painting fruit tree trunks with white latex paint can prevent the bark from splitting and cracking off. Splitting can happen when the tree is exposed to freezing evening temperatures, followed by a daytime thawing (as you know a fairly common occurrence in this state!!). The painted white trunk helps reflect sunlight during the daytime hours and keep the tree warmer at night. It also helps protect against rodent damage, mice and voles can girdle a tree under the snow cover. Even better, we have found that rabbits don’t like the taste of paint.
Newly painted tree trunks, it looks like a group of graceful ladies dancing with new white stockings!
  • Strawberries: We are thrilled to see so many strawberry blooms and little strawberries forming…..we anticipate strawberries will be ready about mid-June this year.
A cluster of blossoms with berries forming, May 21, 2014
  • Market beds are planted: A huge thank-you to Cathy who puts together all of our planters and market beds each year….can’t wait for the old potato planter she planted this week to fill out!

  • The U-Pick Herb garden is being plantedThis was quite popular last year, this year we have moved it by the parking lot, you can pick the herbs you need on your way up to the market. We’ll let you know when you can start cutting them, they need a little time to mature first.

  • The Terrace Garden is planted. We have lots of specialty and heirloom tomatoes planted, as well as peppers, eggplant, spinach, kale, chard, leeks, herbs, mustards, collards, and more. We are also using this space to grow gladiolas, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnias, and other flowers for cutting.

Starting to plant the new Terrace garden

Rivers of Justice Film Festival Drawing:   With the chance of frost we think finally gone, we drew the winner of our large tomato plant contest for those that entered the drawing during the Rivers of Justice Film Festival in April. And…..the winner of her own patio cherry tomato plant is Ruth Eichler, congratulations!

Beth awarding Ruth her tomato plant

For the second year, the League of Michigan Bicyclists’ (LMB) with the Pedal and Paddle Bicycle Tour stopped at our farm.  We were their last stop after a three day event which included a combination of 130+ miles bicycling along rural roads and paddling down the two of the local rivers.  We loved hosting them and thank them for coming to our area.

Diane, (right) the mobile bike repair lady supported the group

From everyone at Corey Lake Orchards, Happy Memorial Day weekend, enjoy the weather and thanks as always for buying local. **Asparagus with Honey Garlic Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup of dark ale or beer
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the above ingredients together and pour over your asparagus however you normally fix it: grilled, sautéed or steamed. Enough to cover about 2 – 3 pounds of asparagus. From the National Honey Board, www.honey.com

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend and….Happy Spring!

With today’s heat, we are finally ready to believe spring is here….hooray! We’re grateful to see the sun and to have its warmth in the soil so that seeds will start sprouting and plants will start growing.

The fruit trees are beginning to bloom, which we think is one of the loveliest things to see around our farm in the springtime. If you drive by, cherries across from the market have started blooming. Pears, plums and apples will be close behind.  You’re welcome to take your fill of pictures.  Sadly, you won’t see much life in the peach trees on Corey Lake Road east of the market, there are no buds or blossoms, so it appears we have lost the peach crop for 2014.

The market was bustling today with all-hands-on-deck to scrub, rake, sweep and clean out any remnants from last season to be ready to welcome our customers. It was a pleasure to do this as the bakers were making pies – the aroma wafting through the air reminded us how much we have missed the bakery!

Here’s what we have available now:

Asparagus! We are starting to pick every day and have bulk quantities available. We are pricing it at $2/lb. for under 10 lb. and $1.75/lb. for orders of 10lb. or more. It is such a nice, fresh flavor to have in the springtime. We think we’ll have a constant supply, but as always, you’re welcome to call before you come to have us set some aside for you. (269) 244-5690.

Rhubarb: We will have rhubarb available starting Friday, May 9th.  Given the heat the past few days, we anticipate having a hearty supply.

Plants, plants and more plants: We have most of our plants in now for you to come select from. Some of the plants we have seeded and grown in our own greenhouse, but most of them come from a local source that we have bought from for over 25 years, Schram’s Greenhouse in Portage. This gives us confidence that you are getting a good plant when you get them here.

  • Flats of Vegetables include: broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, eggplant, many varieties of peppers and onion sets
  • Flats of Flowers include: asters, celosia, cosmos, gomphrena, impatiens, lobella, marigolds, morning glories, moss rose, nasturtium, ornamental cabbage and ornamental kale, pansies, petunias, salvia, snapdragons, verbena, vinca, and zinnias. There are different colors and heights to choose from.
  • Herbs (sold by the pot) include: basil, dill, lemon balm, many mints, oregano, thyme, sweet marjoram, and parsley
  • Flats of Tomatoes: Many varieties including mini tomatoes and regular tomatoes
  • Many types of hanging flower baskets
  • The “vine” crops are yet to come: melons, squash and cucumbers (probably a week away)

We would recommend that you let these plants “harden up” outside for a few days before planting in the ground, as they have just left their warm greenhouse environment, especially tomatoes, pepper and flowers. Cold-crop items are fine to plant now.

 

Many flats of flowers available

 

Many unique types of flowers in hanging baskets

Greenhouse tomatoes: We still have beautiful, large, but unfortunately still green tomatoes in the greenhouse. It looks like it will be at least a few more weeks until that first BLT.

Bakery opens Friday, May 9th, for the year! Our offerings for the weekend will be:

  • Cookies: Large Flower Cut-Out sugar cookies, large Monster (chocolate chips, M&M’s peanut butter and oatmeal) and Iced Lemon
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Chocolate Cream, and Strawberry Rhubarb and Rhubarb (fruit pies made from our own produce we preserved last year)
  • Bread: 12 Grain Bread, Whole Wheat, Cinnamon
  • Cinnamon Rolls and Pecan Sticky Buns

Michaela and Patti making strawberry-rhubarb pies….mmm…

 

Cherry pies coming out of the oven.

So….where are the donuts? We will start making donuts on Memorial Day Weekend. We’ll be making special summery flavors as different fruits come into season, like cherry, blueberry, and other flavors.

Mother’s Day gift ideas:

  • Our local vendors have their items on the market now. These include: local honey, maple syrup, cards, art and Ruth’s famous pecan and cashew brittle. 
  • Why not buy Mom a “living” salad? We will have large tomato plants for the patio or to set outside—they are already blooming, staked and some have little tomatoes on them. Pair these with one of our lettuce bowls. They’re planted with cold-tolerant greens that can be put outside now, and the lettuce can be picked and it grows back! Grab a basil plant in one of our colored pots, then add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have a healthy gift she can continue to enjoy.

    Salad bowls and tomato plants.

    Salad bowls and tomato plants.

  • An arranged flower container for the patio or door step for Mom. Once again we will be making up special containers with flowers and herbs. Come see the many unique containers available for sale at all price ranges. If you have a container you would like us to plant, bring it over and tell us what you would like in it.

Our terrace garden to the east of the market is still a work in progress, so we apologize for the pile of materials in the corner of our parking lot. However, we think you will love the final result, especially as the plants start to fill!

Another family milestone:  My Mother’s Day is even more special this year as my son Chad graduated last weekend from the University of Michigan’s Business School. Chad has worked here most summers and is a familiar face to many of you. We are so proud of him.

Congratulations, Chad!

So on behalf of everyone here at Corey Lake Orchards, we thank you for buying local and really hope to see you out this weekend or soon.

Beth

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strawberries are coming!!

We will be winding down the asparagus picking on our farm this weekend.    The asparagus variety we grow is ending, but local asparagus will still be coming on for about two more weeks and we will be bringing it in to our market for you.

With May behind us, June gets everyone thinking about fresh Michigan strawberries.  Our strawberry crop looks good 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 (not too many extremely hot days and some cooler nights coming).

We may have some early strawberries on the market this coming week  and we’re projecting U-Pick to be ready around June 8th, depending on the weather.   We will announce the opening date as soon as we know it.

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.  For larger quantities, 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 qt)

U-Pick 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.

Greenhouse tomatoes:  We are getting a good supply of greenhouse tomatoes in now, come on out and get some for a BLT!  We still have rhubarb and hope to have it for a few more weeks.    There are a few bedding plants and hanging flower baskets left.

The Brandy House will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4.  Bruce would love to have you stop in.  The baked goods shelf has been stocked with pies, cookies and bread.  You really have to try the new cinnamon bread.

Happenings on the farm this week:  This week we spent a lot of time dashing out of the latest rain downpours as we tried to work out in the fields, orchards and vineyards.  The crew walked through all of our concord grape vineyards doing some touch-up pruning and we are pleasantly surprised at how many concord grapes it appears we are going to have this year.  So remember that come fall grape picking time!

Another project this week was removing a section of the grape vineyard adjacent to the market.  Those of you who saw all of the bulldozers, bobcats and large trucks here might have wondered what in the world we were building….. all the activity going on is to put in a new septic system to for the upcoming bakery and a long over due parking lot.

 

Taking grapes out sure goes a lot faster than the initial planting and multi-year wait for them to mature!

Sorry for all the commotion at the market this week with our construction….

Bakery update:   Michaela- our baker–will be giving you a weekly update about the upcoming bakery.   Many of you know that Michaela and her mother, Patti, have been baking 3 years for the farm market  under the guidelines of the Michigan cottage food law.  The Michigan cottage food law allows new entrepreneurs to “test the water” by baking non-perishable foods in their homes, which they are able to sell directly to customers.  Thanks to all our loyal customers who have come to love the baked goods they make,  we now feel we can take the next step and open a commercial, licensed farm-market bakery.  With a  licensed bakery we will be able to expand our offerings to other products!  In the next few weeks, Michaela will be letting you know what other products they will be baking.

Michaela and her mom Patti at work on this week’s baked goods

Michaela’s bakery update:  I wanted to let you know a little bit about how my baking got started.  I was fortunate enough to come from a family of bakers!  It all started back in the great depression, when my great-grandma Lena would sell chocolate cakes with fudge frosting along with her famous pies to support her large family.  Her special  fudge frosting recipe is the one that we still use today on our brownies; it remains a “top secret” recipe that only my mom and I know.  My other great- grandmother Susie was well known for her homemade bread, which she made every other day to feed her large family and we are still using her recipe for the bread we bake.   My mother developed the pie crust recipe that we use now.  It took years to perfect it.  But we feel it is the flakiest, “melt in your mouth” crust we have ever tried.  Between the two of us, we have developed the pie fillings that are made from the fresh fruit grown at the orchard.    The key to making a pie people love is the crust, the filling and how it is made.  In one of my future updates I will tell you a little bit more about how we make the pies.

We are always thinking of new ideas to try.  If you visited the market last weekend, you probably noticed a new item, Cinnamon Bread, which was the latest idea to pop into my head at 1 AM.  You must have liked it as we sold out quickly and had to go back and bake more!

As we continue the bakery planning–we would welcome any and all of your ideas on what you would like us to offer.   So feel free to email us back or fill out a card with your ideas the next time you are at the market.   We’re very excited about the new bakery, Michaela.

Preparing the cinnamon bread

So as always, thanks for buying local and we hope to see you soon.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards