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

Tag Archive: Sour cherries

Happy 4th of July!

In the farming business we seem to never be quite content with the weather, but these last few days have been picture perfect. We know there are still folks digging out from this week’s storms. We feel very fortunate that we only lost a few trees and branches, plus some cherries which blew right off the tree.

Fourth of July weekend hours:   Since we still have not found a way to notify our crops about US holidays, we will be open every day this weekend with our normal hours of 8 until 6.

Fruit offerings this weekend: 

  • Tart cherries.  You may pick your own tart cherries: bring your own containers, bring a ladder for best picking, and wear clothing appropriate for an orchard setting. They are $1 per pound. Check out a recipe we have at our market for an easy-to-make hand cherry pie.  This is the end of the cherry season, so what is left is mostly at the tops of the trees and very ripe.  So you would need to come soon if you still want to try to get some.  (Updated on 7-5-14)
  • Blueberries:  Our early variety got hit the hardest by the frost, we are picking just a few of those and supplementing from a local farm in Paw Paw, Michigan.  This weekend (unless we run out) we will have them by the pint, quart and 10 pound box.
  • Sweet cherries: Just a reminder for those of you who keep looking for them and wondering if you missed them, we did not have any this year due to the harsh winter and spring frost. Strawberries are gone for the year.

Vegetable offerings this weekend: Sugar snap and snow peas, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, tomatoes, fresh-dug new potatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, lettuce and cabbage. Some of these items are from our fields, some are coming from Indiana to supplement ours until we have more volume (don’t worry, our greenhouse tomatoes are marked!), and some are coming from Becca’s garden. Lots to choose from but flying off the shelf almost as fast as they come in.

Coming soon:

  • Green beans (for sure will have some by Saturday)
  • Sweet corn (maybe July 10th or so??)
  • U-pick blueberries, (please check back with us about the middle of July, we are waiting for our late variety to ripen)

This weekend in the bakery we will have:   

  • Pies: apple, banana cream, blueberry, cherry,  choco-butter (chocolate/peanut butter), chocolate, coconut cream, rhubarb,  strawberry rhubarb. With blueberry season here, we have added back another favorite from last year: cherry-berry, made with tart cherries, blueberries and cranberries.
  • Cookies: patriotic frosted stars, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), zucchini chocolate chip (Beth’s favorite!!) and lemon.
  • Bread: 12 grain, whole wheat, cinnamon.
  • Chocolate Coca Cola cupcakes.
  • 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.  Based on how many pies we have already made and sold (and it is only July 3rd), and order will help guarantee the pie that you want for your holiday gatherings.

A final note from the bakers: This weekend we have brought back a customer favorite: chocolate coca cola cupcakes!!  The coca cola makes the chocolate flavor much more intense than your average chocolate cupcake. If you have never tried one, it’s definitely a must try (especially if you like chocolate)!!

See you this weekend!– The Bakers

Update from Becca: Before I give an update on produce, I want to take a minute to clarify something that I think has been ambiguous all year: when I refer to produce that comes out of “the garden,” I’m referring exclusively to produce that comes from the big vegetable garden in my yard (affectionately referred to as “the yarden”) and NOT the vegetable gardens in the terraces. You’ll see me planting and managing the terraces but that produce does not get the bright green “from the garden” label that the vegetables harvested from the house garden get. Sorry for the confusion.  And for those of you who might not have gotten some of our earlier updates on this, the “from the garden” label means these are being grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, or any other ‘cides. Just compost (and organic insect repellents when the bugs get bad).

Bright green label? Why yes! In the market, we have added bright green duct tape to the signs for produce that comes from the garden, so hopefully this makes it easier for you to differentiate field produce from garden produce. What will you see this week? More of the same (thank you, cool weather!): peas, lettuce, chard, kale, mixed greens, and sweet basil. You can find most of this stuff in the pop cooler where it stays fresh longer. A few lucky customers might find beets and carrots on the market this week too, but no promises (I have a very unsociable habit of sneaking the carrots into my house and eating them myself).

I got my first cherry tomato from the yarden this week. So delicious. More are turning, but they need hot weather to come in quantity. (Hot…a word that hasn’t been used much since last year. It does not roll off the tongue easily…)

Local Meat: Interested in adding local farm meat to your 4th of July barbecue? We are now stocking pork products from Rolling Meadow Farm in Jones, Michigan. This is a family-owned farm, now in their fifth generation. They raise their animals ethically, giving them clean living spaces, roam time, plenty of space, and feed raised on the farm. All of their animals are slaughtered in a USDA-approved facility (which is stamped on the packaging).

For the time being, we’re starting with breakfast patties, mild links, hot links, and bacon. We would love to hear customer feedback on other products we should stock. You can find these products on the bottom shelves of the bakery freezer.

Happenings on the farm this week:  I got to do another one of my favorite things:  empty the rain gage while enjoying the fact I did not have to turn on the irrigation. On the other hand, the amount of rain has made it tricky to get into the fields to harvest. We dug new potatoes today which were so clumped with mud you would have thought we harvested mud balls.  Weeds are thriving so we have been on full attack this week cultivating, hoeing and yes….even pulling by hand.

We hope to see you this weekend and wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday. As always, everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July Week!!

Picked Sweet Cherries:  We still have picked sweet cherries for sale in the market for $4.00 a quart.  However, they are going fast and may only last a few more days.

U-Pick Sweet cherries:  We opened for U-Pick on Saturday, 6-22 and about one half of them have been picked so far.    There are still some to pick, but they are up in the tops of the trees now requiring a tall ladder and perseverance!  Due to the heavy rains this week, some have started to split.  There are more red and yellow sweet cherries than black cherries available, but try them, they are just as good.  See** below for more info.

Come try the yellow sweet cherries, there are still plenty to pick

 

U-Pick Sour Cherries:  We  opened the Sour (tart) cherry orchard on Wednesday, June 26th and there are still plenty to pick.  Please bring a step ladder for better picking.  See more information below:***

You can check our facebook page or the website for an update on cherry picking or call us at 269-244-5690.

Already picked Sour cherries:

  • Available in the market now for $3.00 a quart
  • Due to the small crop of sour cherries available at our orchard, we will be bringing a large quantity in from another local farm around July 6th.    If you would like to order these, please call us and let us know how many pounds you are interested in.  269-244-5690.

Strawberries are now done for the year.  We are extremely grateful for the weather during strawberry season which allowed us to have the best strawberries we have had in years.  We also thank our many customers who came out to pick or bought them already picked.  It will be hard to go without fresh strawberries for another whole year……

Thank to the many families who had fun picking our berries this year

Tomatoes and summer vegetables:  Our own greenhouse tomatoes and cucumbers have slowed down, so we are bringing in some from other local greenhouses until the yield picks back up.  We are just starting to pick some zucchini and summer squash, but are also bringing some in this weekend from a local farm in Indiana (earlier growing season).  We are now picking lettuce, kale, swiss chard and peas daily.   So come stock up on fresh vegetables!

Blueberries:  We expect blueberries to start sometime this coming week.  Check back around July 3rd for more information.

Our blueberry bushes on 6-26-13—getting close!

Bakery update:  Well, work continues to progress on the bakery, drywall and painting is now complete so that equipment installation can begin next week.  We remain hopeful for a mid-July opening.

 

Michaela checking the bakery equipment as it gets delivered

Michaela with Anthony, from Walking Tall Drywall & Construction, who just finished the drywall and paint for the bakery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baked goods:  Despite the bakery not being ready, Michaela and her mother Patti will be baking all week.  This weekend will begin our “Fourth of July” week.  We will have baked goods this weekend (June 28-30), all next week (July 1-4), and the weekend after (July 5-7).

  • Pies we will have:  Blueberry,  Cherry,  Cherry Berry,  Peach,  Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Cookies: Red, White, and Blue frosted Cut Outs, Monster,  Lemon
  • Breads: Whole Wheat, Cinnamon, Vegetable
  • Cinnamon Rolls

Happenings on the farm this week:  We loved dumping out the rain gauge so often this week, 3 inches in total!   This was such a timely and great rain.  This did wonders in the orchards and vineyards especially, it seemed as if the fruit doubled in size just in a week.  Between the rain showers, we started hand-thinning some varieties of apples this week.  Coming off of the poor crop we had in 2012, –we much more appreciated having the problem of “too many.  ”

Hand thinning Honeycrisp apples on 6-27-13

A pile of little apples on the ground–the result of a good thinning job

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work commenced on our parking lot this week, which after the rains, turned into a fishing pond/swimming pool!

The parking lot preparation before the rain

Parking lot after the rain, Hubbard lake?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We decided to pick some strawberries to let Bruce try his hand at making strawberry brandy.  Bruce will be in the Brandy House on Saturday from 1 – 4.  The fermenting berries smell wonderful, come check it out!

Mmmmm, smashed strawberries for brandy

Unloading buckets of berries for brandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, we thank you for buying local and hope to see you at the farm during the 4th of July week!  Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

**Sweet Cherry Picking information:

  • Pricing: $1.50 per pound to pick
  • Picking hours are 8 – 6 daily, we ask that you finish picking by 6:00 pm.
  • Varieties:  We have four different kinds  in our small orchard across the street  from our market.   We have several colors:  Dark red (black),  Red, Yellow, and Red/Yellow blush.  In addition, be aware that the recent rains have caused some trees to have spoilage issues.
  • The sweet cherry trees are very tall (15 – 25 feet).   Please bring your own ladder.
  • Be sure to dress appropriately (closed shoes, long pants and sleeves) as you may run into poison ivy/sumac in the orchard area, among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers.  We have buckets you may borrow to pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs,   buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.

 

 

***U-Pick Sour Cherry information:

  • 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 6 pm.
  • 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/sumac in the orchard area,  among other hazards.
  • Please bring your own containers.  We have buckets you may borrow to  pick in, then you can transfer to your own containers (bowls, tubs,  buckets, etc.)
  • Check in at the market first for directions and to weigh the containers you are picking in.
  • We only have about 25% of a crop this year due to the Mother’s Day frost event

 

Sweet Cherries are ready!

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

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

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

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

Picking information:

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

Sweet cherries we picked today for sale at the market

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

The U-Cut Herb garden by the tall pine tree

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

The asparagus field after we finished harvesting for the year

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

**Strawberry U-Pick Information:  

  • U-Pick Strawberry times:  We will open the field at 8:00 am  and it will remain open until we are picked out or until 11:00 am.  
  • Our goal is to always have good picking for our customers.  So we will close the field when all the picking for that day is complete.  Depending on how many people come out in a given day, there could be some days that we will close before 11 am.    Picking will be on a first come, first serve basis. Given the cooler weather this June, we may have to close on certain days for ripening. 
  • To get the latest picking information, check our website, our facebook  page or our answering machine.  You can call the night before or the morning you are trying to come to make sure we are open.  With the price of gas, we wouldn’t want anyone to make a trip only to find out we are closed!
  • Location:  The strawberry fields are located on AL Jones Road, between Corey Lake Road and M-60.   You may go directly there, just look for the signs as to where we are picking each day.
  • U-Pick Strawberry pricing will be  $1.50 quart.  Please bring quart containers if you have them, if not, you may purchase or borrow ours but bring containers (bowls, tubs, etc.) to put them in to take home.

Strawberry, Sweet and Sour Cherry Update

Strawberries are officially gone for the season, wow, didn’t that seem fast?

Sweet Cherries:  We will have sweet cherries for probably only a few more days.  We will have them picked for sale on the market, since we are not sure how fast they will go, call first to make sure we have them before you drive out.  269-244-5690.

U-Pick Sweet Cherries:  We had a lot of people out over the weekend to pick.  The dark black cherries that are left are in the tops of the trees.   Since we have 20 – 30 foot trees, it is very difficult to pick and no longer reachable even with a step ladder.   There are some yellow cherries that you can get to with a step ladder.  So….unless you have a very tall ladder and are good at moving it around in a tree, we would not recommend trying to come pick them.  Thanks to everyone who came out to pick.  Everyone who did got some beautiful cherries this year!

Sour Cherries:  We have some sour cherries now on the market for sale by the quart.   These too will probably only last a few days.  They are $4.00 a quart.

U-Pick Sour Cherries:  We will open the U-Pick Sour cherries on Tuesday, June 12th.  We do not have a very large crop of them due to the earlier freeze.    Depending on how many people come out on Tuesday, they may only last a day or so given the small crop.  They will be $1.00/pound to pick.

These 90 degree days are finishing off the cherry crop quicker than all of us would like.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards