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

Tag Archive: Summer vegetables

Summer arrives – brandy returns! – and autumn donut flavors start this weekend.

In the market we have:

  • Vegetables: zucchini, summer squash, cabbage, peppers (many kinds), cucumbers, kale (red Russian and curly from Becca’s garden), eggplant, sweet corn, green beans, Brussels sprouts, onions (many kinds) and shallots.
  • Blueberries:  We have them in both small and large picked quantities (from pints up to 1o pound boxes.) We hope to have picked blueberries around for about one more week to 10 days. Our own field of U-Pick blueberries is done for the year….thanks to everyone who came out to pick!
  • Cantaloupe: Our own melons are ready and coming in every day. Given the expected heat, they will probably only last about a week. So come get some soon.
  • Watermelon: Our own are slowly coming in.
  • Apples: We have 3 kinds of summer apples on the market now: Paula Red and Earli-blaze for eating or cooking, and Mollie’s Delicious, which is a sweet eating apple. We have small quantities on the market. If you want bushels, it is best to call ahead to make sure we have them.  If you are trying to make applesauce. we have some Paula Red “seconds” available at 1/2 price.
  • Picked Tomatoes:  Field tomatoes are coming in, along with 5 kinds of mini-tomatoes. We have the mini’s available to sample.  See which one you like best, or you can get a box with all the kinds mixed.
  • U-Pick Tomatoes:  When will U-Pick tomatoes be ready has been the question of the month and we haven’t had a good answer due to this year’s unusual weather.  It looks like we will open next week. But….we need your help (and a little more patience) as we open the field up. Given the pent-up demand for tomatoes this year, particularly with the blight that has hurt many gardens and farms in the area, we need to control the flow of customers for a while until there are plenty to pick (which there will be in September hopefully.)  So, if you are wanting to come out in the next few weeks, please call the market and ask to be put on our U-Pick list. We will schedule customers in as there are enough ready, to avoid having so many folks out at the same time that not everyone gets want they want.
  • Potatoes: we have four kinds of potatoes on the market and we dig them fresh.  We have white, red, Yukon gold, and the russet baking potatoes.   We will have potatoes by the bushel if you would like them for fall/winter use.  Let us know how many you would like and when we do our final harvest we can call you.  (269-244-5690).
  • Fresh cut flowers and fresh herbs   

    Flowers are at full peak now

    Flowers are at full peak now

What’s coming next:

  • In next week’s update, we promise to get you the fall apple forecast on what kinds we will have, when they will be ready and pricing.
  • Concord and Niagara grapes: This is the 2nd most frequently asked question behind tomatoes is when will the grapes be ready. Please check back about September 9th and we will hopefully have an opening date by then. Before we open, we will want them to be at their full ripeness and sugar content, so it may be closer to the middle or end of September before we open (weather dependent of course). We will have plenty to pick. Pricing will be the same as last year. 25 cents a pound or 20 cents a pound if you pick over 100 pounds.
  • Around Labor Day weekend we expect to pick the few Bartlett pears and Stanley prune plums that we have this year (most were lost in the severe winter and the May frost).
  • spplumsres

    Plums are about a week away from being ready.

You can see the toll that the winter/frost took on these trees by how few there are.

You can see the toll that the winter/frost took on these trees by how few there are.

Brandy: You read correctly! The wait is over and we’ve begun selling Hubbard’s Brandy again. The brandy we are selling now was produced at the height of last year’s bounty, capturing the essence and spirit of the harvest. For brandy, we have apple, cherry, Concord grape, Niagara grape, double distilled Niagara grape, and pear. We also have our sweet ‘Polecat’ wines: blends of apple brandy infused with apple, black cherry, sweet cherry, and peach juices. Please note: we are not doing Saturday tastings for the time being, and we aren’t licensed to sell on Sunday’s before noon. Thank you for understanding. 

Hubbard's brandy!

Hubbard’s brandy!

This weekend in the bakery we will have:

  • Pies: apple, blueberry, berry peachy, cherry, cherry berry, chocolate, peanut
    butter, peach, strawberry rhubarb, and fresh blueberry glaze.
  • Cookies: apple and flower cut outs, monster (oatmeal, choc chips, m&m’s and peanut butter), chocolate chip, lemon, and caramel apple.
  • Bread: Whole Wheat, cinnamon, vegetable, blueberry zucchini.
  • Double chocolate zucchini muffins and blueberry zucchini muffins.
  • Cinnamon rolls, cinna-monkeys, and sticky buns.
  • Donuts: Apple, buttermilk, pumpkin.
  • Slushies: Apple cider and white grape peach

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

A note from the bakers: With the aroma of fresh apples coming into the market
this week, we could not help but think of fall. This weekend we will be switching
to our fall flavors of donuts, which include apple, and pumpkin along with our
standard buttermilk. We also have a new slushie flavor for you to try: white
grape peach. It is a slightly sweet peach flavor that is heightened by the white
grapes, definitely a must try! See you this weekend! -the Bakers

From Becca’s Garden: Red Russian kale, curly kale, chard, sunsugar cherry tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, celery (please ask in person if you’re interested and I’ll cut it fresh for you), herbs. I’ve got lettuce and spinach growing for fall, leeks looking good, carrots coming for a few weeks from now, and hey! A picture for you to enjoy.


Natural insecticide in Becca’s garden.

Local meat: One-pound packages of bacon are back! New this week: bulk ground sausage thanks to requests from customers. Let us know what you think. We also have spare ribs, bone-in pork chops, bacon sausage breakfast patties, regular breakfast patties, mild links, and hot links. Look for all these items in the freezer in the bakery.

Happenings on the farm this week:  Two good things happened here this week, we got some summer-like weather and rain!  Both which will help give our summer crops that have been struggling a little boost.

We also have started on a very difficult and time consuming task of re-training new grape vines to replace the ones that were injured by the severe winter in some of our  white Niagara blocks.  We have all been learning how to do this and trying to figure out if there is any easy way (we haven’t found it!) since this is the first time we have ever had to do this in the lifetime of these vineyards. (Note: this will not affect the U-Pick grapes this year….we will have enough grapes for everyone to pick.)


We have not mowed the vineyards this year as we needed to protect all of the grape vines until we could do this task.

The goal is to select several grape vines to train to replace this trunk next year.  This is the hardest part!

The goal is to select several grape vines to train to replace this trunk next year. This is the hardest part!


The finished result--several nice grapevines wrapped around the trunk and the wire.

The finished result–several nice grapevines wrapped around the trunk and the wire.

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local.  Hope to see you soon.


A Hot Mid July Update….

The Heat and a thank you.  Here’s hoping that by the time many of you are reading this the hot weather spell has broken.   Needless to say, weeks like this cause all kinds of havoc with our crops….accelerating growth and ripening and a whole list of other issues.  A big thank you goes to all of our employees; those who have continued their work in the fields and orchards to pick produce and those who have worked on the market during these hot days.   And thanks to the customers who endured the heat to come out and get fresh produce this week.

So….because of the heat, we need your help with green beans.  All of our plantings (spaced over a week apart) have come on at the same time.    The green beans are beautiful–please come buy some.  If you are planning to can or freeze beans this year, this is the time as we have them available by the half bushel or bushel–which is the most economical way to buy them.    Please call us at 269-244-5690 and let us know how many you would like us to reserve for you.

Today’s green bean picking!

The heat wave has helped more vegetables to come on so we currently have:  green beans, kale, swiss chard, onions, cucumbers, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cabbage, peppers, peas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and radishes.   These are picked daily, for best selection and availability–shop early.  We have fresh herbs available to pick, just bring your recipe and snip what you need.

A note to bring closure to last week’s plea to buy swiss chard–thank you–we sold out each day last weekend and had to pick more!  For those who tried it  for the first time, let us know how you liked it.

Yellow summer squash blooming and forming squash

Cut Flowers are in full bloom, we cut them for sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Bring your vase or arrange a bouquet and take home in a plastic bag or cup.  The heat has the sunflowers popping open and today I saw some gladiolus ready in the field.  Also, our flower beds and potted arrangements by the market are in peak bloom–a huge thanks to Cathy who designs and maintains these lovely beds and planters every year.

We are digging our tasty red potatoes now.  This year we also have white potatoes and Yukon gold.

Picked Blueberries:  Available now in the market for $3.00 pint and $5.00 quart.  Larger quantities (5 and 10 pound boxes) are available most of the time.  But, call ahead to make sure we have them or call and order them in advance just to be sure.  (269-244-5690).

U-Pick Blueberries:  The hours for U-Pick will be 8 am until 11 am on weekdays and 8 until noon on weekends. Pricing will be $2.00 a pound to pick.  We expect them to last through most of the month of July.  We hope to be open daily, but if the field gets picked out, we may have to close for ripening, so please call ahead to make sure we are open for picking before you come or check our website for the latest updated information.  269-244-5690.

What’s coming?  We hope to have sweet corn, possibly some on Saturday.  If not then, it will only be a few more days.   Everyone is ready for peaches….but they need several more weeks.  Field tomatoes:  we are picking some cherry and grape tomatoes, but field tomatoes are still several weeks away.

The brandy house will be open on Saturday from 1 – 4, you must try our new strawberry brandy.

Baked Goods will be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.    In addition to the normal pies, breads, cookies and cinnamon rolls, the bakers are making the most of fresh blueberries and will have blueberry muffins and of course–fresh blueberry pie.   Also, my favorite will start this weekend:  zucchini-chocolate chip cookies.

Bakery Update:  Lots of progress was made in the bakery this week, we are in the final stages of completion now.  We are anxious to be done and getting excited about opening.  While we wish we could give you an opening date, we still can’t.  We have 6 inspections at township, county and state levels to pass in order to receive our licensing required to open.    We will begin the inspections next week and will keep you updated on our progress.

Happenings on the farm this week.  This week was one of picking, weeding and watering, and due to the heat–not much else unless it was essential.   There was a lot of triage work going on to prioritize work that helped get water and air flow to vegetation to minimize mold, rot and plant diseases which come easily with this high humidity.

A small event happened on the farm on Tuesday,  it was my birthday and I had asked my family, friends and employees to keep it very low key as who celebrates these any more at my age.  Much to my surprise, I saw a truck parked in the market from the Flame Tamer Fire Protection Company out of Paw Paw.  So while some thought they were here to help put out the candles on my cake, they were really here to install the fire suppression system which is required in our bakery.  It did make for a good laugh and a great picture of me posing with the lovely cupcakes that Michaela baked for me (and Jay helped her decorate).   Thank you to my employees, friends and family for your wishes, hugs, great gifts and food.   Thanks for covering everything while I took two days off, went to Lake Michigan to rest, relax and recharge for the busy months ahead.

Celebrating my birthday with help from employees, friends, family and the Flame Tamer Fire Protection company!

Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local. 










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





Fruit and Vegetable Update for the beginning of August

As summer continues, we want to remind you that everything is continuing to ripen earlier than normal  and with the hot dry summer– not staying long.  Our fruit crops are running several weeks early and our summer vegetables, usually peaking now, have already peaked and will be finishing early.   Keep this in mind as we don’t want you to miss some of your favorite fruits and vegetables.  The vegetables we still have are:  zucchini, yellow squash,spaghetti squash, cucumbers, red potatoes, peppers, eggplant, sweet corn, onions and green beans.

Peaches:  Our new peach orchard (those small 2 year old trees along Corey Lake Road) is pleasantly surprising us with a better yield than expected.    We have small boxes available: $3.50/quart (2 pounds) or $6.00 for 2-quarts (4 pounds) daily.  On days where we pick a lot, we are selling them by the peck (1/4 of a bushel).  We still don’t have enough to sell by the bushel, but you may buy up to 8 pecks at a time (2 bushel).   This week we still have some Red Havens for $10 a peck.  We have started picking a new variety called Coral Star.  These are freestone, larger than the Red Haven and are $12 a peck when available.  Not only are our peaches beautiful this year, they are very sweet due to the dry conditions.    If you call the market and we have peaches on hand that day, we are happy to hold them for you.  269-244-5690. We are expecting to pick a  good share of our peach crop within this next week and then we will have only 2 more later varieties to come.

My niece Amber visiting from Florida and thoroughly enjoying a fresh peach

Our 2nd year trees with beautiful Coral Star peaches







Vegetables by the bushel:    Our green beans are flourishing with the recent rains, they are $25/bushel when ordered in advance.  We have plenty of green peppers and they are available at $15.00 a bushel when ordered in advance.  Call 269-244-5690.

Picked Tomatoes:   Finally, more of our field tomatoes are ripening.    If you want picked tomatoes, please call us at 269-244-5690 to get on our list.  We offer “first quality” tomatoes at $28 a bushel or “seconds” at $15.00.   Our “seconds” are great for making sauce, salsa or juice.  They just have a few blemishes/spots on them that you need to cut out.

U-Pick Tomatoes:  Due to the high volume of customers who want to pick tomatoes this year, we have decided to start the year by scheduling customers in to pick.   This allows us to make sure that when you come there are enough tomatoes to pick.    So please call the market to get on our “U-Pick tomato” list.  Give us your name, phone number and how many you would like to pick.  We will start calling customers back and letting you know when you can pick.  Hopefully by the end of August  we will have enough tomatoes so  we don’t need to schedule anymore. U-Pick tomatoes will be $14 a bushel.  We thank you in advance for working with us as we try this new scheduling system in hopes that we can give you a better picking experience.  We will be starting to call customers this week to pick tomatoes.

Tomatoes ripening in the U-PIck tomato field, 8-7-12

Watermelon:  Our own home-grown seeded watermelon is finally ready.  We have the round Crimson Sweet and the long-striped Charleston Grey.  We are still bringing in cantaloupe daily.

Summer Apples:  We will be harvesting the rest of our Earli-blaze apples within a week.  If you would like to get some of these, please call the market (269-255-5690) to give us your name, number and how many bushel.  This is probably the best summer apple we grow.  It is tart, good for eating or for apple sauce and pies.    Since we had a good crop of these, we are offering them at $20/bushel.

Onion bags:  As our sweet onions dry, we are bagging them in 8-pound mesh bags.  The white and yellow onions sell for $7.50/bag and the red onions sell for $9.00 a bag.

Baked Goods:  We offer baked goods on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This week our bakers will be bringing a new pie called “Berry Peachy.”  It combines our blueberries and peaches together…..you’ll want to try this one!

Bartlett Pears:  We have about 10 percent of our normal pear crop and we will be harvesting them within the next week.   We currently have them for sale on the market in small quantities of $3.50 quart (2 pounds) or $6 for a 2-quart (4 pounds) and a $10.00 peck (1/4 of a bushel).   If you want bushels of pears for canning, please call and give us your name, phone number and how many bushel you would like to have.   (269-244-5690)  We can’t make any promises until we finish picking and see how many bushels are available.  They will be $36/bushel and we may have to limit customers to a few bushels to allow as many as possible to get pears.

U-Pick Grapes:  We are going to have a good crop of blue Concord and white Niagara grapes this year.  We anticipate them being ready around September 10th.     This year we are expanding the amount of U-Pick concord vineyards available to ensure we have enough for all that want to pick.   Please call us the week of August 27th for more information on our opening date or check the website.   We want to make sure the grapes are ripe before we open and that will depend on the weather for the next few weeks.   The pricing will be the same as last year:  25 cents/pound or 20 cents/pound if you pick over 100 pounds.

Fall Apples:  As you know we have a very limited apple crop this year due to the April frost and freeze.      We have about 25% of our normal crop and we feel fortunate to have that many knowing how other growers were more severely impacted and have none.  Sadly, we must inform you that we will not have U-Pick apples this year due to the light crop.  We know how much our customers enjoy this annual experience and we love having you.  We will have limited amounts of picked apples for sale as they ripen.  Within the next few weeks we hope to give you more information about what varieties we will have available and estimates on when they will be ready. We appreciate your support and understanding and let’s all hope for a better year in 2013.

Thanks as always for buying local.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards


Last Weekend of July

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

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

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

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






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

Grilled green tomato sandwiches…..mmmmm….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local Honey for Sale on our market

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

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

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

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

Packaged comb honey

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

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

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards