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

Tag Archive: vegetable plants

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Weekend update!

Do you want to know more about how to find and prepare morel mushrooms?  Local author and biologist Vic Eichler will be at the market on Saturday afternoon, May 11th at 1:30 to give a presentation about morel mushrooms and answer your questions.  Several of his books will be available for sale, including the popular Morel Mushrooms in Michigan and other Great Lake States, Polished Petoskey Stones and Charlevoix Stones.  

Asparagus:  We should have plenty of asparagus this weekend, unless it cools down too much, which will slow it down.  Please see the end of this for some really interesting information about the nutritional value of asparagus.

Rhubarb is finally here, available by the pound.

Plants for sale:   We currently have a selection of cold crop plants: cabbage, kale, brussell sprouts, lettuce, broccoli, swiss chard, etc.   We also have many varieties of tomato plants for sale.    This weekend we will get our pepper and eggplants in–while it is okay to pick these up now, you should wait to plant them until this next cool spell is done.  In a few weeks we will have our “vine” crops:   squash,  melons and cucumbers.

Flowers for a cutting garden.  Many of you have admired the cutting garden that we put out each year by the market.  If you would like to start some of your own, we still have some left.    The annuals we use in the cutting garden are:  cosmos, snapdragons, asters, zinnias, and gomphrena.

Mother’s Day ideas:     This year, consider some of our special Mother’s day items we are putting together. Many of our local vendors will have their items on the market this weekend.  This will include local honey, cards, art and Ruth’s famous pecan and cashew brittle.  We have a nice variety of flower pots and hanging baskets.

Baked Goods for Mom:    This weekend we will have the following:

  • Cookies:  Large, pastel flower cut outs, Monster and Zucchini Chocolate Chip
  • Pies: Apple, Blueberry. Cherry. Cherry Berry and Peach.  Note: Peach pies will be only offered a few times this year until peach season as our frozen peach supplies are limited.  We are making peach available for Mother’s Day weekend.  In addition, since rhubarb is now ready, they will have rhubarb and strawberry-rhubarb pies as well!
  • Sugar Free Pies need to be ordered in advance
  • Also 12 Grain Bread, Whole Wheat Bread and Cinnamon Rolls

  Salad for Mom:  We still 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 that can be put outside, the lettuce can be picked and it grows back! Add a bottle of your Mom’s favorite salad dressing and you have the healthy gift of a fresh salad!

An arranged flower container for the patio or door step for Mom. This year we are combining the best of two things, Cathy’s skills in creating beautiful  flower containers and Beth’s love of collecting vintage items, especially with fruit on them.  Come see the many unique containers available for sale at all price ranges.  If you have a container you would like Cathy to plant, bring it over.

 The Brandy House will be open on Saturday.  Bruce will be open for brandy and wine tasting along with tours of our distillery, on Saturday, May 11th from 1 – 4, and then all Saturdays for the rest of our 2013 season.  Ask to try our new “2D” grape brandy–I tried it today myself and was impressed.   He will be happy to give you some ideas on how to blend our brandies into some wonderful drinks for Mom.

Happenings on the farm:    This has been an exhausting but rewarding week for planting.  We put in 700 new blueberry bushes, replaced 70 pear trees, planted 80 new peach trees and 20 new plum trees.    Today we planted part of our new 4-acre U-Pick apple orchard.  This orchard is specially designed with a wide range of varieties and smaller trees to enhance the U-Pick apple experience in the future.  We just all have to be patient now for about 4 – 5 years!!

The fruit trees blooming this week were stunning.  In 50 years we have never seen so many blossoms on the trees–which is not unexpected due to the fruit loss we experienced last year.  And alas, we also had to start irrigating this week–a big thanks to Jay and the crew who had to get all the systems into a “go” mode, not easy after the irrigation is put away for the winter.

It was “all hands on deck” for the many steps involved in planting the blueberry bushes

 

Replacing pear trees–surrounded by this year’s stunning blooms

Jay searching for the right irrigation coupler, in front of the blooming pear orchard

The first several rows of the new U-Pick apple orchard

Happenings on the market:   We started some market renovations this week which we hope you will like.  We took the asphalt siding off the barn and restored it back to the original wood, we still have one side to go, so please excuse our temporary construction “mess.”  We also did some cement patching of the original 50 year old market floor.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.  This Mother’s Day will remind me and many of you of how much we miss my mother.   But her legacy and spirit continues as we all work to keep the farm and market in the manner in which she and my Dad started.  We like to think she would be pleased with the work we are doing.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards thanks you for buying local!  Hope to see you this weekend.

 Special information on asparagus below:

Finally–for those who want to know more about the nutritional value of asparagus, Read on!  Tell us if you like this kind of info and we will try to put it together for other produce.  Thanks to Cathy for compiling this!  I learned a lot about asparagus that i didn’t know!!

Bet you didn’t know asparagus was so good for you…….

Not only is it delicious, but it is packed with nutrients –more than any other vegetable.   Consume only moderate amounts if you suffer from gout because it raises uric acid levels in the body.   Nutritionally speaking, the white variety doesn’t compare to the benefits of the green variety.   Asparagus has only 4 calories per spear or 40 calories per cup and is loaded with all these health benefits.

EXCELLENT SELECTION FOR:

Fiber (3 grams/serving).    Acts as a prebiotic by stimulating “friendly “bacteria which keeps the digestive system healthy

Folate (iron).   Vitamin B helps prevent cardiovascular disease, liver disease, birth defects.   Promotes energy, healing and fights infection

Vitamin K – essential for healthy blood clotting and strong bones.

Low Sodium and low carbohydrates

No Fat or Cholesterol

GOOD SOURCE OF:
Vitamin C – a strong disease- fighting antioxidant

Potassium – to support kidney function

Vitamin E – helps minimizes skin damage from sun exposure, also keeps heart & immune system healthy

Glutathione, which is an anti-inflammatory to help with arthritis

Vitamin A – to promote good vision

Antioxidants (including Zinc) to help fight cancer

HOW TO BUY & STORE:     Fresh is always best but it will keep in the refrigerator for days.    Storing with the stem end in cold water (put in plastic and cover) helps keep it fresh longer.

PREPARATION TIP:   You do not need to cut off the ends of our asparagus.  We pick it where it naturally breaks so it will not be tough.    Rinse in cold water before eating.    It can be  boiled, steamed, roasted, sautéed, grilled, pickled, or eaten au natural (raw).   Be sure to keep cooking time to a minimum as overcooking ruins the flavor, texture and nutritional value.

METHODS OF PREPARING:

·         Grilled:   Toss asparagus in olive oil (or lightly brush).  Grill directly on grate over medium heat (or use non-stick tin foil).   Turn once after 3-5 minutes.   Cooking time depends on how crisp you prefer, usually 6-10 min.   Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, garlic, or other favorite seasonings.

·         Boiled:   Add asparagus to pot of boiling water (optional salt, pepper, and butter)   Boil until bright green (about 3-4 minutes).   Rinse under cold water until cool.   This method is best for cold asparagus recipes.

·         Steamed:   Cook in basket or colander over simmering water until bright green and crisp (about 5 min)

·         Microwave:   Put 1 lb fresh spears in micro-wave safe rimmed plate or shallow dish.   Add ¼ cup of water and cover tightly.   Microwave @ 100% for 4-7 min for spears (4-5 min for pieces)   Stir or turn half way through cooking time.   When cooked you may drizzle lemon juice &/or butter for more flavor.

·         Sauteed:    Heat oil or butter in frying pan-add asparagus.   Cook about 5-7 minutes – stirring often

·         Roasted:    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.   Spread spears on a large rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and roll them around to coat lightly.   Roast spears for about  10-15 min – shaking the pan to roll them around for even browning.   Test with a fork to determine doneness.   Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, garlic or other seasonings.

Raw:   Shave it lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or thinly slice it on an angle – then toss it in a salad.          

 

 


Mid-April Update

Just a quick update as many of you have been asking about asparagus.  During our daily checks,  we have no signs of any asparagus coming up yet.    But this week’s rains and warmer weather should do something!   We will  give you an update in about a week.

Plants/Seed Potatoes for sale:  We have  plants available for sale as our stock came in this week and we have some extra.  Call us at 269-244-5690 or email us if you would like to have us save some for you.  Please leave us your name, phone number, what you would like and how many.   We are not open yet for the year so we will get back to  you on when you can pick them up.

Available NOW: 

Strawberry varieties are:   Earliglow, AC Wendy,  Allstar, Mesabi, Darselect and Donna.  They are  50 cents per plant.   These are all June-bearing varieties that we have planted over the years at our farm.

Onion Plant varieties (All sweet) are:  Candy (large yellow), Red Candy Apple (red medium sized onion),  Super Star (large white).    They are 5 cents per plant or bulb.

Seed Potatoes--Red Norland:  These are 10 cents/potato.  This is the same kind that we have grown and sold here for years.

Tomato Plants:  We have a few large tomato plants for sale now, these would be for your patio or if you have a greenhouse.  But the bulk of our tomato plants will be available in the month of May.  We will provide a list of varieties and pricing in a few weeks.

Coming in May we will have a large variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers, tomato and melon plants.  We will have a list of these out soon, so start getting those garden and flower beds ready!!  All of these plants are grown in a local greenhouse for us.

We think spring is finally here and we look forward to seeing all of our customers soon!

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

 

 

Yeah! Our GreenHouse Tomatoes are ready! Don’t Forget Mother’s Day

Greenhouse Tomatoes:  This past week of sunny days has pushed the greenhouse temperature up (some days over 100 degrees!) and finally the tomatoes are ripening.   So the wait for the “first really good BLT for 2012” is over  as they are now for sale  at our market!    Just be aware they do tend to sell out quickly each day as we are not picking at full yield yet.  Call ahead if you want us to save some for you.

Greenhouse Tomatoes Picked on 5-8-12

Mother’s Day Weekend:  Mother’s Day is this Sunday, it is a time for everyone to remember where they came from and to thank their mom for everything she has done for them!  We have a number of items you can choose from to put together a lovely gift for Mom with local products.   Besides our  fresh picked asparagus and rhubarb we have reusable “Corey Lake Orchards” tote bags,  honey, Ruth’s pecan and cashew brittle.  Our bakers are bringing pies, cinnamon rolls, bread,  and cookies.  They will have specially-decorated flower sugar cookies for Mother’s Day.  This weekend I highly recommend the rhubarb or strawberry- rhubarb pie.  Since rhubarb is in season, this is the time to enjoy it.  If one of my son’s was going to get me a Mother’s Day gift, I would want a mini-rhubarb pie that I could eat all by myself (Hint, hint….).    If you have never tried their rhubarb pie, you really should, of all the pies they make it is my favorite.

The Brandy House is open this Saturday from 1 -4.  Bruce will be here at the brandy house for tasting and tours.  Be sure to ask him about some great drink recipes he has perfected using our brandies.  I highly recommend the peach, cherry or pear brandy as a Mother’s Day gift!

Plants and Hanging Flower baskets:  We will have many plants for sale this weekend, including hanging flower baskets.  If your mother is a gardener, consider mixing up a flat of various vegetable and tomato plants and helping her get them planted this weekend.

Plants available this weekend will be:

  • Pepper plants (Sweet bell, Sweet Banana, Hungarian, Jalapano and Cayenne)
  • Herbs:  Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Chives, and Parsley
  • Note:  we are just getting our pepper plants and herbs in for the first time this year and will have them available on Friday afternoon (May 11th)
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Lettuce
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Tomato plants (cherry and grape tomatoes, Biltmore, Mountain Fresh, Mountain Glory, Rocky Top, Red Defender, Primo Red, Scarlett Red)

Plants which are still yet to come will be watermelon,  cantaloupe, eggplant, cucumber, and both summer and winter squash plants.  Check back around May 15th to see if we have a date yet for when they will be ready.

Flower Plants:  We usually don’t sell flower plants but as I did my cutting garden this year, I over estimated how many I needed so we have zinnias, cosmos and snapdragons for sale.  So if you have ever wanted to try a cutting garden, this is a good way to start by using actual plants versus seeds.

Everyone here at Corey Lake Orchards is hoping you have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing you.

 

End of April Update

Another month almost gone and what strange weather we have seen.    We would normally be very busy with our field plantings around this time, but the weather has us in a holding pattern.

Update on Frost Damage:  Unfortunately we have had some damage to our fruit crops.  Among the worst hit are pears, tart cherries, and plums.  There is minor damage beginning to show up on grapes, apples, sweet cherries, peaches, and strawberries. For those of you who can, freeze and make jellies/jams, you may want to ration your items in case you can’t replenish this year.  As most of you probably know, the entire state of Michigan has been hit very hard with frost damage in the fruit belt.  We really won’t know the extent of the damage for a few more weeks as the fruit tries to “set” and we can see what really made it.   Many of you who have driven past our strawberry field in the mornings have wondered what we are doing with our sprinklers going….it is how we protect them from frost damage.  Many thanks to Jay who is the one who stays up during these frosty nights to watch over our greenhouse and keep the irrigation going.

 

Irrigating strawberry plants through the night to protect them from frost damage

Asparagus Update: Due to the cold nights,  there is very little asparagus growing right now.    Please call us at 269-244-5690 to see if we have any left before you drive out or order in advance so we can save it for you.  Based on the weather forecast, we hope to pick again at the beginning of the week.

Tomato Plants:  We have tomato plants available now in our market.  If you would like some this year,  but you are not quite ready for them yet, please call us at 269-244-5690 or email us so we can save them for you.  Due to the storm out east, we are supplementing a greenhouse in Pennsylvania that lost their plants.  We would like to make sure our customers get the plants they want as many of you like the variety of tomato plants that we have.  The types of tomato plants available are:  Biltmore, Rocky Top, Scarlett Red, Mountain Fresh, Mountain Glory, Red Defender, and cherry and grape tomatoes.

Cold Crop Plants:  We still have cold crop plants for sale.  These are plants that you can plant right away and not have to worry about the cold weather.  These include; Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Lettuce, Shallots, and Spinach.  We still have seed potatoes for sale in the market.

Other vegetable plants:  We will have other vegetable plants later and hanging flower baskets, check with us mid-May.

Brown Eggs:  We are pleased to announce that Norma and David Yoder, from Leonidas, will be selling their farm-fresh, grass-fed chicken eggs at our market this summer.  They will have  Pullet eggs (pullet eggs are from chickens that are just beginning to lay, so the eggs are a little smaller) or  regular-large eggs.  They would very much like any egg cartons you have, so please help by bringing them back.

Rhubarb:  If the weather cooperates, we hope to have rhubarb this coming week.

Ruth’s famous pecan and cashew brittle is back, along with local honey!!  Come stock up!

Here’s hoping that we can soon get some “normal” weather back.  Have a great weekend.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards