It doesn’t seem possible that we will be reopening the market this weekend when it doesn’t feel like spring. But…we are! We’re excited to see all of you again as we enter our 61st season.
Reminder, our hours this year are 9 am to 6 pm, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The plum trees and a few cherry trees are beginning to bloom. Other fruit buds are holding tight, which is a good thing with the next few cold nights. Our bees are in place, but not coming out unless we can come up with teensy winter jackets for them!
Professional photographers – If you are interested in using the apple orchard for blossom photography, please contact Brenda@coreylakeorchards.com. Predicting exactly when they will bloom is difficult so you will need flexibility with your clients, however, we will give you as much notice as possible.
Readying the Market for Opening
And while we are still finishing up winter pruning tasks, we have started ‘spring cleaning’ of the bakery, market, and farm areas to be ready for our opening. Patience please, as the weather has prohibited us from having the gardens planted, the play area ready, and such.
What is Available on the Market this Weekend
Asparagus and Rhubarb – not quite yet
Enjoying fresh asparagus is one of the harbingers of spring, however, it is doubtful we will have any for our opening weekend given this week’s cooler forecast. The summer-like days we had over the weekend teased some asparagus into popping through the ground, but it is unlikely to survive the below freezing mornings forecast for this week. When warmer weather gets here and stays here, the asparagus will start coming up again. Rhubarb is the same story. Since it is late this year, maybe the upside will be that we might have it until the 4th of July??!! Below is the one stalk we have found so far!
Thankfully, with Bankson Lake Farm’s growing under high tunnels to protect it from the cold, they will be supplying us this weekend with lettuce, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, green onions, fresh parsley and cilantro. And possibly some kale, bok choy, swiss chard, and radishes.
Bedding and Garden Plants
We will be carrying the usual bedding plants this year of annual flowers and vegetables, herbs, succulents, perennial flowers, and hanging baskets. We will not stock heat loving plants, like tender herbs, tomatoes, peppers, vine crops (cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers, squash) until later in May due to the weather.
Baked Goods, Alcohol, and Grocery Products
Local grocery items will be available starting this weekend to replenish your pantry: honey, maple syrup products, jams and jellies, and Jake’s meats.
Our alcohol products of wine, hard ciders and brandy will be available.
We will have limited baked goods this weekend, as our bakery will not go into production until next week. This weekend we will have:
- Our frozen ‘take and bake’ pies in the freezer for those who have missed them over the winter
- Everyone’s favorite fry pies!
- Frozen ‘take and bake’ breads in our freezer – new this year
- Muffins: Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Chip, Blueberry, and Banana
- Bagels: Sesame, Blueberry and Everything
Stay tuned as we will be introducing new items and rolling out more bakery products over the next several months!! Yes, we will be making donuts starting next Saturday, May 7, and will make them on Saturdays and Sundays for the season.
- We will have your perennial gift favorites like Mad Mats, Patti’s Pretties, Kathy’s bags, Tom Springer books, Barb’s Bowls, Amber’s cards, and Caryn’s Crocheted Collegiate Caps.
- Tiptoe Candles is back this year with some new scents to tickle your fancy including fresh cut grass, soothing mint, honey bee, and lake house linen.
- Once again, the Three Rivers Artists Guild will bring fresh perspectives in a variety of mediums.
- We also have some new additions to our gift line – all in time for your Mother’s Day shopping! Fire Fly wood carvings (plant stakes, mushrooms, and chopsticks) are made by Scott, one of our new employees.
- And tucked in here and there will be a bit of this and that like garden gloves, soaps, stickers, and more to enjoy alone or in combination for a one-of-a-kind gift.
Mother’s Day Floral Arrangements
Faith in Flora will have two arrangements perfect for Mother’s Day. You can preorder these starting now and they will be ready for pick at the market on Friday or Saturday, May 6 or 7. Just stop by (when the market opens) or call us at (269) 244-5690. Someone will call you back to confirm your order.
Option #1 – $60, Large table centerpiece in garden bowl approx. 13” diameter by 10” tall
Option #2 – $45, Bouquet in tall glass vase approx. 18” tall x 14” wide
Note that the pictures below are examples. Actual arrangements may vary slightly yet will represent a vibrant spring theme.
Happenings on the Farm
Everything is rapidly growing in the greenhouse and plants are “demanding” larger spaces. The cucumbers have reached their final home and are blooming, flowers went into larger pots, and we continue to cut down the onions to 4 inches which helps their stalks to get hardier while we wait to get them planted into the fields.
Lots of “pick up stick” games being played in the apple orchards. However, when we play this game, we actually hope that the stick is connected to another one so that when we pick them up, we can get as many as possible to make the work go faster!
This is an annual task of going back through the orchards to make sure all pruned branches are off the ground, and none are still stuck up in a tree. Large branches were cut into firewood pieces and will be for sale here at the market for anyone wanting applewood for barbecues or campfires.
Blueberry Field Preparation
As we continue to use more organic practices in the blueberry field, a small but mighty crew spent a windy day applying fertilizer, covering it with cut up cardboard, and layering wood mulch on top for weed protection.
On April 14th, we received wind damage to the greenhouse and hoop house. Windy and blustery days are unfortunately becoming more common, and sustained winds that day reached 50 mph. It blew a layer of the structural plastic off the main greenhouse and blew the front and back off the hoop house. Sigh, it’s always something
Beth and her family camped out in the greenhouse (with beverages and snacks) to see if the last layer would hold while the winds howled for several more hours, and thankfully it did. Now we are just waiting for a calm day to reapply the second layer of plastic onto the greenhouse.
Thank you for your support and buying local. Wishing everyone a happy Spring from all of us at Corey Lake Orchards!