Yikes, back-to-school sales and shopping have begun. Is summer nearly over? Not yet, we still have at least two more months of hot summer weather, and we are receiving our share of heat and humidity this week. It’s tough on our employees as they work outside, and our crops don’t like it either. But the heat has helped our sweet corn ripen! Stop by for the first taste of the season. The heat is also helping our field tomatoes. They will be late this year as we had to replant them and basically “start over” after the mid-June storm. See story on our tomato crop at the end of the blog.
Reminder, our hours this year are 9 am to 6 pm daily, including holidays, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You can reach us at (269) 244-5690.
No Yoga Class this Saturday!
Thanks to all of you who have been attending the classes. Enjoy the break this week and see you again on July 30! See website for more details.
Already Picked. We have already picked blueberries available on the market in small containers as well as 5- and 10-pound boxes. They are from Brookside Farms, a family farm in Paw Paw that has supplied us with blueberries for years.
U-Pick Blueberries. We really appreciate how many people have come out and enjoyed picking our blueberries this year. They have been nice sized and fun to pick for sure. We now estimate about 70% of them have been picked with 30% remaining and yet to ripen. So, this means the picking will not be quite as easy as it has been. But if you’re just looking to get the family outside and enjoy the experience of picking a few blueberries followed by a cold slushy and a sweet treat from our bakery, then come on over. As always if you’re looking to pick a lot we recommend going to Brookside. See our webpage for picking hours, pricing, and more information. Also check our website or call to make sure the field is open before you come out.
Bulk Quantities for Freezing and Canning
If you are interested in large quantities of vegetables for canning or freezing, contact the market and get on our sign-up sheet. We will contact you when they are available. The growing conditions and production yields are outside our control, but we will try our best to fulfill your order. Please realize that since we had to replant almost everything due to the hailstorm, things will be later than normal.
- Green beans (half bu. minimum)
- Sweet corn (bushel minimum, 5 doz.)
- First quality tomatoes (half bushel minimum)
- Second quality tomatoes (half bushel minimum)
- Roma tomatoes (peck minimum)
What is Available on the Market this Week
From our fields
- Green beans
- Sweet corn – just starting
- Summer squash – all you can eat!
- Zucchini – limited supply
Here’s a behind the scenes look as what we do to bring you fresh produce each day despite a muddy field!
From our greenhouse
- Tomatoes, regular and mini
From Bankson Lake Farms
- Bok choy
- Lettuce blends
- Swiss Chard
We started picking our Lodi apples. If you preordered, someone will be contacting you soon. We also have some available for sale on the market.
Lodi apples are typically the first apple available kicking off the apple season in mid-July. These tart apples have a smooth semi-thin skin and are pale green. Lodi apples have a short shelf life of 1-2 weeks so be sure to refrigerate them. They are best used for cooking and baking.
Its claim to fame is its absolutely, wonderful apple sauce! If you don’t mind a tart sauce (you can always add sugar at the end while the sauce is still warm) we encourage you to try making some while they are in season. See directions for making an easy apple sauce.
Since Lodi’s are a “softer” apple and will break down easily, we don’t recommend using them for an apple pie, but they are fine for apple bread, cake, or muffins. They are also good for fresh eating or sliced in a salad, as long as you like tart/sour.
If you are processing them into sauce or pie, we have some “second” quality available. The apples were damaged by a hailstorm that left dents and marks. The imperfections do not affect the tart apple flavor and will still make a great apple sauce!!
Summer is a time for salads and vegetable dishes! And both are better with fresh herbs! We have a nice selection of herbs for u-pick in our herb garden. Available now are: chives, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro, some dill, and thyme. Price is $1.50 for a snack size bag. Scissors and bags are on the market, see clerk for assistance.
Local Grocery Items
Fresh products from our local suppliers – honey, maple syrup products, jams and jellies, eggs, and Jake’s meats.
We have a nice selection of hard ciders, wine, and fruit brandy perfect for summer relaxing.
- 8 total wines from red, white, dry to sweet
- 8 total hard ciders from dry to sweet, made onsite
- Various fruit brandies made onsite from various fruits
Stop by the market this Saturday and sample some of our great alcohol products! We have a semi-sweet Blueberry Hard Cider you must try before blueberry season ends.
From the Bakery
There is lots of goodness and nice aromas coming out of the bakery this week! Try our new focaccia bread if you haven’t.
Another batch of our new homemade Italian bread ready to bake.
Making more of our bestselling strawberry-rhubarb pies and preparing for a round of peach pies!
Pull up a chair in one of our seating areas, ask us to uncork a bottle of wine, and enjoy!
Baked Goods Available
- Our beloved, homemade cinnamon rolls
- Yeast rolls: donut rings, Long Johns, Raspberry Bismarks, apple fritters, yeast twists
- Muffins: Pistachio, Cherry Almond, Chocolate Chip, Lemon Poppyseed, Double Dutch, Banana Nut, Strawberry, and Blueberry
- Cookies: our famous homemade Lemon cookies, along with Monster, and other varieties
- Breads: Artisan and homemade, hot dog and hamburger buns
- Bagels: various kinds
- Fruit pies: our signature fruit pies are a must have; find them in the freezer section
- Our famous blueberry/zucchini bread is back
Strombolis: Take and bake from our freezer
- Pizzamoli – pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese
- Sausage Pizzamoli – pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and sausage
- Pepperoni Pizzamoli – pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni
- Moe’s Specialty – garlic Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, hint of oregano
- Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese
- Sausage Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese, sausage
- Ham Breakfastmoli – eggs, cheddar cheese, shaved ham
Keep in mind that you can call ahead to order any of your favorites and we will have them ready for you to pick up.
Our bakery crew will be making donuts on Saturdays and Sundays. We are currently in our summer flavors of Buttermilk, Blueberry and Cherry, either plain or sugared!
Enjoy our Seating Areas
You are most welcome to sit and relax in our rural setting or buy goodies from the market to sit and enjoy. We have several seating areas by the market – our “Onion Barn”, the market breezeway, and the yard.
Our spaces are also available for rent, just leave us a message via the website and someone will promptly contact you. We can provide wine, hard cider, baked goods, and other seasonal items for your event also.
Happenings on the Farm
Story of our 2022 Tomato Crop
This is the first in a series of stories we are sharing regarding the impacts of the damaging June 13 storm to our farm and how we are moving forward. We feel it is important for you to see what goes on behind the scenes of our family farm, and the tough decisions we must make sometimes to sustain the business while satisfying our customers. Our farm values itself as a provider of fresh, top-quality produce to the local community, your community as well.
Our story begins with tomatoes. We believe and we think most of you would confirm, that we grow some of the very best tomatoes, known for their size and firmness, but most importantly their flavor. Over the years, especially with the groundwork laid by our father, we carefully selected what we feel are the best varieties, ordered and planted those seeds over the winter in the greenhouse, transplanted them to the field, and carefully maintained them until harvest. These beautiful tomatoes go into your BLT, your salads, into your jars as juice or canned tomatoes, or into salsa.
The storm on June 13, with 70-mph winds snapped the little tomato plants in two and the prolonged hail beat them into a pulp. Our tomatoes were gone. It was incredibly sad to stand in the field and see nothing but damage.
We were faced with either having no tomatoes for the year, finding other growers to supply our market, or start over with another tomato planting. We chose the latter.
We scrambled to find a greenhouse that might still have some tomato plants available at this late date that would allow us to replant. Luckily, we found a greenhouse with close to 2,500 tomato plants, though not our usual varieties. We removed the dead plants and replanted as quickly as we could five days later.
This decision meant that we could not collect crop insurance on the devastated tomato crop because we chose to replant them. We felt there was still time, albeit a little bit late, to bring tomatoes into production for our customers.
We thank you for your continued support of our farm, and we thank you for the many tomatoes that you have bought from us over the years! This year, we are trying to do everything we can to keep our greenhouse tomatoes going longer since the field tomatoes will be later than normal. For those of you on our Tomato Sign-Up List for bulk canning and processing tomatoes, we ask for your patience. They will be late, but they will come. We are pleased with how our new plants are growing.
Thank you for allowing us to share this first chapter in our story. Literally everything we grow was damaged to some extent by the storm. We will continue to share updates and the impacts to other crops in future newsletters.
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local. Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you!