Join us for the Fall Color Tour this Sunday!
Stop by this Sunday for the Fall Color Tour, sponsored by the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce. We are one of 12 stops this year and our activities run from 11 am to 4 pm. We will have food trucks, live music, happy hour, arts, crafts, and specialty vendors, and activities for the family. The weather looks like it will be a perfect fall day so make plans to get out with the family and enjoy several of the stops.
Three Rivers Chamber Flyer with the various stops and their festival times
Link to the Schedule of Activities for Corey Lake Orchards
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.’
The harvest continues on our grapes! We have a decent but not our best crop of our juice grapes, Niagara (white) and Concord (blue) this year. This year’s Concords have smaller bunches, and the erratic weather has caused some bunches to not be as ripe as needed. In addition, the off and on rains have made a few grapes split open, causing further damage to the bunches. Essentially, it will take longer to pick the Concords than in past years. All of our Concord vineyards have been started, so you will need to walk down the rows to get to good picking.
The white Niagara grapes are still plentiful, we have lots of them, and they are easy to pick.
We expect to have grapes until the first hard frost or other weather event. Check the home page of our website for picking updates, and please make a reservation.
Pricing for 2022 is:
- $7 per 5-gallon bucket for 5 buckets or more (100 pounds, 35 cents per pound)
- $14 per 5-gallon bucket for 2 to 4 buckets (70 cents per pound)
- $18 per 5-gallon bucket for 1 bucket (90 cents per pound)
- A 5-gallon bucket of grapes weighs approximately 20 pounds, and is also considered a half bushel
Reservations. You will need to make a reservation to pick grapes. Click here to make a reservation online and click here to get information on our grape u-pick before driving out. Please call us if you need assistance with making a reservation.
If you are interested in already picked grapes, please call us at 269-244-5690 for pricing and information. You will need to pre-order them.
We now have freshly squeezed cider available in gallons, half gallons, and quarts! Get some to heat up on Friday for National Hot Mulled Cider Day!
Our sweet onions are cured and bagged in 3 pound bags. They are ready for you to pick up to use now or store for the winter. The onions are yellow and red. Our red ones are almost gone for the year, so grab them now!
Shop our “Hail of a Deal” on Apples!
Already Picked Apples
Due to the significant amount of hail damage to our apple crop this year we will have very few first quality apples. Please note how we are selling them this year. Keep in mind that future changes may occur based on yields of specific varieties.
- First quality — quarter peck and half peck size bags only
- Second quality or Processing apples — pecks and half bushel bags only, sold at reduced prices.
- We will not be taking any orders for apples in advance. If we have what you want on hand, we will hold them for you upon request.
- Animal Apples — lesser quality apples available as animal feed, available at the market for $4.50 a half bu. Bring your own 5-gallon bucket or half bushel basket to put them in and get them for $4. These are bag your own.
Thanks to all of you who have been accepting of and buying our Processing apples! Sadly, most of our apple crop was damaged and we appreciate you buying them and supporting our farm. We are glad to offer our apples (except for Honeycrisp) to you at a discount. $19 Bushel; $11 half bushel; $7 peck.
We are sorry but there will be no u-pick apples this year. Due to the extent of hail damage, we feel we cannot provide the quality apple picking experience that you want and expect. Despite not having u-pick apples, we still welcome you to the farm this fall for many other great farm experiences. If you want to pick apples, there are many other orchards in Michigan that offer u-pick. Check Michigan Farm Fun, an online directory of Michigan farm markets to find an orchard near you. This is going to be a great year for Michigan apples, there will be so many!!
Many of you are asking will we have apple gleaning this year? With our hail damage this year, we will be having “orchard cleanup” when we have finished the harvest. When we open this, you can pick the hail damaged apples that are left on the trees or the ground. Check back mid-October to see when we might be opening and more information.
More on Apples
When will Certain Apple Varieties be Ready?
This apple chart estimates the approximate week we believe our various apple varieties will ripen. It is only our best guess – the weather can ripen them earlier of cause delays. We will update this chart throughout the season so keep checking the link or visit our website.
On the market now:
- Braeburn: Sweet with a hint of tart, and a firmness that stores well. These traits plus the fact that they bake well have made them a very versatile apple.
- Cortland: A hint of tartness makes this a great baking variety, a descendent of the McIntosh. This variety is a bit sweeter than its ancestor and juices really well.
- Gala: A great eating and cooking apple. It has a crisp snappy bite over a mellow sweetness. Very versatile, great for eating or cooking.
- Golden Delicious: A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It is the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or sliced in salads. Makes a nice apple sauce and many people use for canning pie filling.
- Honeycrisp: This seems to be many people’s favorite. It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it. Great for eating fresh or using in salads.
- Ida Red: Suits your every use! Eat fresh or for cooking. Taste is both tangy and tart. Flesh is white, crisp and juicy. Favored for sauces, pies and desserts. Texture holds up well when baked.
- JonaGold: Superbly crisp and juicy with shades of tart and sweet in each apple, very large and aromatic. Cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious. (Only a few left.)
- Jonamac: Medium to large fruit with 90% red color over a greenish background. Firm, crisp flesh with flavor similar to a Macintosh. Superior eating quality, also can be used for baking.
- Jonathan: Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
- Northern Spy: The professional baker’s dream, cooks up well in applesauce, pie and other dishes. Stores well, easy to remember by saying “Spies for pies”. We should have them on the market starting Saturday.
- Nu-Red: A crisp, tart, hard, crunchy apple. An improved version of a Red Rome. Good for fresh eating, applesauce, pies, and baking. This year these are the best ever for flavor, come try one, it might be your new favorite apple.
- Red Delicious: America’s most popular apple, known for the “five little bumps” on the bottom. Best for fresh eating and snacks. Full-flavored sweet taste, yellowish flesh, and crisp texture.
Coming next: Mutsu
What is the Difference between First and Second Quality Apples?
What is the Difference between First and Second Quality Apples?
First quality apple bags will contain apples that are medium to large size, have few (1-2 minor hail marks or indents) or no blemishes, and may have full or partial color. More apples than normal will lack full color this year because we picked them from the inside of the tree, where they were protected from the hail, but then were also shaded. Those lacking color will still taste the same, they just look different.
Second quality or Processing apples will be medium to large size and have multiple hail marks. The marks will not be deep and can be easily cut out or eaten around. If you are making applesauce or pies, cooking, freezing, canning, or baking these apples are perfect for your use. They have the same flavor and are discounted – a much more economical way to get useable apples. This is the first time we have sold processing apples as in the past we used all of them for our cider.
If you are new to processing apples (or any produce), you may want to check out the resources on our Food Preservation page on our website.
We are also selling food mills on the market; everyone must have one of these! They are best way to make applesauce ever, without peeling!
Bosc pears have a russet skin, and are a nice, sweet pear. Pears are picked green and ripen from the inside out in about 7 to 10 days. You will know they are ripe when the neck starts to soften. They are “keepers” and will store for several months in a cool, dark place. The Bosc are available in various sizes from quart boxes to bushels. We also have samples if you would like to try one.
What is Available on the Market this Week
From our fields
- Squash – butternut, buttercup, acorn and other fall varieties
From our orchards and vineyards
- Pears – Bosc
- Niagara (white) juice grapes
- Concord (blue) juice grapes
From Bankson Lake Farms
- Lettuce blends
- Swiss Chard
Fall Ornamentals. We have a nice variety of fall ornamentals for your fall decorating! Choose from colorful corn, gourds, decorative squash, and pumpkins. Below a customer picks out a bunch of colorful Fall corn.
Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkins. We are bringing these in now and should have a good selection for you this weekend. Find them by the parking lot.
Fresh Floral Arrangements. We will have fresh flower bouquets from Faith in Flora in nice Fall colors.
U-Pick Flowers. Make your own bouquet using flowers from our terrace garden by the parking lot. Keep in mind that it is best to pick flowers when it is cool, like early in the morning if it is a hot day. Please see clerk for scissors and cutting instructions.
All the herbs in our herb garden are ready to pick! 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, salsa, eggs, and Jake’s meats.
We have a nice selection of hard ciders, wine, and fruit brandy perfect for 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
- Rufus Rye, our new straight rye whiskey
We sell hard cider in singles, 4-packs, and 6-packs. You may mix and match to make your own unique pack.
Stop by our Happy Hour this Sunday from Noon to 4 pm!
From the Bakery
- Yeast donut rings
- Muffins: Apple Spice, Pumpkin, and others
- Cookies: Monster, Caramel Apple, and other varieties
- Homemade Cinnamon bread
- Breads: Italian, garlic
- Fruit pies: our signature “take and bake” fruit pies are a must have; find them in the freezer section
Donuts: Our wonderful hot donuts are available on Saturdays and Sundays in Fall flavors of Apple Cider, Pumpkin, and Buttermilk!
Strombolis: Take and bake from our freezer, plus find Marinara sauce in the grocery section. We have the pizza type and a quiche type for breakfast eating.
Happenings on the Farm
Once again, we thank the Three Rivers CrossFit/Pit group for helping us to harvest pumpkins, while of course getting in their workout for the morning! Their generous donation of time and muscles allows us to donate pumpkins to those who otherwise might not have a pumpkin for Halloween. If you are a non-profit organization or school, looking to get pumpkins, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see how far we can go with meeting the community needs.
Spookley is back! Take a moment to read the Spookley pumpkin story with its important anti-bullying message with your family. The story boards are near the large pumpkin.
And the big pumpkin is here!! Once again, Keith Whitford of Three Rivers, grows large pumpkins and has given us a 359-pound beauty to display here at our farm for your enjoyment, awe, and a get a photo.
And when you snap your family picture by the old fire truck in our front yard, check out the Ciderella story.
We are loving the sun this week and so are our golden delicious apples. Below are some showing off their sun-pinked cheeks!
We appreciate everyone’s support of our farm, especially during this difficult apple season.
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local. Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you!