After three days of Winter-like weather this week, it reminds us that Winter is not too far off.  The harvest season is wrapping up – nearly all the apples are picked, grapes are nearing the end, and the pumpkins are making their final debut as we approach Halloween.  In just 10 days we will be shifting to Saturdays only with limited hours.  So do not delay – this is the time to stock up on apples, squash, pumpkins, gourds, baked goods, maple syrup, honey, jams and jellies, and alcohol products for the long winter ahead.

This Friday, October 21, is National Apple Day!  It is one of our farm’s favorite holidays!!!  Be sure to stop by for apples, one of the most healthy and easiest to eat fruits around.  And expand your apple tastes by trying an apple you are not familiar with from one of our sample baskets.

We will be open our regular days and hours through Sunday, October 30. 

Starting November 5 will be open on Saturdays only from 9 am to 3 pm.  You can also shop by appointment – call: 269-244-5690.

Grape Update  

We still have both Concord (blue) and Niagara (white) grapes to harvest.  They have not frozen (yet) though more are split due to the recent rain.  The white Niagara grapes are very ripe, so you will need to pick over some of the overripe bunches.  We expect to have grapes until the first hard frost or other weather event.  Check the home page of our website or call for picking updates.  Vineyard hours are 9 am to 5:30 pm (must arrive by 4 pm).

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

Shop our “Hail of a Deal” on Apples!   

Apple Harvest Update.  We still have several late varieties to pick plus finishing up with other varieties.  Patience please as we continue to pick with limited staff plus the extra time it takes this year to sort the apples for bagging.  We will have apples to sell into November.

The next two varieties to harvest are the Red Rome and Pink Lady.  Both of these need more time on the tree so look for them the last week of October.

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 the first and second quality this year.

  • 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: $19 bushel; $11 half bushel; $7 peck.
  • Note Honeycrisp is priced differently.  Second quality: $38 Bushel, $19 half bushel; $13 peck, $6.50 half peck.  First quality: $13 half peck, $6.75 quarter peck.
  • 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 and get them for $4 a half bu.  These apples are bag your own.  We have lots of animal apples available now, so if you are looking for them in bulk, give us a call for pricing on a 20 bushel box.

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.

Apple Gleaning / Orchard Clean Up 

With our hail damage this year, it will be an “orchard cleanup” where you can pick the apples that were left behind (skipped over) on the trees by our crew or those on the ground.  Please note that the apples have excessive hail damage, however they are fine for processing or animal feed.  Below is a representative picture of the extensive hail damaged apples in the orchard; these are Golden Delicious apples.

We will open selected orchards for orchard clean up starting this Friday.

  • Price is $8 a bushel
  • Minimum picking quantity of two (2) bushels
  • Sold in whole bushels only.  For example, if you pick 3.5 bushels, you will be charged for 4 bushels.
  • Orchard hours are 9 am to 5:30 pm, must arrive by 4 pm
  • Please bring containers to take the apples home, you can borrow a bushel basket for measuring.
  • Check in and out at the market, do not go directly to the orchard.
  • You are welcome to bring a kitchen stool or small ladder; regular ladders are not allowed.
  • No climbing trees please.

Apple Varieties Available 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.
  • Cameo:  A firm, crisp, and sweet apple that resists browning.  Great for fresh eating, applesauce, or baking.  Stores well in your refrigerator.
  • 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.
  • Fuji: Has a fantastic sweet flavor with a low acid content.  An incredibly good keeper, it stays crisp for several weeks without even being refrigerated.  Excellent all purpose use like snacking, baking, and cooking.
  • 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 sees 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.
  • Jonathan:  Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
  • Mutsu:  Also called Crispin, it is a cross between Golden Delicious and the Japanese Indo apple.  It has a sweet-honeyed flavor mixed with sharp, tangy, and acidic notes.  They can be stored until spring.
  • 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.

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 paler.

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!

What is Available on the Market this Week    

  • Onions
  • Shallots
  • Squash – butternut, buttercup, acorn, and other fall varieties
  • Apples
  • Pears – Bosc
  • Niagara (white) juice grapes
  • Concord (blue) juice grapes

From Bankson Lake Farms

  • Arugula
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Lettuce blends
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach

Other Items

Sweet Onions.  Our sweet red and yellow onions are cured and bagged in 3-pound and 9-pound bags.  They are ready for you to pick up to use now or store for the winter.

Fall Ornamentals.  We have a nice variety of fall ornamentals for your fall decorating!  Choose from gourds, decorative squash, and pumpkins.

Just in time for National Pumpkin Day next Wednesday, all our pumpkins (both jack o-lantern and pie) are $1 off the regular price.  Get your pumpkins for Halloween and to bake a special pumpkin treat!

Stock up on squash also – all squash is 50 cents off the regular price.

Jack O’ Lantern Pumpkins.  We are harvesting them from the field, and they are located by the parking lot/ terrace garden in 3 sizes – small, medium, and large.

U-Pick Herbs.  All the remaining herbs in our herb garden can be picked for $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.

Freshly Pressed Sweet Apple Cider.  It gets better every week as the apples get riper!

Alcohol Products 

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.

Below is a bottle of our Market Red, a semi-dry red wine, best served chilled.

From the Bakery

Baked Goods.

  • Muffins: Apple Spice, Pumpkin, and other flavors
  • Cookies: Monster, Caramel Apple, and other varieties
  • Homemade Cinnamon bread
  • Breads: Italian, garlic, focaccia
  • Fruit pies: our signature “take and bake” fruit pies are a must have; find them in the freezer section

Holiday Pies. Plan now to pick up your “take and bake” pies to have ready for the Holidays!  Since we keep the freezer stocked, we will not be doing holiday orders, just come get them!  All our pies are made onsite and are 9-inch, frozen, and ready to bake.  Flavors include:  Apple-2 crust, Apple-Dutch, Blueberry, Cherry, Cherry Berry, Peach, Pumpkin, and Strawberry Rhubarb.

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.

Donuts.  Our wonderful hot donuts are available on Saturdays and Sundays in Fall flavors of Apple Cider, Pumpkin, and Buttermilk!

Happenings on the Farm 

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.

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 when you snap your family picture by the old fire truck in our front yard, check out the Ciderella story.

This past Tuesday our crew reset the exterior market panels.  We are ready for colder weather now!  The panels help to keep the north wind and cold rains from blowing through our hilltop open-air market.

Thank you for your continued support and for buying local.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards appreciates you!