Today marks the official arrival of Summer, and the longest ‘daylight’ day of the year. It is hard to believe that starting Thursday, each day is getting a little “shorter” as we head back towards Winter! And Saturday, June 24 is Midsummer Day. To the farmer, this day is the midpoint of the growing season, halfway between planting and harvesting. And the apples look about “halfway” through their journey from bloom to bag.
This past Saturday was the debut of our Happy Hours and Brandy House Tours. Thanks to all of you who came out for these events. We will be having Happy Hours each week and the Brandy House will be open once a month.
We also opened our “strawberry shortcake” u-pick strawberry field for 3 days this past week. We enjoyed seeing the families who came to pick berries and enjoyed the experience of being out in the field picking together. See below for more on our u-pick strawberries.
Our Days and Hours
–Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm
–Open Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm
–Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays
Watch our website homepage for updates or call us. (269) 244-5690.
The season is winding down due to the heat; we hope to have strawberries through this coming weekend, June 25th, but it will depend on the weather. We are no longer taking orders for flats but can add you to our “wish list” if we are able to pick enough, no guarantees.
U-Pick Strawberries. We are also hoping to open for U-pick for a few more days as we have one late variety that is almost ready. We will not know until closer to the weekend if they might be ready by then. Our u-pick patch is a “Strawberry Shortcake” patch this year. The production yields are less than in past years and we have fewer berries available for picking. We have limited the picking hours and the quantity of strawberries you can pick (up to 4 quarts per party).
This will allow those families who want to bring their kids out for the “experience” to be in a strawberry field and see how they grow, and to pick just enough for a “strawberry shortcake” or fresh eating.
Pricing. Strawberries are $4 a quart.
You will need to make a reservation to pick. To make a reservation, click the link to the reservation system below. (If you are receiving this message through Facebook, you will need to press and hold on the reservation link.) There is no fee to get into the field. You only pay for the strawberries that you pick.
The link to the reservation system is at: https://www.signupgenius.com/
For those wanting more than 4 quarts, there are several options.
- Pick a few quarts for the “experience,” and buy the remaining amount you want from our market. Preordering these will help us.
- Consider other farms that offer U-pick. You can locate other farms by going to www.MichiganfarmFun.com and searching this online directory for u-pick strawberries that are closest to where you live. The closest farm to us is River Valley Farms, located at 64506 US 131, Constantine, MI. They are open 8 until noon daily for U-pick, weather permitting. They supplied us berries last year when we lost ours in a hailstorm and are providing us picked berries again this year due to our low yields.
For more details and the latest information, please visit our U-Pick Strawberry page online.
Strawberry Gifts and Vintage Displays
In our breezeway, check out the largest and best collection of vintage strawberry items around, plus strawberry shortcake doll items from years ago. On the main market, check out the vintage display from what most of us probably saw in our grandmother’s kitchen.
We also have strawberry gift items for sale. And strawberry muffins!
Looking Ahead to Cherries and Blueberries
We no longer grow any sweet cherries on our farm. We will be getting sweet cherries from Coloma (same farm that supplied us last year) hopefully by Friday. They have both Black and Rainer (a multicolored sweet cherry). Please check the home page of our website or give us a call to make sure they have arrived before driving out for them.
We also no longer grow tart cherries and will not be getting any sour/tart cherries to sell at the market. We recommend you try Shultz’s Fruitridge Farms in Mattawan (269-668-6109) who have them both already picked and u-pick or try another farm closer to you.
We plan to open our U-pick blueberry field starting around the first of July, with picked blueberries coming from Brookside farms (our long-term blueberry supplier) around the 4th of July. Please check the home page of our website or give us a call to check that they are in season. Below, the blueberries are starting to ripen.
Alcohol Sampling and Happy Hours
We have 8 different wines, 8 different hard ciders, and assorted fruit brandies.
Sample Wine and Hard Cider, Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm
Sample our alcohol products or enjoy a wine pour or bottle of hard cider. Each Saturday, we feature several of our products to give you an opportunity to find the one that is perfect for you. Tastings are set up in our “breezeway,” the area adjacent to the market with tables and a small children’s play area.
Happy Hours, Saturdays, 4 to 6 pm
Our Happy Hours have returned for the summer. Stop by and enjoy our bottled hard ciders and wine pours. Bring your family and friends and relax in our farm setting. If you have a large group, call us and we can reserve a table for you.
Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Food Items
Anytime you are here shopping you will find non-alcoholic drinks (sodas and cherry juice) and slushies. And there are many easy-grab food items on the market to enjoy with a beverage such as: donuts (weekends), cookies, fry pies, cheese, meat sticks, crackers, pretzels, mustard, chips and more, or dig in to a quart of strawberries or cherries! We have disposable table service available for your convenience. Seating is available in several areas close to the market.
Bring your friends, family, weekend visitors, and come on over!
Join us for ‘Yoga at the Orchard’
We offer classes on Saturday mornings starting at 10:30 am throughout the summer, $15 per person, all ages and yoga abilities welcome. For those of you who don’t know, Three Rivers is home to So Flexy Yoga and some of their instructors will be visiting us to teach on these weekends. Improve your health and body while making new friends and enjoying the views at the farm!
Check in with your instructor at the yard in front of the main farmhouse. We are moving the location to have shade and a nice view of the lake and vineyard. This week Cynthia is back! You will be given a check-out slip to take to the market at the end of class that is also good for a free small slushy ($3 value).
We have two inviting spaces for you to relax in afterwards while you enjoy your slushie. Grab a bakery treat or even a hard cider or wine!
Bring bottled water, a beach-size towel, sunscreen, yoga mat, and shoes for walking to the class. Insect repellant as necessary. See webpage for details.
What is on the Market this Week
- Sweet cherries (check to make sure they have arrived)
- Cucumbers from our greenhouse
- Tomatoes from our greenhouse
- Mini tomatoes from our greenhouse
- Broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, yellow squash, kohlrabi and other summer vegetables from our fields
- Fresh greens and spring vegetables from Bankson Lake Farms: lettuce mixes, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, mushrooms, radishes, garlic scapes
- U-pick herbs
Faith in Flora will be here with fresh floral bouquets.
Below, our broccoli and cauliflower, fresh from the field.
Enjoy these treats from our bakery (and the smell when we are baking!):
- Shortcakes – Grab a 6-count package to go with your strawberries!
- Cinnamon Rolls – are back, find them on Saturdays and Sundays
- Strombolis (frozen, ready to bake) – assorted flavors in breakfast, traditional, and pizza styles
- Cookies – Assorted flavors you will surely enjoy!
- Muffins – A nice selection of flavors perfect for any time of the day
- Breads – assorted types plus hamburger and hotdog buns
- Donuts – Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry – only available Saturdays and Sundays
- Yeast Ring donuts – assorted sprinkles and googly eyes – only available Saturdays and Sundays
- Fruit pies (frozen, ready to bake) – Apple, Dutch Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Pumpkin, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
Please contact us if you want to preorder any of our baked goods.
Our stromboli maker Moe has returned from a wonderful vacation and has been making stromboli’s for the past two days to restock our freezer. All your favorites are now back! This Friday she will be making her famous focaccia bread from our fresh tomatoes and vegetables!
Maple syrup products, honey, jams and jellies, salsas, yogurt, and Jake’s meats. We also have assorted cheeses, crackers, chips, mustard, eggs, milk, granola, and more.
Yoder’s fry pies in your favorite flavors: Apple, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Red Raspberry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.
Happenings on the Farm
This week is a reminder that the days are long and the nights are short – and we have plenty of daylight hours for working should we choose to do so! There is much work to be done on a farm, but we also need our rest even though it is challenging falling asleep when the sunset is so late ….
Our work efforts these days are devoted to watering where we can, to keep everything growing. And worrying about the crops that we cannot water, like our orchards and vineyards that desperately need water to do their important work of making fruit. Like many of you, we always wonder why the weeds continue to thrive in drought conditions? This requires weeding by hand around our vegetable plants and around the apple tree trunks. It is a tireless job but will be rewarded when we harvest.
Below we are irrigating the strawberries and newly planted pumpkin field.
If you think that the strawberries this year are flavorful, you are correct. Dry conditions actually help make the flavor and sweetness more intense because less water ends up in the fruit, but the fruit continues to make sugar. You are going to experience the same effect with the upcoming sweet cherries and blueberries crops if our rain dance does not work!
Below, our greenhouse cukes are growing strong!
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local. Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a berry nice day!