We are quite excited to have a sunflower field again!  There is nothing quite so lovely and inspiring as meandering through a field of sunflowers.  It gives one time to think, reflect, and simply enjoy the full beauty of nature.  To fully enjoy the experience, we suggest you stroll rather than walk and frequently stop.  Even sit a bit.  Take in the many sunflower faces looking at you!  And grab your phone as you don’t want to leave the field without some photos of you with the sunflowers!

We just have one field this year so don’t delay!  They will not stay in bloom for long.  See details below.

This Saturday is our last yoga class for the year, and we have a special session from 9:30 to 10:30 in the sunflower field.  Lucas King, manager of So Flexi yoga studio, is moving the normal 8:30 yoga class held at the studio to the farm to take advantage of the sunflowers.  He will be the instructor and all So Flexy members are welcome to attend for free.

Thanks to everyone who attended this year whether just once or each week.  We hope you feel and look better!  A very special thanks to our instructors from So Flexy Yoga in Three Rivers.

This weekend we are introducing our newest hard cider – Cherry.  Though not cherry season, what’s not to like about a cool, refreshing cherry cider?  Everyone is so enamored with the tart cherry slushy we introduced this year that we decided to take that same great cherry tartness and bottle it into a cider.  See details below.

Our Days and Hours
Our Days and Hours
–Open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9 am to 6 pm
–Open Sundays from 9 am to 4 pm
–Open Tuesdays from 9 am to 1 pm
–Closed Mondays and Wednesdays

Now open Tuesdays, limited hours.  Many of you have told us that you wish we were open more on weekdays.  We listened and with our current supply of fresh, perishable produce we have decided to open on Tuesdays, from 9 am to 1 pm, for an indefinite period of time.  This gives many of you a chance to pick up your bulk orders to get working on canning and freezing!

Watch our website homepage for updates or call us.  (269) 244-5690.

Looking Ahead ….
–Fall apples – most likely starting early September (already picked and u-pick)
–Apple cider – usually starting mid-September
–Grapes – typically starting late September (already picked and u-pick)
–Blueberries, peaches, and sweet corn – the season is ending soon, we will try to have them through Labor Day.

Our Sunflower Field Experience
A visit to our sunflower field is guaranteed to pick up your day and positively set your frame of mind!

  • 9:30 am to 5:30 pm – Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays
  • 9:30 am to 3:30 pm – Sundays
  • 9:30 am to 12:30 pm – Tuesdays
  • Closed Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Please call ahead or check the website before traveling to make sure the sunflowers are in bloom and the field is open.

Admission Fees and Pricing

  • $5 for ages 11 years and up
  • $3 for accompanied children 37 inches through 10 years old
  • No charge for children up to 36 inches tall on our Sunflower measuring stick
  • Additional blooms are $2 each or $1.50 each for 6 or more
  • Zinnias and other flowers from our Terrace Garden are 50 cents per stem, please ask about this at check in
  • Please check in at the market for directions to the field, pay the admission fee, and receive a receipt that will serve as your “ticket” and an informational sheet.

Admission for each ticket holder includes:

  • A complimentary sunflower to take home.  A cutting tool, bag, and water provided.
  • Walk from the market up the hill past our terrace garden, continue along the marked path beside the grape vineyard and perennial flowering bush fields.  Many flowers in both gardens to stop and admire!
  • Walk through the meandering pathway through the field – a long and short path!
  • The walk from the market through the long path is just less than a mile.
  • General agricultural educational information posted along the route.  Photo opportunities throughout the field with sunflowers and various vintage and unique props, including tractors
  • Picnic tables, vintage tables, child’s play area, and pop-up tents for shade (wind permitting!)
  • Parking near the field and priority parking for those who need to park closer.

See our webpage for more information on what to bring, caring for your complimentary sunflower, and our rules.  See the end of this newsletter on how we created our field.

Professional photography sessions are available for a fee and photographers will have access to the field during public hours as well as evenings and after hours.  See webpage for more information.

Sunflower Canvas Paint and Sip 
Take home some blooms that won’t wilt in this recycled painting workshop with iconic late summer Sunflowers – created with bubble wrap and recycled materials!  (Due to its size, it might not be completely dry when you take it home).

Join us on Sunday, September 3 from 1 to 3 pm
Cost is $37 per person
, leave with a beautiful large canvas you can be proud of!

Open to adults and students 16 and over.  Budding artists aged 12 to 15 may participate when accompanied by a registered adult.  Class size is limited.

All supplies are included for this painting workshop taught by Kalamazoo artist Anna Barnhart.  (Wear a shirt you can paint in).  Hard ciders, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks will be available as well as snack items while you work!

Explore your creativity and have some fun!  Register by calling the market at 269-244-5690 or online through the link below.  (If registering through Facebook, press and hold, versus clicking the link.)  Registration link – https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0C44AAA82FA0FDCE9-painting

We currently have Crest Haven and Coral Star peaches, both freestone peaches are excellent for fresh eating, cooking, canning, and freezing.  They are available by the bushel, half bushel, peck, half peck, and quart.  If you are interested in bushels or half bushels, it helps if you can call us in advance (269-244-5690) so we can be sure to have them ready and held for you.  Also, please bring containers like boxes, tubs, etc. to get the peaches home in.

Keep in mind that peaches are picked firm to not damage them.  Just lay them out on your counter until they are soft.  As soon as they are soft, please refrigerate.

These are our last two varieties.  We anticipate having peaches through Labor Day weekend.

Sweet Corn
Our excellent sweet corn is still in season.  It is a very sweet, bi-color corn, perfect for fresh eating, canning, and freezing.

Sweet corn is available on the market by the ear, half dozen (white bags), and dozen (clear bags).  We also have bushel bags (5 doz.) available with advance notice.  Please call 269-244-5690 if you’d like us to make a bushel for you.  We hope to have it through Labor Day weekend depending on the weather.

Summer Apples
Our Jersey Mac apples are the first good eating apple of the summer; they have the best characteristics of a MacIntosh apple and pack a tart/sweet punch.  Great to have on hand but keep refrigerated; summer apples will only keep for 1-2 weeks.  We have samples to try!

Earlilblaze apples are now ready.  We are one of the few farms that grow this great summer apple.  It is firm and tart, and great for eating, baking and applesauce.  It is one of only two apples that we use in our bakery because it makes such a great pie.  (The second variety is a fall apple – Northern Spy.)

Early Fall Apples
Zestar (first photo).  A relatively new variety that has the crispness of a fall apple.  It tastes sweet and tangy, with accents of brown sugar, and is known for its unique flavor.  The apple is best used for fresh eating, in a variety of baked goods, sauces, desserts, and salads.  It can be stored for up to two months.

Spartan (second photo).  This apple is a cross between a Macintosh and an unknown variety.  It is a bit smaller in size, has a crisp white flesh that is aromatic, juicy, and crisp-tart.  They are good for fresh eating, baking, cooking, and juicing.

Bulk Quantities for Canning and Freezing
We have contacted the people on our sign-up lists for canning tomatoes, sweet corn, and green beans.  If we did not reach you in person and you still want some, please give us a call at 269-244-5690.

  • Green beans (half bu. minimum)
  • Sweet corn (bushel minimum, 5 doz.)
  • Canning tomatoes (half bushel minimum)
  • Roma tomatoes (half bushel minimum) – still contacting people
  • Bell peppers (half bushel minimum) – still contacting people
  • Specialty peppers (quarter bushel minimum)
  • Pickling cukes (peck minimum) – still contacting people

The heat is bringing on lots of tomatoes.  Now is the time to get them!  Call us for more information at 269-244-5690.

Join us for ‘Yoga in the Sunflowers’ – last class this year!
This Saturday is our last yoga class for the year and we have a special session from 9:30 to 10:30 in the sunflower field.  Lucas King, manager of So Flexy yoga, will be teaching a beginner level vinyasa flow class with a beautiful view of the sunflowers.

The cost of the class is $15, but free if you are a member of So Flexy.  Please check in at the market for directions to the class.  We can’t wait to see all of you this Saturday to close out the summer yoga season!

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.

Enjoy our Spaces!
We invite you to sit and relax during our business hours at one of our areas by the market.  The spaces may vary at times depending on our space needs around produce harvest.  For years, people have been stopping by with friends and family to enjoy hanging out together at our vintage tables and chairs or picnic tables.  It is an ideal spot to enjoy a beverage or our many easy-to-grab food items on the market.  We have disposable table service available for your convenience.

This time of year with so much produce coming in you may have to share the space with buckets of produce!  Just part of the ambiance!

We can reserve table space for you upon request – just contact us.  If you are coming with a group, letting us know in advance is helpful.  Bring your friends, family, weekend visitors, and come on over!

Alcohol Products 
No Wine and Hard Cider Sampling on Saturdays
We will no longer be offering our wine and hard cider sampling event on the market.  We are transitioning to the fall season and our breezeway is now home to bulk produce orders and upcoming apple storage.  We thank you for stopping by to try out, ask questions, and learn more about our various alcohol products.  Watch the newsletters for when we may have another sampling event.

Alcohol Products
We have 8 different wines, 8 different hard ciders, and assorted fruit brandies.  Our products are made on-site in small batches.  We distill the brandies on the farm and use our fresh apple cider as the basis for fermenting our hard ciders.  Currently the hard ciders in stock are: Cherry, Dry, Sweet, Semi-Sweet, Blueberry, and Maple.

We have several red wines – pick up a bottle for National Red Wine Day, Monday, August 28.  Red wine ushers in the flavors of fall.  As the grapes ripen and signal a time for warmer sips, wine drinkers know reds mean tailgating and spicy foods.

This week we are excited to introduce our new Cherry hard cider!  We just finished bottling it in time for the weekend.  It is semi-sweet.  Fresh pressed Michigan cherry juice, sweet and tart, blends seamlessly with the acidity of apples.  A lightly sweet delight with a delicious fruit bite!

What is on the Market this Week

  • Fruit: apples, blueberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and watermelon
  • Tomatoes: red and green
  • Mini tomatoes: various shapes and colors
  • Vegetables: Zucchini, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, yellow squash, and onions
  • Peppers: various types, hot and mild
  • Sweet corn
  • From Bankson Lake Farms: lettuce mixes, spinach, kale, arugula, mushrooms, carrots, radishes, and garlic bulbs
  • U-pick herbs

Note: our watermelon, called Mini-Love, are really good this year.  They are seeded, are medium in size, easy to refrigerate and consume!

Faith in Flora will be here with fresh floral bouquets.

We have our first mums of the season!  They are being used to decorate the market area but are also for sale.

U-Pick Flowers
Flowers from our terrace garden are ready to be picked and taken to brighten up a room!  There are lots of lovely ones to choose from to make up your own bouquet.

Check in at the market for a container and directions.  U-pick bouquets are $10 each and include flowers and fillers (greenery).  We recommend that you pick your flowers in the morning when it is cooler; they will keep longer.

Baked Goods
Enjoy these treats from our bakery!
Saturdays and Sundays only:

  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Donuts – Buttermilk, Blueberry, and Cherry
  • Yeast Ring donuts – assorted sprinkles and googly eyes

Anytime we are open:

  • Blueberry-Zucchini bread – one of our signature items, seasonal, and very popular!
  • 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
  • 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.

Maple syrup products, honey, jams and jellies, salsas, yogurt, and Jake’s meats.  We also have assorted cheeses, cheese crumbles, crackers, chips, hummus, mustard, eggs, milk, granola, salad dressings, and more.

In time for sunflower season, we are offering Sunflower oil and Sunflower bread!

Yoder’s fry pies in your favorite flavors: Apple, Black Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Peach, Red Raspberry, and Strawberry Rhubarb.

Come get the new “Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The “First Day of School” book.  And when you purchase it, get a free three-dollar bag of apples of your choice.  A perfect gift for those just starting school along with a healthy school lunch or after-school snack!

Happenings on the Farm
Our grapes are still busy growing in size (first picture).  The Concord grapes are starting to color (second photo) through a process known as veraison.  Veraison is the “change of color of the grape berries”, the transition from berry growth to berry ripening.
Fall Apples
We have a good crop of apples this year and they are still growing.  Below are the Macintosh, gaining size and color.  Macs are typically ripe by mid-September.  We will also have u-pick apples this fall, watch our newsletter for updates.
Trying to Stay Cool!
We are bracing for these next few days and will have minimal harvesting in the morning before it gets too hot.  Everyone stay hydrated and safe.
Preparing the Sunflower Field

We did our first Sunflower Field in 2017 and every year our goal is to ensure that you leave with a beautifully selected sunflower, a smile on your face, and a thumbs up about the entire experience.

Here are pictures of some of the many tasks taken on by everyone here at the farm to cut, mow, weed, put props in place, and try to nail down the perfect details that will hopefully make it a special experience for you.

Cutting a path, clearing sunflowers from the path, mowing, moving props to the field.

Making signs.  Staging tractors, mums, and furniture.
What you can expect to see on the walk to the sunflower field
–Terrace garden
–Grape vineyard
–Blooming flower bushes like butterfly bushes and butterflies
–Fun photo props
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a safe and happy summer!