This Saturday is the Autumnal Equinox, marking that Fall has truly arrived!  Looking ahead, it should be sunny and warm – the perfect fall weekend to get out, pick apples, drink cider, and enjoy apple cider donuts of course!  And the giant pumpkins have arrived!  Make sure to include some “outdoor” time with the family this weekend.

Our freshly pressed apple cider is now available!  See information below on several changes this year.

Michigan is having a banner apple year with record breaking crop volumes.  This is the year to include an “apple a day” in your diet, make applesauce, and dig out those favorite family apple recipes.  We grow 26 varieties of fall apples and can help you find the one(s) perfect for you!  Thank you for supporting our family farm and buying our apples!

Our Days and Hours for Fall
Fall Hours
9 am to 6 pm                Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
9 am to 4 pm                Sunday
Closed                          Monday, Wednesday

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

Looking Ahead ….

  • Fall apples – various varieties ripening through October, (already picked and u-pick)
  • Grapes – starting September 28 (already picked and u-pick)
  • Canning tomatoes – we are still picking some!
  • U-Pick pumpkins – starting sometime in October
  • Fall Color Tour – Sunday, October 8, 11 am to 4 pm
Fresh Apple Cider
It’s apple cider time!  Many of you have patiently waited and the wait is over!  Our cider is $9 a gallon, the same price as last year.

There are several changes this year.

  • We are having our cider custom pressed and bottled in Coloma this year and therefore, our cider has a different label.  In the custom press, they use 100% of the apples that we blend for that batch.  We feel the blend is what is important in giving you the flavor you have come to know and love from us.
  • The cider is UV treated, but not pasteurized.  Ultra-violet (UV) treatment is commonly used in the food industry to make products safer, while not affecting the flavor like pasteurization can do.  Many organizations were not able to use the cider we made here for school groups and other needs due to it not having the safety of the UV treatment.  Now you can!
  • The UV treatment also extends the shelf life of the cider.  When you buy a gallon, you have several weeks to drink it.  And if you still can’t drink it, freeze it.  Cider freezes very well – just try one of our apple cider slushies!
  • Pints have been replaced by 12-ounce, single serve bottles.
  • You still need to keep the cider refrigerated.
U-Pick Apples 
Our u-pick apple orchard is open for selected apple varieties.  This week you can pick:

  • Cortland
  • Crimson Gala
  • Empire
  • Golden Supreme
  • Jonamac
  • Jonathan
  • McIntosh
  • Mollie’s Delicious
  • Mutsu
  • Spartan

Each week as more varieties get ready, they will be opened for picking.  This orchard has new varieties that we do not have in our original orchards, so sometimes a variety of apple is only available for U-Pick since this orchard is dedicated entirely to U-Pick.

(See apple descriptions at end of this newsletter).  We are picking in one of our newer orchards with smaller trees and lots of space, which everyone loves.  The apples are plentiful and easy to pick!  The orchard is open each day that the market is open, so consider picking during the week when there are less people.

You will be driving to the orchard, so please pull up by the market to get directions or send one person in for them (no need to get excited kids out of the car until they arrive in the orchard!!)

Check in at the market for picking bags and directions and kindly exit the orchard at least 30 minutes before the market closes.  Must pick a one peck minimum.  See details on our u-pick apple webpage.

Below several homeschooling families got together to pick apples and journal their experiences.

Apple Tee-Shirts for Fall 
The start of the apple picking season means apple picking shirts for the family!  We have an adorable one for the younger set as well as an adult shirt.
Picked Apples on the Market
Below are the apple varieties available on the market.  For the most current list, see the homepage of our website.

  • Blondee
  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonagold
  • JonaMac
  • McIntosh
  • Mollie’s Delicious
  • Nu-Red

Apple Seconds are now available for use in processing (making your own juice or sauce) or to feed animals.  We currently have Gala and JonaMac available for $5 a half bushel; they are already bagged.

Grapes for Juicing and Jelly
We grow both Niagara (white) and Concord (blue) seeded grapes for juice and jelly.  We have a good crop this year.  The season for each variety is about 3-4 weeks depending on the weather.  We encourage you to pick your own!

Grapes are running late this year as they simply have not gained their sweetness, which is so important to make good juice/jelly.  We measure their sweetness by their brix level.  Right now both colors of grapes are in the 12-13 brix; 16 brix is ideal.  So, we apologize for the delay in opening, but their ultimate quality and sweetness is what we use for that decision.

We will open the vineyards starting Thursday, September 28.  Please go online or call us to make a reservation for a day and time.  The link to the online reservation system will be posted on the home page of our website by early next week.

U-Pick Pricing
Our pricing is on a sliding scale – the more you pick the less you pay per pound.  Discounts are given for 21-99 pounds and over 100 pounds.  We encourage picking in 5-gallon plastic buckets or half bushel baskets (both hold 20 pounds) for easier handling in the vineyard and quantifying the amount you picked.

Take advantage of our grape-apple special!  Pick 100 or more pounds of grapes and get $6 off the price of a bushel(s) of apples.

More information such as pricing, what to bring, and days/hours open can be found on our grape u-pick webpage.

What is on the Market this Week

  • Apples
  • Cider
  • Fall Squash: Butternut, Buttercup, Spaghetti and Acorn
  • Speciality Squash: Baked Potato, Mashed Potato, Carnival, Sweet Dumpling, and Delicata
  • Tomatoes: red and green
  • Onions
  • Peppers: various types, hot and mild
  • U-pick herbs
  • From Bankson Lake Farms: lettuce mixes, spinach, kale, arugula, mushrooms, carrots, radishes, celery, and garlic bulbs
Canning Tomatoes
The canning tomatoes are so nice that we are still picking them!  And finally, we have tons of Roma tomatoes coming in if you need some.  Please give us a call at 269-244-5690 and we can set some aside for you.  Also, please bring containers like boxes, tubs, etc. to take them home in.  While we may have tomatoes until the first frost, after apple picking starts it is difficult for us to maintain the field and pick them.

Our onions are now cured, and we are taking them down and bagging them.  You can find them in 5-pound and 10-pound average bags to stock your pantries!  We also have shallots.

Floral Bouquets.  Faith from Flora will be here with floral bouquets.

U-Pick.  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.

Fall Ornamentals 
We love decorating with fall ornamentals and hope you do also!  We have a nice variety of items in various shapes and colors: specialty squash, gourds, corn stalks, mini hay bales, mums, and decorative pumpkins.  Now is the time to enjoy the colors of the season!

Alcohol Products
We offer 8 different wines, 9 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.  Hard ciders currently in stock are: Cherry, Dry, Sweet, Peach Pear, Semi-Sweet, Blueberry, and Maple.

Have you tried our Unwinding Rose wine?  It is a white zinfandel Rose’ style that is semi-dry and fruity with berry character that brightens any occasion.  Chill a bottle, open, and let the unwinding begin!

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

  • Apple Crisp
  • Donuts – Buttermilk, Apple Cider, and Pumpkin
  • Yeast Ring donuts – assorted sprinkles and googly eyes

Anytime we are open:

  • Pumpkin Rolls (find in the refrigerator)
  • 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 including pumpkin.
  • 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.

Locally harvested maple syrup and honey, and Amish-made jams, jellies, and salsas.  We also have assorted cheeses, crackers, chips, hummus, mustard, eggs, milk, granola, salad dressings, and more.

Come get the new “Spookley the Square Pumpkin: The “First Day of School” book.  We also have the traditional Spookley book and plush, and the Katie Ladybug book.

We have lots of fall gifts including new pieces by our local artists.
Save the Date!  Fall Color Tour
The Fall Color Tour is Sunday, October 8, from 11 am to 4 pm.  The event is sponsored by the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce and has a variety of stops; we are one of them.  We will have vendors, happy hour, food trucks, live music, activities, and more!  See schedule of events in our event page.
Happenings on the Farm
The Giant Pumpkins have Arrived! 
We have three giant pumpkins to see with whopping weights of 527, 468, and 401 pounds!  These were grown in Three Rivers by Keith Whitford.

While checking out the pumpkins, take a moment to read “Spookley, the Square Pumpkin” (on storyboards next to the pumpkins) with your children.

More Apple Donations!
It is important to us to share our bounty with those in need and to support our local community.  Each week, we donate bins of apples to 12 Baskets Food Pantry.  Below their staff is bagging them for distribution to their clients.
We also donated apples to Howardsville Christian School in Marcellus for their upcoming fundraiser dinner.  It takes a village!
Fall Apples – What’s Currently Available
Please note that many of these apples are only available on the market or as u-pick.  Check respective sections above for a list of what is available in u-pick or the market.
     Blondee.  A medium sized apple, crispy and crunchy, white flesh slow to brown, sweet, and low acid.  Great for eating or baking.  Part of the Gala family.
     Cortland.  A hint of tartness makes this a great earing, cooking, and baking variety.  A descendent of the McIntosh.  It’s a bit sweeter than its ancestor and juices really well.
     Crimson Gala.  An intense-coloring strain of Gala with a bright, cherry red color.  Has the characteristics of a Gala; great for eating and cooking.
     Empire.  Red with a few white tints, creamy white interior.  They are juicy and sweet.  A cross between Red Delicious and McIntosh.
     Gala.  A crisp, snappy bite over mellow sweetness.  It is Michigan’s 3rd most popular apple!  Very versatile, great for eating or cooking.
     Golden Supreme: A medium sized apple with a sweet juicy flavor. It is good for drying, baking, and making cider. It can be kept for months in refrigerated storage.
     Honeycrisp. A people’s favorite.  It is crisp with an excellent sweet flavor and a “bite” to it.  Great for eating fresh or using in salads.  Keeps only several weeks.
     JonaMac.  A good cooking or eating apple.  It has the best qualities of a Jonathon and a McIntosh apple, resembles the McIntosh in flavor.  It is a favorite for applesauce.
     Jonathan.  Pretty and popular, used for fresh eating and cooking, a favorite for apple butter and taffy apples.
     McIntosh. An old time favorite.  An aromatic, juicy, sweet, and tangy tart.  The tender white flesh and distinctive flavor makes it great for applesauce.
     Mollie’s Delicious.  A crisp, sweet, and juicy apple with white flesh, originated from Golden Delicious.  Great for fresh eating.
     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.
     Nu-Red.  A crisp, tart, hard, crunchy apple.  An improved version of a Red Rome.  Good for fresh eating, applesauce, pies, and baking.
     Spartan.  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.
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!