This year, look for September’s full moon, known as the Harvest Moon, on FridaySeptember 29.  Unlike other full moons, this full moon rises at nearly the same time—around sunset—for several evenings in a row, giving farmers extra evenings of moonlight and allowing them to finish their harvests before the frosts of fall arrive.

We probably should be harvesting our apples into the evenings, however, we are simply too tired!

This week we are opening the Concord and Niagara vineyards for u-pick.  Please see information below and remember you will need an appointment to pick.
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), season lasts 3 to 4 weeks
  • 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  • Pints have been replaced by 12-ounce, single serve bottles.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.

Who says you can’t sample an apple and apple cider at the same time?  Feel free to try our cider and our apples when you are here!

U-Pick Apples 
Our u-pick apple orchard is open for selected apple varieties.  Currently you can pick:

  • Cortland
  • Crimson Gala
  • Empire
  • Early Fuji (early variety)
  • Golden Supreme
  • Jonamac (few left)
  • Jonathan
  • McIntosh (few left)
  • Mutsu (few left)
  • Northern Spy
  • Red Delicious
  • Yellow Delicious
  • Snow Sweet
  • Spartan
  • Winter Banana

As more varieties ripen, they will be opened for picking.  This orchard has new varieties that we do not have in our original orchards, so sometimes an apple variety 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.

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.

  • Cortland
  • Gala
  • Honeycrisp
  • Jonagold
  • JonaMac
  • Jonathan
  • McIntosh
  • Northern Spy
  • Nu-Red
  • Yellow Delicious

Mutsu’s and Ida Reds are running late, probably not picking until sometime next week.  Below we picked our first box of Golden Delicious today!

We have samples of our apples if you would like to try a variety or two before purchasing, like our younger customer below.
Apple Seconds are now available for use in processing (making your own juice or sauce) or to feed animals.  We currently have various kinds available for $5 a half bushel; they are already bagged.

Grab and Go Apples.  We have taken our excess smaller apples and bagged them into quarter peck bags.  These “grab and go” apples are perfect to keep handy for when you need a quick apple – at the office, after school snack, lunches, sporting events – good for anytime eating.  They are $3.50 a bag, a $1 off our $4.50 regular price.

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!

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 in the Updates section.

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.

Already Picked Grapes
We have Concord and Niagara grapes already picked on the market ranging from small baskets to bushels.  You can also call us at (269) 244-5690 to preorder bushels and half bushels.

What is on the Market this Week

  • 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, radishes, and garlic bulbs

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.

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 have a nice variety of fall ornamentals 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!

Below we found a “double-pumpkin” on the market perfect for these twins!

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.

If you enjoy a semi-dry red wine, you’ll like our Market Red.  It’s a semi-dry red, best served chilled while chilling with your friends and family.

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.

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
Apples, Apples, Apples
With our large crop of apples this year, we are working to share our bounty with schools, students, and food bank organizations.  If your organization is in need of apples, please contact us.

Beth and Brenda delivered a half bushel of apples to each of the Norton Elementary (which they attended when growing up) school classrooms.  Below are several photos of apple eaters in the classrooms!

Apples for Students.  If you would like to purchase apples for your child’s classroom, we are bagging what we call “school” apples, small to medium size, for $12 a half bushel.

Apples are the perfect thing when it is your turn to provide the treats or snacks at soccer games, band practices and other sporting events.  Let us know if you are purchasing a half bushel for this purpose and we will give you $4 off per half bushel bag.

Below a load of apples is headed to Constantine Public Schools Food Services.

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.
     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.
Early Fuji.  An early variety with an incredibly sweet flavor, low acid content, and crisp.  Excellent all-purpose use for snacking, baking, 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.
     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”.
     Nu-Red.  A crisp, tart, hard, crunchy apple.  An improved version of a Red Rome.  Good for fresh eating, applesauce, pies, and baking.
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.
     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.
     Snow Sweet. Has a bronzed red blush and crisp crunch. Its flavor is a rich sweet, buttery flavor with a bit of tartness to balance it out. The flesh is slower to oxidize than many varieties, so it can last a bit longer when raw.  Best used for fresh eating.
Yellow Delicious.  A gingery-smooth, sweet taste under a thin skin. It is the most popular yellow apple, good eaten fresh, baked or cut in salads.  Makes a nice apple sauce and many people use for canning pie filling.
Winter Banana.  A large yellow apple with a pink blush.  Crispy, juicy, sweet, and aromatic with a tropical scent.  Used for fresh eating.  Careful – it bruises easily.
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!