This week is a very busy time on our family farm.  We are deep into grape and apple harvest with many u-pickers as well as our crew picking these main crops.  Please drive slow on the roads around our farms, thank you.

This Sunday is the Fall Color Tour festival!  This annual event is sponsored by the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce.  We are one of several stops that day and hope that you will stop by to see us.  The market opens at 9 am but the festival activities do not start until 11 am.  Both the market and the Fall Color tour activities end at 4 pm.

There will be lots to do that day.  We’ll have arts and crafts vendors, live music, a hard cider and wine happy hour, food trucks, face painting, hot donuts, cider, the Michigan Apple Queen, lots of produce and more on the market, and lots and lots of apples!

See our festival webpage for the full schedule of events.

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 – Already picked and u-pick, please make an appointment to pick
  • Fall Color Tour – Sunday, October 8, 11 am to 4 pm
U-Pick Pumpkins
Our u-pick pumpkin patch is now open!  You and your family can go to into the field and pick your own.  Be prepared this weekend for some mud after our full day of rain.  You can also pick one from our pumpkin display by the parking lot.
U-Pick Apples 
Our u-pick apple orchard is open for selected apple varieties.  Currently you can pick:

  • Cameo
  • Empire
  • Fuji
  • Golden Supreme (few left)
  • Ida Red
  • Jonathan
  • Northern Spy
  • Red Delicious
  • Red Jonagold
  • Yellow Delicious
  • Winecrisp

We have been thrilled at how many of you have come out to pick apples this year in our newer u-pick orchard, one that has many varieties of apples.  Because so many of you have come to pick, we are about 80% through picking this orchard.  So, depending on how many get picked this weekend, this could be our last weekend for normal apple picking.

(See apple descriptions at end of this newsletter).  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.

Orchard Gleaning.  We plan to open the orchard for gleaning in a few weeks after most of our orchards have been picked.  Gleaning is our end of season “cleanup” where you can pick what is left on the tree or on the ground at a reduced price.  Watch our newsletters for more information.

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
  • Golden Delicious
  • Honeycrisp
  • Ida Red (few)
  • Jonagold (few)
  • JonaMac
  • Jonathan
  • McIntosh (few)
  • Mutsu (few)
  • Northern Spy
  • Nu-Red
  • Red Delicious

Check our apple estimator sheet for the status of your favorite variety.  It may not be ripe yet!  We have samples of our apples if you would like to try a variety 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.

Below are more golden delicious we picked this week.

And what could be more delicious that a double yellow delicious?
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.
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!

The vineyards are open for u-pick.  Please go online or call us to make a reservation for a day and time.  The link to the online reservation system is posted on the home page of our website in the Updates section.

Below a tired but happy family returns from picking grapes!
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.

Below, are some we picked before the rain to sell on the market.

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
  • Vegetables: cauliflower, yellow squash, zucchini
  • U-pick herbs
  • From Bankson Lake Farms: lettuce mixes, spinach, kale, arugula, mushrooms, carrots, 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.

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!

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.

Do you like a drink that is neither sweet nor dry, but right in the middle?  Try our Semi-Sweet Hard Cider.  It’s pure apple, no other flavorings added.

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.  Meet and talk with many of these artists at the Fall Color Tour!

Michigan Apple Crunch Day
Thursday, October 12 is the Michigan Apple Crunch, an annual event hosted by MSU Extension and the Michigan Farm to Institution Network to promote National Farm to School Month and celebrate the iconic Michigan Apple.  Thousands of educational institutions and organizations across the state register to crunch into a local Michigan apple on Crunch day.  Apples provide a great way to get local schools and institutions excited about supporting local farmers and they are a nutritious snack that is available in Michigan eleven months of the year.

We are delighted that the students at Constantine Public Schools are participating in Crunch day this year!  If you are with a school, register your institution at the link.

Apples for Students.  You can also purchase apples to donate to your local school.  These special bags are $10 each.  Call ahead so we can have them ready for you if you are doing them for an entire school or organization.
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.

Cameo.  A firm, crisp, and sweet apple that resists browning.  Great for fresh eating, applesauce, or baking.  Keeps well in your refrigerator.
     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.
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.
     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.
     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.
Red Jonagold.  Very hard and tart, large and aromatic.  Cross between a Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
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.
Winecrisp.  A dessert apple.  Large, deep-red, juicy, sweet, firm flesh.  Keeps for months.

Thank you for your continued support and for buying local.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!