Shop this Sunday from 11 am to 2 pm

Even though our Pure Michigan weather continues to zig and zag between hot and cold, and sadly two mornings with freezing temperatures, the asparagus and rhubarb continues its springtime push upward from the soil.  We were able to harvest the available stalks of both yesterday before they froze, and hopefully will pick more between the rains coming this weekend.  This week of cold pushed back all of our vegetable planting, so we’re looking forward to the warmer days coming.

We will open the market this Sunday (not Saturday), April 28, from 11 am to 2 pm with asparagus, rhubarb, spring vegetables, and more available for sale.  Yes, it is supposed to rain, but at least it will be a warm rain, heading towards 80 degrees that day.  Please note that we are not officially open for the season yet and are still setting up the market for the year.  It’s a work in progress!

If you can’t make it on Sunday, please just call us (269-244-5690) and we can arrange for you to pick up produce at a different time.

Season Opening Schedule

We plan to open for the season starting Thursday, May 2.  Note days open and hours for May:
Thursday – 9 am to 6 pm
Friday – 9 am to 6 pm
Saturday – 9 am to 6 pm
Sunday – 9 am to 4 pm
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – Closed

Children’s May Day Basket Activity, Sunday, 12:30-2pm
Children are invited to make a potted pansy or marigold to give to someone as a May Day gift.  They start by decorating the pot, selecting a flower, planting it, adding a gift tag, and a bead chain to hang it.  May Day flower gifts are a surprise to be shared with someone according to the tradition below.

Sunday, April 28, 12:30 to 2 pm
Free activity for children.  Limited supplies, first come, first serve

Sue is getting the pansies ready for planting this Sunday, and an example of the May Day basket that children can make.

What is May Day?
May Day, celebrated on May 1st, is a traditional spring holiday in many cultures to mark the return of spring.  May Day has its roots in astronomy and is close to the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice!What are May Baskets? 
These are small baskets or cones filled with sweets or flowers that are traditionally left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.  This was popular in the 19th and 20th centuries but is not as well known today.  Louisa May Alcott wrote about May Basket Day in the late 1800s.  In the 1920s, some bold schoolchildren hung a May basket for First Lady Grace Coolidge on the White House door.

Beth and Brenda used to make May baskets (many May Days ago!) to give to the neighbors near the farm.  They took a piece of heavier paper, rolled it into the shape of a cone, and secured it with tape.  Then they filled it with wildflowers from the woods and farm.  Dutchman’s Breeches, dandelions, and various shades of violets were the easiest to find.  They created a long handle, needed to hang the flower cone on someone’s door, by rolling up a strip of paper and stapling it onto the flower cone.  Then we knocked on the door (no doorbells then!) and hid while they came out and found it!  Sometimes it was an anonymous gift and sometimes we added a happy spring note.  So, we invite you to start this tradition in your own families if you haven’t!

On the Market
Asparagus and Rhubarb
Asparagus is limited to 1, 2 and 3-pound quantities right now as we wait for production to increase. (then we will sell in bulk quantities with no limit).  We want everyone to have a taste of Spring!  If you want to have us hold some for you for pickup, please call 269-244-5690.  Call us or follow us on Facebook for updates on asparagus availability.
The rhubarb is looking nice this year and would make an excellent pie or custard!
Bankson Lake Produce
Fresh spring vegetables – Just Lettuce, Spicy Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula, Radishes, Mushrooms, and CarrotsBaked Goods
Frozen baked goods in the freezer – “bake and enjoy” fruit pies and stromboli’s, and “just thaw and enjoy” donuts, apple crisp, and cookies.

For our opening weekend (May 2), we will have a limited amount of baked goods (cookies, muffins, and some breads) along with our frozen” bake and enjoy” pies and strombolis.  We will be adding additional items prior to Mother’s Day weekend (May 11/12).

We have our alcohol products stocked for you – wine, hard ciders, and spirits!

Our local artists have been bringing delightful Spring and Mother’s Day art and gift items to sell on the market.  Check out our displays of items we know Mom (and you!) will like.   Many of our artists have already delivered (more coming next week) so you can browse them this Sunday.

New this year we are carrying handcrafted candles made by Flowerfield Farmstead in Three Rivers.  These lovely candles are scented and include embedded dried flowers from their farm.

When we open on May 2, we will have a nice selection of hanging baskets from a local greenhouse in Portage available.  We have many of your favorites as well as some new ones!  Reminder, we are no longer carrying bedding plants (vegetables or flowers) as our longtime greenhouse supplier, Schram’s, is no longer in business.

What’s Happening on the Farm
Fruit Update
This past Tuesday was the “Pink Moon”, named for its timing to early springtime wildflowers.  Our pears and plums were still in bloom, and the apples were beginning to venture out.  And then we had freezing temperatures.  Time will tell if the freeze damaged this year’s apple crop.The apple blossoms are so beautiful with their pink and white coloring.  These are from the U-pick apple orchard that many of you have picked in the last couple years.
The Look of Spring
We are busily getting ready for our official opening of the year.  Maria has been busy making beautiful displays inside and around the market area.  The vintage firetruck has been reset for spring, a great place to stop and get a picture with the family!
Spring Planting
This week of cold weather pushed back our vegetable planting, so we’re looking forward to the warmer days coming hopefully this week.  Our plants want to get OUT of the greenhouse!  These tomatoes are growing like crazy and want to go to the field!
Thank you for your continued support and for buying local.  Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards wishes you a happy spring!