12147 Corey Lake Road, Three Rivers, Michigan (269) 244-5690

Monthly Archive: December 2014

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a lovely holiday and our best wishes to you for the new year!  Here at the farm, we were blessed with good food, time with family, and a little free time to curl up in front of the fire with a pile of books (and occasionally a seed catalog).

We’re looking forward to the new year. We’re also taking advantage of the slower pace of winter to reflect on the past year as we begin to shape our plans for 2015 and hopefully many more years to come. Given that our customers are the reason we do everything we do, its always helpful to hear your voice directly.  So in a few weeks we will be sending out a customer survey to ensure that our planning is on track and that we’re making you all happy.

As I have looked out the farm office window the past few days, it has been fun to watch the second and third generations working together on the hoop house construction. Becca is steering this project forward and is the knowledgeable person here, as she’s worked on several farms with high tunnels, hoop houses, and winter vegetable production. I look forward to learning along with you, our customers, how this will come together and work – but also can hardly wait for the first produce to come out of it.

While most people were waiting for last minute xmas gift deliveries, Becca was waiting on hoop house parts!

While most people were waiting for last minute gift deliveries, Becca was waiting on hoop house parts!

Denim was intrigued watching David and Becca set up the hoops

Denim was intrigued watching Cousin David and Becca bolt the frame pieces together.

David and Becca use some mechanical power to get the posts in the hard, frozen ground

David and Becca use some mechanical power to get the posts in the hard, frozen ground

The tomato plants will be planted next week for our greenhouse, so….that means we are about 135 days away before the first BLT! (Yes, we’re counting down already.) We hope for as many sunny days in January and February as we’ve had this December. That will help our tomatoes along – and keep our spirits bright.

Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s hoping for a 2015 that brings great growing weather, return customers, new vegetable varieties, donuts and pies coming out of the bakery once again, and many other great farm experiences for all of us to share.

Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards

New baby, many learnings and best wishes!

Exciting news! The fourth farm generation came into the world on December 11th, born to Michaela (my daughter-in-law and bakery manager) and Jay (my son, whom many of you know as a fixture at the farm). Emma-Grace Ann Kitzinger, 8 lbs and 7.1 ounces, is doing great along with her two tired parents. But with both sets of grandparents living on the same road within walking distance, we’ll all be helping to make those first few days at home a bit easier. Congratulations Michaela and Jay!

Welcome home, Emma-Grace.

Welcome home, Emma-Grace. We’re so excited you’re here.

We’re a bit behind getting an update out to you so this is a late thank you to all of you who came out for Thanksgiving pies and especially those that purchased Becca’s new hard cider. She could hardly keep it bottled and labeled fast enough. We’re looking forward to a wider variety of ciders and wines when we open next year. She’s got a ruby-red cherry cider that’s absolutely delicious, so look forward to that.

While we are closed for the season, we are happy to make appointments for those of you who want to get our brandy, polecat wines, or hard cider for gifts or just for yourself.  We still have plenty. We also have some frozen take-and-bake apple pies if you’re looking for a nice easy treat. Either email us (coreylakeorchards@gmail.com) or call us at 269-244-5690.

Learn, think, grow, improve…..This past week, four of us from the farm spent three long days of learning at the annual Great Lakes Expo held in Grand Rapids. Patti spent her time in the baking workshops so we can’t wait to see what new things the bakery will be trying next year. My cousin David covered the apple, cherry, grape and plum workshops to understand what’s new and where potential problems could be occurring, Becca ran frantically between hard cider, organic growing, and food safety sessions, and I spent my time in the agritourism/direct marketing track, coming home quite giddy about some things we hope to put in place here to make your experience even better. One of our favorite things about this week is connecting with all of our fellow farmers to share experiences, both good and bad, which keep us all inspired to continue to do what we all love doing. Even better when you can share all of this during wine and cider tasting.

Happenings on the farm:  The unexpected fall-like weather is allowing us to get at things we couldn’t with the early snow fall. So finally we are getting everything put away for the winter and making really good progress with pruning our Concord grapes. We’re also about to start construction on a new high tunnel. Also called a hoophouse, this is an unheated greenhouse-like structure that will allow us to extend our season so we can have vegetables mostly year round. We’re hoping to get it up before the ground freezes so that we can have plenty of lettuce, spinach, turnips, radishes, and other goodies ready in time for asparagus season.

Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful, restful, safe holiday season!

-Beth and everyone at Corey Lake Orchards