Mother Nature has us using a new word – “Sprinter” – to describe this spring…which seems to be stuck in winter mode. “Sprinter” has us going through a range of emotions–none of which we could find an emoji for! We’re pleased that the cold weather has held back bud development in all of the fruit, which will delay the bloom time when there should be reduced risk of damaging frosts. We are less pleased with the wet and cold soil delaying planting of vegetables and other field work. The official growing degree day charts which farmers use to judge when to plant and plant development has us at least one week to ten days later than what has been a normal Michigan spring. But we all know there really isn’t a normal anymore when it comes to Pure Michigan weather. So we’ll keep you posted as everything develops.
So, despite Mother Nature being confused, we’re moving forward and preparing to open for the 2018 season on Friday, May 4th with our normal daily hours of 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week, including holidays!
We typically have asparagus and rhubarb ready when we open, but check back with us as it will depend on the weather if they are ready in time. (Get used to hearing that phrase again!)
Bedding plants: We will be stocking vegetables, flower annuals, and tomato plants as they are ready for planting, along with seed potatoes and onion sets. So as you think about your garden needs, plan on getting your plants here. We hope to have most of our plants available on opening weekend.
Straw: We have extra bales of straw available for your mulching needs. They are $6/bale or 4 bales for $20. If you need these before we officially open, just call us and we’ll set up a time to meet you. 269-244-5690.
The bakery will also open for the year on Friday, May 4th, and yes, they will be making donuts that day. (Reminder: we make our cake donuts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.) More to come on the offerings they will have for this opening weekend and what they are planning for Mother’s Day Weekend so that you can place your orders for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday May 13th.
Next week we will give you a line up of the other local and Michigan made products that we will be carrying again this year, along with some new ones. And some ideas on Mother’s Day gifts!
We are currently harvesting lettuce, spinach, green onions, carrots, and kale in our certified organic hoophouse. You can pick any of that up at World Fare in downtown Three Rivers (the fridge is in the back) or you can call us to make an appointment to pick it up here. We harvest and restock the fridge every week!
Becca has been locked away in the cidery for many hours this winter and spring and will be introducing some interesting new ciders when we open as well as we will have some of your favorites from last year, including: Brunch, Ginger, Hometown Hero, Currant/Cacao, Sweet, Semi-Sweet, and Dry ciders. We also have our full line of Hubbard’s Brandy.
Our cider is also available at The Local in Centreville, The Riviera in Three Rivers, Dussel’s Farm Market in Cassopolis, and Craft Beer Cellar in Grand Rapids. We will re-open our cider and brandy tastings on Memorial Day Weekend.
Happenings on the farm:
We got our potatoes planted on Friday before the rain hit. On hand to help us plant was our new employee, Austin, who comes to us with extensive experience from his own family’s potato farm. Austin will be primarily helping us with maintenance and IPM work (Integrated Pest management) this year, and probably will get pulled into just about everything else here with his desire to learn about the full cycle of fruit and vegetable production all the way to a customer’s plate. Welcome Austin!
If you drive by, you’ll see the straw has been spread on the strawberry fields, which serves as a weed mulch, keeps the berries cleaner by not having them touch the soil, and makes it much more comfortable for those who get right down on their hands and knees when they pick!
The asparagus field has gone through the spring preparation steps of being mowed down and lightly disked…..now just awaiting warm temperatures to get it to push through the soil.
The greenhouse tomatoes are coming along great! As soon as they turn red, it’s BLT time!
We’re into spring pruning this week, finishing the blueberries, plums, cherries and pears, taking advantage of these extra days when we can’t be planting in the field.
The plans for the next few weeks are to prepare the fields and plant, plant, plant.
Once again we will be sharing more about the happenings here on the farm via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so find us there and enjoy the days along with us.
Looking forward to seeing everyone soon! Everyone at Corey Lake Orchards