A New Year is Upon Us!

With the holidays behind us, we are back to work at Corey Lake Orchards!  We welcome the new year, new hope, and new opportunities of 2021.

So often folks ask us what we do at the farm during the winter when we are closed.  We keep surprisingly busy!  We maintain a small, but critical crew for the winter here at CLO.  Beth is working on the farm, Brenda is working remotely in Florida, and with the pandemic neither of us are going anywhere.  We stay in close contact working on many tasks that have to be completed before you see us in the spring.  In the next few weeks, we are going to give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes on our farm.

Pruning the Grapevines

We finished apple pruning in December and have now moved on to grapes.  Pruning the grapes is our largest outdoor winter job since we grow about 50 acres.  Each vine must be pruned by hand.  When workers are in the vineyard, you can hear the snip/snip/snip as they cut and clip out the old vines, leaving the best vines for this coming year.  Hearing the sound of clippers in the quiet of the vineyard is reassuring knowing that with each vine falling to the ground, we are getting closer to getting this huge task done.  Our amazing crew can be found working most days, even despite the weather swings that are part of “Pure Michigan.”

Here is a before and after picture of trimmed grape vines …

…and why we must wait until after an ice storm to be able to prune.

Community Caring and Involvement

We are still sending apples to food banks weekly, as well as volunteering time on boards we serve on.  With our local Three Rivers students returning to in-school learning this week, we made and delivered “care packages” of fresh produce and other goodies for the teachers and staff at our neighborhood Norton Elementary School.  We are so appreciative of our teachers who have and continue to face multiple challenges this academic year.  Please show your appreciation and thanks to teachers everywhere every chance you get.

Tomato Plants are Underway!

Tomato plants are started!  Our first planting for every season is our greenhouse tomatoes.  These plants were started for us the last week of December by Schram’s greenhouse in Portage.  They will be arriving to our greenhouse in the middle of February to start growing those special tomatoes we all love.  Yes, we are on track for a BLT in May!  Isn’t it nice to see something green and growing?

Thank You for Your Support!

Corey Lake Orchards received the “2020 People’s Choice Award for Best Farmer’s Market” from the Three Rivers Commercial-News!  Thank you to all our loyal customers for shopping local and supporting us this past year.  It was an unusual year for retail and we appreciated your patience and understanding with the changes brought about from COVID-19.

However, it is Still Winter

With no official starting time at the farm, it has been nice to stay curled up under a blanket a bit later in the morning, or simply relax in front of the fireplace.  This picture of the January 14 sunrise does prove that we have not altered our starting time too drastically.  We really enjoy the quietness and peacefulness of Winter.

From everyone at Corey Lake Orchards,
Happy Winter and Happy New Year!