Current Happenings on the Farm

It is cold outside, and we did not need to see a groundhog lured out of a warm hibernation spot or another explanation of the polar vortex to tell us that!  Just our short walks between main farm buildings are fewer and quicker on these days.  The path from the farm office to the greenhouse is walked so often now, it never needs shoveling.

First Tomatoes of 2021 Being Planted

Yes, there are live, green, luscious-looking tomato plants in the greenhouse now, a May BLT date to be met!  However, our timing of starting up the greenhouse this week could not have been worse with this blitz of subzero days ahead of us, but out tomato plants, started in December, were oblivious to this concern and were ready to be transplanted into their pot homes for the season.

The plants traveled here from Schram’s greenhouse in Portage on Wednesday afternoon when the temperatures were above 32 degrees.  With the sun shining bright that afternoon, the greenhouse temperatures were in the balmy 80’s and the plants seemed right at home.  Everyone wanted to help make up the pots and get our fingers in the dirt for the first time this year!

After sunset, the greenhouse temperature did a 20 degree drop overnight, and we left the plants huddled together for a few days to acclimate.
This morning we completed the final transplant into their five-gallon plastic bag pot, and attached the string trellis so that it is ready to train the plants to grow tall and produce tasty tomatoes.
Now that they are planted, our main job for this week will be to check on them, worry about an erratic wind that could hurt the greenhouse, and make sure the furnaces are keeping up with the subzero temps.  Yes, a week coming of sleepless nights just like a new parents’ experience!

Seeds, Seeds, and Where are the Seeds?

This is the time of year when we typically order seeds, but the pandemic has changed all of that.  Fortunately, we started in early December as there are seed shortages and delayed shipping windows.  Our highest priority has been getting the seeds that we know and trust.  Over the years we have narrowed this to a few suppliers with specific varieties that we know will consistently produce a quality fruit or vegetable that our customers depend on us to have.

With the diversity of what we grow, getting all our seeds here is a huge task, only complicated by things that were sold out and so much already on back-order.  So, we wait impatiently for the day’s UPS and FedEx truck deliveries to see what they bring and “file” them in boxes organized by vegetable type.  In about one week, we will start our plantings of our cold tolerant plants, like onions, cauliflower, and broccoli.  So, wherever you are little seeds, could you please make it here by next weekend?!!

We are Open by Appointment …

Reminder that we are open by appointment if you are looking for Fuji or Rome apples or any of our alcohol products.  We’re happy to make up a gift bag of hard ciders and apples for Valentine’s day if you are looking for a local gift option!  Just give us a call at 269-244-5690.

We hope wherever you are, you are staying warm and safe.
From everyone at Corey Lake Orchards