Crane Orchard's Corn Maze
Crane Orchard's Corn Maze
By Lorri Schrieber Fall time is a great time to visit Michigan farms as they are exploding with activities including pumpkin patches, wagon rides, cider and donuts and the ultimate fun - corn mazes which are growing in popularity.  Spending an afternoon maneuvering through the fields is fun education for the kiddos but also great for family and friends of all ages. It encourages problem-solving, communication and working together. Corn mazes have been around for 30 years when Earl Beal created the first maze in Annville, Pennsylvania in 1993. Beal’s father designed mazes for a local amusement park, and Earl got the idea to more...
Posted on Friday, October 6, 2023 by Janice Benson
red Apple
A delicious Michigan apple!
 By Lorri Schrieber Ever wonder where the phrase “an apple for the teacher” comes from? It appears that this traditional teacher gift may have started during historical school times when teachers often lived with families of their students. Bushels of apples were given as a token of appreciation. They were also a way to keep teachers fed and make up for poor wages. This tradition dates back centuries throughout several continents. Another theory, however, is from the biblical story of Adam and Eve and their “tree of knowledge,” making the apple a great symbol for teachers. It’s easy to give teachers apples in more...
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 by Janice Benson
Fresh asparagus close up
Eat More Asparagus!
By Lorri Schreiber The jaunty, crown-topped asparagus is an all-around super health food and one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence.  The popular spring veggie is jam-packed with nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, folate, iron, potassium, copper, calcium and protein. Plus, it's a rich source of antioxidants.  Eating asparagus has several potential health benefits. Asparagus can help with weight loss, help prevent UTIs, has antioxidant effects that help the body fight free radicals that are harmful to health, helps strengthen the immune system while protecting cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, may help lower blood pressure, may help fight more...
Posted on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 by Janice Benson
by Lorri Schreiber: Most of us know lavender for its purple color, fragrant scent and calming and relaxing effects. Did you know that lavender is also believed to offer several medical and therapeutic benefits? Here are just a few beliefs and ways to use lavender: Improve SleepLavender is believed to improve sleep by using a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow or in your diffuser. Some people even like having fresh-cut lavender on their nightstand for enhanced aromatherapy. Reduce Stress and Anxiety Because of its calming effect, lavender is believed to reduce stress snd anxiety. Improve SkinThere are many essential oils that more...
Posted on Monday, July 26, 2021 by Janice Benson
By Lorri Schreiber: Farmers have always been the backbone of our country, often working from early in the morning until late in the evening - no doubt some of the hardest working people in America. Much of this work is done in all sorts of weather conditions, which can also put their agricultural commodities at risk.  More than ever, it's important to support these men and women and, oftentimes, children of farmers who work hard to bring fresh food to our table. And, getting locally grown foods is both better for your health and better for the environment. Here are some great ways to more...
Posted on Monday, July 5, 2021 by Janice Benson
By Lorri Schreiber:  Many people don't realize that Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state behind California. So many agricultural products thrive here, and many of Michigan's farms offer fun, hands-on activities for all ages, such as U-pick farms, educational activities and tours, farm markets and stands, dairies and creameries, farm dining, festivals and events, cider and donuts, petting farms, overnight on the farm, craft beverage tasting and more. Our "Discover Michigan Farm Fun" Directory is a great tool to make the most of Michigan's agricultural tourism opportunities. The 130-page, full-color directory is a true Michigan product, produced and printed in Michigan featuring authentic more...
Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 by Janice Benson
By Lorri Schreiber:  You’ve most likely heard the phrase “Eat your greens!” but what does this really mean? And let me start by saying that I am, by no means, a nutritionist or health expert. I grew up believing my dad that pizza was health food because it had all four food groups! Eat your greens means eating green vegetables, which are so good for you. Here, we are just talking about the leafy greens.  I try to learn ways to improve my lifestyle with new healthy habits, even if it’s just baby steps or slight improvements. I learned a long time more...
Posted on Monday, June 21, 2021 by Janice Benson
By Lorri Schreiber: Yay! Summer vacation! 2020-2021 was a strange school year, huh?  Did you know that several Michigan farms have fun and educational things for the kiddos to do like petting farm animals, camps, classes and more? The Critter Barn in Zeeland has lots of classes and  camps for some great hands-on experiences! Little Farmers meets once per week for three weeks and teaches ages 3 to 5 about egg layers and mammals as they meet, feed and interact with the animals on the farm. Animal Adventures is a 2 or 5-day class for ages 5 to 8 where kids can feed a hungry more...
Posted on Monday, June 14, 2021 by Janice Benson
Zelna's Garden
Zelna's Garden
Last year, my husband and I decided to turn part of our front lawn into a vegetable garden. Although we have a garden in the backyard, our tall pine trees have made it challenging to grow more than shade-loving perennials. Last May, we purchased a truckload of Dairy Doo and dug up a section of grass in front of the house, and we tilled and planted and watered and weeded and watched it transform into a productive garden. To our delight, despite the small size, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, potatoes, pumpkins, zucchini and onions began thriving, where grass used to be. We planted marigolds, more...
Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2018 by Janice Benson
Westview Orchards and Winery
Westview Orchards and Winery
Now that the long, lovely days of June are here, I’ve finally had a chance to step back and take a look at the 2017 Michigan Farm Fun directory with fresh eyes. When you’re working on a production deadline, you can get so caught up in the details that you often don’t have time to appreciate the finished product—and as soon it arrives you come up with ten things to do to make it better the next time! But today, I took a few moments to slow down and appreciate the new directory, and all that it represents. This year’s directory happens to be our more...
Posted on Friday, June 9, 2017 by Janice Benson
Denim making the rounds
Denim making the rounds
It’s the second week of January and for the first time in forever, I cooked a real meal and ate while sitting down, read a few pages of a book with my feet in front of the fire, and slept for ten whole hours until Denim the dog urged me out of bed. Yes, just like our fruit trees, I am luxuriating in some long-overdue R&R with the slower winter pace of the farm. But as tempting as it is to be curled by the fire all day, the farm doesn’t ever really sleep. Soon Denim and I are making our more...
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 by Janice Benson
Emma Grace helping her Grandma
Emma Grace helping her Grandma
Like many of you, this time of year finds me going into the final “acts”of the season, after having completed winter pruning, spring planting and summer harvesting with multiple intermissions of weather woes. For others, perhaps, you are just gearing up for the busy fall season. The actors and scenes remain much the same year to year: delighted customers who picked cherries leaving with juice on their faces, donut fans willing to stand in line to get them while they’re hot, families bringing their children to pick strawberries because that’s what they did when they were children. This year, there is a new young actress—my 19-month-old granddaughter, Emma more...
Posted on Friday, August 12, 2016 by Janice Benson
Last night, on a bike ride on the outskirts of town, my husband and I came upon a small covered wagon along the roadway. We were intrigued and ventured over to see what was inside. It turned out to be a small roadside farm stand that was sheltering a basket of freshly picked cucumbers, zucchini and a large vase of sunflowers. Never able to resist the bounty of the season, I put money in the cash box and filled my backpack with a handful of produce and the biggest, happiest looking sunflower of the bunch. On the same property, there was a newly-constructed wooden more...
Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 by Janice Benson
Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm
Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm
Spring is here and as we celebrate this new season of rejuvenation, we also want to welcome you to our new website! It’s an exciting time for us, as we have an attractive new “home” to share all sorts of news about agritourism in Michigan.  For those who are new to us, we are a non-profit association with a goal of keeping family farms sustainable, supporting local economic growth, and providing rich and unique experiences for visitors to make lasting memories. Michigan is an amazing place and we are proud of our agricultural roots. Most people don’t realize the diversity of agricultural products more...
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2016 by Janice Benson