When the air turns crisp, the classic barn at Coveyou Scenic Farm, a Northern Michigan family farm on U.S. 131, undergoes a transformation. The burnt orange and bright yellow mums and pumpkins that Coveyou is known for are replaced by armloads of freshly cut greens from the 300-acre farm—greens that will become wreaths, swags, centerpieces and more for fragrant holiday decor. We checked in with Kathy and David Coveyou as they were preparing to rev up the wreath making operation here high on a ridge above Walloon Lake.
MyNorth: David, your family owns this farm?
David: I’m the farm manager.
Kathy: And I’m jack of all trades and farmer’s wife!
MyNorth: Tell me more about this farm, which has been deemed a historic site by the state of Michigan.
David: This farm has been in our family for 136 years. It was originally homesteaded back in 1874. I grew up on the farm and farmed with my parents. Over the past dozen years, we’ve been working to transition the farm to high quality and locally produced food and other items we can sell directly to the public.
MyNorth: So, Kathy, how did you get into this? Love?
Kathy: YES! (laughs) When I first met David, he was always very clear: this was his goal to come back and sustain this farm. So it’s just always been part of the fabric of our life together. The holiday wreaths are some of the things you started offering several years ago to diversify?
Kathy: Three years ago we started this. It’s a craft we learned. Our next door neighbors—who are wonderful, who’ve been making them for years—they showed us the ropes. We’re looking at a gorgeous 12-inch wreath with red velvet ribbon and several types of sweet-smelling greens.
Kathy: The wreaths have three, four and five mixed greens in them, all cut from the farm and it’s all very fresh. We usually don’t start cutting until well into November, so when you buy them they’re very fresh. This one has cedar, pine, balsam and spruce.
MyNorth: What is this round ball with evergreens and gold ornaments?
Kathy: It’s called a kissing ball. It uses the same variety of greens the wreaths do. People tend to put them on shepherd’s hooks on their front lawn or porch. And you can kiss under this … like mistletoe?
To order wreaths and other fresh-made evergreen decor, go to coveyouscenicfarm.com.