Local tree farm opens for holiday season

EDWARDSBURG — For years, Edwardsburg resident Ted Schrader has had a dream to open a small farm — specifically, a Christmas tree farm.

Schrader is not sure where the dream came from. Maybe it came from his love of the outdoors or growing up near his grandmother’s 40-acre farm in Edwardsburg. Perhaps it was his desire to create a renewable source of farming that matched what his land was able to grow. Maybe it was as simple as knowing that an artificial tree could never measure up to the family tradition of picking out and cutting down a fresh fir.

“I don’t know if it came from that or what,” Schrader said with a laugh, recalling all the times he would choose the perfect tree from a neighbor’s lot. “I think it’s just one of those crazy ideas you get sometimes.”

This weekend, Schrader will be able to finally see that dream come to life.

Schrader Tree Farm, 65770 Conrad Road, Edwardsburg, will open for its first Christmas season by appointment Saturday. The small, family-owned farm will offer a small selection of pre-cut Christmas trees, in addition to an open-air market, where customers can purchase wreaths, ornaments and other holiday items.

“With COVID and everything, we weren’t sure we should even open or not,” Schrader said. “Everything is going to be outside, and the few trees we do have we figured we would mostly sell to family and friends, so we figured, ‘why not open for the season?’ We wanted to get the word out and let people know we are here.”

Schrader Tree Farm got its start last spring when Schrader planted 400 different spruce and fir trees.

Eventually, Schrader hopes to have about four acres of Christmas trees on his farm for the public to view, peruse and cut.

Outside of the Christmas season, the farm is host to other activities, including beekeeping.

“Everything we’ve planted is only about a foot tall right now, so we won’t have choose-and-cut for probably four or five years if everything goes well,” Schrader said, adding that he is excited to see the trees’ growth. “It will look pretty cool once we get everything grown-up, but it just takes time.”

While the trees Schrader planted will not be ready to cut and sell for a few years still, Schrader said he is happy — if nervous — to welcome the public this year for pre-cut tree and market sales.

“It’s going to be an odd year this year with COVID, and it’s probably going to be different from any other season we are open,” he said. “We’ve been thinking about our first Christmas for a long time, so hopefully it’s a good season.”

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township Edwardsburg Police Log: Feb. 15-22

Dowagiac

SMC graduate experiences Super Bowl

Dowagiac

Dowagiac women aim to create change through local government

Dowagiac

SMC COVID task force leader talks with Dowagiac Rotary Club

Business

Niles roller rink reopens following legal battle

Berrien County

Michigan Works! announces community wide survey to learn about COVID-19’s impact

Cass County

Cass County prepares to adjust to criminal justice reforms

Berrien County

Michiana Family Center seeks mentors for foster teens

Business

Nobo Michigan opens Edwardsburg location

Cassopolis

Businesses battle over land use in Cassopolis’ Industrial Park

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: Feb. 19-24

Berrien County

Mount Calvary Baptist to host COVID-19 vaccination clinic March 5

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports new COVID-19 death

Berrien County

Berrien County Health Department, Spectrum Health Lakeland give vaccination updates

Cass County

Applications open for Cass County Sheriff’s Community Scholarship

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners send message to state on regionalizing COVID-19 approach

Cass County

Lewis Cass ISD to host superintendent interviews Monday

Cass County

Michigan Works! to open office in Cass County administration building

Business

Dollar General, marijuana microbusiness, Iron Shoe expansion coming to Niles

Dowagiac

Silver Creek Township Planning Commission tables short-term rental ordinance draft vote

News

New SOS online, self-service options coming soon

Business

Niles restaurant week to showcase 18 restaurants

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 583,964 cases, 15,405 deaths

Cass County

Cass County GOP censures Congressman Fred Upton for vote against Marjorie Taylor Greene