Meeting on the Farm, Part One

Last August, Blake Farms completed a $1-million redevelopment project that transformed a former garden center into Blake’s Backyard, a year-round retail and entertainment venue. Located in Almont, about 50 miles north of Detroit, the Greenhouse at Blake’s Backyard can be rented for private events. The venue features greenery walls, rolling garage doors, rustic farm-style tables, a running indoor waterfall, and outdoor patio and can accommodate 120 guests. Planners will want to inquire about the doughnut wall that features cider mill doughnuts made in-house with cider produced from the farm’s apples, as well as cocktails featuring Blake’s hard ciders. Private events can also be booked at the 150-acre apple orchard in nearby Armada. The Apple Barn accommodates 120 guests, the Orchard Square Tap 50 guests, and the Orchard Square Tent, fully heated during cooler months, up to 250 guests.

Meeting on the Farm, Part Two

The tagline for Goldberry Woods is “a modern farm resort.” That means comfort and options abound on this 30-acre property located on the shores of the Galien River in Union Pier. Conceived as a fully functional microfarm, plants mature in the greenhouse nursery here, while fresh fruit ripens in the orchard. The fields produce an ever-changing bounty of annual and perennial vegetables and small fruit, including asparagus, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, beans, peas, lettuces, and brassicas.

Goldberry Woods is available for private retreats and gatherings. Groups can rent the eight-bedroom main inn, the four-bedroom River’s Edge House, the three-bedroom Creekside Cottage, or the entire property. Eric Haberichter, who owns the property with his wife, Julie, says Goldberry Woods has hosted a range of groups, including law firms, a national home-improvement store, start-ups, corporate leadership groups, a CPA firm, a medical supply company, and staff from Michigan universities.

“Most groups that have stayed with us have looked to mix their business with pleasure,” Haberichter says. “We can offer the business aspects, including projector and Wi-Fi, but we also offer lots of opportunities for people to connect with each other and with nature. Guests can use our kayaks and canoes to [meander] down the river that wraps our property, borrow a bicycle to ride to the beach, hike trails through our forest, stroll through our organic farm and orchard, feed our chickens and ducks, play badminton or volleyball, work on a puzzle, and so much more. Guests can also explore Harbor Country with all of the beaches and dunes, wineries, breweries, distilleries, antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, hiking, and fantastic restaurants.”

MACVB Annual Educational Conference finally reaches the shores of Mackinac Island.

As I rode in the carriage from the Shepler’s Ferry terminal to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, my mind wandered to a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” In said scene, King Arthur and his sidekick, Patsy, approach a castle while galloping and banging coconuts together. After a few moments passed and my mind wandered back to the tree-lined streets of the island, I realized it was the clippety-clop of the draft horses pulling our carriage that brought on my thoughts of Python.

 

SCS Global Services (SCS), a third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development, has launched its Zero Waste Standard, “Zero Waste for Events.”

 

The Events Industry Council’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program, established in 1985, is recognized around the world as a badge of excellence in the events industry. JodieAnn Cady, an independent event project manager based in Mason, is among the professionals in the inaugural class of CMP Fellows, a program launched last year.