Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm Goes Up For Sale


Sarah Jannings

EAU CLAIRE- On December 24th, 2019, Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm located in Eau Claire, Michigan, announced its closing and that the Pipestone Township property is up for sale. It was also made official on December 31st, when the Teichman family announced on Facebook that the farm would be open for its last day. 

The news ultimately comes after Bill Teichman, a third-generation farmer of the property, was hospitalized following his contraction of Eastern equine encephalitis disease this past August. Despite his current condition, Bill Teichman is now back home and being cared for by his family and loved ones. 

According to the Herald Palladium, “In the Facebook post, the Teichman family thanked all of the farm’s visitors over the years for sharing in their “family traditions and fun in the sun.” The post has received hundreds of reactions from those around Southwest Michigan and the Teichman family is truly thankful for the continuous support from such a loving community.

However, the question that has come to arise is why exactly the farm is for sale. Beyond the Herald Palladium, other media outlets have reported the family is selling the farm only because there is no one able to run it. 

2019 was truly a tragic year for the Teichman family. At the beginning of the year, Herb Teichman- who was Bill’s father and ran the farm for decades – died at the age of eighty-eight. According to the Herald Palladium, “It was Herb Teichman who built the farm as an agritourism stop and hatched the idea to sponsor the annual cherry Pit Spit competition that eventually drew nationwide news coverage.”

Beyond the loss of a dear loved one, the Teichman family also found themselves in quite a rough patch, as the polar vortex in late January of 2019 struck the fruit farmers in particular, as the farm lost almost its entire peach, apricot, and plum crops. 

If this wasn’t enough, in August of 2019 Bill Teichman fell ill of EEE- a rare and often fatal mosquito-borne virus that primarily causes brain swelling and other detrimental side effects. In recent months, Teichman has been in and out of long-term care as he continues to show small signs of improvement. 

Despite a tragic year for the Teichman family and the Tree-Mendus fruit farm itself, it will be a lasting legacy in the hearts of many who can recall fond memories spent from their summer on the farm. It is known by most as the farm that hosts the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship every summer around the Fourth of July. 

This event regularly draws visitors from around the country as it has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records and the Library of Congress. There is no word yet on what the future holds for the Pit Spit, but one can only hope that such a well-known event will stay nearby since it all began here in Southwest Michigan. 


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