Best FREE Farm Experience!

As soon as you step out of your vehicle you instantly feel the warmth, comfort, and hospitality of being down on the farm, even on a cool crisp Fall day. All are welcomed at Gust Brother’s Pumpkin Farm and yet you don’t feel like a guest, but rather, part of the family. Admission is free, in fact it is nonexistent.

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 209

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 057

Gust Brother’s Farm has been a Fall time family favorite destination for years, it isn’t officially Fall until we visit the farm at 13639 Mulberry Rd. Ottawa Lake, MI.

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 059

 

Our first stop is always the barn. It is filled with animals that the children definitely don’t see on a regular basis. Visiting the farm is always a nice refresher for my city kids on where our food comes from; I fear too often they assume a magical fairy simply drops it off at Costco. Thankfully a visit to Gust Brother’s discredits that myth.

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 061

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 093

 

And speaking of food, their farm has been certified by the USDA as an environmentally friendly farm. They offer a Summer Market that starts in mid-June and goes till Mid-September that includes, beef, Angus beef, and pork, (coming soon they will be offering grass fed beef with no hormones or antibiotics, just an FYI)!

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 101

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 100

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 088

But I must admit it is so hard to look at these big beautiful animals and imagine eating them. In fact, after seeing all the cows on our visit to the farm we ended up eating Chick-fil-a for lunch, it just felt right. Lol!

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 110

The barn also houses adorable piglets, their momma, and sheep!

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 103

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 120

 

We literally hung out in the barn for one hour admiring and petting the animals then we finally made our way over to the cute cuddly, I seriously wanted to take one home, adorable bunnies!!!

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 157

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 159

After the bunnies we stopped by to say hello to the chickens (or are they roosters…please forgive me, I am not used to seeing them with feathers. By the time I place one in the crockpot someone else has done all the work, and I am so thankful for that!).

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 162

 

We waved a friendly hello to this adorable baby and then we were parched!

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 172

 

I know I said this is the best FREE farm experience but if you are wise you will bring a little “fun money” as my grandma called it, to spend in the coffee & donut shack, on a hayride, and/or to buy some goodies in the market.

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 192

Nothing says Fall like a caramel apple and when you are 5 sprinkles are just an added colorful bonus!

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 190

 

And last but certainly not least, some goodies to take home!

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 196

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 208

 

GUSTBROmeals_gustbrothers 198

Total confession we visit Gust Brother’s Farm at least 3 times every fall, we can’t get enough! We will be headed back in a couple weeks to pick our pumpkins. Each kiddo grabs a wagon, we head to the field, and each picks out their pumpkin to carve; it is kinda a big deal. Haha!

So if you are in need of a full on Fall family farm experience  Gust Brother’s Pumpkin Farm is the perfect destination!

 

The Apple of My Eye

On this mama’s to do list:

  • Field Trip to Erie Orchard
  • Make Apple Bake

Field Trip to Erie Orchard

It is funny, looking back on my own childhood, I can’t
remember what I got for Christmas most years but I do remember making a snowman with my father, baking cookies with my mom, and decorating the tree as a family.  I don’t recall ever having any game system or fancy gadgets to lull us to sleep but I do remember the way my mom would sing a song and say our prayers with us before bedtime.  I remember all the local adventures we would have, story time at the Reynolds Corner branch library, art classes at the art museum, trips to the zoo, the park, and much more but my favorite, class field trips.  I always thought it was so cool when my mom chaperoned the field trip, it was special. This past week I was thrilled to have the opportunity to chaperon my first field trip. In my mind it was such a blessed event, it was like a passing of the torch type of moment for me.  You know the type, emotional; hold back tears, lump in your throat type of moment.

While on the field trip I had an unexpected collision with the good old emotional roller coaster. It hit me while the group was gathered around listening to the leader explain how they shine the apples.  It was at that moment I thought about how my baby girl was the apple of my eye. How much I was cherishing the time I was spending with her while at the same time recalling the memory of my own childhood and my mom chaperoning.  I was thinking about how fast we really do grow up.  I was thinking a whirlwind of emotional stuff about growing up, my youth, my daughter’s youth, and how before I know it she will be chaperoning her child’s field trip, and then it happened.  A tear escaped my eye.  I could almost feel the sobbing coming on, or worse, that weird gasping for air sound.  NOOO! I felt like I was going to lose it and I am not talking a cute little cry, I am talking full-blown, hot mess, type of crying.  Just them my daughter asked if I was okay and I said yes, I just really, really love the apple of my eye. To which she replied, “How did you get apple in your eye?” It worked, she had me smiling in no time. I learned my lesson, I will try not to think about anything remotely sentimental while on a field trip. I guess it could have been worse; I could have been near a pile of pooh at the zoo. Crying over apples suddenly seems much more appealing.

Now, what to do with all those apples?

Apple Bake

Ingredients:

  • 12 apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Stick of unsalted butter (cut into ½ inch squares)
  • 2 cups oatmeal (not cooked)

Directions:

Spray crock pot with Pam. Rinse, peel, core, and cut apples into slices.  Place apple slices in crock pot.  In bowl mix together brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, butter, and oatmeal. Sprinkle mixture over apples.  Place on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours
until apples are tender.

Apple bake is so delicious and can be used with a meal or as a desert.

Brinner (Breakfast for Dinner) is a favorite in our house and the apple bake is truly the icing on the cake, pancake that is.  To assemble the sandwich you will need two pancakes, 2 eggs sunny side up, ¾ cups of apple bake, and a drizzle of dark amber maple syrup.

Or serve the apple bake for desert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a dash of cinnamon on top. Your taste buds are sure to thank you.