Gust Pumpkin Farm now open for 31st season
Family farm opens pumpkin patch to the community
The Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm is now open for their 31st season. Hayrides are running every weekend, and the Gust family and their furry farm animals eagerly await their friends from Sylvania.
UPDATE: Due to the rain, hayrides will not run the weekend of September 25, 2021. The farm is open but please dress appropriately for muddy fields. Visit their Facebook page for the most current information:
The Gust Farm itself has been in operation for over one hundred years now, but they didn't grow pumpkins in the beginning. That tradition began thirty-one years ago when Terese Gust, along with her husband Dan and their young sons, went for a winter visit to her Uncle John's house.
"This story really brings tears to my eyes, he is such a great old guy," said Mrs. Gust. "Uncle John got out a coffee can, and put his hand in the can," Mrs. Gust remembered. "And he said, 'Boys, hold out your hands.' Then he gave each of the boys a few pumpkin seeds and said 'You plant yourself some pumpkins,' and he told me "These boys need some work to do!'"
That spring they planted those seeds in a garden, and that’s how it all got started. Today, after adding about one acre every year, the Gust farm now grows thirty acres of pumpkins.
"The first few years, we didn’t have that many cars, of course," Mrs. Gust said. "It was only a little garden, we put a few pumpkins by the curb and the boys sold them. It just kind of grew. My husband says it's a 'God thing,' because we could never have planned it out this way."
In addition to growing pumpkins, the Gusts have a full working farm that is about 1,000 acres in size, with each of the four sons farming 40 acres of their own.
"All of our four sons live within a mile, they each farm 40 acres," the Michigan native said. "We tell them to keep their day jobs though, because farming is so up and down. So they all have jobs off the farm too, but they’re all farm-related."
Visitors will be tempted by the aroma of fresh donuts frying up in the donut barn, pumpkin cookies baking, caramel apples swirling in sweetness, and other autumn sweets. To work up an appetite first, there is a thirty-acre pumpkin patch, several acres of you-pick flowers, a sunflower field that was open over the summer with a trail through it, fresh produce, apples, the barns will be open with cows, sheep, bunnies, about 20 goats, chickens, lambs, and more.
"It's so much fun for the families to be with the animals, I think that’s what they enjoy most," Mrs. Gust continued. "And they can all run around here, there is a play area with bales out in the field, they are very far apart for so there is plenty of room. It’s all-natural fun."
Aside from all the wonderful animals, there is also and a decorated '47 pickup for family picture-taking. Families are welcome to take pictures anywhere on the farm, although drones are not allowed.
For those who are more than ready for a little bit of fall fun, there are signs posted near Pacesetter Park (the farm is two miles north of Pacesetter), and the address to search in Google maps is: 13639 Mulberry Rd, Ottawa Lake, MI 49267
"I feel like all these people are guests at our home," Mrs. Gust added. "I just want people to smile and have a good time. I want them to feel like it was worth it to come out here. I am always hoping that they're happy they came."
Sylvania old-timers may recognize Terese Gust from outside the farm, too. Her family owned and operated LaRoy’s restaurant for five decades, just over the Michigan line, and Terese and her sisters worked there for many years. Also, Terese's sister Angela is the owner of Angela's Angels Gift Shop on Main Street in Sylvania.
The Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm is open every day through Halloween, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and located at 13639 Mulberry Road Ottawa Lake, MI 49267.
For more on the Gust family farm:
-Follow the Gust Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Gust-Brothers-Pumpkin-Farm
-Visit the Gust Pumpkin Farm official site: www.gustbrothers.com
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