If you’ve been out to visit us at all this season, you may have noticed a big addition to our orchard and market area… we’re calling it the New Old Barn (a.k.a., the N.O.B.). It went up last fall, but we’ve since completed work on the outside, so it looks a bit different than before. While we gave it a fresh look on the outside, it’s actually a more than 100-year-old barn that we moved from its former location a mile north of us. Last year, a team of Amish workers expertly disassembled the barn, moved it and rebuilt it on our property. (You can read and see more about it here.) This year, we put new wood on the outside (don’t worry, the old weathered walls are still up and visible on the inside… we wanted to be able to add insulation to the barn so that we could get more use out of it!) We’re letting the new wood cure for awhile before we paint it red to go with our other buildings. And while we are still finalizing our plans for the N.O.B. (we have so many ideas… we wish we could do them all!), we are moving ahead with other exciting updates to our market. The biggest is that following the 2016 fall season, we will be expanding our current kitchen! This means we’ll have greater capacity for making more donuts and other baked goods, and possibly other food items as well. We are really excited for the growth. We definitely need the space, and we know it will result in a better experience for all of you who come to visit us, which is what we are always after. So that’s the news on N.O.B. and some upcoming plans for the market. It had been awhile since we had shared an update on what is going on with the barn. We have some great ideas in the works and will be sure to announce them once things are finalized. It means a great deal to us to have this piece of local history on our property; we are thrilled to be giving this old building some new life!
(Psst… Check out our blog post here to learn more about the barn and be sure to click through to the photo essay posted last year on MLive.com to see the “before” pictures of the Amish work crew dismantling the barn… the photos are stunning!)
What’s on tap for the weekend?
… Lots and lots of fun! Now that we are into October, our corn maze is open Friday afternoons and all day Saturdays and Sundays. It’s the perfect way for all ages to enjoy the outdoors and the fall air, while enjoying a challenge. Our ‘Space Exploration’ corn maze was featured in round-ups by MLive.com and ExperienceGR.com. Don’t miss your chance to get lost in space!
We also still have some availability left for bonfires. If your group (five people or more… can be family, friends, scouts, youth group, sports teams, etc.) are looking for a great activity to do together, nothing beats our bonfires. Groups can schedule a private bonfire on weekend afternoons or nights. Bonfires can be after market hours, so you get the place to yourself. Bring flashlights and head on out into the corn maze for an unforgettable experience, then relax and kick back around the fire (once you find your way out!). You can either bring your own supplies, or we can provide them for you: $9/person for our bonfire kit, which includes s’mores, a hot dog and bottled water (plus entry to the maze). Bonfires are available weekends when the corn maze is open. Call us (616-785-9896) now to make sure your group gets the chance to have fun under the stars out on the farm this fall!
It’s pumpkin time!
Come pick one (or many!) from our patch and then tag us on Facebook (@schwallierscountrybasket) or Instagram (@schwallierscb) so we can see how you use them in your fall decor or carve them into jack-o-lanterns. We have pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, including some heirloom varieties that are awesome for fall decorating. We can’t wait to see what you do with them once you bring them home!
There’s so much fun to be had this time of year, so many memories to make, so many delicious foods to eat! Be sure to check out our website for details about our place and follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date throughout the week on what’s going on down on the farm… U-pick apples are still going strong, our baby animals are cuddly and cute, and over the weekends, our cow train, tractor wagon and hay mountain are all up and running. Come on out to see us!