–by Jennifer Ruple
PUBLICATION DATE: July 21, 2020
Farm fresh flowers and produce are ready for the picking at Gust Flower and Produce Farm. The u-pick farm, located at 11998 Rodesiler Hwy. in Ottawa Lake, Mich., is owned by Jake Gust and is just a quarter mile east of his parents’ Gust Brothers Pumpkin Farm.
Gust, a high school agriculture and FFA teacher at Whiteford Agricultural Schools in Michigan, began his business about 10 years ago. What began as a CSA program was transitioned to a u-pick format when the father of three young children was finding it difficult to keep up with the orders. That restructure proved to be a good decision. “It’s become really popular to pick your own flowers and vegetables,” said Gust. “It’s fun to see people enjoying themselves and come out of the field with a bouquet or a full pack of vegetables,” he added.
Visitors to the farm are provided with a cardboard basket which they can fill with any combination of vegetables they choose for $8 including zucchini, summer squash, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. Pre-picked sweet corn will be available to purchase at the farm as well.
There are about 75 varieties of flowers to pick including 15 types of sunflowers, plus zinnias, statice, cosmos and cockscomb. For $8, guests may create their own bouquet. Mason jars, water and scissors are available. “This year we doubled the space to 11 acres and have twice as many flowers to choose from,” said Gust.
The farm also includes a five-acre sunflower trail which is separate from the u-pick areas. “It’s fun for pictures – senior, engagement, wedding party, or family photos,” suggested Gust. Admission to the trail is $5 per person.
U-pick is open every day for the season from 10 am till dusk. After Labor Day, the u-pick operation will be moved to the Gust Brother Pumpkin Farm. “All ages are invited to come pick,” said Gust. “It’s nice to see a mother and kids out there picking together.”