Changes to Charles L. Bowers Farm, part of Bloomfield Hills Schools, were presented to the Bloomfield Township trustees by its director, Alan Jaros, at their meeting on Monday, July 13.
Starting on Saturday, July 25, Bowers Farm will have open barn days every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday through August. Jaros said this is a pilot program and the days and hours may change depending on public interest.
“In this Covid time period, the farm’s been quiet. In what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard and the emails I’ve gotten is outdoors is a safe place to be,” Jaros said. “People ask, why not open up the farm in a safe manner that would allow for people who are not vacationing to come over and walk? Come over and see the goats? Pick their own produce?”
Currently, visits to the farm are by appointment only. Open barn days will allow for casual visitation, and open the visitor center lobby with farm fresh produce and products. Guests can pay an admission fee to attend or purchase a year-long membership.
Starting in mid-July, memberships and admission tickets for open barn days will be available on the farm's website, bloomfield.org/farm. Daily admission is $10 for adults and children, $9 for senior citizens over 60, and free for those under two.
The membership program, a first for the barn, has a variety of levels, much like at the Detroit Zoo and similar outdoor venues. Individual membership for one year is $45 and family memberships cost $85 for one year, which will be for two adults and dependent children or grandchildren 18 and under.
Jaros said they hope this membership program will continue into next year.
Bowers Farm has partnered with Michigan State University’s Dairy Store for an ice cream stand that will be accessible outside and will open in late July. Those who want ice cream will not have to pay an admission or membership fee.
“Anyone who bleeds green like I do knows the Dairy Store has the best ice cream in the state of Michigan,” Jaros laughed.
Open barn days hours will be 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.