Reminiscent of a 1930s Family Farm
Michigan's Farm Garden
The farmhouse, barn, gardens, and animal pens are reminders of a bygone era when the land supplied the family with groceries and income; a time when every family member helped with chores. This farmhouse is a three-quarter-scale model of Lena Rader Meijer’s childhood home. Farm animals are represented by bronze sculptures throughout Michigan’s Farm Garden. Various vegetable gardens and flower beds dedicated to heirloom varieties are planted behind the farmhouse.
Central to Michigan’s Farm Garden is the replica 1880s farmhouse, a three-quarter-scale model of Lena Rader Meijer’s childhood home. The wraparound porch has rocking chairs that allow visitors to reminisce and relax.
The windmill, an important feature on the farm, supplied water and powered other machinery. Restored to its original glory, this windmill is from the family farm where Lena Rader Meijer grew up.
Heirloom Vegetable Patch
The vegetable gardens and flower beds are dedicated to heirloom varieties—open pollinated types used for more than 50 years. The rose bushes found at Michigan’s Farm Garden originally grew in Lena Meijer’s home garden and were passed on to her by her mother. Vegetables harvested here are used seasonally in the James & Shirley Balk Café.
The century-old barn at Michigan’s Farm Garden was moved from a farm in Algoma Township, north of Meijer Gardens. It features white pine walls, ponderosa pine flooring, and a cedar shake roof. Awarded “2005 Barn of the Year” by the Michigan Barn Preservation Network, our barn remains a symbol of a vanishing way of life.