The last Tollgate newsletter of the year!

MSU Tollgate Farm December 2016

Mary Wilson teaches about natives in 2016
Evenings in the Garden -
Winter 2017 Series

A new season of Evenings in the Garden starts on January 26! For novice and seasoned gardeners, homeowners, landscapers, and outdoor enthusiasts, this educational series is an opportunity to get out of the house, meet others who are suffering from winter cabin fever, and start planning for spring gardening. We will be turning the winter blues to green!

On these Thursday dates, from 6:30-8:30 pm, three renowned speakers will be sharing their wisdom and experience. We are looking forward to:

Janet Macunovich on January 26
Dr. Tony Reznicek on March 2 and
Dr. Norm Lownds on March 30.

The cost of each class is $20 and supports more adult education programming at MSU Tollgate.

For more information and to register, visit
Evenings in the Garden - Winter 2017 Series
Pancake Feast 2017 Registration is Now Open!

Celebrate the maple tapping season with a pancake breakfast or lunch at Tollgate! Identify and tap a maple tree, tour the sugar shack and watch sap turn to syrup, take a wagon ride, taste maple syrup, and tackle historical tools! Prior to the 2-hour program, enjoy a pancake celebration in the historic, 19th-century barn. Pancakes, coffee, cocoa, sausages, hash browns and of course, real maple syrup will be provided! John us this year for Maple Tapping and Pancake Feast on March 11th and 12th! 

To find out more and register please visit:
Maple Tapping and Pancake Feast
Come Frolic with the Goats!

Every day at MSU Tollgate 4-H Spring Break Farm Camp is an exciting adventure as we welcome baby goats, hatch chicks, help with morning animal chores, take afternoon hikes in the woods, harvest and cook with early produce for nutritious Garden Kitchen snacks, engage in a creative week-long STEM project, and investigate the natural world of field, forest, and pond.

Spring Break Farm Camp happens April 3 - 7. Low child-to-adult ratios make this camp fill quickly, so register early!

  Register Here
A new baler for Tollgate would allow the production of small, easy-to-handle hay bales
Crowd-Sourced Baler

I am seeking support for a new initiative at Tollgate.  Tollgate currently owns a hay mower, rake, and round baler.  With this equipment we harvest hay each summer from some of the fifty acres of hay fields on the farm.  The challenge with the bales produced by the round baler is that they are large and can only be handled with a tractor. With the addition of many new farm animals involved in the youth education program on the farm, acquiring a square baler - capable of making smaller, lighter bales - is now highly desirable.  Although new balers are pricey, good quality used balers can be had for about $5000. (Thank you New Holland for making good quality, long-lasting products!).  I have already received donations toward this purchase.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to this project.  A new baler will not only aid our animal care staff by providing better feed for the Tollgate livestock, sale of small hay bales will allow additional operating funds for future farm activities.

I would greatly appreciate your support for this project.  Please contact me directly for more information.

Thank you!

Roy Prentice
MSU Tollgate Farm Manager
CSA Farm News

Registration is still open for the 2017 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season! CSA members receive a share of the farm's bounty during the growing season, spanning twenty weeks. This is a great way to eat local, organically-grown produce affordably while supporting your local farm. New this year, we are offering a half share, which is well suited to couples or small families. To find out more and register, please visit:

More information and registration for CSA shares
Donations of Seed Packets Have Started to Arrive!

Tollgate Farm 4-H Club's annual community service project is off to a good start. Each year the club gathers donations of last year's seeds, and distributes these packets to school and community gardens throughout the metro Detroit area. To date we have received seeds from Botanical Interests and Charles Hart Seeds. Soon we will be setting up distribution dates early in 2017. There are more seeds to come!

Join us!

Tollgate Farm 4-H Club is enrolling new members and we welcome adult volunteers. We are planning lots of fun and unique activities for 2017.

For details, contact the Tollgate Farm 4-H Club by email:

Tollgate Farm 4-H Club facebook page
Beautiful Addition to the Gardens

Thanks to guidance and leadership provided by Tollgate Garden's president, Renee Cottrell, the Tollgate Gardens now has a new sitting area.  Although the December 3rd workday was primary devoted to putting the rose garden to bed for the winter, Renee and a few intrepid individuals worked on a new brick paver area located in front of the Tollgate offices. The Office Garden now sports an enlarged planting area and a new locale to pause and enjoy the beauty of the farm. Tollgate has lots of open space resting areas which are perfect for taking in the relaxing airs of the site. This new location is a great addition. Materials for this project were paid for by the generosity and fund-raising efforts of the Tollgate Garden Volunteer organization. Labor and expertise needed to install the project were provided by Tollgate staff and volunteers.  Enjoy!
The December 4-H Newsletter is here!

Oakland County 4-H Connections is a monthly newsletter for 4-H members, families, and the general community with news and information about 4-H Youth Development activities in Oakland County.
To find out what's happening in Oakland County 4-H -
Click here for December 4-H Oakland County newsletter
Sunny Summer Days

Summer camp at MSU Tollgate is a fun and enriching opportunity to experience the natural world hands-on. With 160 beautiful farm and forest acres, our camps offer the best in farm-based, nature-based discovery learning and fun.  Watch for registration to open in January 2017. 
Tollgate Volunteer Opportunities

There are many fun and friendly opportunities to contribute to Tollgate! Join us in the gardens; help with community events, special projects, maple sugaring, or educational programming.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

If you are interested, send us your name, email address, telephone number, and area(s) of interest. As opportunities arise, you'll be contacted. Thank you!
Visit the Tollgate Volunteer Page here for more information
Rent the Conference Center

The MSU Tollgate Conference Center, historic barn, and Americana boardroom are available for your next business meeting, bridal or baby shower, or private luncheon. Our event catering staff are available to meet all of your needs.
To learn more about hosting your event at Tollgate, please visit:
Tollgate Conference Center link

MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center offers programs throughout the year designed to allow adults and children to experience learning hands-on, explore the joys of gardening and the natural world, appreciate and promote locally grown food, and build community. 
MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center
28115 Meadowbrook Rd.
Novi, MI 48377
MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Programs and materials are open to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, height, weight, disability,political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital, family or veteran status.