See what's happening at Tollgate this month!

MSU Tollgate Farm October 2017

Thank You, Volunteers!

The big blue-and-white tent is gone, and life at Tollgate has resumed a regular routine. We have returned to a normal daily number of visitors, including teachers and students participating in our Harvest Farm Ecology educational program. There is barely a sign that Pumpkinfest 2017 ever happened, except for the great memories we all have of thousands of visitors enjoying the incredible weather, along with pumpkin bowling, The Bug House, great music and food, wagon rides, the living history demonstration, wandering through the pumpkin patch to find that perfect specimen to take home, and much more.

As we have said before, Pumpkinfest - the annual fundraiser for educational programs at MSU Tollgate Farm - could not happen without our dedicated volunteers. Hundreds of community members who sign up to help in every aspect of Pumpkinfest are the reason Pumpkinfest is a success. We are so grateful for your time, energy, and talent in bringing Tollgate's Pumpkinfest to life for our visitors.
Thank you for your support!

Please join us in thanking our 2017 presenting Pumpkinfest sponsor Vibe Credit Union. Vibe's support has been foundational to the event.

Thank you also to the following organizations for their generous in kind support of Pumpkinfest 2017.

Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum
MSU Bug House
Crispelli's Restaurant
Heartland Grocery Store
The Home Depot
Jet's Pizza of Novi
Mercury Sound and Lighting, Inc.
Civil Air Patrol
National Wild Turkey Federation
Nijii Ami Living History Reenactors            
Novi Coffee and Tea
Novi Coney Island
Novi Public Library
Parmenter's Cider Mill
Pheasants Forever
Recipes Restaurant
Siam Spicy
Caya Grill
Charles L. Bowers School Farm
Wixom Public Library

Thank you, Pumpkinfest sponsors!

Tollgate Events & Announcements
Fall Farm Sprouts Preschool Program Featured in National Science Teachers Association Science and Children Journal

Our Farm Sprouts Preschool Program is featured in the National Science Teachers Association's journal, Science and Children, this October. Our program utilizes an inquiry-based, project approach to working, learning, and growing in a farm-based setting. Many thanks to the MSU Tollgate staff and our families who contribute to making this program possible and to NSTA for their work in "promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching for all." This journal requires a subscription, yet you can take a peek if you visit our Facebook page. If you haven't liked us on Facebook yet, please seek us out!

To learn more, visit:

The Last Evenings in the Garden Class of the Year

This Thursday, October 26, Mary Gerstenberger will bring her very popular class to MSU Tollgate.

"Water: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" will help us understand and resolve our issues with water in our natural environment, big and small. There are still spaces left - advance registration is required.

For more information and to register:
Advanced Placement (AP) Literature Prep Course to be held at MSU Tollgate!

Current high school students can prepare to take the AP Literature test in a course taught by MSU faculty member Dr. James Davis. Dr. Davis will help students enhance their understanding of literary concepts that appear on the AP Lit test including: imagery, tone, audience, voice, structure, and diction. Additionally, students will learn how to compose analytical and precise essay responses.

Registration Deadline: December 19, 2017
Class Dates: Tuesdays, January 9 - April 10, 2018
Time: 3:30-5:00 pm
Location: Tollgate Center
Cost: $195

More info and online registration at:

Tollgate News
Pumpkinfest 2017 on TV!

This is the third year in a row that the CW50 Detroit street team has visited Pumpkinfest. They capture the essence of the event well.

Click below to view MSU Tollgate Farm Pumpkinfest 2017 video:

Tollgate Farm 4-H Club at Pumpkinfest

The Tollgate Farm 4-H Club Members enjoyed the opportunity to show off their work with animals, business, vegetables, and more at Pumpkinfest! The festival has become a club tradition, with the kids sharing their knowledge and skill with animals, and holding a farm stand sale showcasing their products. This year the Club added milking demonstrations to the animal display. Next year, maybe goat races!

At this time of year, Tollgate Farm 4-H welcomes many new members, By working together to plan the stand, create informational posters, and assemble S'More kits, the kids get the chance to come together as a team. Pumpkinfest is in fact team building for the Club, with new members learning from experienced members, Many thanks to the Club members and their families for support, and to the Tollgate staff for all the hard work of organizing this event. Pumpkinfest gets better every year!

Tollgate Farm 4-H Club remains open to new members ages 5 - 19.
Did you know you can become an adult 4-H Volunteer - No Kid Required!

For more information:
Horses at Pumpkinfest

Kids of all ages visited with the horses at Pumpkinfest.  Parents and grandparents took lots of pictures of their little ones with the horses.  Tulsa and Jade were loaned to Tollgate for the beginner horse camps and have been hanging out in the beautiful pastures all summer!  They both enjoyed the alfalfa hay offered by the visitors throughout the day.  With full bellies the happy horses stayed near the gates to be groomed and loved on!

Historical 1860's Baseball Game at Pumpkinfest

Visitors who ventured out to the distant hayfields during Pumpkinfest got a treat from the past. Two baseball teams faced each other in a pleasant Saturday afternoon match.

Historic baseball is played with the rules and uniforms accurate to the 1860's. This includes wooden bats, no gloves, and catching the ball in the air or on one bounce for an out.

Reports are vague about the final score, but it seems the Sylvania (Ohio) Black Swamp Frogs defeated the Eclipse Baseball Club of Northville. From all accounts, those who witnessed this rare event enjoyed the event. Thank you to all of the players for sharing this unique pastime with visitors to Pumpkinfest!

Sustainable Agriculture Update

Fall has arrived and the field season is all wrapped up! We said goodbye to our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members on October 11th after a very successful twenty-week season, and the apprentices and field manager departed just a few days later. From right to left in the photo, Darby will be joining us next season as the field manager, working at Whole Foods over the winter on the produce team. Eli has plans to travel to California and Spain before returning to finish his last semester of school at MSU. After completing her second year on the farm, this time as the field manager, Gwen is working on developing a business plan to establish her own farm! Will plans to grow his beard out and conduct an informal experiment on how long one can survive on chips, salsa, and malty beverages.

Interested in joining the CSA next year? Registration for 2018 opens on November 1st!

More information and the registration form here:
This month's 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.

October Oakland County 4-H Connections
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!
or visit:

Tollgate Volunteer Page
Rent the Tollgate 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:

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.