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Charles L. Bowers School Farm

About Bowers Farm

Charles L. Bowers School Farm was purchased in the mid-1960's by Bloomfield Hills Schools to be used as a land laboratory. We are housed on 90 acres within Bloomfield Hills.

Animals such as sheep, horses, llama and a donkey graze the pastures. We also house poultry of all types, rabbits and goats. Every animal has a purpose here at the farm and farm equipment is used daily to maintain the property as an educational agriculture production enterprise.

Charles L. Bowers Farm is open daily and year-round for various educational programs and community events.
 

MSU Partnership

Bowers School Farm is a proud partner of Michigan State University Extension. The latest research-based curriculum and experiential methodology inform the instructional design of our hands-on school and community programs.

Focusing on the process of science, educators from MSU enhance the unique learning experiences, activities and hands-on workshops at the farm. These experiences give students the opportunity to understand the interconnectedness between science, food, and our natural world.

Want to Visit Bowers Farm?

The farm offers educational field trips for schools interested in enhancing the classroom learning experience through authentic, place-based learning. Community organizations such as scouts, neighborhood associations, family and church groups can also sign-up to participate. Program topics include Plant Science, Animal Behavior, Sustainability, Harvesting, Conservation and Genetics to name a few. Programs with specific topics run at different times of the school year, range in duration and price and target different ages/groups.

If you prefer a more casual visit to Bowers Farm, we invite you to take a one-hour guided tour! Tours are scheduled in advance to allow for customized experiences for individuals and groups of virtually any size. Our Farm tour & wagon ride is an hour long and we ask for a minimum of 5 people. The cost is $10/person. We can still provide a tour & wagon ride for groups of less than 5, however the cost will then be a flat-fee of $50. If you'd like to schedule an educational program or a one-hour tour, please complete the online form or call us at 248.341.6475.

Community Events

Every year we host a fun-filled "Spring Fling & Pancake Breakfast" and a "Fall Festival" community event! Visit the Farm Programs & Events page for details.

Other Farm Happenings

We are happy to provide the following programs:

  • A 79-plot Community Garden for those interested in renting a garden plot
  • A Community Horse Program for those who have a love for horses and riding
  • A seasonal farm stand that is stocked with fresh veggies and eggs from our gardens and hens at Bowers Farm!
  • Room and Area Rentals - we are also pleased to rent areas of our facility to those looking to host a birthday party, wedding or baby shower and even have their wedding take place in our lovely gardens maintained by the MSU Master Gardeners!


Visit the Farm Programs & Events page for additional information or feel free to call 248.341.6475.

Carver's Contributions Carry On . . . Past to Present Here on the Farm
Many of us may recall George Washington Carver for his notable invention of numerous peanut products. However, many people are unaware of his exceptional contribution to sustainable agriculture, which continues to be an integral part of farming today.
 
Mr. Carver's expertise in soil chemistry led to revolutionary ideas and practices about compost and the importance of crop rotation. He made the connection that growing certain plants (i.e. nitrogen fixing plants - like peanuts), helped to restore soil health and facilitate future crop production.
 
These practices, which are globally recognized — and even used here at Bowers School Farm — have contributed to successful, sustainable and regenerative food production. His work and knowledge continue to support food diversity and food security all around the world.
Read more about Carver's Contributions Carry On . . . Past to Present Here on the Farm
Are YOU Coming to Summer Camp?
Summer camp registration is officially in full swing! We are so excited to welcome new campers, as well as our "alumni" campers. To see much of what we have to offer, take a look at our promotional video here. As a friendly reminder, we do have before and after care offered this year for full day campers. You must register for both camp and before or after care through Community Pass. We cannot wait to see you on the farm this summer!
Read more about Are YOU Coming to Summer Camp?
4H Dives Into Culture
On Saturday, February 9, Bowers 4H earned a phenomenal third place finish (2nd in club vote!) in their first ever participation in a culinary exchange competition. In conjunction with other 4H groups from around the county, our junior chefs worked hard to create unique and inspiring delicacies, representing their country of choice: Poland. Each group was delegated with the task of picking a country and sharing both cultural and cuisine elements.
 
The club made a cornucopia of foods to share and discover, including: dill pickle soup, kielbasa, sauerkraut, fermented pickles, dill cucumbers and two desserts. In addition, the members also showed off their dance skills, performing the well-known Polka, as a further representation of the culture. Well done, 4H'ers! You make Bowers proud!
Read more about 4H Dives Into Culture
Sow Many Piglets!
Each year, Bowers School Farm purchases a Yorkshire sow (a pig that has given birth) from Michigan State University's swine teaching and research facility for educational purposes. Our BHHS Intro to Agriculture, Food & Natural resources students complete a unit on the swine industry and are directly involved with the daily care of both the sow and the piglets.
 
This particular breed of sow was chosen due to her breed's great mothering abilities and large litter sizes (good moms make our job as caretakers easier!). Some students in the BHHS Animal and Veterinary Sciences class were able to be present and assist during the farrowing (birthing) process by taking accurate records, recording birth weights, and helping dry off the piglets as they were born.
 
This year our sow had a total of 13 piglets! She is able to rear up to 14, so we are very happy with our final number! Piglets are usually born averaging 2 to 3 pounds and will grow almost a pound a day for the first 60 days!
 
This time of the year is always a great learning experience for all students that are taking classes at the farm or visiting. It provides a glimpse into our food system and how producers work extremely hard to provide the best welfare for the animals they're raising.
Read more about Sow Many Piglets!
Blue Jean Bonanza
Got old blue jeans? We need old blue jeans! We are creating a new 2nd Grade program, "A Pocket Full of History" and need old denim jeans (any adult size, any condition are welcome). Please drop off your old jeans donations to the Learning Center at Bowers Farm by March 12, or contact Amy Cardin at acardin@bloomfield.org for pick up. We appreciate your support of our farm programming.
Read more about Blue Jean Bonanza
Seeds, Sprouts, and Buds
Although it was cold outside, we were warm in the greenhouse with our second graders in early February! Their visit to the farm included food tasting to help us plant the "right" vegetables in our garden this Spring. In addition, they helped to start our sunflower patch by planting our seeds for new growth in our greenhouse. Students put their scientific brains to use by dissecting flowers and discovering all the foods our animals eat on the farm. As a special treat, many students were able to meet our new lambs and observe their interactions with their mothers. It was a great connecting time with our students, who will be back in March for our new "Pocket FULL of History" program, with a focus on our historical buildings on the farm and local history.
Read more about Seeds, Sprouts, and Buds
Storytime with Sparky!
On February 9, Bowers Farm was fortunate to host our local first responders - and special guest, Sparky - for an engaging and fun storytime, supported in part by Bloomfield Public Library. The event was held in our newly renovated Farm Activity Building (FAB) as part of our Winter Park. The kids enjoyed meeting all of our brave firemen and policemen, as well as drinking hot cocoa.
 
Though the weather was not on our side for much of this year's Winter Park, we look forward to next year and future engagement with the community! Thank you to everyone, especially Bloomfield Hills Foundation, for partnering with us to make it a success!
Read more about Storytime with Sparky!

CLASS REGISTRATION

LOCATION


Charles L. Bowers School Farm
1219 East Square Lake Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

To schedule a visit, please call:
(248) 341.6481
Monday-Friday
between 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Bowers Farm is open daily for visits that are booked in advance. Walk-ins are allowed for designated community events only (see Fall Festival information).

Want to book a visit to the farm? Take a guided tour! Please complete this online form or call 248.341.6481.

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CONTACTS

Alan Jaros
Director
248.341.6480
AJaros@bloomfield.org

Jackie Doran
Program Coordinator
(scheduling of programs, events and general questions)
weekdays from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm
248.341.6481
JDoran@bloomfield.org

Jordan Hewitt
Farm Site Coordinator
weekdays from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm
248.310.9456
JHewitt@bloomfield.org

Rachel Duncan
Farm Caretaker
weekdays after 4:00 pm & weekends
(248) 794.0450
RDuncan@bloomfield.org

Athletics, Recreation, and
Community Services:

248.433.0885

Farm Guides

  • Kathleen Blust
  • Amy Cardin
  • Kelli Clifton
  • Michelle Golembieski
  • Jessica Lynn
  • Aliza Marks
  • Rajaa Sheena
  • Laurie Simonelli
  • Isabella Tillman
  • Amanda Wilhelm