Plow Day planned for Poor Farm Barn

From staff reports

A Plow Day groundbreaking ceremony and celebration of National Historic Preservation Month will take place at the Leelanau County Poor Farm Barn in Myles Kimmerly Park near Maple City on Saturday, May 25, from 10 am until noon.

Participate in the historical reenactment of draft horses plowing the second Buckets of Rain garden at the Poor Farm. There will be a harness demonstration narrated by Tom Cyr of Black Horse Farm. Susan Zenker of Fantail Farms, and Kathy Shutt of Big Butt Farms, both from Benzonia, provide the teams of horses and do the plowing and disking of the 5,000 square-foot garden. A horse-driven wagon ride will also take place.

Chris Skellenger, director of Buckets of Rain, a nonprofit dedicated to “growing hope and feeding lives, one garden at a time,” will speak on the success of last year’s first garden. Steve Stier, president of the Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society, will update the recent barn rehabilitation. 

Tom Ulrich, deputy superintendent, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, will share the importance of historic preservation in Leelanau County.

Barbara Siepker will introduce the inaugural book signing of Historic Leelanau: Recognized Places and Sites of Historical Significancewith authors Chris Byron and Tom Wilson. 

Last year’s plowing event was a success and a celebration of the Save the Poor Farm Barn group who received a 25-year lease from the county. Under the auspices of Leelanau County Historic Preservation Society, the group has completed the cement pouring of the east wall, the first step in rehabilitating the barn to its original stature and to provide public education and service to the Leelanau community. Volunteers are being sought to assist in planting and maintaining the Buckets of Rain garden. Garden produce will be distributed to the needy.

This two-hour event is free and open to the public. Bring children to pet the horses and have a ride in the horse-d­riven wagon; bring a lawn chair and sign up on our follower’s list; volunteer; and make a $20 donation to receive a gift book.